Suggestions Cheap(er) alternative to Corel for customers?

tedbragg

New Member
We're making a set of how-to videos, to show the new yard card biz people how to get and prep files for print-n-cut on our systems. The biggest obstacle is CUTLINES. CorelDRAW makes these super easy with boundary shape and the outside contour effect. AI doesn't have an easy way to do this. Do other programs have a simple method to get contour cutlines like Corel?
 

iPrintStuff

Prints stuff
In AI I just saved a magenta spot colour as CutContour and saved that as a default colour. I just put that on any lines I draw and pick that colour. Doesn’t get much easier?

for weirdly shaped jobs with bleeds, open up, select all, copy and paste in place, merge with pathfinder, offset path -3mm and fix any dodgy nodes. Even that takes like a minute.
 
AI doesn't have an easy way to do this. Do other programs have a simple method to get contour cutlines like Corel?

"Easy" is just really what someone is used to doing. In some instances, some things can be automated as well. May want to share those script files and how to use them to make it even easier for your customer to setup their files to send to you for production (I'm reading this as a series of "How To's" for your customers to have their files setup correctly to send to you for production) for programs that may have a more involved process. If the goal is to make things as super simple for your customers.

It just depends on how involved you want this to get.
 

bannertime

Active Member
Honestly, I wouldn't even both trying to get them to do the cut lines. It's not like Signs365 dealing with sign people, cause this is something we do just about every day. You're dealing with people from all sorts of industries, most without any design experience, or even design programs! Getting them to submit good artwork period is a challenge. Most of the stuff we do for these companies is stuff from Vecteezy and free "clip-art" places. So we run an action that sizes it up to one of our predefined sizes, duplicates the art, rasterizes it, traces it all black and white, uncompound, welds it, then does an Offset Path and names it the CutContour spot color. A script would probably work better for that though. We do have to intervene a few times.
 
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