Hi

My name is Scott and I have been doing illustrated graphic designs for years but when it comes to t-shirt printing, I am a complete noob. For example, I have no idea if it is practical to create designs with lots of colours and gradients. Any advice on pages or books where I can learn about all this would be appreciated.

This is an example of the sort of art I usually produce https://www.flickr.com/photos/61181430@N05/18294275536/in/dateposted-public/
  • CartoonScott

    [img
  • Matt Borchert

    Look into dye sublimation: http://www.jakprints.com/all-over-shirt-printing/

    Not referencing Jakprints for pricing (they're EXPENSIVE), but it gives you an idea of what it can do (pretty much anything you can think of).

    Downside is that you need high quantities to get it cheaper.

    For traditional screen printing you can process print stuff like your example, but you'll need a GOOD printer with a GOOD separator to make it happen.
  • CartoonScott

    Thanks Matt, that is what I am trying to find out. I can certainly scale back my designs to be solid colours, with solid shadows, especially if gradients are going to cause production costs to rocket
  • CartoonScott

    How do you add an image here btw?
  • Matt Borchert

    http://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_img.asp

    Like this, but you don't need the alt, width, or height.

    If you're going screen printed try to keep it under 4 colors or costs go up rapidly.

    Even 1 color to 4 can be significant.
  • CartoonScott

  • CartoonScott

    Thanks Matt
  • CartoonScott

    Say if I wanted to get 100 shirts printed with the image below on it (I don't, the below image is just an example of my current style), what sort of costs would I be looking at? Or if this is too big of a question, are there any good sources of info where I can find out about costs and print techniques, etc

  • Matt Borchert

    You can look at pricing on http://threadbird.com/ for a rough estimate. There are a lot of screen printers out there.

    You will likely want to reduce the amount of colors you're using, and perhaps talk to a sales rep to see if they can have a separation specialist determine the best way of making this happen.

    On the plus side for you, you're using large generally flat colors (sans the gradients which shouldn't be a huge issue), and I would assume you drew this in Illustrator which is typically a format printers enjoy getting.
  • CloudCity

    Or you can find a printshop that uses a DTG (direct to garment) printer. Then there's basically no limit to the amount of colours you can use and the price isn't usually much more than traditional screen printing.
  • CartoonScott

    I've been looking on ebay at heat presses. I thought they would be thousands of pounds but found that they 'seem' relatively cheap, on average around £150/$250

    Here is an example

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/15-X-15-SEMI-AUTOMATIC-T-SHIRT-HEAT-PRESS-38X38-LCD-TIMER-PANTS-HEAVY-EXCELLENT-/141683848503?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item20fd03f537

    I read that you would send your design to a printers, which could supply you with the correct type of transfers (not the sort you buy on the cheap from a shop to go through a home computer). Is this right?
  • Matt Borchert

    The quality of even the best heat pressed t-shirts is always lackluster in comparison to other methods like screen printing, or even DTG.

    I disagree that DTG isn't much more than for say screen print....it's MUCH MUCH more expensive, unless you're trying to do something photorealistic or using tons of colors.
  • Matt Borchert

    The quality of even the best heat pressed t-shirts is always lackluster in comparison to other methods like screen printing, or even DTG.

    I disagree that DTG isn't much more than for say screen print....it's MUCH MUCH more expensive, unless you're trying to do something photorealistic or using tons of colors.
  • dbdesign

  • JoeBaronDesign

    I highly suggest not going the heat press route as even if you do get a good quality sheet, they do not last. If you want all the colors it would be best to go the DTG rate. DTG IS PRICEY. I did write an article on thefarcollective.com comparing DTG and screenprinting. You can go the screen printing route, but you can might sacrifice colors. Not every screen printing can master 4 color process. I suggest looking at pricing dtg or screen printing as well as considering removing some colors from your finished illustration.
  • CartoonScott

    I can certainly lose some colours, I'm confident in my artist skills to know I can get a good look with whatever option I have to go with. I was shown this today

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmS4h8IUuRs

    I have friends who have a sign studio, that could do the print offs for me at bottom cost. This looks like it can retain all of the colours like a DTG

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