November '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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90 | Printwear N ov e m b e r 20 1 4 Simplify the Top 4 Art Tasks Thomas Trimingham has been working in screen printing for more than 21 years as an industry consultant, freelance artist, and high-end separator. He is an award-winning illustrator, designer, and author of more than 110 articles on screen printing art and sepa- rations. His new training DVD and e-book, which outline how to achieve high-quality half- tone prints in the shortest possible time, are available at I f you wrote down your art tasks every day, it's likely that you could pick out the four most common challenges by the end of the month, and there's a good chance those challenges include processing customer requests, rec- reating existing designs, art-approval pro- cesses, and quickly designing logos. These areas might seem similar, but they can differ wildly, depending on your customer base and how your company handles these steps. While the following time-saving sug- gestions may not work for every company and situation, these tips give you a place to start. GeT STArTed Before sorting out your best system in each area, keep these suggestions in mind: 1. Consider your customer's needs before mass producing the design. You can create a fantastic set of templates, but clients are often impossible to predict. Don't force clients into a design because it saves you time. 2. For every time-saving or automated step, add a quality-control check before moving to the next stage. For instance, if you replace your film output with a direct-to-screen machine, preview the separation in the computer digital- ly before imaging on the screen. This will allow you to catch any errors that would have been caught by looking at the films. How to script, automate, and cut corners in screen printing b y T h o m a s T r i m i n g h a m Figure 1: Avoid miscommunication and confusion in the art-approval process by tracking requests and revisions with art-approval forms such as this. (All art courtesy the author)

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