A Guide From Start To Finish
At Big Red Dog Marketing, we handle a lot of window graphics for our clients. Window graphics are a great way to market your brick and mortar business. The process of creating window graphics may seem like a daunting task, that’s why we created a guide to help you from start to finish.
The first thing you must do is get all of the appropriate measurements. You will need to identify:
- HxW of each window
- Width of the mullion between each window
- Width of wall space between each window
NOTE: The mullion and wall space distance are needed in this instance because the graphics will be broken up across multiple windows. We want it to look like the graphics are passing through, not being interrupted.
When it comes to photography, high resolution is a must, especially when photographing for print. At Big Red Dog Marketing we use a Nikon DSLR, as it is easy to use and takes great images. Make sure you have good lighting! We used a natural light source + a softbox lighting kit.
NOTE: In this case, we photographed students to be isolated for the window graphics. When photographing a person or object to be isolated, it’s beneficial to have a solid background. We used a green screen, but ideally you’d use a background that’s 50% grey (0% being white & 100% being black). The drawback to using a greenscreen is that the color often bleeds onto the object you’re photographing. It adds an extra step to editing. (The benefit to using a greenscreen primarily comes in filming video in that it makes the background removal process faster since there are so many frames.)
When it is time to edit your photos we use photoshop. Here are the steps on how to edit:
- Crop excess
- Select the person or object
- Refine the selection
- Create a clipping mask
- Adjust lighting & color levels to sight
- Remove any green bleed by sampling the desired color and painting over the affected area.
- Change the layer settings to “Color”. Select the clipping mask on the person or object. Click on the layer on which you’ve just painted and add the clipping mask to this layer as well.
- Be sure to save your file! Save a copy of each as a PNG-24 as well for use in laying out the graphics in Illustrator.
When setting up your document, we recommend using Illustrator:
- Create art boards for each of the windows at a 50% scale.
- Map out the mullions and walls between each as well.
Window Graphic Design
- Arrange the images of the isolated students on the artboards/windows, ordering them behind the mullions & walls.
- Create stripes or waves across all windows to add visual interest and unify the panels. (Order these behind the mullions and walls as well.)
- Get final client approval.
Get Ready for Print
Use a photo editing program such as PhotoShop to get your image file(s) ready for printing. There are multitudes of tools and settings, so here’s a collection of steps for your convenience!
- Recreate each window panel in Photoshop at 100% scale with 1/2″ bleed all around.
- Ensure the document “dots per inch” (dpi) is set to 75.
- Select color mode RGB (red, green, blue), however check with your print shop! Most use CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, key/black), however ours is calibrated for RGB.
- RGB is typically only used in digital graphics, but our print shop has found that the RGB to CMYK converter built into their printer achieves a more accurate color than simply printing a CMYK file)
- Place stripes or other vector graphics as Smart Objects.
- Embed all Smart Objects.
- Save your files & send them to the print shop for production.
Want To Learn More About Design?
Check out the following blogs:
Big Red Dog is a full-service marketing company based out of Raleigh, NC. With clients located across the country, we focus on what your business really needs and understand how to make your company competitive to deliver high-quality results. From Integrated Marketing to SEO, we tackle any marketing need to help drive quality traﬃc to your website, raise conversions that build results and solve those complex problems that every business owner faces.
Want to learn more about our team and how we can help your business, feel free to give us a call at <tel:>919-926-8727 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.