One thing that plagues us as printers of apparel is those pesky seams. When the squeegee passes over a seam, it disrupts the constant and even pressure it applies. The resulting print will be uneven in the area immediately surrounding that seam.
Topics: custom t-shirts
Whether one chooses a traditional screen-printing process or a modern digital printing process, custom t-shirt printing is easier than ever before. Each technique offers unique advantages, so make sure to consider all elements before choosing screen-print or digital.
Screen Printed T-Shirts
The screen-printing industry is continually growing and changing. Press and equipment companies are developing new machinery and technologies every year. This revolution has led to ground-breaking technology that has led to increased efficiency and quality.
With this advancing technology, the process for t-shirt printing is not only considered an art, but a science. While there are different methods used for screen-printed t-shirts, all-over printing garners the most attention. This printing of the entire surface area of a t-shirt depends on the desired style of art, and can vary in complexity and price. There are 3 main types of all-over printing: One Color, Standard, and All-Over-Plus.
One Color All-Over Printed T-Shirts
One Color prints can be considered the simplest of the three methods. It consists of a single color of ink, which is passed over the entire surface area. For optimal quality, one shade variation is usually recommended.
Standard All-Over Printed T-Shirts
With this method, multiple spot colors are used to print over the entire t-shirt. As with One Color, shade variations can be implemented, but remember, simple is better.
All-Over Plus Printed T-Shirts
If ‘dress to impress’ is your motto, All-Over Plus will definitely get you there. Multi-color designs are used in conjunction with a One Color AOP for this method. Or you can take the route of adding additional print to a Standard AOP.
Overall, there are a number of steps involved before a request for a t-shirt project reaches packaging & shipment. Here is a quick breakdown:
- Review Art Submission
- Art Proof
- Color Separation & Film Output
- Pre-Press Meeting
- Screen Exposure
- Screen Prep for Production
- Mixing Ink
- Set Up
All-over printing does encompass the entire surface area of a shirt, however, the are three different approaches a printer might take based on the desired print and style of art. Each approach varies in complexity and price, so please be sure to consult with a sales insider before you finalize your design.
Topics: custom t-shirts
Direct to garment printing is great for a lot of reasons, but the big one is the fact that set up is really fast and minimal. There’s no need for separations, burning screens, mixing ink or setting up a press. While it's not as simple as hitting control+P it is much closer to instant gratification.
*To the right is an example of an instance when dye migration occurred. The color of the design was white, but dye migration caused the red tint.
Topics: screen printing
Heat-Transferred or Sewn on Tags?
Aside from being wearable, one of the most common characteristics of apparel is the inside tag. So common in fact, that most people probably don’t think twice about where or how that tag got there. Unlike my gut instinct may have led me to believe, tags do not grow on shirts. Nope, there is actually some labor involved and it all begins with you and/or the designer.
Topics: custom t-shirts
Embroidery is a beautiful application for embellishing a garment or adding a branding element to apparel and accessories. Vector graphics on a computer screen often do not translate well to stitches based for a number of reasons including the fabric you wish to apply the logo to. There is a simple set of guidelines to follow that will ensure your art will look as exquisite embroidered as is does in your design software.
Understanding File Types
The first step in embroidered custom decorated apparel is receiving and reviewing client art files. All digital files are redrawn as virtual stitches to communicate the design to the embroidery machine. The process for redrawing a design or logo as stitches is called digitizing. The cleanest files produce the most perfect embroidery.
Vector formats produce the cleanest most exact embroidery because the graphics are composed of paths instead of pixels. When a digitizer zooms in to create a stitch pattern using a raster file there is a certain amount of “gray area” where the digitizer must use his or her best judgement regarding where the edge of the graphic is. When zooming in or out of a vector graphic, the edge is very apparent, clean and clear.
Raster files can be used for digitizing, however, keep in mind that graphics created at higher resolutions will digitize more exactly producing cleaner, nicer finished embroidered garments.
Flipping through a pantone color book is a popular way to choose hues for print products. When both the customer and the manufacturer are looking at the same pantone color, both parties know that they're on the same page. Simply saying "light blue" isn't nearly specific enough when it comes to promotional products.
Finding the right color can be difficult enough, but coming up with perfect pairings is even more challenging. Here are some tips for marketing departments who are choosing promotional pantone colors for the first time.
Channel Seasonal Hues
1. ILLUSTRATOR EFFECTS
Illustrator has some nifty effect options, but you’ve got to be careful when using them. A good portion of these options apply raster elements to your art, negating vector’s resizing abilities and requiring separations for screens. The most common are the drop shadow effects. These often look good (at first glance) and add dimension, but they complicate your file by mixing image types and severely limit the printable size of your art. If you want shadows, use gradients instead. It is more time consuming, but will be more cost effective and flexible in the end.
You've probably seen some of those super thick, plastic-y prints that tend to crack after wearing and washing a few times. You've probably also seen the kind of screen printed t-shirt with a super soft print. Maybe you even own some of both.