What You Need to Know About LED Exposure Lamps If you are like most screenprinters, you are always interested in speed. And the faster you can accomplish a task, the better. However, before you make changes you need to properly understand the consequences of your actions....

Your geographical marketing area is full of many ponds, some big and some small, and while every pond may have fish in them, you need to know where your best prospects are congregating, or you may find yourself fishing in the wrong pond. Each pond in...

Thoughts on the Click Eco Frame Don't be fooled by marketing claims. There have been many products rushed to market, claiming the impossible. I was recently asked about the Click Eco Frame by a client. The client was concerned about several points with this frame system. For...

SGIA Expo is now PRINTING United PRINTING UNITED is a brand-new trade show built on the strong foundation of the SGIA Expo. This newly relaunched event will continue to provide access to the latest solutions for apparel, graphics/wide-format and functional printing applications, while also extending into the...

Best Practices for Reducing Spoilage Cost One of the easiest ways a screenprinting company can improve their bottom line is by reducing waste. However, waste cannot be completely eradicated, as there will always be some spoilage. If you think one percent is excellent, how about 18...

Never Abbreviate Quantities or Money When writing about numbers, it is always better to avoid abbreviating the words; a thousand, a million, a billion, etc. Some people will abbreviate these words, but it can lead to confusion. Thus, it is better to spell it out, especially...

Benefit for Platinum and Gold Members. As a Platinum or Gold member we offer discounts on select books that we have published. Choosing the Correct Emulsion is a book that every screenprinter needs to read.  Emulsion should be purchased on the basis of providing the very best...

An IR temperature device used in the heating and air conditioning industry measures the ambient air in front of the gun - not the object itself. It also does this in an ever-increasing circle from the tip of the device. The reading is inversely proportional...

Price is one of the "Four P's" - along with product, place (i.e., distribution), and promotion - of the market mix. And as with each of its siblings, getting the price right contributes mightily to business success or failure. Too high a price reduces unit...

Some screenprinting companies are experiencing good growth and margins, while others are struggling to keep the doors open. The question is what are the successful firms doing that those who are struggling are not doing. After some research, we have arrived at the following conclusions,...

Local zoning ordinances and regulations are important considerations when choosing your screenprinting business location. Zoning laws impact several critical business decisions such as purchasing property or making improvements to your existing property, so it is important to understand the laws before you commit to anything,...

This low-budget hobbyist shop requires a minimal investment. It is basically a one-person shop for those with little money, seeking a part-time venture. It will require a lot of work to turn this into a full-time business, as it will be difficult to move up...

This set-up relies on less homemade equipment and more professionally manufactured items. It also offers the capability of handling baseball caps and nylon jackets along with multicolor prints on shirts. The quality of the prints will be better with professional equipment because it is manufactured to...

You should never open a business without having insurance! If you are confused about which types of insurance you need, here are some that you shouldn't overlook. Running any business comes with risks. So it's important that you protect both your business and your personal assets....

Over the years, I have noted many inconsistencies in the various pricing matrices that are in use in the screenprinting technologies, especially in the textile segment. It is standard business practice to set a margin that will meet the costs and produce an amount of...

We frequently stress the critical importance of being able to compare your key financial ratios/percentages against other similar size firms. However, in order to do that it is necessary that everyone be on the same page when comparing percentages for categories such as cost of...

Pros and Cons of Pulling Versus Pushing In the end, it really should be about what is most efficient, effective and economically viable. Recently there was a question asked on the forum as to pulling versus pushing the squeegee when printing manually. Among the many answers from...

The purpose of any training is to assure that the trainee has a thorough understanding of a task. Upon completion of the training, the trainee should know how to accomplish a given task, but more importantly why they should perform the task in a particular...

There are many reasons why businesses don’t make it. Having started and sold many businesses in my lifetime I have found that the most common reason is a lack of profitable clients. Yes, this sounds obvious, but unfortunately, many people do not consider this factor...

The gears turn and indeed those of the screenprinting technologies turn as we solve the problems of our clients. Yes, as screenprinters, we are in the problem-solving business. And, just like the gears on a fine Patek Philippe watch must turn exquisitely, so must the gears...

Surveys confirm what our guts already know: We are enduring a “time famine”unknown to previous generations. Faced with urgent work, urgent errands, urgent texts, urgent emails, and a slew of other supposedly urgent tasks, we’re increasingly squandering our finite lives on the urgent at the...

Everywhere you look in your search for those diamonds of information about the screenprinting technologies; you seemingly have two choices; free and cost-based information. Stop for a moment and consider the truth of that statement. Imagine for a moment a glass of water, a commodity that...

Facilities that have comprehensive safety programs in place and that self-audit those programs regularly are typically well-prepared for a surprise government inspection. While there is no guarantee that inspectors won’t find something, it’s far less likely that the inspectors will find multiple problems during their...

What is an Entrepreneur? It is different things to different people. The Entrepreneur’s Journey was a collaborative film project produced by BIZNIK. The project began on May 6, 2009 when 12 video crews and over 400 entrepreneurs gathered in Seattle’s largest film production studio to...

Management By Objectives (MBO), also known as Management By Results (MBR), is a performance management approach in which a balance is sought between the objectives of employees and the objectives of an organization. The essence of Peter Drucker ’s basic principle: Management By Objectives is to...

With the New Year approaching, most of us start thinking about setting goals. While I won't disagree that setting goals are important, it is more important that you set goals that achievable and that won't be lost in the first few months of the year....

Business managers are responsible for setting a company's mission and goals and creating a strategic plan to guide the company to achieve its goals. Managers use a variety of tools and methods to inform decisions during the planning process including SWOT analysis and TOWS analysis,...

Payroll and project time-keeping paperwork is arguably the least favorite task for most owners and managers. Yet, if you don't keep up with it daily, the paperwork simply piles up and becomes an even bigger chore. The reality, however, is employees sometimes forget to clock in...

The gears of industry and indeed those of the screenprinting industry turn as we solve the problems of our clients. Yes, as screenprinters, we are in the problem solving business. But, many are not very good at solving their own problems of how to gain...

Have you ever attended a seminar on business where the talk turned to accounting practices and realized that you have no ideas of what most of the terms being used actually mean? You probably spent most of your time smiling and trying to fake your...

It should come as no surprise that your online business existence is being controlled to a huge extent by others; the myriad review services, your clients with their ability to post poor reviews, the search engines, your internet hosting service, and now the U.S.A. government....

Who hasn't been faced with a client standing at the front desk with a 1-inch high, 72-pixel per inch inch and asking them to enlarge it to 12-inches? Of course, they don't understand art, pixels, enlarging and the subsequent loss of data that will produce...

Definition Our Weekend Retreat is a meeting that is typically designed and organized specifically to facilitate the ability of a group to step back from their day-to-day demands and activities for an extended period of concentrated discussion, dialogue, and strategic thinking about the organization’s future or...

In performance management, when speaking of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) we often talk about “lagging” and “leading” indicators. But what do they mean exactly? Lagging indicators are typical “output” oriented, easy to measure but hard to improve or influence while leading indicators are typically input oriented,...

It should come as no shock to any screenprint business owner that the organization can only be as effective as the team members. However, there is a big difference in knowing this and actually doing something about it. In this article, we will learn about...

Whether one is the Owner, CEO, office manager, plant manager, or production manager, all good leaders require a number of soft skills to help them positively interact with the team and staff members. Employers seek these skills in the candidates they hire for leadership roles....

This article was originally written in 2001 but is updated and republished annually as the information is seasonal and important to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the successful operation of a shop. As the temperature drops during cold weather, there are some considerations that need...

The pros of using capillary film far outweigh the cons. So, why are more people using capillary film, rather than direct liquid emulsion? It all comes down to the simple fact, that when people first start out in the screenprinting technologies, they are all too...

The goal is to do everything better than previously done. In order to do this, you must constantly learn from each task in the stencil making process. There are three things that are absolutely necessary to hold detail in the final printed piece. Film Positive The most...

Textile screenprinters and decorators should pre-test before printing an entire order to avoid potential problems. If you plan on using a heat cured ink on any color of fabric other than white, you risk the chance of dye migration that may not be visible until...

Most of us have seen those microscopic photos that are taken of mesh threads and emulsion edges, and even details on printed substrates accompanying articles on screenprinting. Most are taken with USB digital microscopes. They are excellent tools for researchers, engineers, teachers, students, technicians, and hobbyists. Some...

The myth of post-exposure continues to haunt the screenprinting technologies. Post-exposure is the theory that if you underexpose your stencil, and find that during the stencil development the emulsion feels slimy on the squeegee side, that you can allow it to dry then return it...

Screenprinting is unique in being the only printing process to use off-contact to transfer the ink. Off-contact distance is needed to keep the screen from staying in contact with the substrate after printing and to control proper snap-off. While off-contact is not the only variable in...

The curing process of plastisol ink is simple. During the curing process, the plastic resin is heated and opens up to absorb the liquid plasticizer. As the resin cools it once again retains its plastic form, with the plasticizer inside. However the curing has to...

As an International Consultant in the Screenprinting Technologies, I receive a lot of email from would-be screenprinters who are trying to get started in screenprinting. Because I make my email address public, it’s pretty easy to connect with me. However, by the time I hear from...

You may think that the question is silly at first, but there are businesses who do burn money. In accounting, there is a term called "Burn Rate," and you do need to know the meaning of the term to help you better understand your finances....

While many consider the least expensive way or the fastest way, I have observed that the most successful usually consider the best way to accomplish a task. Yesterday, I watched from my desk as my housekeeper cleaned my home, dusting, sweeping, mopping the tile floors, changing...

During my work as a consultant in the screenprinting technologies over the past 40+ years, I have traveled to shops throughout the world and in every phase of the industry. My work is to effectively find and present comprehensive solutions to bring control over the...

Getting Squeegee Pressure Correct It is not necessary to push the ink through the mesh openings. Excessive pressure is counter-intuitive to the ink transfer process. The majority of screenprinters are using excessive squeegee pressure under the misguided concept that we push ink through the mesh. This belief...

For many, screenprinting is a messy business. But, the consumers are responsible for much of the mess when it comes to the environment. The expectations of the consumers have created huge problems for ink companies and screenprinters alike. The consumer want vibrant colors that hold...

By Tance Hughes Screen reclamation tends to be most screen printers’ least favorite part. Removing ink, emulsion, haze, and the tape isn’t near as much fun as creating artwork or printing the t-shirt. What many printers don’t realize is that there is a much easier, quicker,...

Everyone knows that the sun is the perfect ultraviolet energy source and there is a growing number of screenprinters who are choosing to use the sun to expose the emulsion on their stencils. Many screenprinters have found using the sun as an exposure unit, saving...

If you are a relative newcomer to screenprinting with less than say 35 years in the industry, you probably learned most of what you know from a book. This has no doubt proven to be problematic for you, as you have fought the myriad variables...

Every screenprinter is faced with myriad problems each day. They come on an almost hourly basis - so often that we don't have time to come up with a proper solution, so we tend to push them aside hoping that they will go away -...

Creating beautiful prints on t-shirts is an art that can be learned. It becomes more difficult if one does not invest in the right software, and lose the enthusiasm for attempting to save a few dollars up front. And, we need the right tools and...

While the Specialty Graphics Imaging Association (SGIA) has chosen to become much more of a digital show, decreasing the number of graphic screenprinting and textile decoration exhibits each year, I will be attending this year. I have several meetings lined up already, but I still...

The FESPA Mexico exhibition, 15-17 August 2013, is a unique event that provides print service providers with the opportunity to see the latest product developments and innovations in screenprinting, both graphic and textile, garment decoration, signage, wide format digital printing to keep your business moving. Print...

Achieving outstanding detail on stencils that hold up well on press are on the wish list for screenprinters worldwide. You may be surprised to learn that humidity has a lot to do with achieving your goals and more....

Why is it that some people just want to find fault with everything they read? Are they suffering from some sort of deficit? Such is the case of much that is written within the screenprinting industry. I have spoken with some of the greatest minds in the industry and each have related their own stories of how many detractors (those that attempt to reduce the value, importance, or quality of the written word) they have. Is this you? If so, you will benefit greatly from this article!

Customers meander around the market, perusing racks of second-hand J. Crew blouses or gently worn Old Navy pants. They are looking for some articles of clothing that are look new and at a low enough price, that they can afford to look well for their next job interview. Does this sound familiar?

Screenprint business owners don’t get enough solitude. We are constantly surrounded by our staff members, prospective customers, suppliers and clients in a never-ending battle to operate our business in a positive manner as we seek to grow the business. I am sure that there are many business owners who do spend their day behind a desk without having a single conversation with another person, but solitude and loneliness are not the same thing.

Do you have an employee handbook? Probably, as this is a very important tool for most companies, which expend a great amount of money and resources in the creation of them. These valuable tools usually dive deeply into rules, regulations, mission, policy and conduct, but often ignore what might be the most important category of all – marketing.

The original Mentor is a character in Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. When Odysseus, King of Ithaca went to fight in the Trojan War, he entrusted the care of his kingdom to Mentor. Mentor served as the teacher and overseer of Odysseus’ son, Telemachus. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a mentor as “a trusted counselor or guide.” One of the most valuable assets your career can have is a good mentor.

Is the heat in your shop so unbearable that production suffers? Don’t forget that the human race existed long before there was air conditioning. This article discusses how to cool your production area and employees! Note: I did not think up the ideas expressed in this...

A Glossary of Terms used in the Screenprinting Technologies. There are 6,900 entries currently in the glossary and it is still under construction. Your help is appreciated in correcting any misspellings or improving the definitions. You can use your browser's search tool to locate an...

Far too often, many screenprinters will put the screens on the press and then make on press adjustment until the print looks right and start printing. If they have to flash, so be it! If they have to make two strokes, so be it! You may be surprised at how much money you are losing by doing it this way.

Question: Why is it that most of the replies on [a particular] forum go directly to the person who asked the question instead of coming through the list so we can all learn and participate. I feel like I've been missing a lot lately. Solution: There...

The bottom line is that if you did not create the image from scratch, it is not yours to use as you wish. By Bill Hood, ASDPT Fellow Almost daily on social media, you will note that someone will ask about printing copyrighted images or images that...

Saving money is possibly the most important issue of the day for screenprinters. There are far too many ways to save money than can be discussed in one article. In fact, most of the articles on this site will address reducing costs. In this short...

  While those of us in the screenprinting technologies are accustomed to seeing screenprinting every day in our shops, many are unaware of the myriad uses of screenprinting outside of their particular segment of screenprinting.   During a recent golf tournament in which I was coupled with two...

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