Having your logo printed on a garment is a fun and creative way to showcase your brand to the world.
Besides showcasing your brand, printed shirts can help make staff easily recognisable to customers who you may otherwise lose. Can you think of a time you visited a shop and left because you couldn’t find a staff member to help you?
Having your logo on a shirt also puts forward a sense of professionalism and recognition. Combine this with having your logo on your website and business cards, printed shirts show that your business has given proper consideration to well thought out, consistent branding, which helps build trust with your clients and customers.
Now that we can see just how beneficial having a logo printed on a shirt can be, how do we make this happen?
There are many different printing methods, so how do you know which one is right for you and your own unique needs?
Let me break down some of the most popular printing methods and how they can help you achieve your own cohesive branding story.
Let’s start with this well know printing method which incredibly popular, and for good reason.
Screen printing inks are thicker than the inks used in other methods, meaning the colours are more vibrant and the images will last longer.
Tip: Make sure your screen printer is using high quality inks, as low-quality inks will fade quickly and feel unpleasant to touch.
- Ink absorbs deeply, making colours brighter and longer lasting.
- Once set up, hundreds of t-shirts with the same design can be produced incredibly quickly.
- Compatible with most fabrics, giving you a wide range of choice to suit any budget.
- More colours mean more money. Each colour used requires a screen set up fee, so if your logo has four colours this will mean four individual screen set up fees.
- Limited artwork placement.
Direct to garment (DTG) Printing:
DTG Printing uses inkjet technology to print high quality full colour and photographic prints directly on to a t-shirt.
DTG printing machines have massive colour mixing potential, allowing them to print tiny details. This makes them suitable for designs or artwork that would normally be considered too complex for other screen-printing methods.
DTG is also the best option for small print runs (1-5 t-shirts).
- No colour restrictions: You can print with as many colours as you want!
- Time efficient: You can have a shirt printed in less than 30 minutes.
- Comfortable: As DTG machines inject ink directly into the fabric, you won’t feel the print on the garment.
- DTG printers are designed to print only on fabrics with high amounts of cotton (preferably 100%) The more cotton a shirt has, the more vivid the colours will be.
Heat Transfer Printing
Heat transfer printing involves layering sheets of transfer material on top of a garment and heat pressing them to permanently apply custom graphics.
Designs are printed onto the heat transfer paper using a solvent ink, which allows the design to be transferred from paper to garment.
This no mess method works on different materials and fabrics and requires minimum maintenance.
There are three types of heat transfer printing, each with different benefits, which I have clarified below:
This is one of the most popular methods of heat transfer printing.
The thing that sets this method apart from the rest is that it works with a dye-based ink that turns into a gas when heated.
Heat, pressure and time cause these inks to go from a solid, to a gas, then back to solid. The gas joins to the polyester of the garment and becomes a part of the fabric instead of simply a layer on top.
Neither screen-printing or DTG printing can create an all over printing effect the way dye-simulation can.
All-over print t-shirts allow designers to creatively express themselves by creating truly unique t-shirts.
- Ink becomes part of the t-shirt which makes the print last longer.
- Is breathable and soft to the touch.
- Durability: Prints will not fade, crack, peel or deteriorate.
- Folds and creases, in areas under the sleeves for example, will remain undyed.
- Only works on polyblend t-shirts. The more polyester in the garment, the more vibrant the colours will be.
- Dye-simulation printing can be expensive.
Plastisol Transfer Printing
This second method of heat transfer printing is similar to screen printing except the artwork is ink jet printed onto plastisol transfer paper, which is then heat pressed onto the shirt.
This custom printing method allows us t-shirt entrepreneurs to outsource part of our business if we desire by sending your designs to companies who will then print them the high-quality plastisol paper. Once you receive them you can apply the designs to the t-shirts yourself with a heat press.
- Similar quality to screen-printing.
- Several designs can fit on a single sheet of transfer paper, which you can cut out and print separately.
- No mess.
- Good for testing designs. Once a design starts to sell, you can move to using screen printing.
- Great for full colour as well as few colour jobs.
- Allows for a variety of design placement on the shirt.
– If transfers are made incorrectly, they will crack and wash out quickly.
-Suppliers may ask for a minimum amount to be printed.
– It may take a few trial runs to learn the right amount of pressure and temperature needed for this technique. I recommend asking for multiple prints so you are able to practice. Your supplier may be able to send you instructions, otherwise you can contact them for advice.
-large quantity runs are expensive and time consuming.
CAD-Cut Heat Transfer Vinyl Printing
This heat transferring method is most commonly used for printing numbers, names and logos onto sports t-shirts or jerseys.
This is done by using a machine to cut out designs and letters on pieces of vinyl which is then heat pressed onto the garment.
This is great for printing between one and three colours and for smaller quantities, for example a football teams order.
- Great for small orders.
- Decent lifespan.
- Vinyl can easily be applied anywhere on the shirt.
- Can be applied to all kinds of fabrics.
- Takes a long time to cut the vinyl.
- Pantone colours cannot be matched with vinyl printing.
As you can see, there are many different options to choose from when deciding on printing shirts for your business.
No matter your budget or the number of t-shirts you need, we can find you a printing solution to suit your needs that will compliment the overall look of your brand.
Are you ready to get printing? Contact us today for a friendly chat and we can help you get started.