When we were first assigned the nametag project, I knew I wanted to do something music related. I’ve always loved listening to and playing music on the piano & guitar :). I was also probably inspired when I first opened inkscape and when the text tool was selected, the font had already been set to symusic.
I immediately started looking online for music staff silhouettes, but of course I didn’t want them to be perfectly straight. I saw a few examples that captured the feeling or design I wanted, but wasn’t quite the right size to fit my name, or was almost but not exactly to my liking.
And one common theme I saw is that the proportions were awful in all the examples I could find. The notes were tiny! Also, I’d of course have to get rid of them to fit my name on there. So I learned how to use the pen tool with splines, drew one line that I felt had the right length, thickness, and ‘wavyness’, then also learned about the spacing tool to create 5 copies and space them equally apart.
Of course, through all of this, there were several members in the FabLab helping me discover and use all of these tools.
Then I found a trebel clef symbol, and fit it onto the 5 lines (proportionately). Then I drew my own double bar line at the end, because I realized it seemed a bit empty on that corner.
My original intention was to have all the space in-between cut out (between the staff lines, in the letters of my name, etc) but I realized that would make my nametag quite too flimsy, especially towards the right side where there would be barely any material left. So, by the suggestion of a FabLab member, I decided to raster the image onto a more solid back.
After laser cutting and rastering, the members who have already helped me so far made a final suggestion – to add a magnetic nametag fastener on the back, and it turned out great!
Reflection: (I’m not sure how explicit this has to be)
Overall, the nametag definitely came out a lot better than I originally thought that it would come out. I also learned that laser cutter rastering doesn’t come out quite as dark as I thought, and I have to be more careful in balancing the grayscale – I’d expected the letters of my name to be much darker than the musical notations but they turned out very similar shades (despite being 100% black vs 30% gray). I feel that I’m much more comfortable in inkscape, because even two days ago I had only the vaguest idea of its features and capabilities, although I know I’m just barely scratching the surface.
I think one last thing that I have to get better at is getting a sense of scale from the computer screen to the final product – I had originally thought it would come out much bigger. Because of that, there were some design/sizing decisions that I was about to make that the wonderful FabLab members safely steered me away from (I’d almost made a 1.5-inch wide nametag)
This project has me very excited for the later ones to come, I had so much fun creating this nametag despite being a relatively small project. I love the open ended nature of the makerspace, providing both creative and technical freedoms 🙂Continue Reading