Trello is a pretty good tool if you're looking for free. It's all online and they have mobile apps too, so you can see how jobs are going at any time. I've used it for a while and have really liked it.
Some museums have put high res copies of their collections online for people to have. Also might check the Wikimedia Commons Art section, I think they have some high res stuff that's free for any usage.
I would show them a Pantone to Process color book and tell them to pick the closest ones. There is only so much you can do with what you have to work with.
Here's a flexo press with 3 die stations and it explains it all. It's been 20 years since I worked in a flexo shop so all the presses now look totally different to me. http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/ZBS-450G-New-one-color-multicolor_210764718.html?spm=a2700.77248184.108.40.206REGwt&s=p
Go to any stock art site like istockphoto.com and look for retro signs. There are literally thousands of them, vectored, ready to use. Buy them with an extended license and you can print all you want. I doubt that's what's going on with the signs OP is seeing though. They are either getting the standard license, making and selling as many signs as they can until they are caught, then moving on to the next design or they are just taking a basic design, reproducing the style and caling it new.
I bought a activated charcoal filter and fan for a marijuana grow tent from Amazon, it did a good job getting the stink from our Epson s80600 to be more manageable. and it was only about $150
While, as others have said, the appearance of process colors will differ depending on substrate and equipment, it is absolutely worth buying a CMYK swatchbook. A Pantone color bridge set is a good option, as it will give you both coated and uncoated values, and I also have a copy of Process Color Manual that is very useful. While it is true that CMYK isn't super reliable for color matching, when working on most screens, you truly have absolutely no idea what the printed colors will look like, so I do like to choose my colors from a printed swatchbook first. Also, it won't hurt to get a wide-gamut, 1440p+ resolution computer monitor and a color calibrator to help you get as close as you can to printed output, so that you're not working completely blind with respect to color.
Here's the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B096X3N7T3/
In hindsight I definitely jumped the gun on buying these... any idea how I might go about finding a similar style holographic paper that is more inkjet friendly? Maybe key terms, brands, or things to look out for? I know I've seen people print on similar paper before, and unfortunately I don't have the funds for too much trial and error.
Hydrofogger all day. Build a shelf somewhere higher up if possible with a fan near it and then plumb it to a water line if you can so that you don’t have to refill. I have a few of them, they raise humidity quickly and consistently.
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They're not all installed, and are just residing in an archive folder for safe-keeping where they may be retrieved and added to Suitcase and activated when needed. I currently have 18738 fonts within suitcase, of which 1457 are temporarily active until the computer reboots.
I think instead of a gray card you'd be better off with one of these. It will allow you to more accurately balance multiple values.
Regarding monitor calibration - I would highly recommend doing that. Fiery's come with an ES-2000 but they don't include any software or the dongle to allow you to calibrate a monitor. You can get around this by using DisplayCal, a free monitor calibration app based on the open source Argyll Color Management System; which works extremely well. I've been using it for several years at work and at home. FYI - if you use DisplayCal, remove ANY X-Rite drivers on the system first. DisplayCal will install a driver compatible with ArgyllCMS that will work with the ES-2000, but if the X-Rite drivers are installed, it won't work and the instrument won't show up in the app.
If you are not interested in conductivity why do you need graphite color? It's just black color, you cant it tell apart form other black colors. About printing your photos, if you want to have good quality reproduction of your image than cotton or linen paper is maybe not the best option. Those papers are usually not coated and have strong texture and are not really white, which leads to bad contrast and blurry images. It also depends what kind of photos are you talking about, if you have strong contrast in your image and not so many fine details than maybe it can look good. If you have fine detailed photo with lot of differences in tones than those things will be lost.
So best choice obviously is photo paper, if that is too boring for you than go with white coated papers, try to avoid hard textures. Maybe go to the paper supplier or some good digital print shop and ask around, they will know the best.
Did you try to look for this color? Quick search on internet found few options:
I like to look through softaculous for things like this, as they often have an open source solution that can be modified. Would any of these suit your purposes?
We've been testing out https://www.meistertask.com in our small printery. We have sales/admin, 2 designers, offset print operator and bindery worker. Meistertask works really well, and most importantly for us it's free for the basic level that we need. We create a new project for each job and share it with each person on the team, its easy to allocate tasks to people and see the status of jobs. When a job is full completed we archive it.
For smaller quantities (and small labels), I like to order some kind of Avery label from Amazon that best fits the final size. They stick very well, but regardless of what kind of label you use, if someone wants to peel it off, they will peel it off.
In your case, I think you could print this on a normal desktop laserjet, as this would be around 50 sheets per 1000 labels and you could print one-offs faster and cheaper than a commercial printer.
Generating the variable QR Code can be done a number of ways. If you need help, I've done a lot of this kind of thing. Check out this link. It will generate a file that can print straight to the Avery Label I mentioned.
Thanks for the advice.
I actually went to a local printer and though it came out better, it was not usable. Plus they didn't seem to bothered in trying to see how to get the best result or explain to me any alternatives (customer service in this country is known to be horrible so I was not surprised).
So this is generally why I was trying to find an alternative solution since it's not going to be a one-off thing. If I have to get these shipped to me from a printer that knows what they are doing that also won't be practical over the long run :/
At this point, I'm considering an investment into a good printer like; https://www.amazon.com/Canon-imagePROGRAF-Wireless-Wide-Format-Profession/dp/B08C5J34T5 but I guess if the only way is through a commercial digital press then I'll have to put my plans on the shelf...
This is always my go to recommend for people who are new. Not sure if it's available in Australia.
It's great that you're willing to put in some study, but truthfully there's very little you can't learn on the job. If you're trained well you'll come away knowing everything you need to know.
Just be sure to question why you're doing things, rather than just how to do them. That's the path to actually understanding and advancing.
The person who asks how will always work for the person who asked why.
G'day mate... good on ya for being proactive and making an effort to learn outside work and not just hitting the piss (yeah Aussie here) That shows a bit of initiative and drive and seems like the boss made a good choice frankly, especially at your age.
The whole point to your apprenticeship is to learn and all will come in good time but being a specialised part of a larger process it might be an idea to read about commercial print and there's a few books out there like this but that is way more than you need really. Also your states OH&S and award too so ya across everything I reckon.
Banner plasticizes and tape doesnt like to stick to it... so while gorilla tape is great, it;s not meant for banners. Talk to any of your reps and buy any banner tape and it'll work. Oracal 1376pp is great.
get the thickest, curl free smooth banner you can find and it shouldnt curl on the edges. You can also use a fabric thats curl free if he wants to keep the canvas type look -
https://www.amazon.com/Heavy-Duty-Printable-Polyester-Curl-Free-Materials/dp/B08RJ7XDYY Obviously dont buy it from amazon, but its just an example of what to look for.
Are you just doing small books? Is it one offs... or are you going to be doing a lot of each? Ever think about screen printing?
You can buy a cheap, albeit non professional shitty kit for $25.
If you're going to be doing 10+ of the same book/design then it's worth it. Otherwise the 15-20 mins it'll take you for the setup/cleanup might get too costly if you're only doing it one per book.
Print with it some and then check the test print as you go, you can't really hurt it at this point, only help get everything moving - since it stayed plugged in, the machine should have come out of sleep and kept the ink moving for the most part. I would get some Roland cleaning solution (you can get a roland cleaning cartridge for your machine, break it open and put it in a tupperware container) and swab the heads from the maintenance menu where the carriage goes to the left hand side, you remove the cover, etc. I like these swabs: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DX7N2B0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
The machine should be running on Eco Sol Max 2 inks, correct? If so, those are factory inks and definitely don't run anything but factory inks.
Just look up some youtube videos on rolands to get a general idea of what to touch and don't touch when cleaning (swab around the heads only). Don't clean with anything but roland cleaning solution, no alcohol, etc on anything that matters with printing. Run some normal cleans on it (no real need for the hard cleans) and see how the test print improves (don't overdo these cleans as they usually won't improve after a point) and then just print with it.
If you call a tech, have them replace the wipers (you can do this yourself too, its super easy) and have them replace the cap tops that are under the head (you can do this too but just need some slight direction for it). The cap tops are a maintenance item and keep the air out, the pressure in and random air away from the heads. A machine this age, I would take some 3 in 1 oil and lightly dab along the face of the rail the carriage slides on too, then just print with it and smooth it in. I do this every few cleanings anyway, just touch the rail and see if it feels moist before overdoing it.
You ever look into those diecut desktop sticker makers? I was looking at them a while back for a side project. Few hundred bucks and seem to be a big hit.. https://www.amazon.com/Cricut-Explore-Air-2-Mint/dp/B01GSOMVRG/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=diecut+sticker+vynal&qid=1572036197&sr=8-5 I have a Ricoh Versafire that we can run sticker stock on but that's not what you want.
Thanks for this -- that's all really good context. Now I can see why the books are expensive to produce. I think I'll eventually just get this collection.
I wonder why these books don't show up on eBay? You'd think a lot of people would be selling their old ones when they get fresh ones...
You can buy glow in the dark paper
and a material cutter
For under $200 on Amazon.
I'm not endorsing either of these products, but just showing examples.
It seems like you could make custom glow in the dark sticker shapes and print on top of them with those two products or something similar.
It might be very hard to find a supplier willing to custom print things for you because you're asking for exotic or very rare materials that just aren't worth anybody's time effort or money for "less than 10 A4 prints".
Send me the design and if I think I can do it, I'll do it for $500 up front. That probably isn't a reasonable cost for someone asking for what you're asking for, but for someone providing it, my effort in coming up with the solution, testing, failures, and equipment and supply purchases, that's the best that can be done.
There's a lot of hatred here. Really unnecessary. Everyone's gotta start somewhere. I don't think you need a Kickstarter, but you can get very very basic capabilities for very cheap.
My suggestion is to get a diazo emulsion starter kit so you can learn the basic processes. Here's a fine one. It's 60 bucks. Add some white for like another 10, since that's what your design is.
Super Value Fabric Screen Printing Kit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00251JO8G/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_Zb2LybK8CPPER
You will also need transparencies (either laser or ink jet, depending on what printer you have access to).
Lastly, you can get a couple test shirts at a craft store for a couple bucks each. Michaels sells them for maybe 3 or 4 bucks.
This will let you make a few shirts, see if this whole thing is for you, give you a few items to demo and sell, and let you know what parts of the process you want to invest in commercial equipment for.
Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions!