If You?re Still Digitizing, You Need To Read This Now!
Still digitizing, huh? Why? If you?re still digitizing I?m guessing you either enjoy it or feel as if you have no other choice available to you. I realize there are certain individuals who get satisfaction from creating or reproducing an image by hand. The very process of plotting or punching points (also known as nodes) can be very time consuming and become a tedious job. Once you?ve completed a complex or intricate piece of artwork, it?s only natural to feel a sense of pride for a job well done!
I can remember as far back as 1982, when personal computers were just beginning to be introduced into the Awards & Engraving industry. Digitizing was painful! This was long before the development of computer aided design (CAD) software. All drawings had to be created from beginning to end with no mistakes or you had to start all over from the very beginning. You sure didn?t want the phone to ring or have a customer come through your door while in the middle of any drawing!!
A few years later we were blessed with CAD programs that enabled you to digitize logos and images much faster. Using software commands to create vectors, curves, ovals, arcs and numerous other short cut keys, allowing you to improve your work and in many cases enhancing the original artwork. Certainly one of the coolest things was being able to stop, save your work and pick up where you left off at another time. Whether it was later that day, the next day or sometime the following week. It was nice to not feel ?married? to the system and be able to take a break if needed.
As computers became more and more popular, hardware and software progressed quite rapidly. It wasn?t long before people were talking about scanning and converting their raster files into vector formats. Many individuals retired their digitizing pads and began the ?on screen? clean up process, believing this was their salvation from the point to point digitizing, we all thought was so nice in the beginning! Well, I must say for me it lacked the luster some were boasting of over the phone. Most all tradeshow demonstrations were what I would refer to as, ?smoke and mirrors?!
Honestly I thought it was more challenging to scan and clean up my artwork as opposed to simply digitizing it from scratch. To me it was much easier and faster to continue to use CAD software and turn out a drawing that was much cleaner, with fewer points and maintained a much smaller file size. Most digitizers were (and are) concerned about the overall byte size of the finished logo. This was greatly due to the limitations of numerous proprietary systems. Forcing the digitizer to be mindful of their final output and keeping points to a minimum.
Through the years of now more than two decades, computers and software as we once knew it, has come a long, long way. We?ve all seen dozens of ?state of the art? programs and hardware improvements to fill a small garage! Yet many of us still find ourselves looking for that ?perfect? solution that would allow us to stop fretting over artwork.
Well, my friend ? I have a solution for you. Let me give you an analogy or rather a comparison of digitizing (or scanning, it?s really all very much the same involved process), versus mowing your yard. Yep, you read it correctly ? Digitizing vs. Mowing!
Think about it ? just because you can mow your yard, does that mean you should? (Again, I realize some people get satisfaction and pleasure from mowing, my wife loves to mow our yard). Much like I stated at the beginning of this article. You may do it for pleasure or feel as if you?re stuck with it! You may choose to push mow with your standard hand mower or step up to a riding mower and sit comfortably within the leather seat. Either way, you?re still ?married? to the task at hand.
Digitizing = Hand Mower (push from point to point) Scanning = Riding Mower (scan across the land)
You?ve heard it and read it many times, ?your time is money?. Most of us at some time or another have chosen to hire someone to do our yard work. Whether it be mowing or simply raking leaves, we?ve shuffled the chore to another individual or company. So I pose the question to you, ?Why don?t you hire someone else to do your digitizing?? Choose a respectable service and send your artwork to the professionals for digitization.
With technology as advanced as it is today, you can email (or fax) your logo to the pros and have it back within 24 hours (two business days for some). This creates a win-win situation for all parties involved in the process. You win by saving time and money (remember, your time is money), not to mention the mental challenges that may arise should you continue to do everything ?in house?. Your customer wins as well! They receive a top quality reproduction of their artwork in a digital format. This could and should open up more avenues for you to ?lock in? their business for life. Giving you the slight edge over your competitors and versatility to create more quality products and services for your clients.
Aubrey Richardson is the founder of LogoFax one of the largest and fastest growing clip art sites online, while leading a team of successful business entrepreneurs on the net.
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