Let’s talk about digital t-shirt printing. We live in a world where information as well as money can travel across the globe in a matter of mere seconds. Technology has had a tremendous impact in changing almost every aspect of our lives. It’s not uncommon that what we used to view as impossible 20 years ago is now commonplace. Like anything else though, technology is a two-edged sword that can be used for making our lives a whole lot easier and allow for instant gratification, but it also can offer a vehicle for the bad guys when it comes to defrauding and theft.
When it comes to the St. Louis screen printing and custom embroidery industry, it has really opened up tremendous opportunities. Here are a couple examples. The very first thing that has to happen when a customer requests an order for custom embroidery is there needs to be a piece of software written that will tell the computer how to embroider that logo. After that software has been established, it can be reused over and over again as long as it doesn’t change in any way shape or size. My digitizer used to be located in St Louis, but now the company we use for that when outsourcing this need is actually located in Thailand. I find that amazing that I can send an email to somebody on the other side of the world and typically within that same day, we receive the software. Time and distance seems to be irrelevant regardless of how far away someone is.
When it comes to t-shirt printing, the very most important factor in starting a job is good clean artwork. Typically vector art is created in Illustrator or Photoshop and is considered to be the industry standard. Once this is established, it allows us to increase the size of an image without it breaking up or distorting. It also allows for us to easily color separate the image when dealing with a multi-color design. Most of our customers don’t have that already established so again, we send it off to that same company in Thailand to do all of our vectorizing and normally receive it back within a 24 hour turnaround time. I find that very impressive and it also comes in very handy when dealing with orders that are extremely time sensitive and we’re not given a lot of lead time.
It doesn’t seem that long ago when our sphere of influence was strictly St Louis shirt printing market share. Now we are literally shipping shirts all over the country. This was all made possible by the impacting differences of technology.