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Estimate Software- Printing software that helps you find the hidden treasure in your business.


Here you'll find articles on computer software for the sign industry, graphics software, workflow solutions, sign design software and RIPs for making signs of all kinds. We regularly add new articles here, so remember to check back.


Sign Pricing Series - Pricing Approaches and Accuracy
This series on pricing and estimating will address the most common pricing approaches for different segments of the sign and graphics industry.

Raster Images versus Vector Images - explaining it simply
All electronic art images are divided into one of two core types, raster images (also know as 'bitmaps') and vector images. In a nutshell raster images are composed of connected dots and vectors are images composed of connected lines.

Stressless Distressed: Creating Your Own Distressed Graphic Files
This article is all about creating easy-to-use distressed pattern files to add some pizzazz to your graphics. Nothing fancy, just solid technique. If you have ever bought a distressed pattern, you are going to wonder why you wasted your money after you read this. Creating your own gives you the control, but also puts your creative spin on the design aesthetic.

Color Management Basics, Part 4
In Part 3 of this four-part series, detailed the color management pyramid and showed how it could easily be the basis for the process of achieving consistent and repeatable color.

Color Management Basics, Part 3
In Part 2 of this series, I introduced the color management pyramid. Now, we'll go deeper into each of its levels.

Color Management Basics, Part 2
In Part 2, we will discuss some of the tools that you must have if your goal is to achieve consistent and repeatable color.

Color Management Basics, Part 1
We all know the challenges of poor or no color management. Inaccurate color, heavy ink consumption, inconsistent color and printing artifacts are just a few of the challenges you may face.

Reworking Your Production Workflow
Getting the right combination of workflow automation software, computing power, and digital printing equipment in place now can lay the foundation for future growth.

Automated PDF Workflow Solutions for Wide-Format Printers and Flatbeds
A listing of companies providing solutions.

Workflow - It's All About Your Business
As a digital graphics printer, the key to profitability is a productive workflow. Keeping your equipment and operators productive is a requirement that directly affects your bottom line.

Backup and Archival Approaches
How you choose to backup your computer has several different methods and you should be aware what your plan is, and that it's working, to ensure that you know that you won't lose your stuff.

Profiling Business Management Software Options for Specialty Imaging, Signs and Graphics
An MIS/ERP program can help you streamline everything from quoting and job tracking to inventory management, shipping and invoicing.

Making Color Management a Top Priority
Color management is no longer a value-add for businesses; it is necessary to stay competitive in today's market. Follow a real-world example of successful color management solutions to consider for your sign shop.

Color Proofing & Standards in 2012
Let's look at the various proofing specifications, standards and methodologies that are prevailing this year?

Photoshop CS5 Enlightenment
Photoshop has become the go-to photo and image editing software used in advertising, photography, marketing, publishing, design and graphic industries around the world. This article discusses some basic setup features you can use with the latest iteration, Photoshop CS5, to your advantage in large-format applications.

Sign Software in Action
Discover how signmakers are using industry specific sign software to raise revenues, increase production - and get creative.

Maximize Print Accuracy with G7
In the printing industry, the most prolific drain on profitability is process color print inaccuracy. In this article, I will share with you some important principles that have helped hundreds of printers maximize print accuracy and add thousands of dollars to their bottom lines.

Getting Back to Basics: A Guide to Color Management
Signmakers can take a proactive stance in ensuring business success by going back to basics, including re-assessing their processes and making the most of their existing printing equipment.

Computer to Screen (CTS) Today
Are you waiting for film to disappear before you change? Inkjet CTS systems have a very low-cost consumable, and it isnít going away for a long time.

Does Your Vinyl Printing Flow Where You Want It To Go?
Digital print shops that print onto vinyl could find a competitive advantage with software that streamlines the printing processes and sidesteps common challenges.

Project Management Made Easy Through Estimating & Business Management Software
The programs continue to evolve and mature, and with this improvement cycle the results are increased productivity, greater control of costs and an improved bottom line. All achieved with greater ease and accuracy than ever before. So how can you afford to not be on this bandwagon?

It Costs How Much? Determining What It Costs to Sell Your Signs the Right Way.
Pricing your products or services sold is determined first by costing. Do you have any idea of what it costs to sell a sign or banner? For that matter, what does it cost to open the doors to your sign business each day? Pertinent questions that will influence your pricing.

Rendering Intents: The How and Why
Rendering intents, another key component of a Color Management System, are ways of dealing with colors that are out-of-gamut ≠ colors present in the source space that our destination space or output device is incapable of producing. We'll aim to help you wrap you thoughts around this theory.

The Venerable Vector Graphic - Supreme Sublimation
With the power of vectors behind you, you can make everything from coasters to billboards. Using the powerful vector format in your arsenal will scale up your workflow to any size you want.

Monitor Calibration
One of the most important aspects of color management is monitor calibration. If the color isn't right on the monitor, coming up with accurate digital output is almost impossible.

RIPs: The Meaning Behind the Puzzle of Digital Graphic Output
Raster Image Processors are used by most large format graphic shops, but this article will help you to understand what they do and why you need this vital piece to complete your puzzle.

Converting Raster Images to Vector Images Can Be A Challenge, But It Doesn't Have To Be.
Finding the Right Tracing Software to Get the Job Done

Mainstreaming Digital Electronic Signage With Metric Optimization Software
Trying to determine when ads are at their most effective point is the golden ring many have been searching for in the advertising through digital electronic signage.

More Choices: Looking at the New Faces of Digital Display Technology
In this Part I of a series that examines the newest technology available for digital signage, as well as the improvements made to existing technologies, we will explore some of the general, cutting edge advances made in this segment of our industry.

CRM Part IV: Improving Sales and Customer Loyalty
In this, the final in a series of articles revealing how Customer Relationship Management (CRM) can transform your business to a new profitable level, we will address the selling and customer loyalty strategies that you can implement through CRM.

Why You Should Invest in True Sign Making Software
Everyone always claims that their software is the best. This article has taken a few of the foremost signage specific software products and gives you insight into what makes them worthy to take their seat in your shop. Read on to learn more.

Training Your Signshop To Use New Equipment & Software
To produce eye-catching, quality prints and signs, printing machines and software require skilled operators. One way operators acquire their skill is through training. Delve inside to catch the scoop on the different options available to take advantage of all the features of your equipment and software.

CRM Pt. 3: Turning Prospects to Customers
Now is the time to employ CRM to convert your prospects to customers. The conversion process, (taking all of those prospect names in your data base and converting them to paying, loyal customers) is the profitable portion of your CRM program. This is the act of turning information into dollars.

Sign Designers Benefit from Stock Photography
Photos increase a readers interest in viewing what you or your client is promoting in your signage or ads, and therefore increase the likelihood the information will get read.

Raster Images versus Vector Images
All electronic art images are divided into one of two core types, raster images (also know as 'bitmaps') and vector images. In a nutshell raster images are composed of connected dots and vectors are images composed of connected lines.

CRM Tools for Marketing, Part II
Along with providing a means for managing sales and customer information, CRM also enables businesses to market more effectively and efficiently.

Profiling Your Scanner and Digital Camera
In previous articles we discussed profiling monitors and printers, how standard working spaces connect the two, and how to proof one device or process on another. Our objective is to match the original file on-screen and on the printer, or in the case of a proof, to match the device on which it will be printed.

Winning and Keeping Customers for Life through CRM- Part I: Marketing
Long-term success for your company depends on efficient and effective customer relationship management.

Color Management for Proofing
Looking into profiling for proofing, meaning you want your large-format inkjet printer to look like another printer or printing process, such as an offset press or a production printer.

Printer Profiling- Matching What You See To What You Get
In this part of the series we look at how to profile your printer, so that output you print will match what you saw on the screen.

Standard Color Working Spaces
A standard working space is a place to store color data until you know what you want to do with it. For example, you might want to display, print, or proof a file.

COLOR MANAGEMENT: The Color Gamut, Gamut Mapping and Gamut Clipping and Your Rendering Intents
By understanding the relationships of color theory and the physical limits of your printers you can better apply color managment to achieve the desired results.

Sign Pricing Series - Commercial Screen Print Pricing
Like their digital brethren, commercial screen printers typically use two fundamental approaches to pricing depending on their size. The two methods are pricing tables and time-and-materials.

Color Management for a Monitor-to-Print Match
Advancements in color measurement instruments and color management software have made it possible for nearly everyone to afford at least a monitor calibration system, so monitor-to-print match today is the rule rather than the exception.

Covering Your Back...Ups
In the digital graphics age, one of the easiest things to neglect in our busy day is the critical backup of all the client files and databases we use to remain gamefully in business. Are you backing up your companies data & graphics?

PDF Workflow 101: Convert Your Digital Workflow to PDF
Smooth out the headaches involved in getting files from your clients by using the versatile PDF (Portable Document Format) in your businesses workflow.

Sign Pricing Series - Digital Print Pricing
In the last article, I touched on the elements of pricing. Chiefly, pricing will vary based on competition, industry practice, and the skill vs. cost of accuracy in pricing. With digital printing, these basic concepts hold true.

Scan 101: Appropriate Scan Resolutions and Color Settings for Your Inkjet Printer
Resolution can be a confusing concept in the scanning & output world, but here are some facts to help you better understand and not get caught up in the myths.

Sign Pricing Series - Pricing Approaches and Accuracy
This series on pricing and estimating will address the most common pricing approaches for different segments of the sign and graphics industry.

Which Sign Making Software Should You Own? Part 2
Looking into ''Bridge'' software. There are many factors to include in your decision such as, your budget, the type of signs you intend to make, the kind of hardware such as cutters and printers that you want to run and of course the difficulty in learning the feature set of the software.

COLOR MANAGEMENT: Basic Color Theory
One of the most fundamental and misunderstood facets of printing is basic color theory. Learn the foundation or polish up your knowledge on how color works.

Which Signmaking Software Should You Own? Part 1
Deciding which software to purchase for your sign making needs can be a difficult task. We'll outline a few of the softwares out today and help you to decide which one best fits your business.

The Art of Laminating: Tips to cold laminating ≠ Part II
We have discussed loading the laminates in part one. Now comes the nerve-racking part where you have to laminate a print in hopes that everything will go smoothly. In other words, no air bubbles and no wrinkles or else itís back to the printing stage.

Ask the Expert: CNC Router Veteran Shares Practical Knowledge
Do you have questions about CNC machining? Get inside the head of router expert Jay Higgins in this one-on-one interview.

Monitor Calibration
One of the most important aspects of color management is monitor calibration. If the color isn't right on the monitor, coming up with accurate digital output is almost impossible.

Scratching The Surface Part 3
Digital printing and the advantages of using a network with RIPs and your digital printers

Scratching the surface Part II
The network and vinyl cutting

Scratching The Surface Part 1 - Streamlining The Shop
Remember when you where a kid and your mother told you to share your toys! In business itís not that much different and the best solution is through a network.

Pantone Color Matching Basics
It is the sign makerís responsibility to provide color consistency across various media.

Digital Imaging Made Easy
It used to be that digital imaging was not for the faint of heart. Today, everyone is doing it!

A quick guide for choosing your first digital camera
The ABC's of buying a digital camera

Digital Dynamic Signage Dares Retailers to Take the Plunge
Understanding how to incorporate new technologies into your designs could help your business stay on the cutting edge and win new clients.

Digital Cameras and Scanners - Choosing What You Need
To get your customer's image or photograph from their format to yours can be a taunting task. Learn what tools are available to get the job done.

Sick About Viruses
Preventative medicine to avoid the next bug

Scanner / Monitor Calibration 101
Easy and inexpensive ways to calibrate your scanner

Understanding & Choosing a Scanner, Part I
Picking the right scanner for your business

Winning Sales Tax Jeopardy
Are you prepared for the sales tax audit?

The Total "Language" of Signs
Nothing speaks louder to a potential buyer than a bold display

The Sub-species: Subcontracting in the Sign Industry
To be or not to be a subcontractor?

The Dollars and Sense of Digital Cameras
Using a digital camera to save time and money

Shop Reputation is Gold
So you don't work in a dog-eat-dog rat race of an industry...

Setting Schedules: Creating Service Out of Order
Late signs or are your jobs off schedule?

Selling Logo Design: A Psychology for Profit
Understanding advertising, branding and marketing

Scan, Edit, Save, and Create: Innovative Sign Design
'What you see is what you will get.'

Routing for Dollars
Volume means profit

Photography and Signs: An Efficient Tradition
Take a good picture to begin with will save you time in the long run

It Keeps Plotting...and Plotting
When time for a new plotter, here's what you need to consider

Cutting Stone with Water and Light
Lasers and waterjets open up whole new worlds of stone-cutting to the creative sign builder


Estimate Software- Printing software for the rest of us.
Estimate Software- Printing software for the rest of us.


Graphic Tracer Professional - Convert bitmaps into Vector Graphics in Minutes!
With Sensedge(tm) auto-tracing, quickly fix most common shapes, arcs, curves and lines using 'smart' clean-up tools. Automatically identify and replace text in graphics with the correct font. Able to identify over 100,000 fonts.

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Tips & Tricks Visit our Tips & Tricks Center to read up on some great how-to's that will help save you time and make you more profitable. Go there now!

Featured Tip
Letter Visibility Distance
Here are Some Tips to Design Visible Signage!


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