Electronic Message Center Drawing

Wondering the best way to draw an Electronic Message Center sign showing the text or graphic in the sign. Starting from Scratch.  Any suggestions?

  • It's just a PNG or JPG, you'll need to know the aspect ratio of the sign the graphics for and they'll just dump the graphic into the signs software.  We have some that are square others that are rectangle like a 1024 x 768 displays.

  • When I create sign drawings that include LED-based electronic variable message centers I'm fairly picky at how I go about it. First of all I always create a sample image that is the exact pixel resolution of the LED display. I do a number of picky things between CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create images where things like text items line up to the pixel grid as much as possible. The sample image needs to be good, but also needs to be an accurate and honest representation of what the customer may be ordering. If his EMC is just a 20mm 48 X 128 pixel display it's going to be very unethical to show a high resolution image making it look like a cinema or TV screen.

    The Pointillizer effect in CorelDRAW 2018 and later can be very handy at applying a LED-sign style texture to a simulated EMC image. The Pointillizer effect can be applied to pixel-based images or vector objects. If you size an imported JPEG or TIFF image to a specific size and use a specific DPI setting in the Pointillizer effect it will replace each pixel in the imported image with a vector based dot the same color. A 48x128 TIFF image would end up with 48x128 vector dots. I don't use the default circle since too much black gets in between and dulls the printed image. I'll use custom shapes such as a rounded square to fill more of the space. It yields a brighter image, but still retains that message center texture.

    I only use the Pointillizer effect to simulate message centers if the display is not very high in resolution but will be printed kind of large on the sketch. It looks better than just plopping a low res TIFF image into the document. For higher resolution displays it will be good enough just to import a pixel based image.