July '12

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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I n today's market, a screen printer must pursue any edge that gives an advan- tage. One very effective way to stand apart from competitors is to develop a proficiency in special effects printing. Un- fortunately, basic special effect inks aren't always enough (on their own) to make this distinction. A common problem among printers with special effects is the inability to print a specific effect consistently and ef- ficiently. Implementing an SFX Lab is a proven method to solve this problem. The theory behind this is that it creates a method which enables the print practitioner to: • Know the outcome of a SFX print be- fore setup; Ray Smith has been in the screen-printing industry since 1978. He has been involved as an art director, production manager, plant manager and business owner. He re-joined Wilflex in 2008 as the applications lab manager and is charged with benchmarking prod- ucts, investigating ink inquiries and testing new inks and applications. Contact him at See Ray Smith in-person at The NBM Show in 2012, where he'll present the following class. (Visit www. and to register.) SPECIALTY GARMENTS AND INKS EXPLAINED Friday, 2 – 4 p.m. for details August 17; Long Beach, Calif. September 21; Philadelphia • Create techniques and effects which can carry over to new, innovative de- signs (thus doing business in terms of quality rather than price); • Create a library of effects from which the creative department or customer can choose; and • Price out and repeat the effect whenever needed. SETUP CHECKLIST The SFX Lab can be effectively setup on either an automatic or manual press. It is much more convenient to have a press that is dedicated to creating these effects. The most critical aspect to making the R&D useful is documen- tation. Document every parameter and the outcome—even if it wasn't what was intended. Some of the most striking effects are the result of a "happy accident." 54 | PRINTWEAR JULY 2012 Samples of all the print- ed effects should be pre- sented in a portfolio. This can be an effective sales tool that can be used throughout the company. CREATE AN SFX LAB Five Steps to In-House R&D BY RAY SMI TH Intermediate n

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