November '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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In the pages that follow, you will find the Product Highlights sec- tion where each month we offer you resources to enrich and expand your business with great services and products from our advertisers. Product Highlights Product Highlights 20 1 4 N ov e m b e r Printwear | 73 Creative monogram tips When venturing beyond traditional monograms, there's virtually no limit to your creativity on these simple letterforms. Here's a list of tips and tricks for your rule-bending experimentation. • Switch your supplies: Even if you aren't a digitizer or don't edit your designs, mod- est stock monograms work well with the right materials. Use specialty threads, such as two-colored twists, sparkling metallics, striped variegated threads, wooly and thick threads to add texture, glow-in-the-dark threads for nighttime viewing, or solar color-change threads for a surprising daytime shift. For large, outlined pieces, add easy-tear glitter or other appliqué materials. Anything goes with a creative monogram, and the design is ruled by your choice of supplies. • Play with placement: Monograms aren't just for cuffs or large left-chest areas. Try placing a monogram on the hip, shoulder, or yoke. Conversely, hide the monogram in part or entirely in jacket linings, the inner fold of a necktie, or the inside of a collar. • Delve into designs: Pair your monogram with a stock design that fits its char- acter: elegant tableware matched with regal coronets, children's wear with car- toon bears, and resort-ready bags with sailing ships. For extra impact, make a monogram feel like a customized creation by editing the design or lettering for a cohesive match. • Mix and match: To create an eclectic look, mixing styles adds dramatic tension to a piece. Try classic monogram letters used out of sequence, paired with modern typefaces; old-school black letter forms, combined with ultra-clean sans-serif; or script layered with no-nonsense block type. No matter the combination, you'll be sure to make a statement. • Shades and shadows: Add a shadow or textural element to your lettering in a sec- ond color. The layering lifts the monogram to the fore, and the additional color creates opportunities to explore a more complete palette. • Tie it together: Add elements based on components in the fabric or garment, whether it's a flower from the background print, a color from a tote bag's strap, or a pattern that takes a textural cue from the substrate. These matching elements make the monogram look like it belongs on the chosen surface. • Emboss and impress: Use negative space to allow textured or lofty fabrics, such as terrycloth, fleece, and sweatshirt knits, to stand up from the void as if embossed. This low-stitch technique works best for larger sizes, and it's a quick-running stunner. • Treat it with texture: Texture isn't only achieved with specialty threads. Digitizers can use stitch patterns in their fills or sculptural carvings with satin stitches to create interesting textures in letterforms. This is another great place to mix and match the smooth with the rough, the regular with the erratic. Moreover, the carved-satin style lends itself to monograms where making letter strokes appear intertwined adds a sense of depth, solidity, and dimension to your design. With these tips, monogramming can go so much further than three letters on a dress shirt's cuff. Even so, there's no reason to scorn old-school styles. When we learn from past techniques and styles while remaining open to expanding beyond the prescribed norms, we have the benefit of experience and the beginner's curious mind. Whether you stitch classic monograms or one-off, eclectic creations, know your customers, serve their style, and create art suited to their needs. The recog- nition customers feel make your work more than memorable—rather, your work will be cherished. pw

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