The graphic design and printing process

In my field of graphic design each “job” or “project” is a whole process and takes time to create. There are many steps to the process.

Some calls and they want a sign made for an event. They specifically ask for a 2ft. by 3ft. (24’’ x 36”) foam core sign. Foam core is a popular choice among signs used for indoor events. They are light and can be propped up on almost any kind of stand. Before we start designing we make sure we have foam core to do the job on. We usually always do because we keep a huge stack in house. The customer has the option of sending artwork over or having us design something for them (for a design fee of course). What happens quite often is the customer will send over a logo or something of theirs and they want us to create around it. A realtor can send us his company’s logo and his picture and we design a poster saying open house or for sale for them. Once the design is finished, its time to print. My company has 4 large industrial and commercial printers. All of them serve their own purpose. We have a flatbed printer, which in this case the piece of foam board will be printed on. We have a separate computer station were we open up the file that I saved from my computer. From there I open it up and prepare to have it printed. From there I make sure it is the correct size, it is facing the right way, and that it will fit on the foam core it will be printed on. After this I hit the print button on the computer and it sends the file to the printer to be printed. After the sign is printed it usually needs to be touched up and finished. We tend to use over sized foam board and after it is finished printing we cut it down to color. The ink could still be wet so you cannot touch the face of it. I have handled it the wrong way in the past and we had to reprint it. After cutting you hand it off to a very satisfied customer.

This is something that I love to do. It’s a pretty incredible feeling driving around town and going to an event and seeing your work hanging so the whole world can see. It makes it all worth it


Matthew Rabarsky