February '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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together, certain browns and yellows, and some purples with certain reds. Negativity Cynics are people too and have the same right as happier folks to proclaim boldly their ideas on life. But when they use art that looks like a photographic negative is where I draw the line. For example, a customer provides a black line drawing and wants it on a black Tshirt. Just print it in white ink, they tell you. In certain cases, such as if the drawing is a person's face, it will look like a photo negative—and not intentionally so. The other quick response is to use a white base to create some negative space and leave the black lines open for the black shirt to show through. This often leads us back to the bulletproof rule. Plus, if the lines that are surrounded by a ton of white area are thin, the detail is likely to fill in with all that white ink. Crudely drawn I can't draw well and have lots of respect for people who have developed their talent to illustrate. Since I haven't, I know that my bad drawings should not go on a Tshirt. The real problem here is that many think a poor drawing will miraculously look better when printed on a shirt. It usually has to be enlarged, so it will be worse, not better. All the imperfections are now bigger and all the more obvious. Magical Mock Ups That nice little T-shirt form, that small image of what the shirt will look like, may look great as-is, but one has to imagine both how it will be printed and what it will look like with an actual person wearing it. A T-shirt mock up is usually created with the shirt in the classic "T" More colors in the design does not necessarily equal a better outcome. Increase the number of colors only when it suits art and budget. shape. One may be tempted to design a word on the side of the shirt on that form, or one curved around front to back under the arm. In reality, the person wearing the actual shirt will obscure the word on that little T-shirt illustration... unless, of course, they spend all day imitating an airplane with their arms like wings extended. Sweathog In today's garment world there are a myriad of options for keeping the wearer cool and dry, via moisture-management and wicking shirts, cool fabrics, dry release and many other smart fabrics. Some may or may not work as advertised but, put the wrong type of print on them and they're guaranteed not to. Giant, bulletproof prints, or even medium-sized prints with any more than minimal ink coverage with traditional inks definitely will not work. Instead of being cool as a cucumber, you will turn into what a friend calls a 'sweathog.' Blendmania Some print practitioners are better than others at reproducing the halftones required to reproduce a fade from one color to another or from color into no color. Also, an 2013 February Printwear PW_FEB13b.indd 63 | 63 1/21/13 11:19 AM

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