We printed shirts for a new customer this summer, Arlyn's Good Beer. It was a fun and technical new job for us.
We enjoy a challenge and new customers!
Arlyn's Good Beer is a brewery located in Bowling Green, Ohio. If you're not familiar with Arlyn's, don't be too hard on yourself. They opened at the end of 2019.
Their most notable feature, other than their beer, of course, is the beautiful mural painted on the exterior of the building by Gordon Ricketts and his BGSU class. This alone is reason enough to visit.
The shirts that we printed for Arlyn's was a fun challenge for a few reasons. For starters, Arlyn's provided us samples of shirts that they had printed previously by another shop. We felt great that we were getting a chance to earn their business, but it's never easy to exactly copy another print shop's work.
The first thing we do in a situation like this is take photos of the customer supplied shirts. If we're lucky, the new customer will also have vector artwork that they can provide of the shirt design. In the event that they don't have vector art, our graphic designers get to work recreating the artwork.
In this situation, we did have good artwork to work with. This meant that we had to match print size and colors.
Matching print size isn't too much of a challenge. However, sometimes after a shirt is printed, the design can warp or shrink. Our standard print size for custom t-shirts is 11" wide or tall. While that is standard for us, every shop is different.
Matching print colors presents another challenge altogether. When the ink on the shirt is white or black, we are in a good spot. However, outside of those two colors, there are many challenges.
In the same way that there are different standards for print sizes, not every screen printer uses the same inks. There are many ink manufacturers whose stock inks colors vary.
In addition to color variance by ink manufacturer, the color of the ink can be affected by the shirt color. In our industry, we call this bleed. Essentially it means that the ink is influenced or changed by the dye in the shirt. This is usually caused by polyester threads being overheated in the curing process but can be created by a few other variables as well.
When it came to matching the ink colors for Arlyn's, we had to experiment to get the brown and light blue inks as close as possible. This means we checked the printed sample shirts to the inks we had on shelf. For the brown, the ink we chose off our shelf matched when printed.
We weren't as lucky for the light blue. We printed a few samples on similar color shirts and didn't like the result. Based on this information, we found another ink on the shelf that we thought would be better. We cleaned out the ink in the screen and swapped inks. We were happy with the results.
Another fun part about these Arlyn's shirts is that they were printed on Comfort Colors shirts. Comfort Colors is the original big name in what we now know as garment dyed and pigment dyed fabrics.
They use a heavy weight shirt as their blank garment and dye it to give it a softer, well worn feel. You probably know them from vacations. They are the standard shirt for beach resorts. They are super popular right now among college students. Fraternities and Sororities love the oversized fit and wide range of colors.
In addition to these t-shirts, we also embroidered hats and made stickers for Arlyn's.
Brewery shirts are very popular right now. For some people they are collectors items and reminders of the breweries they have visited. For other people, they're a great way to support a brewery after they've had enough to drink and eat.
For breweries, custom merch is a great opportunity to promote your brand and create a second source of revenue. Especially in the time of Coronavirus, it's more important than ever for businesses to diversify their revenue streams. We are seeing many businesses use merch to do just that.
If you have a business in Bowling Green that needs custom t-shirts and embroidery, we'd love to help. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our custom work contact form online.