View Full Version : Need help with a self inking signature stamp

Albert Nix
11-05-2011, 10:44 AM
I have a cutomer that wants a stamp with thier signature on it. They gave me a copy of the signature on paper but I am having a tuff time turning into something useable. It looks like they signed it with a fairly heavy black pen but when I scan it to the computer it is not a true black. I could trace it and then spend for ever cleaning it up but hate to do that for what you can make on one stamp. Have any of you tried this, if so do you mind sharing you method of processing from the original to and engravable image. thanks for any advise

Chuck Stone
11-05-2011, 11:34 AM
if you use a photo editor, some will allow you to adjust the black level. Use the darkest
part of the signature as your black level. You can usually adjust the levels to move
the gray toward the black level, too.

Glen Monaghan
11-05-2011, 12:24 PM
Your first problem is not insisting on a clean signature written with black fine tip pen! I engrave signatures on custom knife handles and only accept fine-tip black ink, plus I provide a signature page template filled with several light blue boxes. The boxes are sized (length vs width, or aspect ratio) to match the area available on the knives, after scaling to fit. I provide a variety of sizes (all the same aspect ratio, just bigger and smaller boxes) on the template and suggest they start with the larger boxes and work down until they find a size that is comfortable for them. They can write their signatures several times, once per box, until they get one that they like that mostly fills the box without crossing over the blue lines. They place a check mark next to the copies they prefer, and I pick the one I think will convert and engrave best.

Hard to give specific instructions for your situation without knowing what software you have available. I scan to grayscale, then generally use a histogram adjustment to push the lighter gray shades to white and the darker shades to black, tweaking to avoid losing faint parts of the sig (one reason for requiring black ink vice pencil or colored inks) without making blobs of loops or closely spaced letters (a reason for requiring fine tip pens and using the largest signature possible). Depending, you may find contrast and sharpen filters helpful. Starting with a decent signature, it doesn't usually take much time or effort.

Scale the signature to fit the space available, adjust the dpi resolution to match your engraving settings, ensure you have a B&W result, and you should be good to go unless you are reducing it to the point where you aren't getting good resolution and the script starts looking blocky or blotchy. I've only converted a signature to vectors on two such occasions and charged a bit extra for the time but the results were worth it to the customer.


Doug Lynch
11-06-2011, 2:10 PM
We do a lot of signature stamps. I always vector them in Corel. If you want send me your scan and I will vector it for you.
Doug Lynch

Albert Nix
11-07-2011, 8:44 AM
Thanks guys, I can vector trace it, I was just looking for a quick way that I may not have tried. THANKS

Mark Ross
11-07-2011, 9:55 AM

I use inkscape and tell it to trace it. Inkscape is free and it does a better job for me on grainy non black stuff than Corel X3. I hear X5 is better, but for me it is for me if it is free.

Joe Hillmann
11-07-2011, 11:52 AM
I just recently had trouble getting a signature cleaned up. Here's what worked for me.

I scanned it at the highest setting my scanner could do. Once I got it into coral I double clicked on it so I could edit it as a bitmap in coral paint. I turned the contrast way up then converted it to black and white as a line drawing. I saved it and went back to corel draw and made the signiture much bigger than I wanted it (I think I had it about 3 feet long and about 6inches tall) Then I did used the "trace bitmap" function, deleted the bit map and shrunk the vector back down to the size that I wanted.

Albert Nix
11-08-2011, 10:35 AM
Thanks for the input. I vector traced mine in LXI and cleaned it up, just took longer than I wanted it to. The name was fairly long and had a lot of loops and corners. I did'nt really know what to charge so I call the folks that I buy supplys from and they said they charged a flat $5 signature fee plus the price of the stamp, so thats what I did. How do you guys bill for doing them? I am going to have to get a larger monitor if i keep doing them lol.