Screen printing is a type of printing technique that utilizes woven mesh as a means of supporting ink-blocking stencils. A relatively inexpensive printing technique that results in highly-detailed and very beautiful designs. Using screen printing for t-shirts and other promotional items can help get a business on the proverbial map. Whether researching the best ways to promote your restaurant, retail store, eco-friendly company or other business, screen printing designs are arguably one of the optimal methods for making your business apparel truly stand out.
Let’s say you’ve got a tee shirt with a design on it that you love. Just for the sake of argument, let’s also say that the design is in some way culturally relevant - such as the I heart NY t-shirt. Not uncommon. While we’re at it, let’s say you’re wearing this tee while enjoying a Saturday afternoon at the art museum and you’re looking at a famous screen print by Roy Lichtenstein that you happen love equally as much as the picture on your tee. Now, I ask you, which one is better or more important/relevant and why?
One justification for the high level of esteem (and prices) for fine art is the artist’s hand. There’s a romantic notion of the artist in his/her studio with a canvas and some paint, toiling in solitude, night after night and leaving a piece of soul in embedded in the paint. From a layman's perspective, this is one of the main things that differentiates fine from commercial art. However, since Andy Warhol's Factory, this notion has been challenged.
As a college student, studying printmaking and fine art, my professors would always reference something called the “democracy of the print”. They were referring to the fact that woodcuts, etchings, lithographs and screen prints had the advantage over paintings and sculptures in the respects that they are relatively inexpensive and exist in multiple. Even to this day, a person of an average income can afford a print by Picasso, but not a painting. That print would not only enrich that person’s life, but that of many others due to the fact that it exists in hundreds of other places.
I argue that the tee shirt brings the notion of the “democracy of the print” to its peak. The tee shirt is so inexpensive that nearly anyone can own an entire collection or make one with their own design. And, due to the versatility of the screen print (and now direct to garment printing) nearly any image can be imprinted upon one. The tee shirt is the ultimate (and somewhat untapped) in artistic potential energy, able to proliferate messages through multiplicity, low cost, mobility and public visibility all while retaining a status as a covetable object.
Custom made t-shirts might seem incredibly simple, but there are actually quite a few moving parts that go into the process. Since ordering a selection of custom designed t-shirts is supposed to deliver exactly what you want, maintaining a large number of options is absolutely key. Read on to discover three very important basics when ordering your custom made t-shirts.
Choose Your Design
Designing your t-shirts is one of the most basic and straightforward parts of the t-shirt design process. It is important that you never lose sight of the fact that these shirts are intended to be worn and be representative of your brand or group. Your custom t-shirts should make a statement to anyone looking at them, and it should be of little surprise that design is one of the most essential components. The overall look and feel of your shirts should be something that represents your group or organization correctly.
A number of things can be included in the overall design of the shirt, including both the logo and the color style of the shirt itself. As you work to design a shirt that meets all of your needs, you may want to keep in mind specific examples of custom made t-shirts you’ve seen elsewhere. It’s also important that you consult with your custom designer to ensure the proper specifications are in place when finalizing your design.
Not to get all Whitney on you, but “I believe the children are the future.” As babies are born and kids grow up, new generations take their turn at running our planet. Future innovation and invention in every industry belongs to the youth of today. For this reason, it’s the adults of today that are responsible for giving kids as much opportunity to explore, grow, and experience as we possibly can.
You may have picked up on some of the excited chatter about our summer t-shirt design and print class. In case you didn’t, here’s the skinny: Marwen, Sharprint, and M&R partnered up to bring screen printing to a group of 13 high school students. Marwen is a center offering free visual art classes and college and career support for students in grades 6-12. M&R is the world’s foremost manufacturer of screen printing equipment for the graphic and textile industries, and we are the screen printers.
I developed a course to teach students how to design and print t-shirts from concept to production. The first 8 days were spent at Marwen learning the basics of industry standard design software, textile specific design considerations, and color separation. Marwen is amazing in it’s mission to provide young people with art education despite race, gender, or economic factors and the facilities are incredible. The classroom was ideal to teach the Adobe programs and design principles. The last two days were at Sharprint where the students experienced the printing process - hands-on. Big thanks to M&R for helping us set up our classroom, complete with press for the students to print their shirts.
I have to say the last two days in the shop were the most fun. All of the theory, talk, and computer work came together. Seeing the screens being made, coating screens, visiting the ink room. The puzzle pieces were put together one by one and there were a lot of ah-hah moments. The kids really loved setting up their press, pulling the squeegees and printing their shirts. The pride and satisfaction was totally visible. A handful of kids even said that they wish they could work at Sharprint!
On a personal level, I wasn’t exposed to screen printing and print making until well after high school and once I was...wow! Screen printing just rocked my world. The process and aesthetic, the science and beauty are all things that engaged me in a way that only screen printing does. Giving young people skills as a tool or outlet may take them down a path they might not have come across. Whether it’s printing for fun, printing for a living, or impacting society like Andy Warhol or Shepard Fairy, the kids in the Marwen class now have screen printing experience. It’s another option for them to be who they want to be.
Selecting a screen printing service company can be a difficult task, but making sure you do your homework can ensure you will work with a quality printer when preparing for your next project. Partnering with a good screen printing service offers a number of benefits, many of which will benefit practically any business. Read on to learn about five top benefits that established screen printing service companies have to offer.
Once you have made the decision to develop your own custom designed t-shirts, you might wonder what your next step should be. The truth is that your experience will depend almost entirely on who your t-shirt printer is - so you had better select wisely.
What is screen printing? Screen printing is the method for transferring an image onto fabric using a mesh fabric stencil stretched over a frame. It's a great way to create uniforms, logo shirts and just about any kind of promotional shirt you need. There are a few things you need to know about custom screen printing before you dive in.
No matter if you are a small business that needs five uniforms a year or a huge promotional company that needs thousands of garments printed every month, its to your advantage to use a full service screen printer. Apparel decoration is a customization business and every project has a set of unique variables. At the very least, working with a printer that has the capability to fulfill all aspects of the decorated apparel business guarantees that you can rest assured that your printers will be able to properly react to unforeseen issues.
Full service screen printers have the capability to simply print your graphics on your goods or build your project from the ground up, choosing and ordering your goods, designing graphics, running separations, printing, shipping and more. These businesses are prepared to provide services and products that you might not even know you need for your newest project. Here are just a few of the advantages of working with a full service printer:
Suddenly need a few hooded sweatshirts to add onto your order of printed tees? Don’t scramble. Your full service printer can get them for you and have them delivered right to the production floor. Have no idea what kind of jackets would be best for your project? A full service screen print shop can help point you exactly were you need to go. Full service printers can get you exactly what you need quickly, whether its two purple American Apparel Deep V Necks or 100,000 red polo shirts.
2. Dedicated Customer Service, a.k.a Insiders
We’ve all got a lot on our plates these days so if you’re using a full service screen printer there’s a lot less to worry about. Insiders watch over every aspect of your orders. From making sure that you get the best price on a quote and approving the first print off the line to ensuring that everything gets shipped out on time and checking on each step in between. Your insider has got it all under control.
Tara’s recent blog article, “What’s the Big Deal About Printed Tee’s?”, got me thinking about why I dress the way I do. So I looked down to see what I was wearing. A blank black hooded sweatshirt, which was covering a navy blue t-shirt with the University “M” smack dab in the middle - a University whose sport programs I am a fan of.
This made me recall a brief moment from my previous weekend. A few friends and I got together to watch the UofM football game and one of my buddies came dressed in a plain long sleeve tee.