Production Types - Axomo

Production Types

What Do All These Decoration/Production Types Mean?

When it comes to how we produce all the items you can add to your store, there are a lot of unique decoration types. DTG, Heat Transfer, and Screen Printing are just the beginning. But don’t worry! You don’t need to be an expert in manufacturing to successfully run your store.

The information on this page has been condensed and summarized so you can quickly and easily learn more about the production types you plan to use. If you want to know more or have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Having said that, it’s not a bad idea for you to have some basic familiarity with some of the more common design types. Understanding what’s involved in each process will help you choose the right method for the right items and save time for everyone involved.

Direct-to-Garment (DTG)

Digital Direct-to-Garment (DTG) Printing is just like printing on paper, except we do it on clothing. It’s one of the newest ways to get full-color, HD artwork printed directly onto a variety of items of your choosing.

DTG Printing uses special water-based inks, which are absorbed by the fibers of the garment. This process creates much higher-definition, longer-lasting artwork than other design methods.

Pro’s

Prints in High-Definition for precisely printed artwork and art with a wide range of colors or fine gradients.

Great for on-demand and small quantity orders

Limitations

Not optimal for large orders- items are printed one at a time.

Can only print on 100% cotton

Things to Avoid

Avoid low resolution files! If the art is grainy or pixelated in the original file, that’s how it will look on the final product. As you’ll see, this is true for basically every production method.

Laser Engraving

Engraving is the process of etching a design into the surface of an item by using either a special motorized bit or laser. It is most commonly used on surfaces like plastic, wood, metal, leather and some fabrics.

Engraving can only design art with one color, and that color comes as a result of the depth, the burning (darkening) effect of the laser, or the oxidation (with pre-treated metals).

Pro’s

Classy, permanent form of personalization

Very cost-effective

Can be used to cut out specific shapes

Limitations

Only feasible with single-color designs

Darkness from laser varies by laser speed and depth

Things to Avoid

Low resolution (use Vector artwork!)

Multi-colored

Highly detailed graphics (small and intricate details are often excluded by laser)

Screen Printing

Screen Printing is one of the more complex decoration types, but what you need to know is that screen printing has a long set-up time and is best suited for bulk orders.

The setup time is longer because screen printing involves designing/producing anywhere between 1 and 9 screens, each of which is used to add one color or layer of the design at a time. Once you have these screens however, you have a specialized system that can print identical designs on a large number of items in a very short time.

Pro’s

Most cost-effective for large quantities

Able to print in various locations on the item

Artwork is more resistant to fading after washing

Can print fine detail

Limitations

Higher setup costs than other methods

Screens must be redesigned for each order

Limited to 9 colors or so. i.e. not for photo-quality prints

Things to Avoid

Low resolution

Art with more than 9 colors; can still be done, but there will be surcharges

Photos; trying to print photos often results in grainy, off-colored print. Stick to vectors!

Embroidery

Embroidery is a true and tried method for decorating accessories such as Bags, Hats, Blankets, Jackets, Aprons, Polos, and more. It uses colored thread, computer-guided stitching, and other helpful tools to embellish an object with a desired logo or message.

There are literally hundreds of thread colors to accommodate nearly any logo, however, most embroidery shops keep just a few dozen of the most popular colors on hand. So if you need a custom color, know that it will take longer than normal to order in those precise colors.

Pro’s

Permanent artwork/doesn’t fade

Process allows for single purchases

One-time setup fee (per artwork)

Can add designs to multiple locations on the same product

Limitations

Not ideal for full-color images

Artwork may “pucker” or curl over time

May alter the performance of waterproof fabrics

Things to Avoid

Low-resolution

Small fonts or fine detail

Gradient Images- every color in the design will be a separate thread, so any transitions will appear stark, not smooth and gradual.

Heat Transfer

Heat Transfer Printing is the process of applying vinyl graphics to an item using specialty vinyl and a heat press. This machine applies 50+ pounds of pressure per square inch along with temperatures of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit to bond custom-printed logos and designs to the fabric or surface of various items.

The vinyls used are usually available in a variety of solid colors. Alternatively, a full-color image can be printed onto white vinyl and then applied. Most designs require the removal of excess vinyl (a manual process) before being applied to the article.

Pro’s

Cheap in small quantities

Wide variety of color options

Crisp-looking skin tones & gradients

Limitations

Expensive in large quantities

Not as time-effective as other options

Cannot product fine details

Large areas of applied vinyl can reduce the breathability of the garment, reducing comfort

Things to Avoid

Low resolution

Wispy fonts and fine details (especially cursive writing or other thin, loopy shapes)

Large, continuous artwork (they may look OK, but they’ll affect the comfort of the article)

Stickers

Stickers are used for a wide variety of purposes. We provide different varieties of stickers to meet your needs, including:

  • Regular sticker sheets
  • Reversible window stickers
  • Domed stickers
  • Sticker name badges

Other types of stickers may be available upon request. The sticker printing process is very unique, because stickers must be arranged in a way that utilizes the full width and length of the material that is printed.

Pro’s

Full-color artwork looks great

Colors typically resist fading for 3-5 years

Can usually be reused at least once

Can be placed on multiple surface types

Limitations

Quarter-inch white margin on full-color artwork*

Adhesive residue*

Things to Avoid

Low resolution

Small fonts or fine details (the standard minimum size for lettering is 1/4″ tall or 20-22 pt font size)

Ready to Start Designing Items? Click Below to Read the Catalog