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Posts posted by Wildgoose

  1. Wareagle, you will be able to cut lettering in all sorts of shapes. SCALP Pro 3 that currently comes with the USC machines has a basic set of design tools and a cutting utility to allow the program to direct the plotter to cut the various designs. If you decide that the SCALP program isn't sufficient then you can either grab Inkscape from online and design with it or go ahead and pay for Illustrator which is nicer in my opinion but also considerably more money. Any way you go about it you will have and need the SCALP program in order to cut so you aren't out anything if it's already packaged with your machine. There are several other cutting programs out there, some let you design and cut some just cut but most of these other options are more money than SCALP. I draw in Illustrator but own SCALP and use it to cut the designs I make. You will draw a line to the shape you want your text then type on the line. I haven't played with the SCALP design side much but it appears to function similar to Inkscape which in turn is similar to Illustrator, they're all vector graphics programs that essentially manipulate the desing in similar fashion. If you have been hand cutting then you are going to have a great experience with your new cutter that will leave you giggling like a school girl. Even these budget minded units like a lot of us run are freaky accurate. They all have their own personalities and you will have a learning curve but they do great.

  2. You are probably already way beyond the point of no return but I set up an account at a couple local supply houses so when I come accross a job like that with hi-zoot vinyl I can just go pick up a couple yards. I still buy most of my product from USC because they are definitely better priced for full rolls and they will usually hit my door within about two days but for one-off stuff I just buy what I need to do the job locally. The locals pretty much carry 3M/Gerber vinyl but they usually have the same color varieties.


    You guys uing the AI cloud should spend a little time to really learn Illustrator, once you figure it out you will never go back. Hard to learn but worth the effort IMO. I only occasionally use inkscape because it's on my laptop, I design on an iMac with Adobe CS5. Inkscape is too clunky after using the cadillac tools within Illustrator. I particularly detest the bounding box around everything. You can turn that off with Illustrator and set it up to click only on image lines so your not accidentally grabbing the wrong object every time you turn around. The biggest problem with AI is there is so much there it becomes overwhelming at the start. For sign work, particularly if you work primarily with a cutter rather than print, there tools you will use are actually fairly simple once you learn how everything interacts. Maybe some of the newest versions of inkscape are better than the one I have but mine can't do wire frame mode or blends. I'm not knocking inkscape because for a free program its awesome but if you are already spending the money on Illustrator then why not use it.

  3. I have used a lot of Oracal and have had great success with it. I generally use the cast 751 but have also used a lot of the 651 intermediate on flat surfaces without any problems. I use the GS products for inexpensive stuff for friends or temporary signage both with full disclosure that it is lower priced budget material. Our local supply houses have 3m and I have had just as good of experience with it although the last 3m product I bought was on a new plastic carrier that I think was supposed to be the new hot thing and I didn't like it. It worked fine for the cut, in fact you can over-cut a little without having the typical problem of having part of the carrier come off with your vinyl but the carrier was too light and I fought it during the weed process. It was a big graphic that had a lot to weed off. Maybe smaller stuff would not have been so annoying.

  4. I concur with you guys about the forum and the USCutter team. I have had nothing but great service from USC. Whenever I have ordered anything they are lighting fast with shipping and the rare times they have missed something they make it right imediately. As a consequence I buy almost 100% of my materials through them. I had the initial learning curve as a newbie and needed some technical assistance and they were super helpful on the phone. This forum likewise is probably the nicest group of folks I have ever been associated with in a forum setting. I have learned more here about the business than anywhere else. I frequent other forums too and am a huge proponent of the search button. Practically all my questions have at least one other person who asked them first.

    • Like 1

  5. We stare because we do it for a living, the general public would never notice the stuff we notice every day. That is why I don't like reg. marks although they may work better now that I stepped up to a better cutter finally they never lined up perfect with any of my other cutters. On with your design I would have cut the backing super close to the blue so I could see the other color around it. But things happen and it's just a fact of life. Love the design and think it represents your business well

    Ted, Looks great. I like the overall graphic big time!


    Jaybird, what cutter did you step up to? I have been getting by with a P-Cut 1200 48" machine for a couple years now. It gets me by and I have learned all the weird little tricks to turn out good work with it but I have been saving and plan to buy a 30" cutter this season. I looked at the Graptec CE an FC's and the Rolland comps and I think I have decided to go with a SummaCut. Everything I am reading they appear to be a real quality machine with freaky good tracking. I live in Idaho so I am limited as far as support goes either way.

  6. On most (I think all) of the files in SCALP even the ones you bring in from an alternate design source there is basically an uncolored layer or box around the image(s) It may be considered white I haven't looked that hard. Anyway, if you first select your artwork and then pull down the object menu and select ungroup it will open up that image to modifications. You can then select the outer square and just push delete or even backspace I think and it will go away. Bear in mind that all your other images (if there are more than one such as letters etc.) are all in an ungrouped form at this point so you may want to highlight them all and regroup but that up to you. You will find that there is still a "bounding box" around any artwork that you select. I don't know if there is a way to get rid of the bounding box or not. I use a different design program for drawing so I am not 100% up to speed. In Illustrator you can choose not to have the bounding box at all which I greatly prefer but I have not seen any options to drop that out in SCALP or (Inkscapefor that matter).

  7. I have had this problem importing from Illustrator and they worked on it back a few updates and it was working correctly but I'm back to having trouble again. I have just changed my build process and save each color layer as a separate file completely. On small stuff I have opened the file and ungrouped and changed the colors manually once they were in SCALP but that can be a lot of work if its a complicated design. I am expecting that they will continue to improve to the point that this problem will go away permanently. I have been patiently waiting for them to add some of the cutting utilities that SignCut has like tiling. I had withdrawals for a while but have adjusted. I don't miss the subscription at all.

  8. I did some heavy reading today and I think you guys are right. As I read more about the whole aspect of using parody as a defense against infringement I am noticing that the key word is "defense" which would infer a lawsuit. All of the cases I read were brought on by someone using someone elses logo for purposes that in many cases were deemed covered by the fair use act and I do think my attourney friend was a little brash in telling me it was "Iron clad". I think if I was actually going to make millions with this thing then the risk might be worth the chance but I'm not so I'm going to forget about the whole idea. I'll wear it on a sweatshirt and get cool coments and if someone wants one they're going to be out of luck. Having a commercial value seems to start to tip the scales in the parody defense whereas if I was just trying to make some sort of point about HD without gain I would probably have more protection. I actually like HD, just can't afford to ride one. That's where the whole idea of the logo came from in the first place. It's too bad because I think it's a great joke but not one I'm willing to go to battle over even if it does seem wrong to let the big corporate stomp on the little guy yet again.


    I'm man enough to admit when I'm wrong and its only a fool who won't learn something new once in a while.  

    • Like 3

  9. How is it NOT a parody? Have you looked at it? It says Hardley not Harley, maybe I should drop the "e" and spell hardly correctly if you have missed the humor all this time. You are probably in more danger of getting in trouble using Mopar in your user name than I am getting sued over this logo. I changed the cycles to scooters to make sure to catch anyones eye that "hey that's not right" and make them re-read things. On top of that if I promote this at all it will be as a silly t-shirt not an actual motorcyle line. The only way this thing would be TM infringement was if I was chinese and didn't know how to spell proper english.

  10. Well free advice is definitely free advice. I asked him if he was very familiar with copywrite law and he said he actually was. He is a fairly respected attorney in our area and owns his own firm. He offered to get me copies of the rulings used to define current fair use act law but I told him I wasn't that serious about it at this point. His main point about the design is the parody aspect. The best part of my design is it's more self-deprecating humor than anything (Hardley vs Harley) and only furthers the theme that a real Harley is awesome. (wish I had one) He explained some finer points of the law that basically was about how they determine if there has been any harm (financial or to their product image etc.) and made it clear that while he was certain I was within the fair use act protection there was still no telling if they would decide to sue over it which would certainly end with me trying to defend myself against a huge corporation with tons of money and sometimes money wins even if its in the wrong.


    I know you guys are probably rooting me on to face the dragon and in truth it actually sounds almost fun to shake my butt at them going "Neeneer neeneer neeneer" but then sound reasoning seeps in and I realize how dangerous that might be. So... Yes I may actually produce a few t-shirts with my design but the truth is I am a sign guy, and a small one at that, not a garment/t-shirt guy although I dabble here and there. I still hold by my original point that actual copying of legit TM logos can get you busted even if they are given away for nothing but you can make anything you want for your own use. I also appologize to the original poster for hijacking this thread. If in doubt be sure to read the legal disclaimer in my signature, ha ha!

  11. Update! Strangely enough I am posting on between volleyball games pf one of my kids and the club owners husband is an attorney so I asked him his thoughts. He said in a nutshell it's pretty much iron clad parody and they won't be able to touch me. Might even runthe risk of making me famous if they decided to come after me. He also said they will threaten me if I send in an inquiry because that would be standard policy. It does pose a risk that they could litigate me broke, which wouldn't take much so I think I will let sleeping dogs lay.On a positive note I'm still not worried.

  12. That's a good link. I think I will send in my design and see what kind of response I get. I think I'm ok but they may see it different. I'll ppst their response either way. The way I understand it if you are a competitor or are poking fun at them, as I am, they have to leave you alone. Like when chevy puts a ford on the back and drives up a pile of blocks . I know if i was attempting to market a similar product and using their look that would infringe on probably both TM and Copyright. I have never done anything with this logo other than my own use so I'm not scared to submit it, it will make a good case study.

  13. My $0.02 the upside down monster as a city could be classified as fair use but your pushing the envelope on these other things. If you don't charge for them you may be technically end-running the copywrite but the TM laws include diluting their market in their protection as a trademark. I've drawn a couple of my own graphics that utilize some big name trademarks but are well within the fair use clause and not lost any sleep over it at all. I also copy all kinds of stuff for my own personal use but I never sell and usually don't even give it away. There is no law governing what you can build for yourself, if you have the skill to do so you could build your own exact copy of a Harley Davidson right down to the logo and everything. The problem comes in when you try to sell it as one (or in TM law theoretically if you give it away). I don't completely agree with the TM gift thing because anything I may have given away was to someone who would never buy one in the first place or was something that was not actually a product on the market anywhere.


    The bottom line as I see it is that we in the industry have a responsibility to uphold and protect the copywrite and TM laws that we expect to recieve protection from if/when we are the creators of a design like the cool Monster logo. (wouldn't that be awesome!) As with most things there will always be someone who abuses things and we can really only control our own involvement.

  14. Like many here I design elsewhere. (Illustrator) I just SCALP Pro it for a cutting utlility. As such it has come a long way from where it started when I purchased my $50 early bird special. I used to use SignCut Pro but paid a yearly $98 subscription. (could have bought the dongle for about $300 but never did because my cutting computer has no more available usb ports. I made the leap this year and started cutting just with SCALP Pro to make myself learn the nuances (which I also had to do with SignCut). Now thanks to a little practice (practice with a pen attachment and some butcher paper, its cheaper) and many upgrades it's getting close to being a complete package as far as cutting is concerned. There are a few quirks but mostly I have not had much to complain about. I just wanted something to OWN rather than rent and be able to have available for when I park my current cutter in the corner as a spare. Other than SignCut I have never tried any of the other cutting programs so I am not able to comment on other options. I HAVE played around with the design options on SCALP Pro and found them similar to Inkscape but missing some features. One thing I like better in SCALP vs SignCut is that ofter importing from Illustrator if I have to change something or add something on the fly its not impossible to open up the file and move things around or add/modify something before the cut. SignCut was strictly a cutting utility that had no options to change the design other than some seriously lacking text options. It DID have some cool cutting options that SCALP doesn't yet have, but the Craft Edge design team has said they are coming in the not so distant future. For basic cutting operations and even mild design work it works just fine. Perfect for the occasional home user and in my case a weekend and evening warrior.


    I personally give SCALP Pro the thumbs up! As much for the support/design team over at Craft Edge as for the actual program. They have REALLY made some nice changes at the behest of a bunch of our user requests. How often can you make a suggestion to a sofware company and have then do as you ask?

  15. I've had that problem with G Star layflat clear also. Particularly in areas where I've put a lot of pressure with the squeege. Have NOT had any similar problems with the R-tape though, although the only clear R-tape I have is medium tack. G Star is definitely more fun to work with when warmed up. I am pickier about where I use my G Star at now and am trying to use it up after which I don't plan on using it again.  

  16. It does seem that maybe they have slowwed down in their progress, perhaps the bigger issues are more time consuming to fix/add. I am still expecting to see "tiling" come on line this summer for larger projects and hopefully step-by-step cutting also. They told me some time in the first half of 2013 so maybe by end of June? I'm hoping sooner than later. I'm aiming for a new cutter this summer so it may all become a moot point for me personally however I plan to keep the old P-Cut around for back-up either way so I'd still like to see it get a little more polished. Those two items are about all I feel lacking for my needs from this point. Possibly a "copies" option to make multiple sets of a graphic but to tell the truth my cutter ends up freaking out if I try to do too many at once anyway so that's less of a cencern for me.

  17. Thanks for the feedback, is the lower platen attached so a t-shirt is threadable over the platen? helpfull if you want to press rhinestones on the back and vinyl on the front or any other combo you don't want to reheat the first press.

    No the lower platen is center mounted so threading on shirts is hard to do. I use a heat pillow when worried but I have never done rhinestones.

  18. I agree with the above. I bought a 48" P-Cut and to date the biggest vinyl I have cut is 30" and mostly 24" or 15" . I used it once as a plotter on a 48" pice of paper for a project for my kids that was it. I am looking to upgrade and downsize to a 30" this season.