Mistakes are the best teachers. You make them once, and it turns you into a better, cautious person who is determined to not repeat the same mistake. But when money is on the line and you may be losing money if you make mistakes, would it still be worth it? That got you thinking for a bit, didn’t it? You can heave a sigh of relief now, for we are here to prevent those mistakes from occurring in the first place! Below, we list down several ‘to-do’s and ‘not-to-do’s so you can learn about the common mistakes in a shirt printing process without having to make them first!
PICK ONE STRONG ELEMENT
…be it your colour scheme, the design, or even the fitting of the shirt. For your shirt to look better, one specific element should be significantly stronger and stand out more than all the other elements. They cannot all be equally strong as this will only create an overwhelming design. A casual dress, for example, has a body-fitting cutting to enhance the figure. No over-the-top embellishments necessary. Another example is the hoodies as the key element to it is the completely loose fit. Since the fittings add to the look of these apparel, it is always better to tone down the design so the fitting can be the ‘loudest’ element. Apply the same theory when designing your shirt. If the fit is not the most significant element of it, you can create a design that stands out more so it can be the focal point of your shirt.
KEEP THE BRANDING/ ADVERTISING SUBTLE
Whoever believes that a shirt should say ‘Buy Our Products/Service’ on the front in huge, contrast-coloured fonts is possibly not the most reliable person to have a say in designing your shirt. You always, always want to keep this element subtle. To remind you of the marketing’s rule of thumb; you are not just selling a product or service, but you are selling a solution or an experience. If you have no idea how to go about it, stick with a message, image, or any design that resonates with the community. This would be more effective in getting your audience engaged.
WORK WITH A PRO
You’ve got your design and you’ve made your pick of material(s). You believe you’re all set to go so you leave everything as it is to your supplier. Next thing you know, your printed shirts come and to your horror you find your design looking not even remotely similar to what you have submitted to them! Okay, perhaps the picture looks the same. Still, the colours are way off! We’ve seen this happen more often than you may think. This is where a printing consultant will do you a huge favour in helping you to get the end products that will meet your expectations. As a professional, they will know which printing method would match best with a particular printing material and which ones would not work well together.
PICK THE RIGHT COLOUR
This is closely related to the previous point. Sometimes, your colour just won’t work with the printing method you prefer. Embroidery printing machine, for instance, cannot identify shadows and tones to transfer them onto a piece of cloth, especially if your design is small-sized. You either have to lose those elements or pick another printing method that would nicely enhance all of them. Of course, other printing methods will not give you a result as sturdy as embroidery would. If you need to stay within a budget, it is worth noting that the more colours you add in, the price will most likely increase with each addition of colour. Therefore, add colours responsibly or limit your design to a maximum of, say, only three different colours.
CHOOSE PRINTING BASED ON PRICE
Actually, scratch that. Simply do not pick anything based on prices, even the expensive one. Some printing methods will not give you long-lasting design, despite being priced higher. Hence, do not let the prices affect your judgement. If you are not consulting or hiring a professional, the least you could do is to compare the available options on your own. If durability matters the most to you, you may want to consider embroidery printing as this technique uses coloured threads to produce your design. However, once you’ve chosen embroidery, keep in mind that you may have to apply several restrictions in your design.
GO WITH A MATERIAL YOU LIKE
Not everything you like will go well with what you are getting. Just because you love dri-fit jersey, does not mean dri-fit material would make the best option for your apparel. If the shirt would mostly be worn in an air-conditioned room, a dri-fit material is just not it. Get a material that can provide warmth and comfort like cotton. If you want to give the shirt a formal look, go for a sturdier, thicker material. Consider what you will be wearing the shirts for first. Will you be using it outdoors or indoors most of the time? Are you going to be doing tough work in it? Once you have taken the purposes and uses into account, you can shortlist several of the most suitable fabric materials.
PRINT WITHOUT GETTING MORE OPINIONS
This is possibly one of the most common mistakes people do and they often realise it when it’s too late. You submit everything to your supplier thinking everything is properly set. Suddenly, your finished shirts are here and you find yourself wearing a shirt that says ‘We Are Your Sloution’ because not one person thought to have someone else proofread what’s on the shirt. Even with visuals, you should always get a second (or third) opinion on the whole design. Refer to someone who has an eye for the little details.
Several aspects people often overlook is the visibility of a design and the readability of the text. Make sure to nail these two aspects. When you have been working with a particular design for too long, you can easily miss the flaws that others may easily spot.
PROCEED WITHOUT CALCULATING COST PER USE
This is why you are often advised to prioritise value-for-money over other price-oriented adjectives like expensive or cheap. The expensive fabric may cost more than the life expectancy of the shirt itself, which means a sum of money is going straight to waste. The cheap ones may give you extra savings, but after a short while, the shirt may not be able to ‘perform’ anymore. At that point, you’d be hoping you had spent more on the shirts. Remember, this is not a case of you merely getting another custom-made shirt, this is an investment in your company or brand marketing.
All in all, it would certainly be in your favour if you consider every aspect concerning apparel printing when you are getting your own custom-made shirts, be it what to follow or what to avoid. If anything, preventing mistakes from happening will always benefit you in more ways than you’d realise. If you are looking to have one-to-one guidance on the service of shirt printing Singapore people would love to don, we provide free printing consultation and free design review. Talk to us at Custom Prints & Apparels and we’ll make sure you can get your hands on the best version your shirt can ever be!