Monday, May 17, 2021

Tips & Tricks: using text in a layout to help align and space graphic elements

Cutting vinyl for a project, especially one color, is a very straightforward process. When your design calls for multiple colors, however, spacing and alignment can become a hassle - especially if you need to repeat the process many times.

On this simple 2-color text sign, the bottom lettering should be surrounded by a brown laurel branch. The original SVG cut file I created includes both the graphics and text in my layout. Therefore, I needed to cut the brown vinyl separately from the black lettering. Before doing so, however, I set up the cut file in Cricut Design Space to include the left laurel branch (brown) along with the first letter of the word "it's" (also cut as brown) appearing in my layout. I did the same with the last letter on the opposite side of the text phrase, "b", along with the right laurel branch. 

When using my transfer tape to move both the left and right laurel branch graphics to my sign, I made sure to include these extra letters. They will not actually be transferred onto the sign since they are part of the brown vinyl transfer, but they do maintain the exact distance from letter to graphics as on my layout and full cut file. Essentially, I use them as registration marks for alignment and spacing. I line up the matching letters, push down the transfer tape for the graphics areas only, burnish over the graphics, and slowly remove my transfer tape leaving the one brown letter on the transfer tape. I then use cellophane tape to pull the letter from transfer tape to save it for another transfer.

Black lettering missing its' surrounding brown graphics

Brown graphics being added using the alignment
of the letter "i" from the text

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