Advertise Here - SUPPORT TMF

Author Topic: Creating signs?  (Read 625 times)

JimF

  • Modeler's Hero 500+ Posts
  • *****
  • Posts: 582
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Creating signs?
« on: January 12, 2020, 08:33:04 AM »
Anyone know of any good "How To" tutorial or write up, etc.. on how to actually create signs using a computer?

I see folks saying "I created my signs on my computer and printed them out" or similar,  and sometimes they might mention they used ABC or XYZ software, but never seem to get into explaining how they did it.

I have GIMP and Irfanview, and whatever Windows 10 gives you, but haven't a clue how to use them for creating signs.

I'd rather not have to buy some expensive software, if I can help it.

Anyone?

Jim

rpdylan

  • Modeler's Hero 500+ Posts
  • *****
  • Posts: 1303
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Creating signs?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 10:18:52 AM »
Jim,
    I have been using Inkscape for several years, its free and enables me to import pictures (like signs), and then re-size them- plus I can make signs using downloaded fonts on my computer. for instance, I can make a long rectangular black shape, and then put the words inside of this shape to make a "banner sign" for a building. I self learned the software from youtube videos. I only know a fraction of what the software can do, but enough to make my own signs. If there was an adult education class available to me to learn software like this I would take it!,,, but I find Youtube videos pretty good for helping me out....
   
Bob C.

postalkarl

  • T-Shirt - FORUM SPONSOR
  • Modeler's Hero 500+ Posts
  • *
  • Posts: 5699
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Creating signs?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2020, 08:17:03 AM »
Hey Jim:

Sounds good to me. Maybe you could post some of your signs here for us to use on our models.

Karl

GPdemayo

  • Modeler's Hero 500+ Posts
  • *****
  • Posts: 5818
  • Karma: +5/-1
    • View Profile
Re: Creating signs?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2020, 08:24:29 AM »
Don't forget Jim.....we love pictures..... ;)
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

jbvb

  • Modeler's Hero 500+ Posts
  • *****
  • Posts: 637
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Modeling the B&M's Eastern Route in HO 1950 - 1965
    • View Profile
    • New England RR History & Modeling Info
Re: Creating signs?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2020, 11:10:25 AM »
I did a 'Simple GIMP for Model Railroaders' clinic for the Hub Division. The handout is a 2-page HTML document, which I'll try to attach.
James

jbvb

  • Modeler's Hero 500+ Posts
  • *****
  • Posts: 637
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Modeling the B&M's Eastern Route in HO 1950 - 1965
    • View Profile
    • New England RR History & Modeling Info
Re: Creating signs?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2020, 11:22:50 AM »
Looks like it posted OK.  I made this 'Entering Rowley' sign from a digital photo using GIMP.  It's usually simpler to make a plain text sign (like the farm sign in the background) in a word processing program, though details of getting it to print at the right size will vary.
James

bparrish

  • Boise Nampa & Owyhee RR
  • Modeler's Hero 500+ Posts
  • *****
  • Posts: 2436
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Creating signs?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2020, 12:34:30 PM »
Jim...

I use Photoshop but it is an expensive program.  My boy put it in my machine years ago as he had a X number subscription at the time. It is very big and I only use a small part of it.

The problem with pulling stuff off of the internet is that many files are pulled down to 72 dots so that the file will load quickly.  Not all editors can invent greater dots to raise the resolution without a LOT of distortion.

MS Word had a pretty good photo editor in it.  Go to Insert and select photo and go to anywhere in your machine.  Get it on a page.  Then across the top you have the choices for brightness and contrast as most editors can do.  It also lets you mess with color balance and like that.  It will also allow you some control on resolution.

But here is the trick.  You can size the photo down from the corners to your scale and Word will do pretty well with holding up the resolution. 


I print on common paper and then sand paper off the back until get the color bleeding through.  Then you can white glue it to brick or clap board and the texture will come through.

Try it.

see ya
Bob
I'm only paranoid because everyone is out to get me.

NEMMRRC

  • Modeler's Hero 500+ Posts
  • *****
  • Posts: 2809
  • Karma: +8/-1
    • View Profile
    • Narrow Perspective
Re: Creating signs?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2020, 12:36:41 AM »
Back at the old forum (yes, many of us here are transplants from Jimmy's original forum) we had a running thread on signs and how to make them. I recall someone teaching the forum how to use Excel to make signs. Anyway, here is the link to that thread:
https://www.kitforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=86&sid=97dac83966fb7ac65bed5dda2f061eb9


Over at railroad line there is also a thread on using Excel to make signs:
http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=11853


Excel used to come with many PCs back in the day. I think now you can get a subscription to Office365 to get Excel. Around Black Friday the office supply stores give away free trials to Office365. If you have a student in your family you may be able to get Microsoft Office for free or at a discount.


Jaime