My Cart

Close

How to create acrylic standees using Adobe Photoshop

Posted on June 05 2018

How to create acrylic standees using Adobe Photoshop

This tutorial contains all of the information needed to create an acrylic standee using Adobe Photoshop.

1. Download our templates

To start submitting your clear acrylic standee designs, you will need to download our design templates.

Templates are available in a range of sizes, from 50mm (approximately 2 inches right up to 150mm (approximately 6 inches).

Click >> here << to download our Photoshop templates.

Each template comes with a working area where you can import or create your designs.

2. Understanding our layers

Once open, you will notice a number of layers in your Layers palette. If you can't see the Layers palette, hit F7 to make it appear.

 

Please don't rename existing layers or create additional layers as this will confuse our systems when processing your designs.

If you have used any effects / layer styles on any of your layers you MUST flatten them before saving. To do this simply right click on the applicable layer and select 'Rasterize Layer Style' from the menu in Photoshop.

If you use any text elements please make sure that these are also rasterized.

'Office Use Only’ Layer
This layer contains information about the template you are using. This layer is locked and should not be used.

'White Layers
Adding a base layer of white to your standee’s will make your colours crisper and more vivid. Printed areas with no white ink behind will appear transparent.

‘Artwork A’ Layers
Create multiple upright sections for your standees. The number of uprights allowable depends on the size of the standee.

For example, you can have up to 2 uprights with our 50mm x 50mm standee and up to 5 uprights with our 100mm x 150mm standees. We've colour coded each upright's layer group to make them more identifiable.

Single Sided Printing - If you are creating a single sided standee you should place your artwork on the 'Artwork A' layers. We print your designs onto the 'back' of the clear acrylic and then add a layer of white ink.

ALL ARTWORK ON THE 'ARTWORK A' LAYERS SHOULD BE FLIPPED HORIZONTALLY SO THAT THEY ARE MIRROR IMAGES. PLEASE SEE STEP 3 FOR MORE INFORMATION.

When you turn the standee over your design will be the correct way around and visible via the 'front' of the acrylic.

‘Artwork B’ Layers
Double Sided Printing - If you are creating a double sided standee this is where you'll place the artwork for the back of your standee. We'll print 'Artwork B' layers directly onto the top of your corresponding 'Artwork A’ layers.

DO NOT FLIP/MIRROR THE ARTWORK ON THESE LAYERS. THE ARTWORK ON THESE LAYERS SHOULD SIT ON TOP AND LINE UP PERFECTLY WITH THE ARTWORK ON YOUR 'ARTWORK A' LAYERS SO THAT IT FULLY MASKS ARTWORK A. PLEASE SEE STEP 3 FOR MORE INFORMATION.

‘Cut’ Layers
Use these layers to show us where you would like your Standees to be cut. We'll use this information to create a path which will then be used to create cut lines for our laser cutters.

‘Stand Tab’ Layer (on Stand Template only)
Use this layer to show us where you would like your Standee tab to be placed. The standee tab will slot into the standee base to keep your standee upright. We'll use this information to create a path which will then be used to create a cut line.

‘Base Hole’ Layer (on Base Template only)
Use this layer to show us where you would like your hole tab to be placed. The upright part of the standee will slot into the hole and create a standing design. We'll use this information to create a path which will then be used to create a cut line.

3. Importing your Design

'Artwork 1A'
Select the 'Artwork 1A' layer in your layers palette and either draw your design directly into this layer or copy (CTRL+C) and paste (CTRL+V) previously saved artwork.



Create or paste the artwork that you would like to appear on the 'front' of your standee here. Once you are happy with it FLIP IT so that it is a mirror image of itself.



We print your designs onto the 'back' of the clear acrylic before adding a layer of white. Your design will then be visible, the correct way around, via the 'front' of the acrylic.

If your standee has multiple uprights, simply repeat this process for each upright using the additional 'Artwork #A' layers.



'Artwork 1B'
This is where you will create or paste the artwork that you would like to appear on the 'back' of your double sided standee. DO NOT FLIP THE ARTWORK ON THIS LAYER!



We print your B-Side ('back') design directly on top of the A-Side ('front') design to create an awesome looking double sided standee.

If your standee has multiple uprights, simply repeat this process for each upright using the additional 'Artwork #B' layers.

4. Check your Alignment

If you're producing a double sided standee it's important that your A-Side and B-Side artwork lines up correctly.

A simple way of checking this is to select your 'Artwork B' layer and lower the opacity to 50%

Now view your artwork and check that both A & B are the same size and perfectly aligned. Here is an example of how it should look...

5a. Adding a layer of white

To guarantee bright and crisp colours for your artwork, you will need to add a white base layer to your designs. This white layer of ink sits behind your artwork. Any areas with no white behind will appear transparent.

To create your white base layer simply hold down the 'CTRL' key and click on the thumbnail of your 'Artwork' layer. This will select all of the elements of your artwork layer.

Inset your selection by 2 pixels using SELECT > MODIFY > CONTRACT and enter the value of 2 in the pop up 'Contract Selection' window.

Insetting your white layer by 2 pixels will prevent any areas of white from showing around the edge of your charms.

Now go to EDIT > FILL (Shift & F5) and select the 'Color' option from the first drop down menu.

Choose 100% Cyan as your colour (C:100 M:0 Y:0 K:0)

Click 'OK' and 'OK' again. You should now have a Cyan silhouette of your original artwork, placed on the 'White' layer.



Be aware that contracting your selection in this manner can have an effect on the pixels selected. Always zoom in on areas with fine details such as strands of hair or small point text and check that you are happy with the results.

You may decide to only contract your selection by 1 pixel if you have a lot of fine or intricate areas in your designs.

Please remember that we always recommend ordering samples before committing to large print runs, so that you can check that you are happy with the result. Mistakes can not be rectified once your charms have been printed.

If your standee has multiple uprights repeat this process for each upright using the additional 'White #' layers.

6. Add a border / cut line - IMPORTANT!

You can now decide on the thickness of your border, which will be used as a cut line. It is ESSENTIAL that you make this border AT LEAST 1mm wider than your artwork. Failure to do so can cause your printed design to lift along the cut edge as a result of the heat generated by the laser. A 1mm border will prevent this from happening.

Use the 'Cut 1' layer to show us how wide you would like this border.

To create your cut line silhouette go to SELECT > MODIFY > EXPAND and enter your chosen width. You will see that your selected area has grown by the amount of pixels you chose.

Use the 'Fill' command (SHIFT+F5) or EDIT > FILL and fill this area black. This colour will not be printed, it's simply for our designers to use as a guide when creating your cut line.



TIP - Use the paintbrush to cover any areas missed by the 'fill' command.

If your standee has multiple uprights, simply repeat this process for each upright using the additional 'Cut #' layers.

7. Create your base

Follow the last 6 steps of this tutorial to create the base of your stand. Once you are happy with your design, FLIP IT so that it is a mirror image of itself.

We print your designs onto the 'back' of the clear acrylic before adding a layer of white. Your design will then be visible, the correct way around, via the 'front' of the acrylic.

Please note that all standee bases are single sided only!

8. Add your Stand Tabs & Base Holes

Every upright that you create must have a tab and a corresponding hole on your base. Let us know where you would like these by dragging and dropping the tab  templates onto the upright parts of your designs...

...and the base hole templates onto the base of your standee.



For standees with multiple uprights, hold down the 'ALT' key and drag the tab and hole templates into position to duplicate them.

Once you're happy with their positions, merge all of the tab templates together on one layer (make sure the merged layer is called 'Stand Tab').

Merge all of the hole templates together (make sure the merged layer is called 'Base Hole').



Please don't merge the stand tab or base hole templates with your artwork layers as we’ll need to remove them before printing so that they're not visible on your finished Standees. 

Pay close attention to the position of your stand tabs and make sure that they line up with the holes on your base. 



We highly recommend ordering samples using our single standee quantity option before placing a full order, this will allow you to test your designs.

9. Submission Checklist

Congratulations, you've finished creating your custom standee! All you have to do now is check the following before submission...

  • The artwork on your 'Artwork #A’ layers has been flipped / mirrored
  • The artwork on your 'Artwork #B' layers has NOT been flipped & lines up perfectly with your corresponding 'ARTWORK #A' layers
  • You have created a 100% Cyan silhouette on your 'White #' layers
  • The tab/hole layers have NOT been grouped or merged with the rest of your design.
  • Your cut line borders are AT LEAST 1mm thick.
  • Any layer styles or text has been rasterized.
  • Your template contains 1 standee design only. Additional designs will be sent separately.

10. Saving and submitting your designs

There are 3 different ways to save and submit your designs...

1. Submit your artwork immediately

If you have already created your designs, you can send them to us using the 'Upload Artwork' button, located on our product pages or by emailing them to ‘info@zapcreatives.com’.

Save all Photoshop files in .Psd format. Here’s how…

Name each of your designs appropriately so that we know which designs you are referring to. Your file names should include 1. your name, 2. design number, 3. chosen product and 4. the date that you placed your order through our website. Here’s an example…

Select all of the designs that you would like to submit, right click and choose SEND TO > COMPRESSED (ZIPPED) FOLDER.



This will create a compressed folder containing all of your designs. Rename this folder so that it contains your name and the date that you placed your order on our website. Like this…

Please add all of your designs into one folder. So, if you purchased charms, stickers and pins, for example, just pop them all in the same, compressed folder and pass it our way.

2. Submit your artwork later

If you have placed your order via our website but your designs aren’t quite ready yet, that’s ok. You have up to 2 weeks to submit your artwork to us, which allows you to take advantage of any special offers that we’re running. 

To submit your designs later, save them with 1. your name, 2. design number, 3. chosen product and 4. your order number. Then email them to ‘info@zapcreatives.com’. 

Save all Photoshop files in .Psd format. Here’s how…

3. Placing a re-order

If you have placed an order in the past and would like to re-order those designs that’s great! We store your artwork for a maximum of 6 months, which saves you the hassle of having to resubmit your designs via email.

To place a re-order, simply place your order online, email us with your previous order number(s) and let us know that you are placing a re-order. 

You may only want to order 1 or 2 designs from your previous order(s). To do this simply quote your old file name(s) and let us know how you would like them to be produced and in what quantities. 

Here’s how to do it… 


Hi Zap!,

I’ve just placed an order #12345 on your website and would like to re-order the following designs from a previous order #12121. Please can I have…

10x [YOURNAME]-DESIGN1-CLEARCHARM-12121
20x [YOURNAME]-DESIGN2-WALNUTKEYRING-12121
10x [YOURNAME]-DESIGN3-ACRYLICPIN-12121

Thanks!

[YOUR NAME] 


If you have any questions about this tutorial or any other aspects of our website and manufacturing processes, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

Join our mailing list

Sign up for all of the latest news, discounts and special offers!