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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm a HUGE noobie here. I have this very colorful and elaborate design and one company said there was too many colors and said i should do heat transfer. I myself, am a huge fan of screen printing since my brother has his own brand through it. I'm asking, what is the BEST method for this type of design? It will be on a black shirt and I'd like the design not to rip, fade, or crack when washed. I heard Heat Transfer and DTG are my only choice? is that correct? I've heard Heat Transfer also crack and peels some time and they both cant be on black shirts. this image is actually way bigger.

Here is my Design:
 

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sorry but if i may ask, how would that work? is this by using the screen printing method?
Yes this would be using screen printing method. You would need to color separate your colors in cmyk and also have a solid white back plate. If your not a printer check around your area fir a screen printer that can print using for cor proccess printing. They will no what to do.

It's basically turning a screen printing set up and making it print like a desktop printer.
 

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Maybe they have a small rotary press. The shade of the hairs alone is more than what the biggest rotary press can handle if the design is to be printed in spot colors. Aside from the problems with the number of print heads, there really is no such thing too many colors. The question is what is the print volume?

The exact shades of the various colors may not be as it appears in the above picture but as mentioned, CMYK process is an alternative.
 

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I live in another country so I don't know how printers in your area do their computations. But 200 shirts would seem too small for a printer to bother with all those colors. I am not sure what the largest rotary press is but very few printers should have 14 color presses or larger ones. Rotary presses commonly used by majority of printers should be 6-8 colors so they are simply incapable of producing that many colors even if they wanted to. I am surprised that the printers you've talked with did not explain this to you but CMYK seems to be your best option so maybe you can discuss this again with your printer(s).

I was not really expecting an answer on the volume thing but I am pretty sure that you and your printer will settle for CMYK. A second option is for you to reduce the colors to what your local printers are capable of printing.

But just for the sake of discussion and I am not sure how serious the printer I talked with is. We were discussing the number of print colors and the cost, and I was told that about 1 color per 10 dozen should be the minimum if I want a very reasonable cost to make my pricing competitive. Otherwise, he has to increase his cost to cover all the cost and problems associated with each frame. But we were talking of less than 10 colors.

Also for the sake of discussion, let's assume that the suggested volume per color to get a competitive pricing(as computed by the printer I talked with last year) is the same for infinite number of colors. Let's assume further that your image have 20 colors(I believe you have more colors and colors beyond 10 are already uncommon). Multiplying 20 colors by 10 dozen per color makes it 200 dozen or 2400 pcs. I am not equipped to print volume but if I were to print, I will not compute my cost linearly as more colors increases the possibility of errors logarithmically. So I will be charging an extra premium to account for these possible errors which will add to the cost unless replicating all these colors, in spot colors, is essential. I will charge another premium as an excessively large number of colors would be an operational nightmare.

I hope I have not confused you as only the first and second paragraphs are important.
 

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CMYK won't do it for this design.

1. CMYK on white shirts can look pretty good, on black, not so good.
2. You will most likely lose too much detail because you are using only CMYK and your entire design would rely solely on halftoning.
3. Spot colors would look the best for screen printing, but it looks like there would be 14 colors, so I don't think that would work.
4. You could have spot process which would reduce the colors down to 8 or 9 and it would look pretty good. There would be halftones, but not like CMYK. The Red and Yellow mixed would make orange. So this reduces the screens, but with spot process, it's usually 8 or 9 colors to get a very good representation.
5. Transfers would still be pretty expensive because most likely you would need screen printed ones. If this is the case, you might as well invest in screen printing.
6. DTG most likely wouldn't work because of the size of the print and the volume of ink that would be needed. These would be very expensive shirts.

What I would do is look for a high end screen printer. Some require a minimum of 144 and other 288, but either way, this IMO is a spot process printing job. It would be a good quality print at a better price than spot colors.

As a side note, you could probably have this printed as a 6 color design with halftones, but it most likely wouldn't look as good as an 8 or 9 color design. If you go this route, it still could look good with a fine enough halftone, but your colors would be a little off. White, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Brown. You would use the black of the shirt obviously for black and these other colors would either be shaded or mixed to get the various colors or tones. With a good screen printer, they should be able to pull it off with great results.
 

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Lisa, if you live where shipping from the west coast would not be too expensive, contact Dan Holzer at Forward Printing in Oakland CA. They have the ability to screen print that design very nicely on their state of the art automatic screen printing press.

http://www.forwardprinting.com/
 

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Personally, Just my $.02, call the folks at Dowling Graphics in Clearwater Flordia, get a price for your quanity, They will put the design on a transfer, work on anycolor shirt, give you a firm price and even transfer it to the shirts, which you can have drop shipped there, and pretty much guarentee your satisfaction
dlac
 

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No less than 305 mesh.

Heat transfers are a good alternative for the details but I would still give screen print a try. Do inspect some of the printers work first.
I think 4CP would never work for a design like this. The details are just way too small to pack the halftones in there. At best, it would look mediocre in my opinion.

I would suggest going the DTG route. You will get the detail and colors that you want.
 

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DTG would look absolutely awesome, but with the size of print and the amount of white ink needed, my guess, it could total close to $6 in ink alone, not including labor and pretreat. It would be very expensive for 200 shirts.
Yeah, but if they are looking at selling them, then I'm sure they could make a profit out of it. I would get a quote from someone either way, you never know what a DTG printer is willing to do for a 200 shirt order. Especially something that looks like this!

I just don't think that 4cp could really nail it, and with art that cool, you don't want it to look ehh.
 

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I think 4CP would never work for a design like this. The details are just way too small to pack the halftones in there. At best, it would look mediocre in my opinion.

I would suggest going the DTG route. You will get the detail and colors that you want.
There is no question that DTG and heat transfer will excel in detailed designs, especially if it has small areas with gradients. But with 200+ shirts to be printed the I am presuming that DTG will be too expensive.

Lisa, 1) Do you have a budget in mind for each shirt? 2) Are you familiar with the difference between screen prints, heat transfers and DTG and do you have a preference?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
yes, i know the difference, my brother ha shis own screen printing business, of course my preference is screen printing because of the durability and quality but of course with THAT many colors each screen would be pulling money out of my pockets, also DTG is the only way i think i can go with an anajet or brother printer which i dont know which company would have, but also i dont know if they pre-treat there shirts or post treat them with a donveyor dryer, it gives off almost the same as a screen print
 
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