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Article Intro


nifty articles...

are great for people looking to find out more about Nifty services, screen printing, fabrics, inks, and the process of getting a great product made! 

Whether you are a designer, a buyer, or just someone that wants to learn about screen printing, this page is packed with helpful tips! 

Get inspired by looking over some of the great ideas we post here on this page!

We hope you find the time to read these articles, and recommend you check out some of these tips before you jump head first into your new custom project!

 

 

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Design for Apparel


Design for Apparel


designing for apparel...

is not like designing for print and web at all. As a matter of fact, it is helpful to know about screen printing before going to the drawing board and into the Adobe Suite with your great idea!

Over the past 15 years, I have designed hundreds of apparel graphics and printed thousands of garments. There are so many things to think of when coming up with a great design for apparel printing. Believe me, printing on apparel is in no way the same as printing on paper through an awesome digital printer! As a matter of fact, the design process varies depending on the color and type of fabric that you are planning on printing on, as well as the style of print you are hoping to acheive!

As an artist who sells my designs on apparel, I have learned (sometimes the hard way) a few techniques, that I now use as a guide when getting ready to design a great product.  Below are a few tips you can use to help you design your next favorite shirt!

The first thing that I think of before getting into designing for apparel is my budget. Is this a product that I need to have multiple screens made up to print? The more colors in a design, means more work to produce, and that always means more money for production. Can I get away with a simple one or two color design?

Next thing to consider is the garment type and color. Am I designing for a dark or black garment? Usually that means there will have to be an under base print, unless I am planning on a distressed look, or printing with discharge inks. This is when I consider the "Hand" or feel of the design once it is printed onto the garment. Am I printing on lightweight or heavy weight garments? 100% cotton or a blended garment.  If I am designing for a lightweight garment, I want to stay away from a thick multi-layered print. If I want to use discharge inks, then the garment must be 80 to 100% cotton.

Sizing for design is important too, when designing for apparel, I always ask my clients or myself, will I be printing women or kids apparel? If so, I want to size my artwork for those styles too. You don't want a design to look great on a men's large, but not fit on a women's or kid's shirt. 

Using the garment color within a design is another great way of getting a little more out of my designs. If you know the color garments you are going to print on before you get down to designing, you can use those garment colors within your design! 

-Jeff Meadows

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Ink Choices


Ink Choices


Nifty Water based inks...

are super soft to the touch, work on all garment types, and are rich and vibrant!

All of the inks that we use at Nifty are eco-friendly and solvent free!

Our "Go-To" inks are fantastic for all types and colors of garments. They are the most opaque water based inks on the market, and leave a very soft "Hand" or feel to the printed design. These inks come in stock colors, yet can be mixed together to get close to Pantone colors. Often times when using this ink, we add two layers of the ink down to produce the most vibrant color layer onto the garment.

The next ink system we use is our Nifty Color Matching inks. These inks are fairly transparent, and work best when printing a darker ink color over a lighter color garment. Like always the end result is a very soft "Hand". When printing these inks onto dark colored garments it is important to print over a white under base print. When printing over the under base it does make the print slightly thicker than the previous type of ink. The benefit of this inking system is the Color Matching part. We use a Color Matching Calculator to mix the pigments together to accurately match Pantone colors.  

Last but not least is our Nifty Discharge inks. One of the most popular methods of printing onto 100% cotton garments. These inks work on all but a few colored garments, and have absolutely no "Hand" to the print once washed. This system actually dyes the fabric color, and leaves only the color of the pigment where the imprinted design is.These inks, once printed are 100% opaque on even the darkest colored garments! When using this ink, there is no need for under base prints, or a second layer to get a rich vibrant print. The Discharge method also uses a Color Matching Calculator to match Pantone colors although not as accurately as the previous system. 

Let us help you decide what the best print method and ink system for your custom printed project!

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Branding


Branding


Branding...

is one of the options you have when getting custom printed garments from Nifty! Do you have a clothing line? Or simply don't like those pesky labels scratching your neck on your garments? There are affordable options that we offer geared toward those retail needs. Having a custom size label printed with your branded logo is an awesome touch!

When it comes to branding, we offer not only custom printed size labels, but also offer custom hang tags, product folding & bagging, and even offer special shipping services for just a small additional cost. 

There are some limitations however to the custom printed size labels, for example not all shirts have a "Tear Away" tag. As of now, we do not offer custom "Re-Label" services, so when ordering garments for custom printed size labels, the garments must have the "Tear Away" label option. If you are set on a certain garment, that has a sewn in label, you can always get down & dirty and simply cut those pesky labels out by hand. We can print the size label underneath the sewn in label before you get hands on! 

As far as custom hang tags go, we offer a wide variety of digitally printed tags. From gloss to matte, circles, squares, and rectangles, as well quite a few size choices. Single or double sided, and full color options are there for you to brand your identity! 

Let us know how we can help you with you branding needs!