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Making your own bicycle decals and graphics

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Making your own bicycle decals and graphics
by Andre jute
http://members.lycos.co.uk/fiultra/B...20CYCLING.html

You can easily make your own bicycle decals by laser-printing black-
and-white, block-colour or full-colour computer-copied or -created art
in reverse onto thin transparent plastic, and using spray glue to fix
it to your bike.

For vintage or other restoration decals you can take them off the bike
(take photos first!) and stick the bits flat on paper, scan the paper
into a computer and retouch in a paint programme. Or scan them out of
a book, or import them from the net and use the scan as a template to
recreate the original.

New art can be made on your computer in any vector programme like
Adobe Illustrator or page layout programme like QuarkXPress (there are
cheaper programmes of each type). "Art" is simply type or illustration
or a mix of the two.

You want to glue the plastic down print side next to your bike, so the
art must be reversed, otherwise it won't read right. After you've made
the art, flip it over in the computer programme, so it reads
backwards. Save the art as a PDF and copy it onto a CD or e-mail it as
an attachment to your laser-printing location.

You can get colour laser printing done at your library and on your
high street.

The choice of film to print on is tricky. Most overhead projection
film (what the laser printing service will reach for automatically) is
too thick and stiff. I like cheap refill page pockets for books of
plastic leaves; they're made of suitably thin and flexible plastic.
Insert a sheet of typing paper to stiffen the pocket and insert it in
the laser printer tray so that the closed end feeds first or you will
get it stuck in the printer and become very unpopular.

Cut out your decals with the aid of a ruler or if round with a small
tin for a guide. Forget freehand cutting, even if you have printed
cutting guides on your artwork. For a clean cut, use a new disposable
surgical scalpel which you can buy at a graphic art supply store.
Spray with clear clue (also from the art supply store) and set
carefully on the bike. Overspray with clear lacquer.

Getting the decal on straight is easier if you first smooth it onto
paper, topside down. The guide paper should be precut to align with
some feature of the bike. Spray decal and paper alike with glue, set
on bike in alignment, carefully peel the paper off while leaving the
decal. Put a cloth over the decal to smooth it down. The cloth will
pick up excess glue. Don't try to wipe it all off -- the excess will
ramp up to the thin edge of the film and make the decal look
integrated with the bike, as if stamped and painted into the metal.

This method can also be used for much larger graphics, such as are
normally airbrushed onto the bike. You merely design the graphic in
sections shorter than whatever limits the printing you can get done
(laser paper capability, size of thin plastic pockets available to
you) and after printing assemble the sections on the bike.

Copyright © Andre Jute 2008. May be freely reprinted on not-for-profit
sites on the net as long as this notice remains with the article. All
other use requires permission.
post #2 of 7

Re: Making your own bicycle decals and graphics

Andre Jute <fiultra1@yahoo.com> writes:

> The choice of film to print on is tricky. Most overhead projection
> film (what the laser printing service will reach for automatically) is
> too thick and stiff. I like cheap refill page pockets for books of
> plastic leaves; they're made of suitably thin and flexible plastic.
> Insert a sheet of typing paper to stiffen the pocket and insert it in
> the laser printer tray so that the closed end feeds first or you will
> get it stuck in the printer and become very unpopular.


Isn't there a substantial risk of the plastic melting inside the laser
printer, not unlike with OH film that is not specifically suitable for
copier/laser printer use?

Copier/printer labels in transparent plastic are also one possibility,
if you can get them. (I have yet to find a convenient supplier, though
I haven't been looking for one all that much, either.)
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Re: Making your own bicycle decals and graphics

On May 28, 2:47 pm, oronk...@ling.helsinki.fi (A R:nen) wrote:
> Andre Jute <fiult...@yahoo.com> writes:
> > The choice of film to print on is tricky. Most overhead projection
> > film (what the laser printing service will reach for automatically) is
> > too thick and stiff. I like cheap refill page pockets for books of
> > plastic leaves; they're made of suitably thin and flexible plastic.
> > Insert a sheet of typing paper to stiffen the pocket and insert it in
> > the laser printer tray so that the closed end feeds first or you will
> > get it stuck in the printer and become very unpopular.

>
> Isn't there a substantial risk of the plastic melting inside the laser
> printer, not unlike with OH film that is not specifically suitable for
> copier/laser printer use?


Hasn't happened to me yet but everything is possible. It might be that
the sheet of 120gsm bond (or two of 80 to 90 gsm, common fax and
copier weight) I always insert into the plastic pocket as a stiffener
also acts as a heat sink.

> Copier/printer labels in transparent plastic are also one possibility,
> if you can get them. (I have yet to find a convenient supplier, though
> I haven't been looking for one all that much, either.)


Someone has also written to me offlist to say that cheap OHP film is
thin and limp enough to work reasonably well, though not thin enough
not to leave an edge. I haven't seen any of that but the film I found
too thick was left over after a consulting job with people who don't
count pennies. He did make the good point though that in a resto job
it dinna matter, because the originals were usually printed on pretty
thick film and there always was a visible edge.

I haven't seen transparent labels but I'll keep a lookout. Thanks for
the idea.

Andre Jute
http://members.lycos.co.uk/fiultra/B...20CYCLING.html
post #4 of 7

Re: Making your own bicycle decals and graphics

On Wed, 28 May 2008 06:36:30 -0700 (PDT), Andre Jute
<fiultra1@yahoo.com> wrote:

>Making your own bicycle decals and graphics
>by Andre jute
>http://members.lycos.co.uk/fiultra/B...20CYCLING.html
>
>You can easily make your own bicycle decals by laser-printing black-
>and-white, block-colour or full-colour computer-copied or -created art
>in reverse onto thin transparent plastic, and using spray glue to fix
>it to your bike.
>
>For vintage or other restoration decals you can take them off the bike
>(take photos first!) and stick the bits flat on paper, scan the paper
>into a computer and retouch in a paint programme. Or scan them out of
>a book, or import them from the net and use the scan as a template to
>recreate the original.
>
>New art can be made on your computer in any vector programme like
>Adobe Illustrator or page layout programme like QuarkXPress (there are
>cheaper programmes of each type). "Art" is simply type or illustration
>or a mix of the two.
>
>You want to glue the plastic down print side next to your bike, so the
>art must be reversed, otherwise it won't read right. After you've made
>the art, flip it over in the computer programme, so it reads
>backwards. Save the art as a PDF and copy it onto a CD or e-mail it as
>an attachment to your laser-printing location.
>
>You can get colour laser printing done at your library and on your
>high street.
>
>The choice of film to print on is tricky. Most overhead projection
>film (what the laser printing service will reach for automatically) is
>too thick and stiff. I like cheap refill page pockets for books of
>plastic leaves; they're made of suitably thin and flexible plastic.
>Insert a sheet of typing paper to stiffen the pocket and insert it in
>the laser printer tray so that the closed end feeds first or you will
>get it stuck in the printer and become very unpopular.
>
>Cut out your decals with the aid of a ruler or if round with a small
>tin for a guide. Forget freehand cutting, even if you have printed
>cutting guides on your artwork. For a clean cut, use a new disposable
>surgical scalpel which you can buy at a graphic art supply store.
>Spray with clear clue (also from the art supply store) and set
>carefully on the bike. Overspray with clear lacquer.
>
>Getting the decal on straight is easier if you first smooth it onto
>paper, topside down. The guide paper should be precut to align with
>some feature of the bike. Spray decal and paper alike with glue, set
>on bike in alignment, carefully peel the paper off while leaving the
>decal. Put a cloth over the decal to smooth it down. The cloth will
>pick up excess glue. Don't try to wipe it all off -- the excess will
>ramp up to the thin edge of the film and make the decal look
>integrated with the bike, as if stamped and painted into the metal.
>
>This method can also be used for much larger graphics, such as are
>normally airbrushed onto the bike. You merely design the graphic in
>sections shorter than whatever limits the printing you can get done
>(laser paper capability, size of thin plastic pockets available to
>you) and after printing assemble the sections on the bike.


>
>Copyright © Andre Jute 2008. May be freely reprinted on not-for-profit
>sites on the net as long as this notice remains with the article. All
>other use requires permission.



Just be 100% POSITIVE the film you are using is LASER COMPATIBLE,
because the fuser in a laser runs very hot and non-laser-compatible
films WILL melt - and if they gum up the fuser or the feed rollers,
YOUR NAME IS DIRT!!!
** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **
post #5 of 7

Re: Making your own bicycle decals and graphics

On 28 May 2008 16:47:36 +0300, oronkain@ling.helsinki.fi (A R:nen)
wrote:

>Andre Jute <fiultra1@yahoo.com> writes:
>
>> The choice of film to print on is tricky. Most overhead projection
>> film (what the laser printing service will reach for automatically) is
>> too thick and stiff. I like cheap refill page pockets for books of
>> plastic leaves; they're made of suitably thin and flexible plastic.
>> Insert a sheet of typing paper to stiffen the pocket and insert it in
>> the laser printer tray so that the closed end feeds first or you will
>> get it stuck in the printer and become very unpopular.

>
>Isn't there a substantial risk of the plastic melting inside the laser
>printer, not unlike with OH film that is not specifically suitable for
>copier/laser printer use?
>
>Copier/printer labels in transparent plastic are also one possibility,
>if you can get them. (I have yet to find a convenient supplier, though
>I haven't been looking for one all that much, either.)



Avery and Simon Marketing both make clear laser labels. They are self
sticking on the wrong side, but I'm sure you could "wash" the adhesive
off after the label is applied, or just top-print the label and coat
with clear laquer/polyurethane/whatever to protect.
** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **
post #6 of 7

Re: Making your own bicycle decals and graphics

On May 28, 9:00 pm, clare at snyder dot ontario dot canada wrote:
> On 28 May 2008 16:47:36 +0300, oronk...@ling.helsinki.fi (A R:nen)
> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> >Andre Jute <fiult...@yahoo.com> writes:

>
> >> The choice of film to print on is tricky. Most overhead projection
> >> film (what thelaserprinting service will reach for automatically) is
> >> too thick and stiff. I like cheap refill page pockets for books of
> >> plastic leaves; they're made of suitably thin and flexible plastic.
> >> Insert a sheet of typing paper to stiffen the pocket and insert it in
> >> thelaserprinter tray so that the closed end feeds first or you will
> >> get it stuck in the printer and become very unpopular.

>
> >Isn't there a substantial risk of the plastic melting inside thelaser
> >printer, not unlike with OH film that is not specifically suitable for
> >copier/laserprinter use?

>
> >Copier/printerlabelsin transparent plastic are also one possibility,
> >if you can get them. (I have yet to find a convenient supplier, though
> >I haven't been looking for one all that much, either.)

>
> Avery and Simon Marketing both make clearlaserlabels. They are self
> sticking on the wrong side, but I'm sure you could "wash" the adhesive
> off after the label is applied, or just top-print the label and coat
> with clear laquer/polyurethane/whatever to protect.
> ** Posted fromhttp://www.teranews.com**- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -


Greeting's!

I work with a label company http://www.onlinelabels.com we have
crystal clear laser labels that would work perfect for this
application. View all of our crystal clear laser label sizes at the
following link http://www.onlinelabels.com/material...ser_labels.htm

The crystal clear material is polyester and has a permanent adhesive
that will hold really well on a bicycle frame. I agree with the post
above that you need to be sure to adjust your laser printers
settings. I would start with a low heat setting such as the "standard
paper" setting to reduce the chances of jamming in your printer. In
most cases you will not see any jamming, but it's better to be safe
than sorry.

If you want to put an extra layer of protection of the label after
it's printed I would suggest spraying the sheet after it's printed
with Krylon "Preserve It" clear coat.

Best of luck,

Matt Hamilton
www.OnlineLabels.com
(888)575-2235
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Re: Making your own bicycle decals and graphics

On May 30, 3:08 pm, Matt <m...@onlinelabels.com> wrote:
> On May 28, 9:00 pm, clare at snyder dot ontario dot canada wrote:
>
>
>
> > On 28 May 2008 16:47:36 +0300, oronk...@ling.helsinki.fi (A R:nen)
> > wrote:

>
> > >Andre Jute <fiult...@yahoo.com> writes:

>
> > >> The choice of film to print on is tricky. Most overhead projection
> > >> film (what thelaserprinting service will reach for automatically) is
> > >> too thick and stiff. I like cheap refill page pockets for books of
> > >> plastic leaves; they're made of suitably thin and flexible plastic.
> > >> Insert a sheet of typing paper to stiffen the pocket and insert it in
> > >> thelaserprinter tray so that the closed end feeds first or you will
> > >> get it stuck in the printer and become very unpopular.

>
> > >Isn't there a substantial risk of the plastic melting inside thelaser
> > >printer, not unlike with OH film that is not specifically suitable for
> > >copier/laserprinter use?

>
> > >Copier/printerlabelsin transparent plastic are also one possibility,
> > >if you can get them. (I have yet to find a convenient supplier, though
> > >I haven't been looking for one all that much, either.)

>
> > Avery and Simon Marketing both make clearlaserlabels. They are self
> > sticking on the wrong side, but I'm sure you could "wash" the adhesive
> > off after the label is applied, or just top-print the label and coat
> > with clear laquer/polyurethane/whatever to protect.
> > ** Posted fromhttp://www.teranews.com**-Hide quoted text -

>
> > - Show quoted text -

>
> Greeting's!
>
> I work with a label companyhttp://www.onlinelabels.comwe have
> crystal clear laser labels that would work perfect for this
> application.  View all of our crystal clear laser label sizes at the
> following linkhttp://www.onlinelabels.com/material_crystal_clear_laser_labels.htm
>
> The crystal clear material is polyester and has a permanent adhesive
> that will hold really well on a bicycle frame.  I agree with the post
> above that you need to be sure to adjust your laser printers
> settings.  I would start with a low heat setting such as the "standard
> paper" setting to reduce the chances of jamming in your printer.  In
> most cases you will not see any jamming, but it's better to be safe
> than sorry.
>
> If you want to put an extra layer of protection of the label after
> it's printed I would suggest spraying the sheet after it's printed
> with Krylon "Preserve It" clear coat.
>
> Best of luck,
>
> Matt Hamiltonwww.OnlineLabels.com
> (888)575-2235



Thanks for that, Mark. -- Andre Jute
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