Sunday, July 25, 2021

Learning‌:‌ ‌Easier vinyl weeding when words are small and crowded

After designing a creative block of words that both literally and visually express the feeling of highly caffeinated coffee beverages, I set out to first export my .svg files, cut and weed the vinyl, burnish them onto my transfer tape, and then finally position these words onto my sign. I knew the weeding might be a bit challenging as the many thin letters wreak havoc when peeling away the vinyl. Upon my first attempt, I lost about 4 letters and needed to cut additional vinyl for those letters or words. The main issue was not the peeling away from the backing paper. Inevitably, the excess vinyl that builds up as you weed will get stuck to the surface of some lettering and pull it up. Even though I’m aware of cutting away the excess during the process to minimize this problem, I realized my eyes could only see a limited scope of the detail as I pulled away from the cuts. I was attempting to weed, in one piece of vinyl, a 5" x 11" block of 11 words of varying sizes, shapes, thicknesses, and directions.

It’s funny, but when I say it now, I realize how ridiculous this idea sounds. But at the time, I was too anxious to see the vinyl on my beautifully oak stained pine board. After giving it some thought, I came to the conclusion that the main issue was simply attempting to keep my eyes on too many characters in one attempt. Therefore, in order to maintain the layout and spacing, I used my x-acto blade to slice the vinyl surface between each word. When weeding, I would now be able to focus on one set of characters at a time and eliminate, or at least lessen, the problem. This is a simple principle so clearly emphasized by a character named Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester III from an old television show named M.A.S.H. His philosophy for success was always very simple: Do one thing at a time, do it very well, and then move on.

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