Unless you have been on a screen printing shop tour or had the opportunity to print t-shirts firsthand, you may not know just how an idea actually becomes a screen printed t-shirt. In fact, even if you have been on a shop tour, without experiencing the process from start to finish with the same design, the steps may be a little unclear. In this blog, we’ll go over each step in detail and wrap it all up with a short video so you can see the process in action.
Topics: screen printing
It’s pretty magical when a t-shirt design and specialty ink fall into perfect alignment. With all of the specialty printing we do around here, this occurrence is a lot less common than you might think. In a perfect world, the design allows the specialty ink to exemplify it’s capability while the technical aspects are executed effortlessly, like making a box of mac-n-chesse. When we reach this utopia, we step back, take a deep breath and nod our heads in silent confirmation. Yes. It’s perfect.
Let’s take a little trip on the way back machine to around 2000, when high density printing was big on the t-shirt scene. High density ink is geared for a tall, square stack. It’s a simple as that. Why overcomplicate the beauty of the application with large, heavy complex t-shirt design that isn't very comfortable to wear? The Simple Shirt was born. Sans serif and small, the SIMPLE print stacked high and impressed. In my humble opinion, it’s the best example of high density printing we’ve ever done.
Discharge ink was developed specifically for soft-hand printing on dark garments. Discharge is a water-based ink that bleaches the garment weave while depositing pigment. The look of the final print is quite different from traditional plastisol prints. The end print is more muted, the colors are flatter, and the edges of the screen stencil tend to soften through the production run. Butt-to-butt registration is not guaranteed. Discharge is really great for vintage looking prints with lose designs. Tight logo style graphics aren’t ideal for discharge printing.Read More
How it Works
Foil is a post-printing application, which can be applied on a press for certain affects. The means the design is printed first and a sheet of metallic foil is heat pressed during the second step. When the sheet is removed, foil adheres to any area printed in standard plastisol ink or a specially formulated foil adhesive clear ink.Read More
Did you know that the same embroidered logo can look different when sewn on various garments? Fabric weight, thickness, weave and content all effect how the stitches will hold up next to each other. For this reason, it is important to let us know what material we will sew when requesting an embroidery quote or placing an order. We digitize all logos for the best embroidery depending on what fabric we are sewing on.Read More
Topics: embroidered apparel
When estimating the number of screens needed to produce a custom screen printed order, designers and brokers alike are often unsure whether or not their design will need a preliminary white under base for the best print. The print colors in the design plays a part, but generally it’s the shirt color that determines whether or not an under base is needed.
There are numerous variables that go into placing, producing, and delivering a custom decorated textile order. A tight and organized process is key in making sure the decoration order goes off without a hitch and keeping you informed along the way. This process illustration details the key points we focused on back in 2005. And guess what? These key points are executed in 4 simple steps every day, to this very day - to get your order out on time and correctly.
Few aspects of my job as a Sharprint Sales Insider are as disheartening as having to utter any statement that contains the words "we can't." It goes against the entire credo of this super-positive team of go-getters. However, when it comes to direct to garment printing, one limitation lingers every day -- the garment options for digital printing.
In the decorated apparel industry, it is very important to capture the greatest level of detail possible to leave the customer with the end result that they expect.
With a professional digitizer and the appropriate machinery, it is possible to achieve very detailed and excellent embroidery results.
However, there are limitations to the amount of achievable detail when applying embroidery. When embroidering letters, it is important to follow a few guidelines and understand what will and will not work.
Typography (from the Greek words τύπος (typos) = form and γραφή (graphe) = writing) is the art and technique of arranging art to make language visible. So whether you have sighed at the over use of Comic Sans, or admired the subtle architecture of Bodoni Open-face - you spend time with fonts. Here are a few tools to make your life easier. Some may be old news for you, but remember, some people might be behind the “Times”.
Dafont.com is sometimes scoffed at in more formal design atmospheres, but for apparel design it is just what the doctor ordered. Hundreds of fonts that may work perfectly for your job. Some may be cheesy, but others are really great to play with. Try taking a more complex font, creating outlines, and then adjusting it to meet your needs. It will really help you with your vector manipulation skills as well.
What The FONT?!
“What the font” is for those days that someone sends you a scanned-in business card and has no idea what the font is. Maybe you don’t want to spend the time tracing it, or you like the font and you want to own it. First upload a screenshot* of just a portion of the type that you want to identify. (You may need to straighten it or adjust the contrast). The directions from there are pretty self explanatory.
This starts to get in to the geeky side of typography and that’s why I like it. You can identify fonts based on style of serifs, ascenders, descenders, and what have you. This may not be for the first time “type jockey”, but once you get in to it, you will certainly appreciate how deep the wormhole goes.
Sometimes, the best tool for type creation, type setting, and type diagnosis is your own ingenuity and the internet. I find myself tooling around looking for inspiration (read: procrastinating) quite a bit. Here are some of the most inspirational links I have found:
- Font Conference
- Neutraface - A Lady Gaga Type Parody
- I Love Typography
- The Post Family (These guys have been a huge inspiration to me since I moved to Chicago)
- Delicious Design League