Need help with Acrylic Backlit Sign with dark colors


This is my first time asking a question in this forum and I would like to see if I can get a little help with it. I am making a backlit acrylic sign using the Johnson Plastics LHT808 Lighted Base for a birthday gift and I would like some advice on how to get this rather dark image engraved for this sign to work out properly. Here is the image:

I do have the vector file so I can manipulate it a little bit but I am new to Adobe Illustrator and no graphic design experience. Please help as this needs to get shipped to Los Angeles by Friday. Thanks

Problems and Support is for opening tickets with Glowforge support for machine or interface issues. I’ve moved this to an appropriate forum.

Thank you, I didn’t know where to post.

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In my opinion, your best bet would be to create a line drawing from the original. For example, shoot for something like this:


I wouldn’t even know where to start with the amount of time I have and skill level. Any suggestions?

Use black acrylic and engrave or score the lines. Take the blue translucent material and score the clouds and glue cut purple mountains on the blue background (the blue background would have the spot that would insert into the base to glow). Glue the black acrylic to the mountains and blue background. At least for me that would be the fastest way. That is a short deadline.

Without seeing the source file, and not using AI, not sure I can offer much advice.

In Inkscape, it would be something like removing fill, changing stroke width, converting strokes to paths, and cleaning it up to produce a recognizable line drawing.

That image is a very poor candidate for engraving.

I’ve never tried backlighting black acrylic… does that work?

What I meant was that there would be 3 layers to the design if he wanted that type of depth to it. Still would only be lighting the “sky” and maybe the mountains if you got a purple that was translucent and that could provide some “lighting” to the scene. The black would basically be dead space if used as a 3D type effect. Could potentially cut through the black and purple to get headlights. Would take a lot of time trying different materials and effects that probably couldn’t be done in that time frame especially without the experience in AI. A lot of experimenting I would think to get a look that you would be satisfied with. Sorry not a lot of help. Might be better to send a card with an “original design for you in progress” as a note.

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Thank you for the advice everyone, I spoke with the customer and we agreed to keep it simple. I was able to export a .png from the source file, convert it into grayscale, and invert the colors. Then I brought it into the glowforge ui and print it as a 3D engrave. It actually has a pretty cool effect in the test pieces I have done and my customer is happy with it. I’ll post pictures soon when the final is all printed.


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