|CLIPPIES SAMPLE PAGE|
|a quick lesson on backgrounds and image options for Clippies Volume One|
|THE ART OF CLIPPIES & BACKGROUNDS
Most of our Clippies supply you with an optional background outline so they can be applied to any color of substrate--from white to black--for maximum visual effectiveness.This saves you precious design-time, plus you get a quick lesson in vector-art breakdowns! Applying these lessons to your everyday sign-work will tame those tricky backgrounds once and for all! And best yet, to fully understand what we're talking about, scroll down and read up on our friendly Clippy snake in his myriad background and outline incarnations--you'll see how quick and easy it is to conjure up six vinyl/substrate options that pretty much cover just about anything signmakers will encounter when dealing with color choices, vinyl combinations and backgrounds. These examples talk mostly about cutting vinyl and applying it to signage; but these suggestions will hold true for any form of printing or publishing, be it paper or the world-wide web.
|BLACK OUTLINE on LIGHT-COLORED SUBSTRATE
The first snake example is ready to cut or print in black or medium- to dark-colored vinyl. This cut option is probably the most common and works on light-colored backgrounds such as yellow or white. This would be the equivalent of black text on a white piece of paper. Another way to describe this color option to a customer is by remembering that the most common background color for vinyl or print is white--that said, comparing this technique to coloring-book art probably explains it best.The dark outline of an object will usually look fine as long as the substrate is white or a fairly light color. Be particularly careful when said backgrounds become too dark--the black loses its dramatic contrast and simply disappears.
|BLACK VINYL BACKGROUND & COLORED FOREGROUND on
LIGHT TO MEDIUM-COLORED SUBSTRATE
This snake is the next most common combination of vinyl colors. Put simply, colors applied to a solid piece of black vinyl transform the coloring-book appearance of black and white into a more comic book or cartoon look. The substrate could be anything from white to any darker color that still allows black to show up as a background for the graphic. This version of the snake would begin with a solid, black outline topped off with the main colors to create the comic book effect. This simple variation will stand off on any light to medium- colored background.
|WHITE CONTOURED VINYL on DARK-COLORED SUBSTRATE
The next snake gets a little trickier. Tackling this combination has tripped up many a signmaker trying to figure it out! It is an all-white version on a dark background. Using all-white vinyl is typical of just about any layout on glass or a very dark surface. But some signmakers make the mistake of just cutting the black version of their artwork (as shown in the first example) in white and simply applying it to their dark background. This tends to reverse the effect of the black outlines so that all of the features that should be white are now black and vice-versa. By adding a simple contour around the outline of the snake, it is ready to cut in white or any light color so it will look more normal and distinctive against any dark color. Got it?
|WHITE CONTOUR with COLORED FOREGROUND on DARK SUBSTRATE
The next version of our snake is also based on applying vinyl to the same dark-colored background mentioned above. The substrate could be dark green, dark blue, black, or even glass. The white contour is retained so that the foreground colors seem to float on a white block. It's just an optical illusion, though. The spaces between the vinyl will actually be the same color as the background. This can create an intriguing effect since people are expecting to see black somewhere in the graphic but find the substrate color staring back at them instead. Remember, however: without the white contour, the graphic may not pop off the surface and the effect could very well be lost. This technique works great on glass.
|BLACK BACKGROUND with WHITE FOREGROUND
on some DARK, most MEDIUM and all LIGHT-COLORED SUBSTRATES
Another option is to use two colors on a medium-colored background. This might just be a black background of vinyl with white or some other light color on top, kind of like a coloring book drawing cut out and pasted onto colored construction-paper. This may even work if you're lettering something like a glass window that is reflecting lots of bright light from the sky or surrounding buildings. Normally, glass is considered a black background and only a light color of vinyl is recommended. But when this is in question, add a black background to your graphic for insurance and stick your light-colored vinyl on top of it. Consider carefully before committing.
|SOLID WHITE VINYL BACKGROUND topped off with SOLID BLACK VINYL & COLORED FOREGROUND on a VERY DARK SUBSTRATE COLOR
Lastly, what if you have a background that is fairly dark, but not dark enough to substitute it for the blacks in your graphic? It's a little more time-consuming, but you could put down a solid piece of outside-contoured white vinyl, followed by a solid piece of black topped off with the main colors. Whew! That's a lot of vinyl! Naturally, not every Clippy file in this collection comes in a half-dozen layout options like our snake does. We just used old hissy here as an extreme example so you could see what your options are. Most of the Clippies only have a couple of background options, but that will still save you some valuable prep-time in the future. In the meantime, these snakes will give you some idea of what you can do yourself. But that just begs one final question: are there more options out there that haven't been thought of here? Yep. I thought of tons of 'em while I was typing this. For instance, plenty of sign shops are printing to vinyl now. Colors don't have to be solid anymore--subtle blends and shading are a mouse-click away. But I'll let your figure out those possibilities on your own!
|VARIATIONS, VARIATIONS, VARIATIONS...
Hey, we promised you variations, right? Not only does Clippies Volume One offer more than one way to stick vinyl on a background, it also surprises you with more than one way to stick a cap on a dog, or something like that.This snarling fellow to the right is affectionately known as CAPDOG. But just because someone wants a mean, spike-collared canine cartoon doesn't mean they want it to be a cap-wearing dog. So the hat comes off and you have a dog minus his cap. You even have a cap that you can now use somewhere else! And if you look really hard, this cap turns up on another Clippy somewhere down the line. This all adds up to one dog + one hat + one dog with a hat = a three-for-one, clip-art special! The moral? You will soon discover that lots of our Clippies have split personalities that result in multiple-plotting-disorders.
|CAPDOG--or not to cap! click to see more samples|
|return to Clippies Volume One main page|