4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 21, 2017 2:45 AM by Loic.Aigon

    Digital Printing Workflow - Automation Advice needed


      Hi all,


      I am hoping to enlist the help of an adobe expert to help me figure out an efficient workflow for my sticker printing business.


      Background and Current Workflow:

      We have over 300 sticker designs in our online store. We print and cut them into three unique shapes, we can call them shape A, shape B, and shape C.

      Customers pick the sticker design they want and then select the shape (A, B, or C). We receive an order with the sticker design and shape they selected.


      For production, we take the design files from customer orders and place them on a sheet in a grid with 6 rows and 6 columns in illustrator.

      We place the designs in this grid - and then place the shape they selected on top in a separate layer to use as a cutting line.


      So as a result of the above, we have a 6x6 grid with 36 different designs, and a layer on top of each design with various shapes (A, B, or C) that the customer selected

      (i.e Layer 1: Design 4 + Layer 2: Shape A)


      We hide the shapes layer (Layer 2) and send the grid of designs to the printer,

      Once it is printed, we then hide the design layer, leaving only the shape outline, which we then send to the plotter to cut.


      The result is 36 stickers printed with the customers design and cut out in the shape they selected.


      Now, we are trying to speed up this process. The idea would be to save 3 versions of each design for each shape.

      1. Design 1 - Shape A

      2. Design 1 - Shape B

      3. Design 1 - Shape C


      and we would do this for all of the 300 designs.


      When orders come in, we would drag all the matching files into a folder, which illustrator would then pull from and place into the 6x6 grid.

      We could then select the layers to show the Designs only, which we can then send to print.

      Following that we could select just the Shape layer and send that to the plotter to cut.


      This would reduce the time-consuming process of manually placing each file into the grid and then placing a shape on top. We could simply place all the files that match the orders into a folder, and then our print ready files would be created.


      Sorry in advance for the lengthy post. Any advice to improve/change this workflow is greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can clarify anything!


      Thank you