When you see signs with the perfect lettering on them, don’t you ask yourself: “How do they get the letters on there perfectly? Is it done by machine? Or is done by hand?” Well, to answer your question, it’s actually both and it goes through a process known as “weeding”.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “Weeding? That sounds something that gardeners do.” Well, yes, gardeners do that too, but instead of them cutting out letters from a large sheet of material, they actually just pull out the weeds from their garden.
Now, in sign-making context, weeding is a process where they design is actually being peeled off of a sheet of vinyl. The design is constructed in Adobe Illustrator with a tool known as the cutline tool. The design is then sent to the Graphics printer and is given the instruction of making a very small incision along the designated purple lines that the printer registers as the cutting lines. This is all done on a sheet of vinyl with a release layer underneath. Once the machine is finished with making the small cuts, we have people with steady hands peel away the excess vinyl away. That leaves a nice, clean design for the sign.
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