Overview Graphics of a ski
can be made using several techniques. These include die cutting, screen
printing, sublimation printing, and hand-drawn graphics.
Die Cut graphics seem to be the current trend in the ski industry.
They provide for the clearest of images and are easy for a ski manufacturer to
replicate. However, the images obtained from die cut graphics cannot
have any shading elements and often lack detail. Die cut graphics
are made by simply cutting out shapes from various colors of base material.
These are arranged together like a jig-saw puzzle to form a full length ski base
or in some cases even the topsheet.
For the home builder, die cut graphics can be difficult to create because the
individual pieces need to be cut with precision. This is not easy
due to the hardness of base material.
Screen Printing is a very popular method for producing mass quantities of the
same image. The images obtained from screen printing can be quite
detailed. Most likely one of your ski's graphics has been screen
printed. This method works by separating an image into its
individual colors A screen with a stencil for each color is then made and
ink is squeegeed through the stencil onto the base/topsheet material.
It's basically the same process as for T-shirt screen printing but special epoxy
inks are required.
Sublimation involves the use of special inks that are transferred into the
base material through heat. This is a great way for the home builder
to achieve smaller-sized graphics with a professional look at a relatively
inexpensive price ($300-$400). All that is needed is a
suitable Epson printer, sublimation ink cartridges, and a heat press.
For small logos, some have successfully used a simple clothes iron for a heat
press. However, a full-sized graphic will require a much larger
press that can distribute uniform heat and pressure. The only major
requirement for this type of printing is that the material be suitable for
Hand-drawn graphics are the simplest to create. They
require little in terms of specialized materials or inks and only demand that
the final artwork bond well to epoxy. Most of the graphics created by hand
are done so by using cloth (cotton fabrics). This cloth acts as the
background for the ski's graphic and additional elements (logos, pictures, etc.)
are created by either using your printer to print small-sized graphics, cutting
out shapes from colored paper, or by using fabric paint to produce your artwork
by hand. These elements are then arranged/painted onto the cloth and
laminated behind a clear topsheet or base material. Some examples of each
method can be seen in
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