Boy Scouts who want to make an extra nice poster to promote their Student Council candidate or club event should look at the Graphics Arts merit badge.
The field of graphic arts includes many kinds of work in the printing and publishing industries. Graphic arts professionals are involved in the creation of all kinds of printed communication, from business cards to books to billboards. The scope of printing communications is huge.
Graphic Arts Merit Badge Requirements
- Review with your counselor the processes for producing printed communications: offset lithography, screen process printing, electronic/digital, relief, and gravure. You may show samples or draw diagrams to help with your description.
- Explain the differences between continuous tone, line, and halftone artwork. Describe how digital images can be created and/or stored in a computer.
- Design a printed piece (flier, T-shirt, program, form, etc.) and produce it. Explain your decisions for the typeface or typefaces you use and the way you arrange the elements in your design. Explain which printing process is best suited for printing your design. If desktop publishing hardware and software are available, identify what hardware and software would be appropriate for outputting your design.
- Produce the design you created for requirement 3 using one of the following printing processes:
- Offset lithography
- Make a layout and then produce a plate using a process approved by your counselor. Run the plate and print at least 50 copies.
- Screen process printing
- Make a hand-cut or photographic stencil and attach it to a screen that you have prepared. Mask the screen and print at least 20 copies.
- Electronic/digital printing
- Make a layout in electronic form, download it to the press or printer, and run 50 copies. If no electronic interface to the press or printer is available, you may print and scan a paper copy of the layout.
- Relief printing
- Prepare a layout or set the necessary type. Make a plate or lock up the form. Use this to print 50 copies.
- Review the following postpress operations with your counselor:
- Discuss the finishing operations of padding, drilling, cutting, and trimming.
- Collect, describe, or identify examples of the following types of binding: perfect, spiral, plastic comb, saddle stitched, and case.
- Identify three career opportunities in graphic arts and tell how you can prepare for them.
- Do one of the following, and then describe the highlights of your visit:
- Visit a newspaper printing plant: Follow a story from the editor to the press.
- Visit a commercial or in-plant printing facility: Follow a job from beginning to end.
- Visit a school’s graphic arts program: Find out what courses are available and what the prerequisites are.
- Visit three Web sites on the Internet that belong to graphic arts professional organizations and/or printing-related companies (suppliers, manufacturers, printers). Download product or service information from two of the sites.