June '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 J U N E G R A P H I C S P R O 8 3 WHAT AND WHEN If you're still wondering which method is best for you, it's smart to think about which items and quantities you're plan- ning to produce. While the exact number of items var- ies, the consensus seems to be that the higher the number and simpler the de- sign (meaning one to six colors, general- ly), screen printing is king. This can vary from a one-color 24-item job to 1,000- plus prints as these numbers will provide easy setup and the costs will be efficient. This is also where manual versus auto- matic comes into play. Based on scale, size, and pricing, automatic can be the best way to knock out high quantities of duplicate jobs without much holdup beyond setup. Zingone also notes that he prefers using an automatic on jobs that use an underbase and/or thick inks. "It saves a lot of wear and tear on your body. It can also get a nicer print with the right screen, pressure, and angle used," he explains. Because of this, especially for large orders, this trans- lates to more consistency. Other considerations include placement, size, and fabric composition of the sub- strate, says Moore. He notes that while both methods work well with cotton, syn- thetic fibers such as polyester and neo- prene as well as thick items such as sweat- shirts and towels are often more difficult to print with DTG, which makes screen printing the best choice in these cases. In the case of DTG, Crocker notes that there are two considerations when choos- ing it. The first is color variation. DTG doesn't care if there is a single color or one million colors in a graphic. There is no difference in file prep or printing time regardless of the number of colors in the graphic. The second thing is customization or small to medium print runs. Since there is little effort required to prepare an image for printing, it's easy to accept small jobs. However, adds Crocker, it is also possible to use DTG to print jobs with hundreds or thousands of shirts. Highly detailed prints shine with DTG. (Image courtesy DTG Connection) DTG shines when the number of colors seems limitless or needs photo- realistic quality. (Image courtesy Vastex) SCREEN PRINTING SETUP EXAMPLE To demonstrate how long setup for screen print- ing can be, Ryan Moore, Ryonet, offers a real-life ex- ample: "I recently printed a birth announcement pillow for my newborn nephew and decided to time myself from start to finish. Nothing was prepared, so I had to do every step of the pro - cess from scratch, minus a CTS (computer-to-screen) machine and the use of film. The Ryonet gear I used was fast and effec - tive, but even so, it still took almost an hour to do the process from start to finish, just to print one item." 866.402.7450 Call for a FREE Deluxe Sample Pack! Next-Level DTG RICOH Ri 2000 • Print face masks, dark 100% poly & more • Best speed, quality, and value in its class • $6,000 INSTANT REBATE for eligible customers

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