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How to create wooden standees using Paint Tool SAI

Posted on June 05 2018

How to create wooden standees using Paint Tool SAI

This tutorial contains all of the information needed to create a wooden standee using the software Paint Tool SAI.

Click >> here << to download our templates.

Important - Colour Management

Please note that Paint Tool SAI can only create documents in RGB colour whereas we only print in CMYK colour.

Create a standee with Paint Tool SAI

A quick search on the internet for 'the difference between RGB and CMYK' will provide you with a wealth of information on this subject, but we wanted to make you aware that the colours of your designs on screen will be different to the colours of your final printed products. 

The image below shows the RGB palette on the left and the same palette converted to CMYK on the right. RGB colours appear vivid with bright blues and greens. CMYK in comparison appear flatter with slightly duller colours.

The difference between RGB and CMYK

We convert all Paint Tool SAI images from RGB to CMYK before printing so do remember to bear these colour differences in mind. Always remember to order samples if you require any colour accuracy or if you are unsure or feel that you may be unhappy with these colour changes.

1. Download our 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 templates.

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

2. Understanding our layers

Once open, you will notice a number of layers in your Layers palette.

Wooden Standee Layers SAI

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. 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.

‘Cut’ Layer
Use this layer 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 a cut line 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. This is what will slot into the base to keep your standee upright. We'll use this information 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. This is where the upright part of the standee will slot into. We'll use this information to create a cut line.

3. Importing your Design

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



If your artwork goes right up to the edge of your cut line or if you would like a coloured border, you will need to add at least 1mm of bleed to your design. See 6b for more information on bleed.

5. 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 will sit behind your artwork and will ensure that the colours of your standee’s are consistent.

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. 

You will now need to inset (shrink) your selection by 1 pixel to prevent any areas of white from showing around the edge of your charms once they've been printed. To do this invert your selection SELECTION > INVERT.

With your selection inverted, use the increment option SELECTION > INCREMENT once to inset your selection before inverting the selection again SELECTION > INVERT.

Click on the RGB slider in your colour & tool panel and create a Cyan colour (R:000 G:255 B:255) 

Select the 'Bucket' tool and click inside your selection to fill the selection Cyan. 

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

Wooden Standee White Layer

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

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. 

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, simply repeat this process for each upright using the additional 'White #' layers.

Wooden Standee White Layer

6a. Add a border / cut line

Show us where you would like your wooden standees to be cut out by creating a black silhouette on your 'Cut Line' layer. If your design runs right up to the edge of your cut line read 6b. Adding bleed.

To create your cut line, CTRL click on your Artwork Layer to select all of the elements of that layer. Select your 'Cut Area' layer and use the Increment function approximately 20 times to increase your selection by the required amount. 

A slightly quicker way to do this is by using the shortcut ALT+S followed immediately by the 1 key. Do this 20 times.

Using the Bucket fill the selection black. This colour will not be printed, it's simply for our designers to use as a guide when creating your cut line.

Wooden Standee Cut Line

TIP - Use the Eraser tool to round off any square edges of your cut line silhouette and the Brush tool 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.

6b. Adding bleed

If your artwork goes right up to the edge of your cut line or if you would like a coloured border, you will need to add at least 1mm of bleed (colour that extends past the cut line) to your designs to prevent any unprinted edges from showing on your finished designs. 

Here is an example of a design with bleed added. The red line represents the cut line.

Wooden Standee Bleed

Extending the colour of the design past the cut line will help to minimise visible unprinted edges as a result of any minor misalignment's during the printing and cutting process.

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.

7. Create your base

Follow the last 6 steps of this tutorial to create the base of your stand.

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.

Wooden Standee Base

Multiple holes - If you would like more than 1 hole in your charm, simply copy (CTRL+C) and paste (CTRL+V) the hole template onto your design. 

The copy and paste command will create a new layer containing a duplicate hole template. This new layer will probably be called something like 'Layer1'. 

Position the duplicate hole template over the part of your design where you would like an additional hole and click on the 'Merge Down Layer' button in your layers palette to merge the duplicate layer with your original 'Hole Template' layer. 

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. 

Please bear in mind the position of your stand tabs and make sure that they line up with the holes on your base. 

Custom Wooden Standee

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...

  • You have created a 100% Cyan silhouette on the 'White #' layer to show us where you would like white ink
  • The tab/hole layers have NOT been grouped or merged with the rest of your design.
  • Bleed of at LEAST 1mm has been added where designs go right to the edge of the cut line.
  • 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 Paint Tool SAI 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 Paint Tool SAI 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.

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