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Subject: Lining up full-page labels on full-page cardboard... rss

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Chris Lemon
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So I'm planning to make a copy of RoboDerby Express, using Malechi's fantastic-looking graphic design.

I have a box of letter-sized laser labels, and I have a bunch of also-letter-sized magazine backing boards. I have had great success in the past printing to the laser labels and then mounting them to the backing boards to make nice stiff cardboard parts.

However, I have never tried making something double-sided before, mainly because I can't figure out if there's a good way to mount the full-page label to the full-page board exactly enough to be confident they will be lined up when I apply the paper trimmer to them to cut it all up.

So I'm wondering if anyone here has any experience with this, and can provide some advice or techniques. Thanks!
 
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TS S. Fulk
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I would cut the bits with 1 side out first. Then cut out each "sticker" from the full page.

You need to make sure that there is an edge to start with (i.e., don't just start cutting out the things, or it'll be really hard to take the backing paper off). I usually cut them in strips, then start with the top most bit. Pull down the backing paper until it reaches the next bit and cut out the first bit completely. If they have funny shapes, it's a pain. It is also a pain to put them on the other thing correctly too. But it works with patience.
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Chuck Meeks
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The best thing I can tell you to do is print either double sided on one piece of paper or both the front page and back page onto seperate pages and hold them up to the light on top of each other like they would be if printed double sided and see how they line up. The problem is that printers have different footprints for their print area. Some require a little more blank area on the bottom or top of the page for paper feeding and they sometimes dont line up well front to back because of this.
 
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Chris Lemon
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Well, my real question operates under the assumption that it will all print straight...how to best apply a full-page decal to full-page backing board so that it's straight.
 
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TS S. Fulk
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clemon79 wrote:
Well, my real question operates under the assumption that it will all print straight...how to best apply a full-page decal to full-page backing board so that it's straight.


You need a good layout program like InDesign or Scribus. You should try to place each piece in a co-ordinate that is easy for you to do the reverse of. Set the program to have pixels for co-ordinates and do "backwards" math to figure out the placement of each piece. For example, if one piece was 50 pixels from the left edge and 50 pixels from the top edge. Then you would need to place the back 50 pixels from the right edge and 50 pixels from the top edge.

 
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TS S. Fulk
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Since the pieces have the same shape. You could make the front sheet. Then make a reverse copy for the backsheet (I assume InDesign can do this). Then just drag and drop in the new graphics for the backs.
 
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Richard Morris
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I stick and cut out one side. Then I trim the label for the backside, so it is cut to shape. Then you are lining up the backside with the cut edges of the front side, and it works fine.
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Claus Ekstrøm
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When I have to mount a printed front and back page on a piece of cardboard I use a couple of pins.

First I line up the two printed pages against each other (without the cardboard) and push a pin through the lined up pages at each corner.
After removing the pins I mount the front on the cardboard, push the pins through the old holes and the cardboard and then I can slide the holes on the other printed page down the pins to make sure the two pages are aligned fairly well.
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Steve S
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1) be careful. I realize this isn't especially helpful, but that's really all there is too it (I've done it, and it is kind of hard).
2) If you can, use the smallest pieces possible. In other words, if you are doing a sheet of counters, cut it in half or in quarters- a 4 x 8 sheet will be easier to keep aligned than an 8 x 11 sheet.
3) The pin method mentioned earlier sounds like it would work.
4) When you press the label paper down, you have to press from one side towards the other. If you try to place the whole label down at once, you will end up with bubbles in the center. Of course, pressing from one side can easily result in a misaligned sheet, too.
5) If you can, leave the border marks off of one side. Again, use a sheet of counters as an example. You have a sheet of 1/2 inch counters on an 8x11 label-so there is a grid of black lines, 1/2 inch apart. You stick one side to the cardboard. You then stick the other side (with the same grid) to the back. You then cut by following the lines on one side. If the back side is misaligned, you will end up with a row of counters, one half of which has the whole black 'gridline' on it.

But if you have no gridlines on the backside label (you design the counters, then print them without the gridlines), when you cut, if the two labels are misaligned, you won't see a gridline on the backside-you will just see the background color of the counter (though the counter's contents-numbers or letters, or picture-will be off center).

This method requires that each counter have a border of unused space where there is no data (for instance, you can't have a number or letter very close to the edge of the counter, or the misaligned cut could impact that letter/number).

Your concerns are valid-its tough to do double sided game pieces, and there is no easy solution. I've seen on a wargame site that they used the 'pin method', but have never tried it. I've also seen on a wargame site that they cut the label for counters into strips of individual rows of counters (then, you are sticking/aligning an 8 x 1/2 strip to the back of cardboard rather than an 8 x 11 sheet to the back).


SDawg
 
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Peter Wiles
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Ekstroem wrote:
When I have to mount a printed front and back page on a piece of cardboard I use a couple of pins.

First I line up the two printed pages against each other (without the cardboard) and push a pin through the lined up pages at each corner.
After removing the pins I mount the front on the cardboard, push the pins through the old holes and the cardboard and then I can slide the holes on the other printed page down the pins to make sure the two pages are aligned fairly well.


This is basically the method I use. Works well for me.
 
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Chris Lemon
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The pin stuff is good advice and gives me a couple of ideas, thanks! (Steve's advice above is especially good too.)

The PDF I'm working from is the one from this thread:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/615713/graphically-enhanced-...

As such, it doesn't look like I have gridlines or registration marks to work / deal with.

That said, reading all of this, here's my idea:

a) Use the pin method to line up front and back pages, effectively making alignment marks.

b) Secure front page to backing board using pins.

c) The label sheets I have only have one slit down the back center to remove backing, so once page is firmly secured, remove half of the pins, carefully remove backing, affix that side.

d) Repeat with other side.

(Yes, I will be doing a test run or two on regular paper to ensure the pages do line up back-to-back.)

Sound feasible?

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clemon79 wrote:
Yes, I will be doing a test run or two on regular paper to ensure the pages do line up back-to-back.


You have already stated the best advice.
 
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Chris Lemon
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And, as it happens...close enough for the big tiles, not so close enough for the teeny ones. So now I need to figure out how to make a ghetto lightbox so I can get those label sheets lined up for the pins.

(The pin system works fantastic, by the way. Thanks again, folks!)
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Peter Wiles
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clemon79 wrote:
So now I need to figure out how to make a ghetto lightbox so I can get those label sheets lined up for the pins.


A sunny window can work in a pinch
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Chris Lemon
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wilesps wrote:
A sunny window can work in a pinch

I discovered that the UV floor lamp at my place works a ton better than the UV light in my office, and was able to use that to reasonably good success.
 
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