Screen Printing Companies in Australia

printer-awards

All during November we have been hunting down some of the best t-shirt printing companies in the country, and I think it’s safe to say, we found them.

I just want to make it clear that this is NOT a sponsored post, and we have actually made no direct contact with any of these companies. How do we know they’re to best? Well have you heard the term “tire kicker” before? We did a lot of that during November and this article will be a review based in their customer service and response times. We believe that if a business provides quality in their customer service, they’re going to produce a quality product.

We have made this list quite diverse, so we’re not just listing a bunch of companies that do the same thing. Let’s get started.

 

24 Hour T-shirts – Sydney, Australia

24 Hour T-shirts responded within the first few hours with multiple quotes for me to choose from. I received different budget ranges within the email. The clearly stated that each price was based in the quality of the t-shirt and the print would be the same quality. This business will provide a full product with screen printing. No dropping off your garments.

Customer Service: 5/5

Response Time: 5/5

URL: http://www.24hourt-shirts.com.au

Phone: (02) 9559 2400

 

QTco – Brisbane, Australia

This company does provide a nice quoting engine on their website with a fast response time. The website is hard to understand if you’re not web savvy, but a phone number is provided. They also have a section where you can do your own mockup, ie “make your own” t-shirt. I’m assuming that would be a DTG printed t-shirt.

Customer Service: 4/5

Response Time: 4.5/5

URL: http://www.qtco.com.au

Phone: (07) 3861 7888

 

Mammoth Merchandise – Sydney, Australia

This company I believe are great with Tour & Event merchandise, which could be an alternative to the first listing 24 Hour T-shirts. Excellent response time you do need to get the information from them. I say they would more specilise in music tours because they call themselves a merchandise agency. Brilliant!

Customer Service: 3.8/5

Response Time: 4.6/5

URL: http://www.mammothmerchandise.com.au

Phone: (02) 9698 3656

 

That’s all the companies we want to list in this article, in order or of preference. We only contacted 20 businesses during November (which is why we didn’t post anything). I hope you find this extremely useful as we’ve done the hard work for you.

If you have any other t-shirt printing companies you think should make the list, then comment below or use the contact form, we might even do another one in 2015.

Thanks

3 Ways To Save Money When Screen Printing

save-money-australia

We are all looking for ways to cut costs during our screen printing process, however, you have to be careful that your frugality doesn’t jeopardize the quality.

Here are 3 tips that your pocketbook will love and won’t hurt your print quality.

 

Tip #1: Re-Use Your Ink

Obviously we are not talking about re-using the ink that is now currently sitting on your t-shirt but what did you do with the leftovers?

Let’s face it; there Is literally tons of ink that is wasted throughout the screen printing process. You have plenty of ink left on the screens not to mention how much is currently soaking into your washrag.

So, what do you do with this ink?

Normally, you throw it away or wash it down the sink and this makes sense as it takes time to harvest the leftover ink. This time could be used to make more t-shirts, however, if you use the right tools, you can quickly retrieve this leftover ink.
A few of the tools you need include:

  • High quality screen tape – it doesn’t rip and when properly applied, this low adhesive tape will easily clean your screen.
  • Good ink cards – you will want to get ink cards that are flexible and nicely conform to the screen.
  • Scrap ink bucket – this is my favorite tool. Instead of trying to put your contaminated ink back in the proper spot, just toss it into this ink bucket. Eventually, the ink inside can be used for projects requiring black ink.

 

Tip #2: Use a Spread Adhesive

Instead of resorting to the spray adhesive for your screen printing, try using a water based platen adhesive.
Why?

The spray version is very wasteful, messy and ultimately bad for the environment. It is a good idea to keep a few cans for small jobs or touch-ups but try using the water based adhesive as your first choice.

This will cut down on the amount of adhesive you use and it is incredibly strong.

 

Tip #3: Don’t Over-Use Your Chemicals

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a ton of chemicals to do screen printing. In reality, you can get by with just screen degreaser and emulsion remover.

Even when using these two chemicals you don’t need much. Screen degreaser can be heavily diluted yet still work effectively. In a similar fashion, a small amount of emulsion remover goes a long way.

So next time, don’t over-use your chemicals and watch how much money you can save.

 

There are many ways to save money but these 3 tips are sure to reduce costs without jeopardizing print quality.

Let us know if you have any other tips that are easy on the pocketbook and don’t impact your print quality.

4 Common That Are Hurting Your Screen Printing Business

Screen printing is a beautiful and practical art form, however, it can get a little tricky at times. In fact, people tend to make the same mistakes over and over again with their screen printing business.

large silk screen mesh

Image thanks/credit to aandbgraphics.com

Here are 4 common screen printing mistakes that you need to avoid.

 

  1. Forgetting to Mix the Plastisol Ink

Yes, the marketing department loves it when they tell people that you can use plasitisol paint straight from a can. Sure, there are some brands that come out nice and smooth but don’t trust the manufacturers. If your plasitsol ink is looking a little thick, don’t be afraid to add a little reducer to make it nice and smooth.

Once you get the ink creamy and smooth, it will flow effortlessly through the mesh making less mess and beautiful art.

 

  1. Sticking with only One Screen Mesh Size

Be honest, do you only use the 110 or 125 mesh screens for all of your work? Don’t worry, you are not the only one who does this but if you want to stand out from the crowd and create higher quality work, increase your mesh screen inventory.

Yes, the standard mesh screen sizes work great for standard jobs but if you are printing with halftones or high quality photos then you need to up your game and your mesh size. Don’t be afraid to grab a 190 or 230 mesh to do your high quality printing.

If you think that your plasitisol ink won’t go through the high mesh size, may I remind you to read mistake number one again.

 

  1. Not Updating Your Equipment

As the times change, so should your equipment. That old laser printer may have worked beautifully for you in the past but if you want to be printing high quality work using halftones then you need to pick up an inkjet printer.

Obviously, money comes into play here as this equipment can get expensive fairly quickly but if you want to take your shop to the next level then you need to invest in the right equipment. Besides, this equipment will most likely save you money in the long run as it will be more efficient, saving you time and energy on every project.

 

  1. Not Keeping Up with the Trends

Much like your equipment can get out of date, so can your design ideas or way of thinking. You need to study the trends and make sure you are keeping up with them. Make sure you are set up for discharge printing to create that softer look and feel or have a graphic designer that creates edgy art. The trends change quickly but if you are serious about making this business work for you then you need to change right along with them. Keeping up with the trends should be fun as it allows you to stay connected to the artistic side of the business.

If you have been making these 4 mistakes in the past, don’t feel bad as most designers are in the same boat. With that said, now is the perfect time to correct your past errors and take your screen printing business to the next level.

How To Determine the Quality of Your Ink

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Image courtesy of screenprinting.co.uk

There is nothing worse than finishing up a large screen printing project only to find that your ink was horrible and as such, you just made a bunch of t-shirts destined for the trash can (or you can be an humanitarian and donate them).

Today, we are going to provide you with a few parameters to ensure that you never again have to suffer the slings and arrows of low quality ink.

Ink Quality 101

Bucket Performance

Your first step to determining high quality ink is taking a look at how well it performs in the can.

What you are looking for here is ink that stirs easily and matches well with other colors. Similarly, it is best to choose ink that has very few additives as these typically reduce the shelf life of the product.

Having a high shelf life means you don’t have to throw out as much ink over the long term. Of course, the less ink you have to throw away means the more money you save. Cha-ching!

 

Meets Screen Printing Regulations

This seems like an obvious one but many people forget about the standards behind screen printing.

If you are looking for high quality ink then you will want to purchase something that meets the Restricted Substance List (RSL) Standards. If your ink meets these standards, you can be sure that there are no un-wanted chemicals in your mixture. Ink that doesn’t meet these standards typically has a higher chance of being disregarded by the end user. Although, it will still print nicely, what good is a t-shirt for your business if you can’t sell it?

 

Ink Reviews

The same rules apply to buying screen printing ink as it does to buying something off Amazon. You will need to do your homework and read the reviews. Sometimes, checking the reviews for a certain company is your best way to determine how well their ink will hold up over the long term.

If you follow these three rules, you should end up with high quality ink that prints well. If you have any other tips or advice for selecting the best screen printing ink, please leave your comments below.

 

Related Article: I wrote an article not long ago about the different types of ink for screen printing. Check it out!

Organizations Should Invest in Custom Shirts

biz collection polo shirt

image courtesy of Biz Collection from the Biz Collection polo shirt range.

If you belong to a certain group or organization in Australia, and you don’t necessarily have an official uniform assigned to your affiliation, then it’s a good idea to consider an investment in printing custom polo shirts in Australia for all the group members.

 

Groups should be identified by their purpose, their mission, and by the individuals that make up the group. Without proper identification, it can be difficult to spread awareness for your group and to simply be identified as an affiliation. What better way to identify yourself and the people that are in your group with custom shirts that advertise your group name? If you belong to one of these three groups, or an affiliation similar to them, then it’s a smart investment to consider custom shirts.

 

School Clubs

There is a multitude of extracurricular school clubs that exist in today’s school systems, whether it’s elementary, middle school, high school, or college level. From interest groups like Environmentalist Club or Drama Club, to academic groups like Math Club or Chess Club, printing custom polo shirts Australia with the color and name of your school group is a fun, useful option. When your group attends public functions, hosts their own fundraiser drive, participates in charity, or competes in competitions, a custom shirt with your group name will be the ultimate method for identifying your group, and raising awareness for your school club. Show pride in the group you belong to, and raise the morale of your fellow group members with a nice shirt that has a custom logo to represent your group’s motive and mission.

 

Custom Polo Shirts Australia for Church Groups

What better way to spread the word of your church or religious group’s mission than with a custom designed polo shirts that’s embroidered or screen printed with your church information and official name? As a church affiliation, it’s common to do volunteer work, public charity events, and other special fundraising or service events that require your church to interact with the public. For situations like this, it’s crucial to have a uniform that identifies your church members. Not only does Polo Shirt Xpress make garments that look professional, but the polo shirts raise the credibility of your organization, and can also markets your church in a positive way. Advertising your church name and information, such as the address or location, phone number, and hours of operation or days of service, can invite other non-members to join your group, and will give them the essential information.

 

Custom polo shirts Australia for Sports Teams

While some sports teams require official uniforms, such as football or basketball jerseys, there is a few sports that don’t have any set jersey requirement. For sports like these, it’s still important to have a uniformed shirt that represents your team, even if it is not required. For example, for tennis teams or golf teams, an ideal choice of uniform would be a custom polo shirt, especially designed by custom polo shirts Australia. Visit http://poloshirtxpress.com.au for a super deal on getting your team logo or name printed on a nice quality polo shirt.

 

 

3 Tips for Product Designers to Relate with Their Audience

Understanding your target audience is necessary to ensure you create an appealing and successful piece of art. As a designer, you know that men typically prefer to see things they can aspire to (that hot new car or that giant mansion) but they also need proof that the product you are promoting actually works. It is your job to make sure this is portrayed in the art and text.

On the other hand, women want stories that remind them of the best version of themselves. They want to see that the product will continue to bring value over the long term. Once again, it is the designer that has to get this message across to the audience.

But what happens when you have to design something that needs to appeal equally to men and women?

Don’t panic and run out the door, here are three things to consider that will appeal to both genders.

Product Designers In Action

1. Write in an Active Voice
If you want to reach both crowds then write about the product in an active voice. Highlight the situations that the product is perfect for and make sure you provide proof of others saying the same thing.

Put on your graphic designer hat and select a photo or design that captures the story. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words so make sure you choose wisely.

2. Highlight the Benefits
All too often, designers will promote the features of a product. To be blunt, nobody cares that it has “Super XYZ Technology”. All your customer wants to know is what will this product do for them. How will it make their lives better?

Again, as a product designer, it is your responsibility to highlight the benefits through graphics and text.

3. Create Strong, Positive Visuals
Whether it is through your writing or through your design, you need to keep the visual appeal positive. Keep your visuals clean and concise, as a cluttered page will usually turn people off.

Designing a nice, strong but clean design will go a long way in appealing to your audience.

The above advice will work perfectly, regardless of who your audience is. Keep this advice in mind during your next project and you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Different Types of Ink for Screen Printing

Trying to figure out which type of ink to use for your next screen printing project can be one of the most difficult tasks you will ever be faced with. There seems to be an endless supply of ink and all of them do something different. It is enough to make your head spin.

Since we don’t want your head to explode, we are going to break down a few of the more popular ink types that you will use to create your next masterpiece.

screen print ink

Screen Printing Ink Types

Before we get into the different types of ink, you need to decide what it is you are printing. As you might expect, the ink for t-shirts is going to be extremely different than the ink for your latest sci-fi poster.

Now that you have decided on your next printing project, let’s get into the different ink types.

T-Shirt Printing Ink

If you are not printing a t-shirt, feel free to skip this section but be warned, you may miss out on some great information.

Water Based Screen Printing Ink

Are you looking for a nice, soft t-shirt that is easy to cure and dries incredibly quickly? Well, look no further than your standard water based screen printing ink.

There is a wide range of water-based inks mostly dependent upon your price range. If you are creating a high quality t-shirt, it is recommended to put a little extra cash down on the professional ink such as Ryonet. On the other hand, if you are creating a shirt for your little brother or your Monday night bowling team, then go ahead and get a cheaper priced product such as Permaset Aqua.

Plastisol Screen Printing Ink

Meet the standard ink for printing t-shirts. That’s right, if you are wearing a screen printed t-shirt right now, it was most likely printed using plastisol ink. As you might have guessed this ink is made from plastic and as such requires intense heat to cure it.

If you don’t have a conveyor dryer or something equivalent, stay away from the plasitsol ink as it most likely won’t hold up in the long run.

Discharge Screen Printing Ink

This may be the coolest ink you will ever use. Discharge screen printing ink uses a method where it actually removes the color from your shirt and replaces it with the ink color. As a result, you won’t even notice that you have ink on your t-shirt.

Pretty neat trick, right?

Pro Tip: This method works best on 100% cotton t-shirts. Results may vary on other material.

Screen Printing Inks for Posters

If you skipped over the t-shirt ink section, we are a little hurt but we understand. The poster ink section is very simple as we only have one suggestion.

Water Based Screen Printing Ink

That’s right, it worked great on the t-shirt (oh right, you didn’t read that part) and it works even better on posters. The water based ink soaks into the paper and as such, it doesn’t require any curing. You let them air dry for a bit and voila, you have an amazing new poster.

These are the basic screen printing inks that you will most likely need to stock. As mentioned there are plenty of other types but these inks that will do just about anything you require.

The History of Screen Printing

Some of you may be thinking that there is no need to learn about the history of screen printing, however, understanding this rich history can be a valuable asset as it will give you an increased appreciation for your art work. As well, knowing the vast history of this art form will help you stay ahead of the game. As they say, you don’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you’ve been.

printing-history-screen-printing-warhol

A Brief History of Screen Printing

Song Dynasty: 960-1270 AD

The earliest evidence of screen printing can be traced back to the infamous Song Dynasty. The Japanese and other Asian cultures utilized some incredibly crude methods to develop and refine screen printing.

Welcome to Europe: Late 1700’s

Incredibly the art of screen printing stayed with the Asian culture for hundreds of years before it was finally brought to Europe. Although, this technique was introduced to Europe in the 1700’s, it would still take some time before it became fully accepted.

Samuel Simon: 1907

It wasn’t until 1907 that an Englishman by the name of Samuel Simon saw the power of screen printing and patented his own technique. Mr. Simon used his new screen printing patent to sell high quality wallpaper and stunning silk printed garments to the wealthy.

Screen Printing and Chemistry: 1910

As 1910 rolled around, more people such as Charles Peter, Roy Beck and Edward Owens began experimenting with chromic acid salt sensitized emulsions to create photo-reactive stencils (say that 3 times fast).

It turned out that their experiments were a success as these three pioneers revolutionized the screen printing process with their introduction of photo-imaged stencils

Serigraphy: 1930s

It was during the thirties that a group of artists, led by Guy Maccoy, decided to coin their own phrase, serigraphy, to differentiate between commercial screen printing and artistic screen printing.

Andy Warhol and Marilyn Monroe: 1962

Serigraphy became popular in the United States when Andy Warhol created a stunning depiction of Marilyn Monroe using screen printing techniques.

The Future of Screen Printing

The future is unknown but today, screen printing is widely used to create posters, t-shirts and other works of art.

As we have seen in the past, all it takes is one idea to spark a generation of artists. So what is the next big idea for screen printing?

Your Guide to Designing with the Golden Ratio

For our very first article here at the Daily Design Spot, we’re going to provide some information on how to design using an ancient technique, the golden ratio.

golden-ratio

If you are a designer or a nature enthusiast, you have most likely witnessed the Golden Ratio. This is a mathematical ratio commonly found in nature, which is based off of the Fibonacci sequence. Remember the Fibonacci numbers you had to learn in high school math? No? Don’t worry about it, nobody does but they were also a main piece in the Da Vinci Code movie with Tom Hanks. Now that, you remember!

Moving on.

What is the Golden Ratio?

The Golden Ratio describes a natural, eye-pleasing relationship between two proportions. If you remember the movie then you most likely know that this is a 1:1.61 ratio.

When you plot this ratio on a scale, it forms a beautiful spiral that is commonly seen throughout nature and in the last 4000 years of art and design. As such, if you want to make your customers happy, make sure you use the Golden Ratio.

How to Use the Golden Ratio

It may sound tricky to implement the Golden Ratio in your designs; however, there is a quick and easy way that will have you creating beautiful, Da Vinci like artwork in no time.

If you are familiar with the “Rule of Thirds” then you pretty much well on your way to being a pro with the Golden Ratio. The Rule of Thirds dictate that you divide your canvas in to thirds, both horizontally and vertically. The intersection of these points provides a natural and eye-catching focal point.

The Rule of Thirds can be applied to any shape imaginable but when you apply it to a rectangle with the 1:1.61 proportions, you will form the “Golden Rectangle”. This will of course have people gushing over your artwork and demanding more.

There are other ways to implement the Golden Ratio but this is by far the simplest method.

Why You Should Care About the Golden Ratio

As mentioned above, it has occurred in nature since the dawn of time so people have evolved with this ratio. As such, it is naturally appealing to our eye. If you are serious about creating stunning artwork then this is the best way to do it.

If you still need a little more convincing, why not check out these works of art that implement the Golden Ratio:

  • The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci
  • The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo.
  • The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli (the canvas is actually a golden rectangle)
  • The Sacrament of the Last Supper by Salvador Dali

These are just a few of the many examples of the Golden Ratio. Perhaps, your next piece of art will be alongside these artistic icons.