Impressions - May 2016 - 22

INNOVATION: APPAREL DECORATING

Innovation in
the Trenches
Successful decorators dish on the technology
that enables them to stay on top of their game.
By John Burns, Associate Editor

Decorators agree
that direct-to-screen
technology offers a
significant increase
in production and
throughput capacity.

U

HEARING THE t e r m
"innovation," it's natural to think
about technology as it applies to
products. But what about other
aspects of apparel decorating, such as
techniques, design, business practices
and marketing?
In this vast and ever-changing industry,
it can be difficult to understand why certain
decorating styles and techniques are popular,
or what shop owners can do to truly push the
needle on innovation. Acquiring that knowledge requires dialogue with those that are in
the trenches - standing behind the pallet,
in front of the screen or over the ink bucket.
Impressions recently spoke with four shop
owners about several industry trends, including
P.22

PON

technology, innovation, techniques, equipment
and marketing.

Technical Innovation

DURING THE PAST 20 years, new decorating
techniques, including dye sublimation and
direct-to-garment (DTG) printing, have come
to prominence, but many decorators are raving
about another technology that has significantly
boosted business: direct-to-screen imaging.
"I think [direct-to-screen] is a phenomenal
idea, a phenomenal concept," says Pierre John
Jamnicky, CEO of Blue Moon Promotional
Inc., Eastlake, Ohio. "It streamlines production and removes the human element, which
increases the consistency across production,
which is huge."

I M P R E S S I O N S M A G . C O M MAY 2016

Direct-to-screen, or computer-to-screen,
imaging can output an image directly onto
emulsion, eliminating carrier film and even
some human labor.
"As far as the quality of separations [and]
the speed of the separations, the accuracy
of direct-to-screen is one thing that has really helped propel our business," says Tom
Rauen, owner of Envision Tees, Dubuke,
Iowa. "With the quality and speed, it'll
take a shop to the next level when they have
that technology."
Along with improved quality, direct-toscreen technology offers a significant increase
in production and throughput capacity.
"Before we went [to] direct-to-screen, we
were averaging about six to eight minutes of
setup per screen on the press," says Danny
Gruninger, co-owner of Denver Print House,
Lakewood, Colo. "Now, we're averaging
under a minute per screen. We're getting jobs
up on the press a lot quicker, we're getting
them down quicker and getting the next job
ready to go a lot quicker. When we went [to]
direct-to-screen, we saw over 40% increase
in throughput right off the bat."
Some decorators may scoff at the expense
involved in direct-to-screen imaging, but
Gruninger, Rauen and Jamnicky insist that
if the technology makes sense for your shop,
it's worth the $50,000-$60,000 price tag.
However, another shop owner warns of the
downside to technology that affects so many
aspects of production.
"Where there's technology, there's failure as
well," says Greg Gaardbo, CEO and creative
director, Shockwaves Promotional Apparel,
Arlington Heights, Ill. "Now, if something


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Impressions - May 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - May 2016

Impressions - May 2016
Contents
First Impressions
From the Show Director
Overheard
First Look
Scene at ISS
On Design
Innovation in the Trenches
The Knits Just Keep On Comin’
Innovation Sparks Screen-Printing Success
Stitching Staples Get Upgrades
Digital Shines in the Spotlight
Shop Talk
Embroidery Production
Screen Printing Production
Screen Printing Graphics & Design
Sublimation
Direct-To-Garment
Heat Printing
Classifieds
Ad Index/Online Directory
Impressions - May 2016 - CT1
Impressions - May 2016 - CT2
Impressions - May 2016 - Impressions - May 2016
Impressions - May 2016 - Cover2
Impressions - May 2016 - 1
Impressions - May 2016 - Contents
Impressions - May 2016 - 3
Impressions - May 2016 - 4
Impressions - May 2016 - 5
Impressions - May 2016 - First Impressions
Impressions - May 2016 - 7
Impressions - May 2016 - From the Show Director
Impressions - May 2016 - 9
Impressions - May 2016 - Overheard
Impressions - May 2016 - 11
Impressions - May 2016 - 12
Impressions - May 2016 - 13
Impressions - May 2016 - 14
Impressions - May 2016 - 15
Impressions - May 2016 - 15a
Impressions - May 2016 - 15b
Impressions - May 2016 - First Look
Impressions - May 2016 - 17
Impressions - May 2016 - 18
Impressions - May 2016 - Scene at ISS
Impressions - May 2016 - On Design
Impressions - May 2016 - 21
Impressions - May 2016 - Innovation in the Trenches
Impressions - May 2016 - 23
Impressions - May 2016 - 24
Impressions - May 2016 - 25
Impressions - May 2016 - 26
Impressions - May 2016 - 27
Impressions - May 2016 - The Knits Just Keep On Comin’
Impressions - May 2016 - 29
Impressions - May 2016 - 30
Impressions - May 2016 - 31
Impressions - May 2016 - Innovation Sparks Screen-Printing Success
Impressions - May 2016 - 33
Impressions - May 2016 - 34
Impressions - May 2016 - 35
Impressions - May 2016 - Stitching Staples Get Upgrades
Impressions - May 2016 - 37
Impressions - May 2016 - 38
Impressions - May 2016 - 39
Impressions - May 2016 - Digital Shines in the Spotlight
Impressions - May 2016 - 41
Impressions - May 2016 - 42
Impressions - May 2016 - 43
Impressions - May 2016 - 44
Impressions - May 2016 - 45
Impressions - May 2016 - 46
Impressions - May 2016 - 47
Impressions - May 2016 - 48
Impressions - May 2016 - 49
Impressions - May 2016 - 50
Impressions - May 2016 - 51
Impressions - May 2016 - 52
Impressions - May 2016 - 53
Impressions - May 2016 - Shop Talk
Impressions - May 2016 - 55
Impressions - May 2016 - Embroidery Production
Impressions - May 2016 - 57
Impressions - May 2016 - Screen Printing Production
Impressions - May 2016 - 59
Impressions - May 2016 - 60
Impressions - May 2016 - Screen Printing Graphics & Design
Impressions - May 2016 - 62
Impressions - May 2016 - 63
Impressions - May 2016 - Sublimation
Impressions - May 2016 - 65
Impressions - May 2016 - 66
Impressions - May 2016 - Direct-To-Garment
Impressions - May 2016 - 68
Impressions - May 2016 - 69
Impressions - May 2016 - Heat Printing
Impressions - May 2016 - 71
Impressions - May 2016 - Classifieds
Impressions - May 2016 - Ad Index/Online Directory
Impressions - May 2016 - 74
Impressions - May 2016 - Cover3
Impressions - May 2016 - Cover4
Impressions - May 2016 - N1
Impressions - May 2016 - N2
Impressions - May 2016 - N3
Impressions - May 2016 - N4
Impressions - May 2016 - N5
Impressions - May 2016 - N6
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