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So I have a similar type of design to this one and am wondering how it was printed and the steps that were taken from start to finish. I have approached a few printing shops but they seem scared to tackle the design so any clarity brought to it would be very helpful :)

 

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It's possible it's a CMYK process print but more then likely it's a simulated process print (possibly done with Index mixed in). That royal blue is tough to achieve with process colors. Could also be CMYK process with addition spot colors (like the royal blue).

If i was separating this i would use a either simulated process+index
or CMYK process+ 1 spot (for the royal blue). all depending on the printers capabilities and experience.

This could also have been done using DTG printing but i'm not sure how well DTG handles that royal blue fade on to the garment.
 

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If you have a similar shirt, feel the print. If it has basically no feel (hand), it might be Direct to Garment printing (DTG).

If it has a slight feel, I think it is some type of process or index screen printing, like Pixel was talking about above. They might be underbasing the really bright areas with a discharge ink, to keep the heavyness of the print down. Looking at how the print gets tight against the neck and goes over the seem makes me suspect screen printing. Could be wrong because I don't know that much about DTG, but I don't think that process likes to go over seems.

This type of screen print will be very pricey, so if you have a design similar, but don't need hundreds, your best be would be to find someone with DTG capabilities, and learn how to tweek your design to work with DTG's strengths.
 

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good point Nick! i agree, it's pricy to screen print these designs without decent quantities to amortize the costs.
@BrianDanka: if you're looking to only produce a couple dozen shirt per design i'd suggest going with DTG as Nick suggested, it would be much more cost effective.
 

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DTG has no problems going over seams and zippers so that would not be and issue. I think that is index by the look of the colors in the street and the two blues being used. But as mentioned, it can be achieved with other color methods for screen printing.

DTG could do a very nice job with that kind of image as well. DTG excels at fades, gradients and translucent looking areas in a print. That is one of the top pluses for DTG (that and high color). DTG falls short on large areas of solid spot color though; that is one of its weaknesses in my opinion.
 

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Thanks for the responses I have a similar shirt from the same company that is basically done the same way. The shirts have the same detail in real life as they do on the website Imaginary Foundation
I'm pretty sure most of the designs at Imaginary Foundation are screen printed.

Some of them are done with dye sublimation, but I own a few of their shirts and they are screen printed.

Getting something similar done is just a matter of finding the right printer who can handle that type of artwork.

If you need specific printer recommendations, we have a referrals section here in the forums where you can post what your needs are and I'm sure someone can point you in the right direction :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for the responses. Thanks Rodney I think it is done by screen printing too but have had some difficulty finding a printer that will do my design that is that detailed. I will post on there hopefully there is a supplier in Utah that can help me out.
 

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I love Imaginary Foundation. I have this shirt:
Imaginary Foundation
It feels screen printed but i dont understand how they get that much detail and shadowing in the print.

Its funny one of the first posts was "it looks like a photoshop markup to me" because a guy stopped me in a shop and asked about th IF shirt because he had seen it on the internet, but didnt believe they could really screen that much detail, he was a graphic designer as well and was impressed (as I am) by their skill at making creative and beautiful shirts.
 

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They claim their homeland is Switzerland. Leave it to the swiss to perfect screen printing.
Is this a t-shirt many of you guys think you could print?
 

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They claim their homeland is Switzerland. Leave it to the swiss to perfect screen printing.
Is this a t-shirt many of you guys think you could print?
It is very impressive screen printing, they are paying close attention to detail (not just in the design but on the press). High detail can be achieved with screen printing but it requires allot of skill and experience (and good equipment).

What i'm wondering is how many units they are printing of each design. The amount of time and initial costs to accomplish that level of work often requires a couple thousand units to be cost effective. Printing only a couple hundred would put the production cost at around 15-20$/unit. How much are they selling these for?
 

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I have some questions about printing used on some shirts Ive seen. I dont think I should post pics as they would probably think people are trying to copy the design-which is not the case. I'm just trying to figure out if its screen or DTG? The color and detail is very good so I'm thinking DTG. Can I PM someone who is willing to look at it for me?
Thanks a bunch!
AP:)
 

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I have some questions about printing used on some shirts Ive seen. I dont think I should post pics as they would probably think people are trying to copy the design-which is not the case. I'm just trying to figure out if its screen or DTG? The color and detail is very good so I'm thinking DTG. Can I PM someone who is willing to look at it for me?
Thanks a bunch!
AP:)
sure, i'd be happy to investigate.
 

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I have some questions about printing used on some shirts Ive seen. I dont think I should post pics as they would probably think people are trying to copy the design-which is not the case. I'm just trying to figure out if its screen or DTG? The color and detail is very good so I'm thinking DTG. Can I PM someone who is willing to look at it for me?
Thanks a bunch!
AP:)
Don't worry about people thinking you are trying to copy designs. People post all the time asking how this might done, how can I get the same results with artwork that is a similar style.

But really, screen printing and sublimation are the top methods for printing, especially when product is meant to end up in a retail environment. There is no type of artwork that can't be screen printed or sublimated.

It is my opinion that DTG falls short on solid spot colors and durability, so to me, it is not at the same level as screen printing and sublimation. DTG has things it excels at though (like fades, gradients, glows and translucent areas in an image; actually sublimation excels at this to), and is a very good solution for many applications, is still developing and will improve every year.

Screen printing can do things sublimation and DTG can't that can make a garment really cool. The types of things I am talking about are the specialty inks like glitter, puff, flock & foil. But it is harder and takes a skilled printer with very good equipment to achieve nice fades, gradients, glows and translucent areas in an image when screen printing.

Sublimation, especially cut & sew sublimation, offers every inch of the garment to be printed with super high color high detail artwork and is the most bullet proof (for durability) of all the printing methods. I really like sublimation.

All the printing methods at the state they are at today can print any kind of super high detail high color artwork; photographs, paintings, anything.
 
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