A good T-shirt designer doesn’t necessarily have to have their finger on the pulse of fashion. They might know what colours go well together, or what people will find funny, or would like to wear.
These more advanced t-shirt printing processes now make use of, what else, a computer! If you want to start a custom tee business, knowledge in basic computer operation is a must. What you need to do is print the customer’s desired design in a special type of paper with an inkjet or laser printer and using waterproof ink. Then the image is transferred to the shirt. The images are then dried and ironed so they won’t come off no matter how many times you use and wash the t-shirt. The quality of the t-shirt itself is also important.
Another method is Direct To Garment (DTG) Printing t shirts (www.multichain.Com). This is a method of running the actual shirt through a printer which prints the image on to the shirt just as a standard in home ink jet printer would print out a document from your computer. There has been some talk in the design community of the ink drying or clumping up in these machines, but I have seen the work they do and it looks great and feels great on the shirt. This is a higher end option at this time with some printers going for around $25,000. You could get a used on for around $16,000, but it would take a lot of shirts to pay off that large of an investment.
Half tones and PMS colors: It can be very costly to use high resolution pictures and full tone colors. Budget constraints, often call for the use of halftones. In order to achieve this, the color scale must be toned down to the PMS color percentage.
Of outlines and text: Mismatching fonts and artwork by computers often leads to computers substituting the fonts. This is one of the most common problems of the trade. The artwork is converted to outlines in order to prevent this. This ensures that the computer will scan the artwork as an image and not text.
Having the creation of image or text done, we proceed to make screens. Image imprints are used for the creation of screens. The screens are then placed on the T-shirt screen printing machine. Placing the screens on the right place is a complicated process as it requires utmost care while placing or else everything will go wrong.
Perhaps you already have a suitable t-shirt design in mind, or maybe you’re picking up inspiration from lots of things around you. Perhaps you’re already interested in fashion and design, or know what sort of things you’d like to see on a T shirt. If you’re designing an amusing T shirt, is it really funny, or using an obscure or highbrow reference? Will other people who don’t get the joke still like your design?
The next advantage is that you can have full color printing. Since your design is printed with a color laser or an inkjet printer you are able to have as many colors as you like. This allows photos or graphics with gradient fills (blending from one color or shade to another color or shade) to easily be used.