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Montana Lettering Inc, Manufacturing & Distribuor since 2000
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Minnesota-Iowa-Virginia-Texas-Nevada


Authorized Dealer for Gemini Sign Products

Acceptable Artwork

Free Artwork & Design Limitations

Sign companies, which we are not, are in the business of offering full service sign design, production and installation of signs and letters. They will, for a price, come to your place of business, consult with you, design for you, make changes to your concept, produce and install your sign. When you work with a sign company you can expect to pay double or triple the costs over doing it yourself.

We are a manufacturer and distributor. We manufacture for sign companies, design firms, architects, construction companies and the general public. We do not offer extended design services or installation. Our letters and logo's are provided to you on a do-it-yourself basis, and by doing so you can save money over having a full service sign company come to your door. Most of our customers either use the website to design their signs or they design it themselves using adobe illustrator, and send us a ready to produce cutting file laid out to their specifications. For those that need a little more personal attention, we can and do, up to a point, provide initial drawings and artwork based on your concept, free of charge. However, since we do not charge for this, and in many cases the initial designs can take over an hour to produce and conceptualise to a customer, there has to be a limit. We will not continue to make changes to any layout over and over for free. If you cannot appreciate that then we strongly recommend that you have a local sign company do the work.

We are sorry to have to put a limit on this but past experience has taught us that we end up giving away hundreds of hours of free design and artwork production which eats into the time we can spend on our other customers that require similar services. We have a limit of one initial concept, with two subsequent changes. After that the customer needs to rethink their concept on their own time, be assured of what they want in terms of font, size and layout, send us specific details that we will render one more time for free. If that doesn't work then you will be asked to pay artwork fees of $50 per hour for any subsequent work.

How we help you with complex projects

Quite often we will get an inquiry where a customer is needing help to size a sign to their wall or building. We will ask them to take an image of the wall, straight on with as little angles as possible and to provide either the width of the wall or the dimension of a window or door opening or to tape a plain piece of 8 1/2" x 11" paper to the wall. This gives the scale we need so that we can blow up their image to life size scale and then create their letters in the same scale, superimpose on their wall and send it back to them with dimensions.


spartan


In the image above, the customer provided the shot of the wall he wanted to fill along with the walls dimensions. We took the image and blew it up till it was the same size as a rectangle scaled to the wall dimension, depicted by the red dotted lines. We then created the logo and lettering to the customers dimensions from his supplied artwork, and placed it on the wall to give him an idea of how it would look. Here you can see the effect of perspective when taking your images. The customer first took images standing off center which was no use to us at all. In this shot he stood well back, center of the wall and got a slight downward perspective but cannot be avoided. This is not perfect but it is close enough as they say... for government work.

Again, this is FREE but it does require your participation and we will not go back and forth making changes forever at no charge.

Services we do provide at cost

If your job includes a logo or a font that we do not have or cannot get from you or the internet, there may be a charge if you do not have or cannot provide a cutting file.

Many people do not realize that in order to cut something on modern computer guided machines, we need to have what is known as a vector file. These are special files used to create artwork that is infinitely scalable without loss of resolution. Everyone knows what happens with an image when you try to blow it up. It gets pixilated and eventually it just becomes unviewable. These are known in the computer world as RASTER files. These are images with extensions like .jpg .png .bmp .gif .psd These are image files and while we can sometimes price something with them, we cannot cut anything from them.

Vector files have extensions such as .ai-(adobe illustrator) .eps-(adobe illustrator) .cad-(autocad) .dwg-(autocad) .cdr-(corel draw). Often, a PDF will be vector format also but as with any of the preceding formats, images can be saved as into these formats but they are still images. They do not automatically become vector outlines. All fonts are, by their very nature, vector outlines and they can be scaled infinitely without loss of definition. We can send fonts directly to a cutting machine and it will cut a letter or number to the exact dimension we send.

If you need us to create a vector file from an image or drawing, we may be able to do it but there is a charge depending on the complexity of the artwork.

Artwork Requirements

Cutting Files

True Type Fonts .TTF . OTF

YES.... We can use any true type or open type font for cutting operations. Attach to email.

VECTOR READY ARTWORK

Adobe Illustrator EPS and .AI Files

We require 2D vector artwork for all cutting operations. The preferred format is .eps or .ai made with adobe illustrator. Please save files as VERSION 8 files before sending them to us. This version converts embedded fonts and objects to lines and curves. Not all EPS formats are vector art. EPS made with or converted to photoshop are raster files and show only as rendered images. These files are not the same as the native vector art that it was produced as.

.PDF

Yes we can usually get successful vectors from PDF's.

.DXF and .DWG - autocad

We can use these files as a last resort. We don't care to use this format as the autocad font functions do not render text very well and most files end up being a series of lines without any curves. This makes for a lot of clean up which we charge for.

.JPG, .PNG, .JPEG, .GIF, .BMP - Photoshop etc

These types of files are image files. They cannot be used for cutting files but they can be used for calculating quotes on jobs.

CORAL DRAW

Please send files created with coral draw as .CMX

Fax

Please, no fax's.

Word processors - Microsoft Word etc:

Useless !