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Author Topic: Backlit marquee vinyl - black's looking off?  (Read 550 times)

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AndersHP

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Backlit marquee vinyl - black's looking off?
« on: May 23, 2017, 03:09:26 am »
Hi, I bought some artwork from one of the suppliers recommended in these forums, and it's all looking good.

But for the marquee, which is supposed to be lit from the back, like always, I think the black looks off. It's like I can tell where the ink is thick and thin. When I put som light on it from the front, everything looks great, but that's not really a solution to a marquee vinyl  ;D

Is there any way of getting this to look better, I'm thinking if I should paint the back of the plexiglass that I'm sticking the vinyl onto in a special way for this to disappear?

What do you guys generally do?

AndersHP

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Re: Backlit marquee vinyl - black's looking off?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2017, 03:16:08 am »
I should add that the vinyl is NOT reverse printed, even though that was my initial idea. The seller talked me out of this...

wp34

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Re: Backlit marquee vinyl - black's looking off?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2017, 01:32:48 pm »
I had a very similar situation and ended up having my marquee reverse printed to get a deep black.  There may be other solutions but I'm not an artwork expert by any stretch.

rablack97 recommended HollywoodMarquee's and I continue to be real happy with the results.  It wasn't cheap though.   

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,116519.msg1566743.html#msg1566743

yamatetsu

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Re: Backlit marquee vinyl - black's looking off?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2017, 04:48:12 pm »
I would cut a piece of thin cardboard to marquee size, print the marquee, doubletape it to the cardboard and use a scalpel to cut out the black areas. Then I'd doubletape the black cutouts to the back of the marquee plexi.
                  

mahuti

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Re: Backlit marquee vinyl - black's looking off?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2017, 02:35:46 am »
I don't know that painting the back of the marquee will help. It could potentially diffuse the light a bit which might lessen the ability to notice the differences. It would be easy to test by putting some sheets of white paper behind the marquee and see if knocking down the light level helps in any way. If it works, then you will know if painting it will help. That said though, painting it could have a similar effect in blocking more or less light here and there. You might just try putting a white sheet of material behind the whole thing for consistency.

Not that it will help now, but for future reference, you may want to try using a "rich black" which is a combination of all the colors + black. That's the way actual printed documents get the deepest, darkest black. Typical is 100% black, 50% Magenta, 50% Cyan, 50% Yellow. Warm Rich Black would be something like 100%K, 65%M, 65%Y, 35%C. Cool black 100%K, 70%C, 35%M, 35%Y. Laser printed stuff can probably just be 100% of each (Registration Black). If you ask the printer, they might have a suggested % for rich black based on their printing ink & paper combination. I don't know what process they use in the marquee prints, so I can't be more specific. When I did reverse printed coffee packaging, we always were very specific about using rich black, as well as when we did higher-quality prints (with higher costs & better paper involved)

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Ramakers

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Re: Backlit marquee vinyl - black's looking off?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2017, 03:46:55 am »
I don't know that painting the back of the marquee will help. It could potentially diffuse the light a bit which might lessen the ability to notice the differences. It would be easy to test by putting some sheets of white paper behind the marquee and see if knocking down the light level helps in any way. If it works, then you will know if painting it will help. That said though, painting it could have a similar effect in blocking more or less light here and there. You might just try putting a white sheet of material behind the whole thing for consistency.

Not that it will help now, but for future reference, you may want to try using a "rich black" which is a combination of all the colors + black. That's the way actual printed documents get the deepest, darkest black. Typical is 100% black, 50% Magenta, 50% Cyan, 50% Yellow. Warm Rich Black would be something like 100%K, 65%M, 65%Y, 35%C. Cool black 100%K, 70%C, 35%M, 35%Y. Laser printed stuff can probably just be 100% of each (Registration Black). If you ask the printer, they might have a suggested % for rich black based on their printing ink & paper combination. I don't know what process they use in the marquee prints, so I can't be more specific. When I did reverse printed coffee packaging, we always were very specific about using rich black, as well as when we did higher-quality prints (with higher costs & better paper involved)
This is nice explanation of how black can be handled. If you make artwork you should always use vector images if you are planing on big mono color surfaces, and use CMYK colors. Also include the color profile in your document. That way you have full controle over what ink is used for what color. If you use JPG, they are most often in RGB colors and to my knowledge can't contain color profile, great for monitor display, but crap for printing. The image will be converted to CMYK prior to printing because you only can print in these colors (or derives of them). You have no controle over how this is done, and to keep things economical printers prefer to use black instead of colors because its cheaper and on ordinary paper and by ordinary people you cant see a difference. (as a trivia: back in the old days before digital cameras, they used special optical filters and analoge scanners to convert color pictures into four separate images to use on a printing press. For low end usage we sometimes skipped te black layer and printed only cyan, magenta and yellow. If one would do this now, after digital conversion, it would end up as a washed out, dull image.)
As a second thing, I would prefer reverse printing for marquees. I always have them printed on a transparent vinyl sticker and cover the back with a translucent white sticker.

  
 

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