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
Ever wonder how a company logo or cool design goes from a digital art file to a beautifully embroidered shirt? The process is called digitizing and the artists that do it are called - you guessed it - digitizers. Basically, digitizing is redrawing a logo or design as stitches in a special embroidery software program designed to do just that. We use a program called Punto at Sharprint. Digitizers aren’t just digital artists, though, they have to be experts in the craft of embroidery.
The first step in digitizing art for embroidery is trouble shooting the design and considering the fabric to be sew. The digitizer looks for small detail or letters that won’t sew well to inform you or your client if something won’t work. Then the digitizer comes up with a plan to produce the best looking and performing embroidery. This plan is communicated through the software in terms of the type of stitch used, density of the stitch, what type of underlay stitch will be used, thread color, and logo size. Let’s take a look, shall we?
This is the logo we will use on our little visual trip. You can see the vector paths (blue lines) making up the logo on the right.
Ordering custom decorated apparel for your clients can be a fun and easy process if you are working with the right decorator. It’s simply a matter of communicating and planning with your decorator in advance to sort through the various apparel applications and options. This article is designed to walk you through the various steps to think about when working with your client and decorator during the planning, budgeting and timeline stages.
There are three primary techniques used to customize company apparel. These processes are screen print, embroidery, and digital printing. Casual clothes ordered in large quantities may be best suited for screen printing, whereas fast turns on full color designs may call for digital print production. Embroidery communicates high quality, professionalism, and elegance.
Each technique has a design style best suited to its process and result. They may have embroidery in mind, but if your client has a logo that will look better screen printed, you’ll want to opt them in for the best result. That being said, each process is pretty versatile. Your decorator should help you target the ideal scenario to make sure your client isn’t disappointed with the final product.
The Cause and Solution of Pallet Marks
Every so often, screen printers are faced with certain obstacles they need to overcome in order to provide their customers with the best possible looking custom apparel.
Topics: screen printing
Pantone colors are the universal language for communicating specific colors right down to the shade. This language overcomes distances and computer monitors with different calibrations. If both parties involved in a project are looking at a Pantone book, referencing the exact number, both parties can rest assured that they are on the same page.
Brand guidelines define specific colors of logos in terms of Pantones. Designers call out Pantone colors in their work so the image can be re-created exactly from digital media to print and embroidery. As decorators, we live and die by Pantone colors. However, the language of Pantone colors translates a little differently between screen print and embroidery - like a different dialect between the mediums of decoration. Let’s look at why and what this means for the logo or design you are having screen printed or embroidered.
Digital garment printing can be a solution for small quantities, hasty needs, and it can also be a source of exclusive products that are not easily replicated. By promoting these strengths of the medium, its likely your clients will be unaware of the numerous steps and time it takes to complete these production tasks. We recorded the processes to share the exacting and labor intensive process that goes into these fast turnarounds on high quality custom garments.
1. All Shapes & Sizes
First and foremost, submitting Vector art is always best. What makes vector art special is that everything is defined by shapes, as opposed to raster art’s pixels. This means the image never degrades at any size. A vector art image could be used for an inside tag, an all over print or a billboard without any pixelation or loss of quality. Vector images are very simple to change color, scale, orientation, etc. Also, vector images don’t need separations or the fees that go along with them, unless they are very very complex in color.
Digital artwork used for screen printing can be categorized in two types - raster and vector. In this article, we’ll define both file types, go over some vocabulary, and show how you can differentiate the two.
Topics: screen printing