If the graphics on your apparel are flat, your sales probably are too. Either that or you find yourself in a constant tug of war with the shop down the street or online – throwing away margin for lack of creativity. Back and forth you trade bids, slash deals, drive down prices, throw away profit. Is this you?
There is a better way. I’ve recently returned from the SGIA trade show as I’m sure you know by now, and I can tell you that flat graphics and flat designs are dead. Yes, I know I’m promoting a new material that feels just like the garment, yeah I know there were 2 new DTG printers released on the scene, yeah I know there was a new M&R screen printing machine released for oversized prints, yeah I know all of this….but trust me – not one of these technologies can exist and thrive on their own. There are simply too many shops fighting in the same red ocean. The year 2000 shop has always needed a diverse range of technology at their disposal for customizing apparel and other items, but now the new shop must know how to marry technology onto one canvas. It’s not about a la carte design. DTG & Flock, Water Based Screen printing & Foil, CCH2O & Pebble Puff, Sublimation & Reflective, Heat Applied Film & Embroidery, Applique & Rhinestones.
Mixing and matching is the “now” of customized clothing and the future of team sports (see Nike system of a dress Pro Combat uniforms).
For this reason I urge you to spend time learning how to combine the technology at your disposal and to consider new technology that compliments what you have. Get out to a trade show, take some classes, watch some YouTube videos:) and learn about special effects that can add value to your work.
If you own a vinyl cutter, here is one material that can add dimension to your design work:
Please leave a comment below if you have any examples of mixing technology to win a bid.