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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I want to start a t-shirt biz that's set-up and have t-shirts thats similar in style to "Tank Theory" I know I have to find designers and artists,but I am more concern about

1. What type of process do "Tank Theory" use to transfer image to the t-shirt

2.Should I use a company like Cafepress or a local printer.

I am very new to the T-shirt biz, so any suggestions or comments are greatly apprecatied. Thanks
 

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I think they're a mixture of screenprinted (mostly water-based), and discharge printing.

Cafepress cannot offer either of these methods, and so a local printer would be your best bet (although that would mean a whole host of other things for you to do, such as website set up, CC processing, storage, capital, etc). But it would been you can match tanktheory's quality.
 

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Tank Theory are a great example of a brand that put a lot of nice subtle finishing touches on their garments. Cafepress would not give you the ability to do any of this, or match their print quality (or even come close). Worlds apart.

As Nick said most of their printing is waterbased screenprinting, with a lot of four colour process. Much the same as Imaginary Foundation (who they have a lot in common with, and do in fact have some shirts from).
 

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I am really interested in doing something with waterbased screenprinting also, if that's what these are (I am looking at Imaginary Foundation).

But how would I go about producing the designs? I mean for the swirls of color effects, what is gong on there? If I just go wild with color in my design will a screenprinter charge for every color and quote me the earth or do I need to just say "waterbased" or something and they will understand what I mean?

Hope this makes sense, I am having trouble explaining myself! I just want to understand the design process before I go to a lot of work for nothing...
 

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Import said:
But how would I go about producing the designs? I mean for the swirls of color effects, what is gong on there? If I just go wild with color in my design will a screenprinter charge for every color and quote me the earth or do I need to just say "waterbased" or something and they will understand what I mean?
Whether you are using water-based or plastisol screen printing, the same process applies - the printer will just be using different inks. Therefore, the more colors you use in your design = the more expensive it will be to print.

Most of the shirts I'm seeing at Tank Theory seem to be four colors or less.
 

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Jasonda said:
Whether you are using water-based or plastisol screen printing, the same process applies - the printer will just be using different inks. Therefore, the more colors you use in your design = the more expensive it will be to print.

Most of the shirts I'm seeing at Tank Theory seem to be four colors or less.
Yes, thanks, you are right. I posted too quickly - before looking properly :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for your commets, I'm getting a better understanding of what I have to do. I just notice that "tank theory" has thier process listed . Here are some of their process,could someone explain them to me.

1. Discharge bleach

2. Full color CMYK and spot color print.

3.Black shirt printed with silver foil.

4. Discharge print on black.

5. Black waterbaced print on white.

6.Full coler CMYK print with waterbased black overprint.

7.Full color process with gradation.

8.Halftone silkscreen woman and metallic gold cougar.

9. Waterbased multicolor transparency print.

10. Multicolor silkscreen print on black and silver.

11.Full color process background with black spot-color overprint.

12.Waterbased silkscreen printed queen and CMYK printed leaves.


Thanks,
 

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Sorry I can't be of any help... but damn that's a very complicated process (at least it reads like it!).

Are you sure this is what you want to jump right into?
 

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but damn that's a very complicated process (at least it reads like it!).
I think each numbered item is a separate printing type. I don't think the list is a sequential list of steps for one t-shirt process.

Most of them are just different screen printing process using either plastisol or water based inks.

If you take a design to a screen printer, they should be able to do most of those (and will probably recommend one over the other when viewing each specific design). Not all screen printers will do water based inks though.
 

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Good call, I guess this constant homework / work schedule is getting to me.

I'd still assume that their process is fairly complicated though -- but their shirts sure do look nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm sorry for not being clear. Each step I listed above, are seperate process. Thanks Rodney! Do anybody know of a good local printers that can do all of those process that are located near Kansas City,Mo or Ft.larderdale,Fl. Thanks
 

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Import said:
I am really interested in doing something with waterbased screenprinting also, if that's what these are (I am looking at Imaginary Foundation).
If? If you didn't believe us all you had to do was check their website.

Import said:
But how would I go about producing the designs? I mean for the swirls of color effects, what is gong on there?
Some of it's pretty complicated (though it should be easy enough to get your head around if you're a graphic designer with an understanding of colour theory). Your best bet might be to talk to a printer to learn a bit about the process, and go from there.

Import said:
If I just go wild with color in my design will a screenprinter charge for every color and quote me the earth or do I need to just say "waterbased" or something and they will understand what I mean?
Saying "waterbased please" isn't the secret handshake of the print industry unfortunately ;) Also, not all printers will print with waterbased inks. Certainly most don't do it as a matter of course, and I'm not sure how many offer it as an option (I don't even know if it's rare or common - they might turn customers away because it's not worth the effort and the cost of keeping alternative supplies on hand, or they might be happy to offer it as an alternative - I'd lean towards the former, but I don't know).
 

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Jasonda said:
Whether you are using water-based or plastisol screen printing, the same process applies - the printer will just be using different inks. Therefore, the more colors you use in your design = the more expensive it will be to print.
That's not strictly true. Most plastisol is opaque, whereas waterbased commonly comes in transparent and opaque (i.e. using transparent inks is entirely common - probably actually more so).

If you're using transparent inks you can mix them (a little) on the press, so you can create extra colours with overlaps.

Obviously you still pay per ink colour/screen - but if you're creative not necessarily per design colour.

(I believe, perhaps incorrectly, that you can do this somewhat with plastisol, but not to the same extent - since I use waterbased inks I don't actually know much about plastisol though)
 

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blackimpallass said:
Here are some of their process,could someone explain them to me.
For starters I've grouped them, as a lot of them are just different names for the same thing. Impressive as it sounds, it can be simplified a lot.

These are screenprints using discharge dyes:

1. Discharge bleach
4. Discharge print on black.
These are normal screenprints using pigment inks:

2. Full color CMYK and spot color print.
5. Black waterbaced print on white.
6.Full coler CMYK print with waterbased black overprint.
7.Full color process with gradation.
9. Waterbased multicolor transparency print.
10. Multicolor silkscreen print on black and silver.
11.Full color process background with black spot-color overprint.
12.Waterbased silkscreen printed queen and CMYK printed leaves.
I think they're probably using waterbased inks for all of these, but it's possible that some of them are plastisol. Either way, it's a screenprint done with the usual equipment.

CMYK and process printing is the same thing.

Spot colour is a matter of WYSIWYG printing (if you want green you print green, not yellow and blue).

Silkscreen is just an obsolete term for screen print - they're no different.

Transperency print is not at all unusual since they're using waterbased inks.

Several of their prints are four colour process, with an additional print.

These use foil as an embellishment:

3.Black shirt printed with silver foil.
8.Halftone silkscreen woman and metallic gold cougar
With foil prints you screenprint the design with an adhesive, then apply the foil to the garment with an iron or a heat press. In some cases they've just used the foil only, in others they've done a standard screenprint, then used foil as an extra embellishment.
 

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error426 said:
Sorry I can't be of any help... but damn that's a very complicated process (at least it reads like it!).
Which is exactly why they list the print process on the site. If you don't know how it works, it looks impressive. If you do know how it works, it's nice to have them level with you (it's a good example of the transparency Rodney advocates - it doesn't harm the business any for people to know, and it can impress or interest them).
 

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Do anybody know of a good local printers that can do all of those process that are located near Kansas City,Mo or Ft.larderdale,Fl. T
If you prefer local, check through your local phonebook and then follow up the phone call with a visit to the shop to see their quality in person. Ask if they can do all (or most) of the printing types listed. Ask if they can do water based in printing.

You can also post a classified ad at http://boards.screenprinters.net (a forum full of screen printers) or after you have 15 posts here, you can place a SERVICE REQUEST ad in our classifieds.

I know we have at least a couple of members here that do water based ink screen printing.
 
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