Impressions - October/November 2013 - (Page 66)

talking SHOP Digital Decorating Is Online Design in Your Company’s Future? Offering online design for your customers via your website may not be as costly as you may think. By Mark L. Venit, MBA, Contributing Writer o nline design capabilities didn’t come true until just before the dawn of the 21st century. In 1999, Philadelphia native and Harvard grad Marc Katz, then 23, left his career on Wall Street and, with the aid of classmate Dave Christensen, some friends and a little family financing, was born. Around the same time, both Zazzle. com and CafePress, which have gone public on NASDAQ, were launched as well. During the first decade of the new century, more competitors — including DecoNetwork, and Inksoft, among many others offering online design software — surfaced in the trade, with several beginning to exhibit at Imprinted Sportswear Shows (ISS) events. Numerous others began selling e-commerce software as well in our industry. While these developments were taking place, independent embroiderers and screen printers all over the country were busy writing their own online design software and ecommerce applications. And during the past several years, as all this action has been happening and continues to advance, only a small, single-digit percentage of custom apparel decorators have yet to initiate their own online design software (or shopping cart software) for their customers’ usage. That percentage is about to explode. If your company is among the huge group that still doesn’t offer either online design software or a shopping cart on its website, allow me to offer a little historical insight about how that technology 66 Impressions | October/November 2013 Online customization is a still-burgeoning trend in the apparel industry., the online arm of CafePress, has evolved from offering online customization on T-shirts to letting customers choose from more than 300 million products to personalize, all with the use of online design tools. has been absorbed into our industry over the years and how it’s going to impact your enterprise. ONLINE DESIGN HISTORY When the industry began in 1977, graphics for screen printing were accomplished with what seems downright primitive today. Lettering was achieved by photocopying, burnishing letters from a wax paper sheet onto a clear film or paper, or hand cutting with an X-ACTO knife from sheets of Rubylith, shooting lots of orthographic film or using a phototypositor. In the late-1980s, the first computer graphics programs emerged. The text or images on computer monitors were neon green, the background was black and, as the mouse hadn’t yet come on the scene, you used a “cursor” to create effects. It took several minutes to generate even a simple design, and seeing it merged with text was nearly impossible and took seemingly forever to populate on the screen in front of

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - October/November 2013

Impressions - October/November 2013
First Impressions
From the Show Director
Product Gallery
ISS Conferences
Allover Printing: It's All Over America
The Digital Direction
Peak Performance
Tracking Trends is Key to Business Survival
Shop Spotlight
Shop Spotlight
Embroidery Design & Digitizing
Embroidery Technique
Screen Printing Production
Screen Printing Technique
Online Directory
Digital Decorating
Ad Index

Impressions - October/November 2013