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Discussion Starter #1
I know this sounds completely odd, but will black ink show up on a black shirt?

The reason why I ask is because one of my initial promotions will be to give such a shirt to a member of the community that I'm catering to. Basically he loves black on black cars (one in particular) and he'll give me more good press (worldwide) than anything else if I can pull it off. He also works for a well-known publication that I may want to advertise with down the line.

So does anyone have any experience with this? I won't be doing a lot of black shirts so I may purchase some @ retail and do this as a one-off project-- doesn't leave a lot of room for error.

Thanks!
 

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I'm sure it would work since the chance that the black shirt, and the black ink being exactly the same color are slim. It would be very hard to see though. Maybe if your design were shiny, perhaps a vinyl transfer? How complex is your design?
 

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As people have said it will be visible, but maybe not visible enough.

Would using a really dark grey work for you? Using a grey you may well be able to find a balance between still "feeling" black on black, but having some visibility (I've seen it achieved in goth shirts).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies--

Unfortunately Solmu, it won't work if it's a really dark grey shirt. The idea is black/black and there is no room for fudging.. I've thought about it (using a pigment/tie-dye type shirt) but nothing really clicks.

Ideally, the design is just basic text so I'd like it to be subtle.. "visbile but not visible enough" is actually what I'm shooting for here. Maybe I should've been more specific-- what black ink would you recommend to produce a "slight" gloss effect on a black shirt?

It's extreme, and not the quality that most screeners would shoot for, but it's going to give me a massive amount of exposure in the coming year- I just want the words to show up in a certain light (even under a sport coat) and be done with it; clarity is a non-issue as you can't be near this individual without seeing exactly what he's wearing.
 

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Sorry, I should have been more specific - I meant a really dark grey ink, not shirt. Dark grey ink on a black shirt looks like a lighter black (which it is really), but shows up somewhat.
 

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Chirs, my advice to you would be to use a service (like CP) that would allow you to make one shirt for yourself only. I did a black-on-black print design for a magazine a few months back and it turned out really well. But it took a lot of trial and error with the printer. Luckily we are really good clients and he was willing to experiment with us.

But ... its been my experience that black ink (whether on paper or fabric) does not equal the exact same tone as what it is printed on. Even if bpth are "technically" 100% black.

Oh ... and to avoid confusion ... the magazine ad was on white paper but we ended up using a matte process for the background and a glossy overlay for the image. You should get the same effect if you use a glossy heat transfer method like some suggested above.

Hope that helps.
 

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I have a NIN shirt I bought over 10 years ago that is black ink on a black shirt. The design is raised a little so that it stands out a little better.
 

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My two cents worth here. You could try either a slim off white or grey border around the image to make the black stand out a little. You see that effedt on the freeways some times. They put down a black strip of line, then white just inside it.

The other thing I can think of if vinyl. There is quite a variety of stuff out there to choose from. you'd need to find some one with a vinly cutter to do it for you, but that shouldn't pose much of a problem here. :)
 

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print a high density black. Thsi will raise the ink off the shirt making it more visible. Play with the dwell time of the shirt in the dryer. I believe the longer the ink is in the heat the more shiny it will look. I honeslty cant remember to be sure its either
longer heat dwell time = glossy print
or
longer heat dwell time = matt print
Just do a couple of tests.

Also if you use a lower mesh frame and dump more ink it will shine a little more than normal and should help to get the look your after
 

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I think black vinyl is perfect for this. The texture is different from the fabric so it absorbs and reflects light completely opposite of the shirt. As the shirt fades the lettering becomes more visable...a reveal in time.
 

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I did something like this just to learn how to print screen with plasti's and it came out realy cool :D just my 2 cents.

O I read a lil bit of the post befor I posted but ill say it anyways.When I did it the ink reflects light and the shirt didnt so like I said it came out pretty cool.
 

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This thread is over a year old. I'm curious now - did you end up doing this Chris? What method did you decide on?
 

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Another option to make black show on black would be to add a clear gloss (can use lycra base and really cook it in the dryer), which will shine up the black and make it more visible OR, just add a touch of expanding ink (puff additive) to lift the ink slightly - not too much though or the ink will go grey,
Cheers
 

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okay while we are on the subject. . . what if I wanted to put a, i dunno, say. . . a red print on a red shirt? you think that would be about the same prosess. . . or blue on blue, and so on and so forth?
 

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okay while we are on the subject. . . what if I wanted to put a, i dunno, say. . . a red print on a red shirt? you think that would be about the same prosess. . . or blue on blue, and so on and so forth?
It depends. It's largely the same, but black is a more absolute colour, so it's not necessarily the same (i.e. black is the hardest to do this with - it's the end of the line). You can't really darken the black ink to make it blacker than the shirt to show up better. But red on red you could print print a darker red on a lighter red, ditto blue on blue. Obviously if you want the subtle red on red effect you don't want a huge colour difference, but since you can darken it up just a little bit it's a lot easier to make it 1) Visible, but 2) Subtle.
 

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hey guys, you know with these new clear vinyl transfers you would get a perfect color match. ;) .... it changes according to the light and angle etc.
 
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