You can make a nice dez-strip in Excel. It takes some tweaking to get the spacing just right, though, so be prepared to waste a few sheets of paper. Of course, once you get it right, be sure to save the blank template!
I have used Excel and actually prefer Word. I use the TABLE functions in Word and can get spot on better than I can in Excel.
SSL spacing is .69 inches, so I can create a template of .69 inch width table cells or alternating .34/.35 if I am dealing with outboard. The merge/split cells seems to work better for me than in Excel. Sometimes a cell will be center aligned, sometimes not and custom aligned to fit the job. Custom borders of different thicknesses can be done as well, seperators and outlines.
It really does take finessing, but once you do the spacing on the first strip the hard work is finished.
As far as finishing, color-coding with simple highlighting markers works well, but you have to practice to eliminate over-lap. It becomes obvious over time as the color fades. The pro way to go is using translucent colored tape that graphic artists use.
Call me boring, but I always use Helvetica Bold type. It even looks good on older Neves.
[quote author="sodderboy"]SSL spacing is .69 inches,[/quote]
Sounds maybe right for 96-point TT's, but they also made 112-point TT 1RU strips, and I also have 160-point TT 1-rack-unit strips... :shock:
Anyhow, I start in excel with a single, centered '*' symbol in each box. Tweak to fit, and make each row two boxes high. You can do wonders with "merge & center" on the upper row, and individual texts on the bottom.
You start with an HP Designjet 800PS printer (which would be about $4k if you want to buy one, but usually better to use one at a graphic print house.)
Then you print out your excel file in colour. You buy a sheet of 3M clear adhesive-backed plastic with the stiffness of card-stock (not sure of the catalog number; I have to go to the art store and buy more...) and stick it on top of the printout.
Then you cut it into labeling strips (it's already 'laminated',) and insert.
Here's a picture of a patchbay that I'm working on right now... Please ignore the small bits of tape with temporary notes on them... change order markers etc.
...And here's a close-up of the detail:
-You really can't see how shiny this is in the second picture, because of the flash bounceback I've had to take the picture slightly off-axis... But in the first picture, the flash bounceback may give you some idea.
The overall effect is one of being 'sealed behind glass' due to the plastic overlay, (NOTHING like laminating, where there's a slight 'dulling'). You can see in the middle of the patchbay that the flash is reflected on the labeling strips, and hardly reflected at all from the patchbay itself. This really is better looking than SSL, Neve or any other manufacturer that I can name.
As you can see, it prints white lettering on dark backgrounds, or black on white backgrounds, or any colour letters on any colour background come to that...
Now... Whatcha got?
-Have you had enough, or do you want some more?
-Don't make me take pictures of the wiring round the back... Other men have had their lives destroyed by such humiliation! :wink:
keef you should repost that picture of the patchbay you wired last year work of machiavellian(sp) art. The paper you may be refering too is non other then Photo paper with adhesive a few companies make that and is usually available at the local office supply store.
...Don't make me do it Pucho... -You know I feel bad when I make a man weep... :wink:
No, it's not a 2-part paper as such: It's a protective adhesive film that I use to cover screen printing in high-wear areas: like round the control room volume pot on consoles which don't have the SSL Spinal-tap mod. It's quite stiff and very useful, with a fairly high-gloss finish.
WHOA! That's beautifu- OWWWWWW (sausage nunchakau smacks him in drop-jawed face)
If there is any crying here, it is tears of joy and inspiration. The aqua desigs are REALLY hot!
I will shoot my desigs in the afternoon.
Till then I posted the file for anyone who wants a start on DIY desigs (in Word):
For the bays originally posted, if you don't have the Ferarri printer and paper budget, I carefully use one or two layers of clear packing tape to do a lamination. A lam on the back as well makes a stiff strip from, uh, regular paper and makes a good base to tape the desig onto the bay.
PS: the rack back is a true glory. Zenilicious.