About Our Production Process
We thought you might enjoy a brief glimpse into the behind-the-scenes world of Scripture Designs to see our team at work with sketch pads and cameras creating our artwork, with computers designing our products and with printers and packing boxes filling your orders. Here is the process we take in developing our newest ideas into products you can purchase.
Everything starts with an idea and our products are no exception, we all have dozens of ideas in the back of our mind just waiting for the day when we will have time enough to develop them into something useful. The very first steps from which the rest of our process naturally stems is choosing an art subject and picking an appropriate Scripture verse. From there it branches out into several areas such as the design aspect of the product, integration with our website and the actual packaging and shipping of the individual items. There have proven to be more steps involved than one would at first guess but the diversity of the tasks lends interest to our work.
1- Producing the art
In order to produce accurate artwork, we begin by gathering pictures that contain similar elements to what we want to produce with our pencils and brushes. Though we sometimes reproduce one of our photos line for line more often we will combine elements from several pictures producing a new composition that meets our need more specifically. When all of the necessary reference materials are in place we begin our work, referring to these materials for correct shape, color placement, texture, and shading.
Photographic cards and prints begin with the desired subject being photographed multiple times. There is a measure of setup involved in most good photos which often includes arranging the subject to get it positioned properly and choosing what time of day offers the best lighting. At other times the Lord has us in the right place at the right time and we can simply grab a camera and snap a wonderful shot. The key is to always keep that camera handy! We use multiple digital cameras for our work and a program for managing our rather extensive collection of photographs.
2- Choosing the Scripture Verse
What is a Scripture card or print without the Scripture? Nothing really, and that's why this step is so important. The usefulness of each product is dependent on making a good combination of Scripture and picture. I actually like to work on this and the previous step simultaneously, partly because it can take quite awhile to get six good photographs and partly because I just like to do it that way! We always pick a theme before starting, especially when we are producing a set of cards where six pictures must fit smoothly with six verses. Often hours are spend searching for just the right passage for our project.
3- Graphic touch up
Once the graphics are prepared we transfer them to the computer. This is accomplished by either downloading the photos or in the case of the sketches and paintings, by scanning them. We then move over to Adobe Photoshop where any needed cleanup work takes place and the finishing touches are added to ensure that the art portion of our work is ready for printing. The photos are cropped and color adjusted. The extraneous paper texture and smudges are removed from the sketches and the paintings are touched up as needed. Some are a simple job while others are much more elaborate.
4- Graphic Design
Moving on from there it is now time for us to combine our finished piece of art with the chosen passage of Scripture. Adobe InDesign is our program of choice. Here we will settle down for many hours while the numerous aspects of an appealing graphical layout are sifted through, and selectively applied. Several designs are usually made before the right layout for the specific art and verse is discovered. For those designs which will be used on both cards and prints the appropriate work must now be done to produce the different printing sizes. After this the final InDesign documents are exported as PDF files and trial prints are made before the completed products are approved for final production.
5- Website integration
Now it is time for us to integrate our new product with the website end of the business. First the proper pages are produced to display the item on the website and the descriptive information is written. The necessary web photos are produced from the PDF files and are placed in the appropriate folders. Necessary links are added so that the new pages are assessable on the internet and the needed integration takes place between the product, the AutoMat and the shopping cart. Final changes are tested on a local version of the website and the new products are sent out to the website for live viewing. The final release has, at long last, occurred.
Scripture Designs has a high quality business printer which uses water resistant ink that is particle (opposed to pigment) based. This feature is important due to the fact that pigment based inks tend to fade very quickly when exposed to light. Our choice of particle based ink helps ensure better lasting Scripture prints for your walls. Most of our printing is done in house which enables us, as a small business, to make a large variety of prints available on numerous paper backgrounds without having to inventory thousands of pre-printed Scripture prints. We tend to keep a small inventory of the most popular cards packaged and on hand. The Scripture prints, on the other hand, are produced as orders are placed with us. All of our cards and Scripture Prints are printed on 60 to 80 lb. cover stock or photographic paper which makes the Scripture prints frame nicely and not sag over time.
After printing, the cards must be cut apart and folded. We then package them in sets along with their matching envelopes, slipping each set into a clear plastic sleeve. The first card can be seen through the front and a package slip on the back gives the details for the rest of the cards in that set. We will ship out these packs of cards in mailing envelopes unless the order contains a print.
Framed Scripture prints go through a slightly different process which includes checking to make sure the print is on the correct color of paper. Proper trimming takes place and we then combine the print, mat and frame, wrap it and carefully pack it into a box for shipping. Since all of our frames come with glass we always ship them in boxes for better protection during transit.
As you can see, there is a lot of diversity in the steps and responsibilities required to keep Scripture Designs running and growing. We enjoy our work and hope you have found this description of what we do profitable as you seek to get to know us a little better. Our prayer is that each item we ship will be an encouragement to the one who receives it.