Cardboard Cutouts have become really popular as ‘stand-ins” for when you can’t make it to a special event (like if you’re locked down overseas), or as a fun accessory for stag do’s or Hens Parties.
Costwise, a single cardboard cutout is $225.40 NZD (I’m quoting NZ dollars here as many people buy these from overseas) but if you’re doing more than one, then each subsequent cutout is $167.90.
With a bit of careful planning though, you may be able to fit a couple of people onto one board, so you get two people together for the price of one (some details to follow on how to make sure that will work).
A couple of finer points to clear up first – we use the term ‘cardboard cutout’ but the board is actually coreflute, which is more like a corrugated plastic board. It’s water proof, so it can stand up to a bit of rain (or spilled drinks). The strut on the back however, is actually cardboard, so this part may not survive the weather.
The process starts with you sending us a photo by email. If you’re a designer, you may want to send us a print ready pdf complete with dieline, but we’re assuming that the average person doesn’t have the design skills to do this – if this is you, just send us a photo and we’ll use our discretion to decide the outline shape. We usually leave a small part near the base of the cutout intact, so that the base has a flat line and somewhere behind the character to hide the strut (have a look at the photos here to see what we mean.
The best results are going to come from good, high quality, well lit photos (well lit as in nice lighting, not as in ‘that’s ‘lit dude’).
There’s a bunch of other things you should take into account when taking your photo for us to print:
Resolution – make sure you use the High Resolution setting on your phone or camera.
Perspective – take the photo with the camera at about the subject’s chest height. If you shoot from over head, or from the floor (like if you’re pretending to be a fashion photographer) you end up with a weird perspective.
Lighting – make sure the person is well lit and that there are no harsh shadows. Outdoors on a bright, overcast day is ideal.
Full length – make sure your subject has their feet included in the photo. It’s difficult to make a card board cutout of someone who doesn’t have feet – we can’t just have them hanging in mid air.
Making sure they fit – we print the characters onto a board that measures 2400mm tall by 1200mm high. Your person is going to need to fit within this size to be able to work as a cut out. Most people fit easily into this size, in fact, a couple of people if they’re huddled in nice and close, will be able to fit – but to ensure your person fits well, try to avoid them posing with their arms outstretched or to have them holding something that is likely to stick way out to the sides. A person holding a guitar generally seems to work, but if they we’re holding a javelin, then maybe not so much. If you want to fit two people on one board, make sure they’re snuggled up nice and close to each other and avoid arms extending out to the sides.
If you’re wanting a life sized cardboard cut out of a celebrity, you’ll need to find a suitable image of them to send us. Contrary to popular opinion, we don’t have a cupboard out the back with a cut out of every conceivable celebrity – instead we custom print them to order from an image you supply us.
It can be tricky finding a full length image online of your favourite star, especially one that is of decent quality. The best way to make sure you have a good quality image is to use the “image size” filter tool that google supplies and filter by “large” images. Then download a few of your favourite images onto your desktop. Now go and open each one up and zoom in on the face (fill your entire screen with their face). If the eyes are nice and clear and you can see the whites of their eyes, then you know the image is pretty decent resolution and should work well.
Freight is always a challenging aspect to a life sized cardboard cut out. They are generaly bigger than what the standard courier companies will cater for, so we tend to rely on PBT Transport for shipping these around the country.
If your event is in Auckland, you can pick it up from our factory in Eden Terrace, in which case there is no freight cost, but if we are sending around the country, the freight cost varies depending on what area and whether it’s an urban or rural location.
It generally takes us about 4 to 5 days to produce a cut out, and freight can take 3 or 4 days, so plan ahead if you can and get in nice and early