If you haven’t had a chance to check it out already, industry expert Dane Clement has a featured article in this month’s Impressions Magazine. The article, titled The Importance of Artwork, walks you through understanding artwork trends and breaks down how to create great art for use with various materials and processes.

Artwork trends come from many different areas and paying attention to these trends – keeping your finger on the pulse – is important to your long-term success. As a decorator, you want to offer your customers what they want when they’re ready to buy it, and not have them go elsewhere to find it.

But on top of understanding and staying on top of trends, Dane stresses, “It’s important to realize how each decorating method requires you to think differently about the art you will design so that embellishing products is an easier task.”

Knowing what kind of art you need and where you’re going to put it is probably the most important thing to consider. The type of fabric and garment color affects how artwork is prepared and which artwork you’ll choose. In this article, he walks you through the types of printing processes available and what goes best with which material.

For example, Dane mentions “each decorating process has its own strengths and weaknesses, with vinyl cutting being the easiest and probably most versatile.” He then goes on to discuss the two popular trends of polyester and performance materials as well as the new trend of water-based, high-solid acrylic inks.

You’ll definitely want to check this article out if you’re looking for more information about artwork trends and how to create great art on many different materials.

Regardless of the garment decorating process you use, understanding how to get your artwork ready for digital printing is critical. Below are suggested steps so you achieve the best results:

Setting Up Your File

Making the right choice in the type of art, raster or vector, is key for digital printing. Raster art is preferred as it is a continuous tone, pixel-based artwork; I prefer to use Photoshop to create raster art. Vector art, created with programs such as CorelDRAW or Adobe Illustrator, uses a series of nodes and paths. Vector art can be used, but doesn’t maximize the full color capabilities offered with digital printing.

Knowing the artwork’s purpose and how it will be produced also has an impact with digital printing. For example, quality can be lost when starting out with a smaller image that later needs enlarging. With this in mind, make sure the image is created at the size and resolution needed for the largest item being decorated.

Enhance Your Artwork

Because digital printing’s output is in full color, take advantage of this by adding more dimension to your design. For example, add texture to a solid area within your artwork or add a shadow or beveled edge.

Change Your Color

When using Photoshop to create your artwork, changing the color is an easy adjustment by changing the hue/saturation levels. This feature allows you to either recolor the entire design or selected pieces.

Optimize Your File

How the artwork was created won’t matter if it isn’t optimized. Optimizing your artwork ensures you get the best print possible. Photoshop’s Adjustment Panel will be the go-to tool for this. The options within this panel allow you to change elements of the artwork such as the hue and saturation levels, brightness and contrast, and the image’s sharpness.

The technology of digital printing is ever-changing and evolving. Using this technology to its fullest will set you apart from your competition. Being able to offer your customers high quality, full color designs is a sure-fire way to increase customers, which in turn increases profits.

Click here to read the full article featured in the February 2018 issue of Impressions magazine.