Apparel and Custom Clothing Information

Tara Zanzig

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[Video] Printing T-Shirts Dark & Teelicious Style

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Thu, Jan, 31, 2013 @ 09:01 AM

Screen printing t-shirts is quite a remarkable process. You know the drill when communicating with your sales insider or working out the final nuances with a pre-press artist—however, the real magic happens after all details have been approved and the job goes into production.

Each and every shirt delivered to our dock is counted in by hand and shelved until press time. Meanwhile, film is produced, screens are burned, and ink is mixed. When the production day arrives, the shirts are staged as the printers set up the screens. Once the print team has all the print colors aligned, the shirts are printed, but the journey doesn't end there. 

The QC (quality control) department puts another set of eyes on the shirt to triple check quality and accuracy before passing them to next department for heat pressing, embroidery, or other application. The t-shirts then make their way to the finishing department for folding, bagging, tagging, finishing touches or special pack out with a final QC before boxing.

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Topics: t-shirts

3 Key Elements When Promoting With Products

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Thu, Jan, 03, 2013 @ 11:01 AM

Sharprint Associated Press reports 84% of people who receive promotional items can identify the advertiser. Granted, 84% is a pretty high percentage, but wouldn’t you rather shoot for 100%? And instead of just being able to identify you, wouldn't you rather they become a customer?

The best case results scenario for your advertising, marketing, and promotional efforts would be that your brand is synonymous with your product or service  -- Vaseline (petroleum jelly), Kleenex (facial tissue), or Speedo (skimpy swim trunks) are a few examples. Sure, there may be some Tipping Point factors contributed to the success of brands, but there are some strategies you can employ to make your promotional items more poignant.

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Topics: promotional clothing, branding your clothing, promotional products

10 Things To Consider When Printing Shirts For Your Business

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Thu, Dec, 20, 2012 @ 12:12 PM

There’s a gazillion different t-shirts you can have printed for your business. If you are considering a custom order, think about the following 10 items to help narrow down exactly what will best meet your needs:

1. Purpose. Is this a giveaway shirt to promote your business? Will the tee be worn by employees as a uniform? Will the tees be sold as retail items? The purpose of the garment is a determining factor for a number decisions down the line including garment and how much you want to spend.

2. Audience. Will men, women, or both be wearing these shirts? Are they under 18? Over 40? The demographic of the person wearing the shirt will influence decisions from the type of art to the color of the t-shirt.

3. Image. What image should the t-shirt convey? Contemporary and clean? Wild and fun? The superficial message communicated by the t-shirt should represent your business and the kind of products you offer.

4. Brand. How and how much of your specific brand should be represented on the t-shirt? The size and placement of your brand identity depends on the amount of name recognition appropriate for the goal of the garment.

5. Garment. Is durability your number one concern for the custom t-shirts? Perhaps sustainability is your number one priority. Selecting a fabric is the foundation of the actual t-shirt printing process.

6. Timeline. Is the t-shirt for a specific event? Is that event less than a week away? Some print processes take longer than others and may need more lead time. This is an important factor when considering a custom t-shirt order for your business.

7. Quality. Will these shirts be worn in situations involving a lot of wear and tear? Will the printed tees be washed frequently? Some weaves are stronger than others and this is definitely a factor you will want to consider.

8. Art. Are you an artist? Do you have an artist to work with? Perhaps simple typesetting is all you need to have done. Each shop will have some guidelines for art submission.

9. Cost. Do you have only a small allotment for your printed t-shirts or is the sky the limit? Each step of having t-shirts printed will have a good, better, and best option.

10. Repeat. Is this a one-time special order or do you envision ordering more of the same or similar tees in the future? In most instances you can save money by ordering larger quanties. A little pre-planning can help you save a lot of money!

Whew! Seem like a lot of factors to consider? Get in touch with a customer service rep right away to help simplify the process and make it easy to get the perfect t-shirts printed for your business.

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Topics: custom t-shirts

Helpful Holiday Gift Bags: The Chicago Help Initiative

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Thu, Dec, 13, 2012 @ 10:12 AM

It is important to support those less fortunate than ourselves throughout the year, however the holiday season tends to remind us in a poignant way. As we share gifts and gatherings with our family and friends, we realize the true extent of how fortunate we really are. With so many organizations in need of your support, we wanted to let you know about a local organization you may not know about -- The Chicago Help Initiative.

"The Chicago Help Initiative (CHI) is a consortium of business, residential, religious, social service, institutional and volunteer leaders striving to promote an atmosphere of dignity and compassion toward those in need by providing access to food, health services, shelter and employment. CHI works to educate local businesses and residents as to how they can help ease the plight of the homeless, disadvantaged and out of work individuals and improve their well-being, self esteem and productivity."

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Youth Screen Printing Workshop - Winter Session

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Wed, Dec, 12, 2012 @ 12:12 PM

Sharprint, in association with North Branch Arts Chicago, is gearing up for a winter break youth t-shirt printing workshop! The kids will not only learn how t-shirts are printed, but actually design and print their own designs from concept to production. We will split up into creative teams to collaborate on one design and each child will design and digitally print his or her very own one-of-a-kind tee.

Here are the important details:

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Sought After Fashion From Unwanted Tees

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Wed, Nov, 28, 2012 @ 09:11 AM

Sharprint's debut clothing line, Stitch Anatomy, is fun and sassy, for sure, but that's not all -- it's smart. Each style has been designed to upcycle un-wanted or mis-printed t-shirts.

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The Art, Music, & Fashion Experience You Should Not Miss

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Mon, Nov, 12, 2012 @ 09:11 AM

“Elevation III: The Gathering” is an all star, interdisciplinary art experience featuring the fashion design of Sharprint’s own Agnieszka Kulon. This not-to-be-missed event showcases the improvised conduction of Jazz legend Kahil El Zabar with his experimental band that features Corey Wilkes, Ernest Khabeer Dawkins, Junius Paul, Robert Baabe Irving III, and special guest, legendary vocalist Dwight Trible.

The “Gathering” also presents a one night only large installation created by the award winning sculptor and designer Lucy Slivinski plus a choreographed fashion salon created by Katrin Schnabl and Agnieska Kulon. There will be live painting with Zore and Andre Guichard, video installation by Stoptime341 directed by Chris Andrew, music by DJs Ron Trent and Brian Reaves. (the ultimate destination for online curated experiences), the Zhou B Art Center (the internationally-acclaimed creative art space), and Colab (the premier interdisciplinary arts collective) are all proud to be the host of Elevation/Chicago 2012. Elevation is artistic history created in the moment as a one time only event.

Check out the video from last year’s event for a glimpse of the experience to be had:

$30 donation at the door
$20 in advance at

November 16, 2012
Zhou B Art Center
1029 W. 35th Street, Chicago

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Flight Of The Embroidery [Video]

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Fri, Nov, 09, 2012 @ 09:11 AM

The rhythm of the embroidery department is unmatched. Whether the Sharprint embroidery ladies are customizing caps, fleece, polos or other garments, the machines whir stitch after stitch after stitch like the wings of a bumblebee.

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Topics: embroidery

Sharprint's *New* Sustainability Report

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Tue, Oct, 09, 2012 @ 07:10 AM

We are super stoked to announce the new head of the Sharprint Sustainable Committee - the one and only, Bill Washburn. He hand picked committee reps from each department in the building to report, communicate, and educate on new green efforts. Armed with a list of 100 things we can do to be a greener company, the first meeting under Bill's leadership tackled some low hanging fruit along with more in depth projects to be carried out over time.

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An Interview with Tyler Way: Fashion Artist, Designer & Innovator

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Wed, Oct, 03, 2012 @ 08:10 AM

Recently, I had the great fortune of meeting Tyler Way, artist/designer of the TWAY Collection, and co-founder of [Fashion Has Heart]. Sharprint was printing Relentless, a t-shirt in The Corporal Hoffman Series that is a part of Threadless Causes. He stopped by the shop to take some photos of the printing. The t-shirt design is part of a much bigger project, [Fashion Has Heart] (with partner Michael Hyacinthe), that pairs an artist with a veteran to share his or her story through design. When I meet people doing incredible things, I always like to learn more about what they're doing, who they are, and how they got into it. I hope you enjoy the interview, and be sure to check out the short video at the end of the blog.

Your home page bio says you graduated college - what was your degree in? Do you feel your degree/education has attributed to your success?

I graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in Advertising & Public Relations and a minor in Entrepreneurship. College was a big growth spurt for me. I was finally on my own and felt like I had to start from scratch with my life. That was when I started custom-designing shoes in my dorm room and taught myself the Adobe design programs. My "outside of the classroom" education pushed my "inside the classroom" education very well, and vice versa. 

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