Applying letters to book board.
April 11, 2006 2:34 PM   Subscribe

I need to apply custom type to Davey Board (bookbinding board), is screen printing my only option?

I am putting together a portfolio book and case, the main material will be exposed Davey board
and I was wondering if there was a cheaper, and easier way to apply words to the board other than screen printing. Rub-on letters won't work because it is a customized set of letters that I am producing in Illustratorâ„¢. Could I get customized rub-on decals made? Is there something like this
that I haven't seen yet, that isn't so expensive/complicated? Thanks for your suggestions.

The reason I am trying to stay away from the whole screenprinting setup is that I'd only apply it at most 4-5 times. So it just doesn't make sense to buy all the supplies for that few times, seems a little inefficient to me. But if that's the best option, that's what I'll do.
posted by Sreiny to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Would iron-on transfer paper (print from Illustrator right to it) work?
posted by stefnet at 3:30 PM on April 11, 2006

Call around to different service bureaus/signage shops near you and see if they have vinyl cutters. They can cut your design out of sheets of vinyl with adhesive backing based on your postscript files. Haven't used anyone online, but googling should give you many results...
posted by lovejones at 3:34 PM on April 11, 2006

this might be of interest i used these decals recently to create a custom my little pony.
posted by moochoo at 4:04 PM on April 11, 2006

vinyl letters, as per lovejones suggestion, are a good option: but be advised that most sign shops will grumble endlessly if you're looking to get letters under, say, 3/4" in height (depending on the complexity and stroke width of the font). especially if you're looking for any sort of large quantity. custom made vinyl letter have to be hand-weeded (this is the process of removing excess vinyl after the letters have been cut into the adhesive sheet), and the smaller the letters, the less accurate the cuts, the thinner the strokes, the smaller the pieces of waste vinyl that must be pulled from the sheet before the letters can be used. also, if you are bringing in a file for them to cut vinyl from, make sure you convert your text to curves, so there are no font issues once the file is delivered.
posted by cathodeheart at 4:21 PM on April 11, 2006

Are there any printmakers at your school? Some of them may already have the materials and be willing to print for a small fee. Also, some inkjet printers allow you to feed materials through the back, though I don't know that the thickness tolerance will accommodate such hefty stuff.
posted by spaghetti at 4:49 PM on April 11, 2006

Response by poster: moochoo, that seems an interesting option, how was the opacity of the printout on the surface? Because Davey Board is gray, I'm afraid any translucency may mute the colors. I'm looking for a vibrant color that will stand out.
posted by Sreiny at 7:40 PM on April 11, 2006

google isn't doing a whole lot for me right now, but when I was in (architecture) school, we would use transfer pens (maybe "blender pens") to do similar things.

the procedure:
1) mirror your text/graphic
2) print to a standard laser printer
3) put the printout "ink"-side-down on the davyboard and rub over the inked area with the transfer pen. Make sure to saturdate the paper pretty well.

You only get one shot at it if you want it crisp, so don't lift too early. Transfer pens are basically just acetone, so you can slop on some of that on there, but I think the rubbing helps transfer the ink onto the target surface.

Practice a bunch of times to get the system down, and make sure you do this step early in any multi-step processes, becuase if you save it to the end of a complex set of steps, you will for sure screw it up.
posted by misterbrandt at 8:35 PM on April 11, 2006

Best answer: Rub-on letters won't work because it is a customized set of letters that I am producing in Illustratorâ„¢.

possibly not true!

in the early 90's, before desktop publishing was quite so desktop, i would send out my illustrator art for logotypes and marks to a service bureau. they'd output custom pieces of art in colors of my choice in a material very close to press-type; applied in the same way with a bone folder or burnisher. its be fairly impervious to destruction via hanling with some spray-set on top of it.

i would say this probably still is possible; seems like something package designers would need for comping quite frequently. if there's a package design agency or output bureau near you, i'd call and check with them if they know of a vendor.
posted by patricking at 9:02 PM on April 11, 2006

if you contact me on my email addy in my profile i can send you some images of the pony i made.
posted by moochoo at 7:15 AM on April 12, 2006

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