How to professionally design a car sign with free software?

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Full Tutorial

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This tutorial is for those who like DIY designs but have little design experience or are not familiar with CorelDraw. At the end of this tutorial, you will be able to design a simple car sign with a logo and text. This tutorial will take approx. 30 minutes excluding software downloading/installing time.

In this tutorial we will go through the following basic topics:

1. Download and install a free 32-bit trial version of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X7

2. Download a car sign template from our website

3. Learn how to prepare and open the template

4.1 Learn how to design texts

4.2 Learn how to import files (logo or image etc) into CorelDraw and vectorize it

5. Learn how to finalize the design for making car signs

6. Upload your artwork to premiumprint.co.nz

 

1. Download and install a free version of CorelDraw Graphics Suite X7

Click on http://www.coreldraw.com/us/free-trials/  and download the first app shown as below

2. Download the specific template of the flag you need 

Go to the product page you have ordered or you are going to order. You will find the corel draw templates in the "More Info" section below the product image

 

3. Open the template file with CorelDraw

Once you complete the software installation, you should be able to open the template by clicking on the downloaded file.

All design has to be done in the workspace area. There are some suggested fonts on the left side and all available colours are show on the right side. Please try to use the 11 common colours (with stars). $15+gst per colour will be charged if you have to use other colours. The codes of the colours you have used in your design must be listed at the bottom right of the workspace. 

4. Design your own car sign 

In the next two subsections, we will cover all main skills you need to design a decent car sign.   

4.1 How to add/edit texts

Click the A letter on the left toolbar panel so you can start typing texts in the workspace. To customize the size, font and boldness etc. of the texts, the upper panel (labelled in red) provides an easy and quick way. You may also want to rotate or reposition the text object with the upper panel. But you can directly do this in the workspace. Play around and you should be able to figure it out. To have more fun changing texts, you need to go to the window menu and try to find and make the "Text Properties" tab visible in the "Docker" option.

4.2 Import logos/images and vectorize them

It is very common for people to add their company or organizatoin logo/image to the car sign. To import images, select "File" in the menu then click on "Import...", it will show a popup window to ask you to select your file.

You can freely scale, move or rotate the image if it is a vector file. The quality will always be excellent no matter how you change the image. But for a bitmap (png, jpg, bmp, tif and etc), you have to convert it to a vector file. 

Corel draw has developed a powerful amazing tool called "Tracing Bitmap". The tool can easily convert your bitmap image to a vector object with a couple of clicks if your bitmap is not so complicate in colours (no gradient colours).

 

 

To Trace the Bitmap you must click the object and select Trace Bitmap then Outline Trace and then locate Detailed Logo. It will lead you to a popup window to apply settings to the Bitmap object. 

 

You may add more detail and edge smoothness by increasing or decreasing the bars, once satisfied with the logo/image click Ok to finish tracing. It may take time to load up the window depending on the size of your Bitmap image.

The vector object is shown on the top of the bitmap in the workspace. You need to move it to a right place so that you can delete the bitmap object.

5. Finalise your design  

When you have finished designing and are satisfied with it, you must finalize the design. You must make sure that all your Texts in your design have been converted to curves.

1. Select all text: go to Edit -> Select All -> Text. 

2. Convert to curves: move onto any selected text and right click, find "Convert to curves" in the pop-up menu

 

 6. Upload your artwork to premiumprint.co.nz  

You may sumbit your cdr file to us. But we suggest you save it as a pdf file and submit the pdf file instead. Just click on the "File" menu, choose "Save as..." and select the "pdf " option.

The file can be submitted in two ways: during the checking out process or after ordering.

Upload files when checking out

1. Add the product to your cart and click on "Check out" button at the top right corner

2. Use the "Upload" button to upload files

Upload files after ordering

1. Login your account and click on "Files uploader" in "My Account" section

2. Select the order related to your file in the next window and use the "upload" button to upload your artwork.