A Designaholic’s Take on the Art Process

What is this “designaholic” term I speak of? Let us break it down for you…

Designaholic (deeŸ-zine-ŸahŸ-holŸic)

  1. Individuals who tend to see the world a little differently, broken down by design elements and principles, mostly unwillingly. They can fall in love with a specific Pantone color just as fast and deep as they can fall in love with a human.
  2. In most cases their primary means are through a design or art related field. But it doesn’t stop there. Oh no. Once home, they do not relax. They typically have a heavy load of freelance design, and in some cases open their own design studio.
  3. One who knows that there are three responses to a piece of design: yes, no, and wow! Wow is what they aim for.
  4. A designer, different from an artist, who knows that perfection is not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
  5. A designer who acknowledges and understands that the life of a true designer is a life of fight. Fight against ugliness, clutter, and bad design. For true designaholics, the visual disease is what they have around, and what they try to do is cure it somehow with design.

Okay you get it… So what does this have to do with Distinct Images?
Well…we have some here in our Art Department, and they sure to put their skills into play when it comes to the design + screenprinting process. Take it from one of our resident professionals…

How is screen printing different from traditional print design?
Well for starters it is much more tedious then any design realms we have been in before, and this is coming from people who can speak HTML and CSS. For example, logo and business card design:  Our client would fill out a preliminary design questionnaire, search for inspiration, do some sketches, move into Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop, execute options, and revise as directed.

However, in screen printing design at Distinct Images…
We’ll receive an art request, and then create a proof, like this:

DI Proof

Along with labeling it to the correct client, project name, and date, we give a product description and color of product. We include the artwork with sizing, imprint location, number of colors, and then list each color production will be using. Sometimes it is simple colors and we can use the standard Pantone Solid Coated colors, and other times we have to pull out my swatch book and try to determine the best match we can do. Finally, I input the garment image on the proof, slap the design on it, and make sure it reflects the sizing.

It might be approved right away, and other times, we have some revisions.

Once approved, we move onto designing it for films. When designing for screen-printing, each color has to have a different film to be burned to the screen that will be printed. Some designs require an underlay or a flash white because darker garments won’t allow the colors to show up as bright as they need to be.

We call our film files, film tags.

DI Film Tag

Next we put the artwork/design on the document, size it to the correct dimensions per the proof, and be sure that all the colors are the ones specified.

DI Colors ON
Orange and Black Off

We then must place the registration marks directly in the center of the design, but slightly above and below the design as you can see. It is crucial that all films printed have the same location of registration marks or it is hell for production. If each films registration marks don’t match up, then the design is wrong.

We fill out the film tag at the bottom so production knows where it is located on the garment, the garment color, what order it is for, number of colors, and which colors. We then send it to the printer, cut them close to size, slip them in an envelope and they are off to production!

It may seem like a long process, but it’s just part of our daily routine. It’s the start of the magic that is a screen printing garment, and it’s super fun!

Keep Promoting!