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Today I received information sent to me by a BRITBIKE friend who needed to make authentic decals for a restoration.
I had sent him original artwork replications of the original decals used on 1948 Triumphs. My artwork was re-created using photos and measurements from originals still on the bikes of that year.

My friend took the artwork to a maker of vinyl "stickers" to produce what he needed. The copies that were made which he sent to me did not properly match the artwork.

It appears that the problem with reproducing the artwork to make the finished decal or "sticker' lies within the "scanner' process itself. It is my opinion that the scanner, and/or the computer, "sees" the lettering text but attempts to make it's own "corrections" to it, instead of simply programming it as the artist created it.

Examples of this, seen on the artwork versus the finished product:

(A) SPACING between words on the horizontal lines of text do not match the artwork, which then causes:

(B) VERTICAL mis-alignment of letters on text lines printed below, and

(C) ATTEMPTED "CORRECTION" of artist-drawn shapes of recreations of certain "obsolete font" letters. to match what the computer, of itself, is determining are the "correct" shapes of the letters also causes other vertical mis-alignments of letters with letters in lines printed below them.
Letters "O" "D" "R" and "N" are some examples of this part of the problem.

I now believe that use of this scanning process is why many of the "stickers" ( wrongly being called "decals") being sold as replacements for the original water-slide decals and varnish transfers are not correct to original specifications.
It is a quick and easy way to do the job, and the products are "passable" if the buyer does not know how the text of the originals actually appeared. This is how the sellers are getting away with marketing this stuff.

If this is the best modern computer technology can do, then this is not the way decals TRUE TO ORIGINALS can be properly reproduced. Therefore, the old "silk-screen" process, which can be TOTALLY controlled by the artist and the manufacturer, is the way that will have to be used at this time, until a better way to produce authentic decals or 'stickers" can be discovered.

"Irish Swede."

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Will have to go visit my local Decal guy and see what options he has, I know on my own scanner I can override the attempts to match to a known font.

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Irish Swede, scanning and the "old silkscreen process" can be integrated and be TOTALLY CONTROLLED by the artist/technician and manufacturing. It is the most efficient and, arguably, the best way to reproduce old artwork.

The trick is simply knowing how to do it properly. I have technology on my desktop that is easily up to the task. The problem is when an inexperienced user does not know how to set up the scanning software. Most people know nothing about scanning - including many who use the process commercially - so the software will automatically use a generic set up, usually selected from dozens of generic set ups, for scanning. This may work for most of the people but, there are so many imaging workflows it is not appropriate for professional work.

When I use my scanner, I specify only gray scale or color and the resolution of the resulting image. No font matching. All other adjustments are made in Photoshop. With Photoshop's retouching tools, the original art can be improved for reproduction without sacrificing originality. This takes time and skill.

In your case, my guess is that the technician decided it would be easier to reset the type with a similar font than restore the art by "hand" using computer tools of course. The technician also assumed that the customer is stupid and would not know the difference.

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