For modifying and creating graphics, any Microsoft Windows-compliant graphics application program will work well. Make certain that the program is “ICC profile aware,” so that the color reproduction will be done properly. The most popular graphics software for garment decoration are Adobe PhotoShop Elements, PhotoShop and CorelDraw.
Designs Provided by Clients
The graphics to be printed are usually provided by your clients. Make sure the client-provided graphics are of good quality and have sufficient resolution. It’s best to ask for graphics of at least 2MB for the best quality, or at least 1,200 x 1,600 pixel resolution. If a client brings very low-resolution or poor quality graphics or photos, inform him or her that the printed image may not be of high quality. If you have a graphic artist on staff or access to graphics specialists, you may offer image enhancement or redesign services at an extra charge on an hourly rate basis. Most image enhancement can probably be done within a couple or three hours.
There are vendors who actually specialize in image enhancement. One who has served several AnaJet customers is Artwork Source, www.artworksource.com.
Stock Designs and Clothing Lines
If you wish to provide stock graphics as the basis of specific client graphics or would like to offer your own design clothing lines, there are many options.
First, since late 2011, all new AnaJet printers come with a free license for InkSoft, the leading online design suite and ecommerce engine for garment decorators. InkSoft has over 4,000 images suitable for printing in its online library, layered so that customers can customize them to suit their needs. If you are not an InkSoft subscriber, it is well worth the cost to develop a sophisticated online store with minimal effort on your part.
The alternative to working with a substantial online graphics library is to have a graphic artist on staff to provide a design service and come up with original designs, but not everyone can afford this. Find some graphic desingers whom you can call upon as needed. Local artists will be convenient if you have to meet them personally to discuss projects. But they do not have to be local, as internet and email can provide all the communication you need. Some of the finest T-shirt graphic designs are offered by many artists on or off the net. Here are some you may want to consider.
One of the best stock art site for T-shirt printing. Most of their graphics were designed for screen printing, but many are transformed to suit digital printing. They also have a good Photoshop learning video by its owner Dane Clement, who is a well known artist and educator for garment printing graphics.
Dakota Collectibles introduces Dakota PrintArt, high-quality artwork for direct-to-garment printers, sublimation printers, or printing as heat transfers. More than 500 graphic designs are available in many different categories and in formats such as Photoshop PSD, PNG and JPG. All of Dakota Collectibles’ embroidery designs have also been prepared for high-resolution printing as well.
www.istockphoto.com is a very popular site where both stock photos and graphic illustrations are available for very modest fees. Once fees are paid for download, you can use them royalty free.
These are just a handful of the many publications that are full of useful knowledge.
Trade Organizations and Trade Shows
We hope these Direct to Garment Printing Business Tips and Resources have helped you.