help me ouija again
May 1, 2014 7:30 PM   Subscribe

I'm running into another problem with my ouija project. I need to be able to print a complex design in white ink on a black background. How?

Here's the design I've come up with: It's all straight lines and nooks and crannies, so doing this by hand is sort of out of the question.

My first instinct to get precision clean white on black was cut vinyl, but the sign shop said my lines were waaay too skinny. At print size (22x16) the thinnest line is about 0.01 inches, and the sign shop claimed a quarter inch is the smallest feature their plotter can handle.

So what are my other options?

Whatever option I go with needs to be able to be applied to a black chalk board and then ideally blend in somewhat seamlessly with the chalkboard. That's why I'm hesitant to do something like just print black ink onto white paper and glue it on: the edges might look too obvious. Although, I am doing some thick resin layers over this, so maybe the edges would be more hidden by the resin then I am imagining.
posted by cirrostratus to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
A print shop that does posters should be able to do it. If the chalkboard has some kind of edging, you could size it just slightly larger than the area to be colored and tuck it under the edging.
posted by the big lizard at 8:12 PM on May 1, 2014

If you have a friend with a silhouette or cameo (think scrapbooking people), you can do this through the pen holder function with a very very thin white sharpie-type pen for the thin lines, and a thicker pen for the other lines. Sketch pens on Silhouette - you can DIY something with some foam to hold the pen in the cutting slot really. You would have to do sections - the silhouette only does 12" wide.

You could also cut the larger portions of your design in vinyl, then use white pen to mark out the thin lines.

I would do a test print with ink-jet or laser for this first on several small 4x4" pieces of thin papers, apply them to some scrap chalkboard and see how they look with resin painted over. Decoupage people layer paper like that all the time and it can look totally seamless if you're carefully about aligning edges and press the thin paper down smoothly and then apply varnish over it.
posted by viggorlijah at 9:34 PM on May 1, 2014

Of you have access you could laser etch it (check the surface material) and either it gives a whitish etch surface or you could fill the etch and the sand it level.
posted by Iteki at 1:27 AM on May 2, 2014

Is there some reason you can trace this design onto your chalk board and use a paint pen?
posted by DarlingBri at 3:32 AM on May 2, 2014

re Print shop poster. One thing you need to be careful when printing solid color is there might be some variation in the density of the color which is more noticeable because it is such a large area. What program are you using to create the image? The printer could tell you to make the background 95% black or "rich black" to get a better result.

Photo silk-screen? You wouldn't have to cut the stencil yourself. Is that png showing your actual font?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:06 AM on May 2, 2014

Silkscreen it directly on the chalkboard.
posted by clearlydemon at 11:47 AM on May 2, 2014

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