Friday, 18 May 2012
Sticker Design, Diginate review
I love stickers - especially BJJ ones, so I decided to make my own. I drew up three new designs specifically to test how good the sticker printing service would be and for something I could use for self promotional marketing. For this initial sample, I used the online service from. www.diginate.com Here's how they turned out:
Diginate appealed to me because their website seemed incredibly straightforward. I liked the fact that one could pick and choose products and obtain an instant quotation. They may not be the cheapest around, but they seemed pretty good quality.
I designed three different stickers as follows:
(1) Round Meerkatsu 'Meerkat head' sticker. 10cm wide I ordered a silver metallic sticker x25
(2) Rectangular Chinese lion sticker, 10cm wide. I used two shades of bright yellow to test the colours and these were printed on vinyl stickers.
(3) Rectangular snake and wings sticker, 10cm wide, I submitted something with intense amounts of fine detail to test the print resolution. These were printed on vinyl stickers.
When ordering on the website, a series of buttons guides you through the process and submitting artwork was made easy with a simple upload button. I sent Adobe Illustrator files. I was careful to note the bleed requirements - found on their FAQ section here (though see results section for my booboo).
Payment was simple, I used PayPal. The total for x3 different sticker designs, 25 units each at 10cm wide, two vinyl stickers, one a metallic sticker worked out at a touch under £76 incl shipping.
Three emails were sent to me using an automated service. The first email informed me of the acceptance of the order, I received another email to inform me they had been dispatched and the final email was a vat invoice/receipt. There was no email in between to inform me of the process.
I received the stickers after 5 working days.
All the stickers arrived on flat sheets and uncut.
The metallic sticker was impressively metallic and shiny. I noticed a slight registration issue as the base layer (white) seemed to not quite align with the next ink layer (black).
The colours of the Chinese lion sticker were reasonably faithful to the digital original. I wanted curved corners and the cut out to be made without the white border. Instead the samples sent to me contained a copious straight white border. Not a major disaster but looks kind of weird.
The wings sticker revealed an impressive level of print resolution. The sticker captured all the tiny thin feather detailing and snake scales from my original. This vinyl sticker seemed to be textured, unlike the Chinese lion sticker, which was smooth. With hindsight, I think a bolder, more graphic and less detailed item of art would suit this format better.
I nabbed a few stickers for my own personal use and pimped out the rest of my laptop - the one I am using right now!
Stickers are an art form in miniature. Lots of people collect or simply like using stickers of their favourite brands, music bands or whatever they are in to. The Diginate service is very fast and convenient. There does not appear to be a minimum number needed and the cost is not too bad for such low runs.
The website does allow for the customer to write instructions and comments regarding their sticker order. I did not use this box, but I perhaps should have to explain that I wanted the Chinese lion sticker to have rounded edges.
I also found it very irritating to receive the stickers in flat pack form. I could not see it online (though I am sure it exists) the option to have the stickers cut to size individually. I noted that nowhere on the website is there a telephone number. Some form of customer service would have been a nice touch.
For my first sticker print job, I think the results were satisfactory. The resulting stickers are of a high standard, the printing excellent and the sticker vinyl have a nice thick and sturdy quality to them. I will look forward to using these for promotional use. However, this has been a useful exercise and I have learned a few things for my next sticker project; mainly that I need to think carefully about the design itself and also, to either provide exact additional instructions with the order, or use a service where I can speak to a person about the job.