Questions about reproducing decals - quality, cost, etc.
I have just recently moved from Minnesota to Indiana. During the process of packing our house, I found my long lost set of original 1980 Austro Daimler downtube decals. Even in the chaos of packing, there was MUCH joy (since I still have the Austro Daimler bike that I got at the same time as the decals).
Now the questions:
What do I do with these? I need a set of decals for my wife's Austro Daimler mixte that I hope to get back to work on soon. I also anticipate the need for another set some day for my bike. I've heard of people having reproductions made by sign shops. Would this process destroy the originals? What level of quality could I expect? How much should I expect to pay?
Is it even worth trying to get them reproduced, since there are already some reproductions out there (I think)?
Any other thoughts on what I should do with these decals?
Depending on what you have for originals, they would need to be scanned (not destructive if visible) and vector art made by a competent artist. Quality would be as good as original could be recreated. Sign shops sell prints by the square inch, they're not too expensive; you'd also have the labor for the art, unless you could do it yourself.
cyclomondo on ebay has offered many decal sets: maybe he's made those or is interested...
I'll scan what I've got and post it. The decals I have are similar to the ebay posting, but I only have the down-tube decals. I had previously looked at the ebay posting, but there is a comment about those decals only being for light colored bikes, and mine is dark blue.I'll check with Cyclomondo and world-cycle-decals.Thanks
As others have stated, pixal artwork is worthless. It needs to be converted to vector artwork. Adobe Illustator is the industry standard. It costs about $600.
Then there is the time. To convert a logo from pixal to vector will take 2-6 hours for someone with a lot of experience with the program. This comes from first-hand experience as I recreated Cinelli, Frejus and Gloria logos. I have over 20 years experience using Illustrator. What's shop rate at your LBS? $50-$60 /hour? Granted a decal maker can reuse the artwork, but there is no guarantee you won't be his only customer.
Next is color. Color is an SOB. Is the color in the photograph correct? Is the monitor showing the correct color in the photograph? PMS (Pantone matching system) is the industry standard. Does Pantone have an exact match? Then comes the hard part. Even with a specified PMS color, every printer will print them different. Even 2 different printers that are the same model are likely to print different colors. Then there are usually a few colors a printer won't print well. The chroma is off in the red for example. Then there are metallics. You have to print out multiple times to get the color correct. And now you need a printer to do this all. That isn't a cheap printer. The inks aren't cheap.
So $50 to get 1 page of decals is pretty much an excellent deal. And I am fairly certain anyone charging you $50 is not getting rich.