December '20

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Page 68 of 168

Y ears ago, before the introduc- t ion of d ig it a l produc t ion met hod s, screen print ing was the primary printing op- tion. Anything from billboards to signs to garments were created using screen printing. I can remember when I was a kid going into stores and seeing the walls of transfers available that you could pick from and have pressed onto a shirt, all of which were screen printed. If a design couldn't be screen printed directly onto a shirt or paper, it was probably hand painted by a skilled artist. While screen printing and screen-printed transfers have stood the test of time in the garment decorating industry, and are still a popular option, the introduction of digital production options has opened up our in- dustry to a plethora of decorating methods. Vinyl cutters initially were more common in sign shops, speeding up the process it took to hand paint or screen print signs. Over time, however, with the introduction of heat press vinyl, cutters have become a standard in the garment decoration business. With the introduction of full-color digi- tal printing, it not only took vinyl cutting a step further with the ability to print and cut, but it made way for direct-to-garment printing, dye-sublimation, inkjet and laser transfers, and more (Figure 1). With all these different options, there's one thing that's consistent with all of them: you need artwork to have some- thing to produce. If you don't have art- work, and there's nothing to print, all you have is a blank garment. While people do all kinds of research into the different decoration methods and the equipment needed, as they should, artwork is often an afterthought. They're content to pick a 6 2 G R A P H I C S P R O D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M A P P A R E L D E C O R A T I N G Figure 1 (All images courtesy Dane Clement) How to Approach Artwork CONSIDERATIONS FOR DIFFERENT DECORATION METHODS B Y D A N E C L E M E N T

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