Creating a silicone race medals
Race season is a hectic and exciting for race directors. Race registration and logistics may take up most of the time and leaving not much time for anything else. When it comes to race medal design, they often come to manufacturers (like us) to get the medal artwork ready. So how exactly do we convert from a logo to medal design?
Even if you are not a graphic designer, you may have heard your print vendors asking for a vector logo. So what is it anyway?
In order for us to understand what vector image is, we also need to explain raster image, which is the other type of images that often times logos are in.
Raster images: the use of colored pixels to form a complete image. JPEGs, GIFs and PNGs are common raster image types. Almost all of the photos found on the web and in print catalogs are raster images. Raster images are constructed with a finite number of pixels, therefore they are not ideal as source files. When they are enlarged the quality of the image will go down because the same number of pixels are used for a larger area of space. This is the reason when a logo becomes pixelated, low-resolution, or grainy. Raster images are not the ideal source of image when it comes to printing logos on promotional items.
Vector images: a more flexible image format. Constructed using mathematical formulas rather than individual colored blocks, vector file types such as EPS, AI and PDF are excellent for creating graphics that frequently require resizing. Your company logo and brand graphics should be created as a vector so you can use it with smaller items such as your business card and letterhead, and also on larger surfaces, such as t-shirts or tote bags. You can export vector images to raster images such as jpg, png for websites or newsletters. The most common file vector formats is AI (proprietary format in Adobe Illustrator) and EPS (encapsulated postscript).
For this Mother’s Day race, we were given a logo in JPG format like the one below to design a silicone medal. Our skilled designer will convert the art into a vector format that is editable, and resizeable.
After the logo is vectorized, next we need to figure out what color to use on the logo. Usually, logos are in color mode called CMYK, and for medals, Pantone colors are needed. It is the exact mix / formula for this particular color. There are many formula guides published by Pantone, and it allows companies to identify colors exactly and printers to find the exact mixso it is printed accurately every time. CMYK colors are represented by specifying a percentage value of the four colors, namely C(Cyan), M(Magenta), Y(Yellow) and K(Black).
Our designers then refer to Pantone color reference books to find the best color match possible for the logo.
We offer a lot of medal plating option, and each one gives a unique texture and look to the finished medal.
Once the preparation for the logo has been done we work on the design and a preliminary proof in PDF will be emailed for approval. If it is approved, a sample medal will be molded and colored as a pre-production sample. It won’t be long until the medals are finally produced!