Business and Marketing for Screen Printers by fsf69522


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									                                                                         summaries from small shops were quite encouraging, with
                                                                         numerous reports of decorators either moving into or break-
                  SCREEN                   PRINTERS                      ing ground on significant new space. We’re also amazed by the
                                                                         quality of work small shops turn out. Check out “Ones to
                                                                         Watch” on page 36 for some impressive samples.
                                   B y S h a n n o n W i l d e r,            So contradictory as it may sound, even though we’ve upped

                                            Senior Editor                the cutoff point for top volume, we still want everyone out
                                                                         there to turn in an application form next year, whether you’re
                                                                         printing 4,000 units or 40 million units.

                                                                             The information you give us is a great barometer for the
                                                                         state of the industry. The numbers you report, in combination
                                                                         with the yearly summaries you include, give us a feel for what’s
                                                                         happening out there in the trenches that no survey ever can.
                                                                         For example, several small printers report the addition of floor

                                                                         space that nearly doubled their facilities during 2002. Who’d
                                                                         have expected that in this economy?

                the                                                          We promise if you keep sending us the information,
                                                                         we’ll run it – so long as space permits. In the future, look
                                                                         for the “Ones to Watch” page to become a permanent addi-
                                                                         tion to the Top-Volume story.

Some say the screen printing                                         WHAT’S GOIN’ ON?
                                                                      A glance at this year’s samples turns up some interesting
industry is polarized, with growth                                    trends in the marketplace. As every generation eventually
                                                                      learns, at some point the culture of your childhood gets redis-
at either end and a slump in the                                      covered. It becomes retro and campy – and makes you feel
middle. Do this year’s Top-Volume                                     that much older.
                                                                         I remember when my parents went through this. Suddenly the
results bear that out?                                                Mickey Mouse Club was hip again and toys from the 1950s quickly
                                                                      became collectors items. Now it’s my turn. As evidence I cite the
Welcome to the 2003 edition of IMPRESSIONS’ annual Top- T-shirt samples we received this year touting cartoons and TV
Volume Screen Printers listing. Those of you who follow this shows I watched as a kid (Hong Kong Phooey and Starsky & Hutch
compilation regularly will notice the name is a bit different this leap to mind). There’s even one for A Christmas Story, a movie I
year. That’s because we’ve gone from seeking that elusive, arbi- remember seeing when it debuted at the theater years before TBS
trary number of 100 to a less restrictive format that truly rec- put it on 24-hour autoplay every Christmas Eve. Savvy marketers
ognizes Top Volume. If we have 1,000 screen printers in our are quick to pounce on this renewed popularity, and many print-
listing, that’s great. If we have 50, that’s great too.               ers both large and small found that printing licensed goods
    Why did we do this? Over the last year, a few wise men accounted for a huge chunk of their business in 2002.
(namely some of our correspondents, who are also among the               It’s also easy to see that GRRRRL power is on the rise.
industry’s foremost, well-seasoned experts) have noted that We’re receiving more samples that were clearly made with
screen printing is undergoing something of a polarization. The girls in mind, from T-shirts with smaller cuts to designs fea-
big shops, they say, are getting bigger and the small shops are turing female cartoon characters. Even sporting goods giant
prospering too, but the middle is sort of falling out. After look- Reebok is getting in on the action, using its considerable
ing at the results for this year’s listing, we agreed, and we knew R&D dollars to dream up cute and shiny flowers and even an
we had to change the format.                                                                 adorable snail in black glitter.
    It wasn’t an easy call for us to make. We                                                   That brings us to the other reason we
know how important being listed among                   Get Listed                           look forward to getting Top-Volume sam-
the Top-Volume Screen Printers can be to          Want to be considered for next year’s      ples each year. This listing has become
a shop. Still, we knew we had to draw a line      Top-Volume Screen Printers or the          something of a showcase for R&D efforts.
in the sand. So we drew it at 500,000 units                                                  Trust me, there’s nothing better than
                                                  Ones to Watch? Look for application
printed. It just didn’t make sense to run a                                                  opening a box of sample T-shirts and hav-
top-volume list that started with units           forms, which will appear in three con-     ing your jaw literally drop each time you
printed in the multimillions and ranged to        secutive issues in 2004: February,         unfold a new entry. And though we’ve
as low as 50,000 units.                           Feb. 15 and March. You’ll find submis-      included the most obvious examples on
                                                  sion instructions on the form. In          our “Special Effects” page, a look at
SIZE ISN’T EVERYTHING                             the meantime, if you have any ques-        almost any page in this article should give
That’s not to say we aren’t surprised by the                                                 you a feel for the cutting-edge work that’s
                                                  tions call (770) 291-5578 or e-mail
success and growth many small shops                                                          going on in shops all across the nation –
experienced during 2002. Several year-end          lousy economy or no.

                                                                                                     IMPRESSIONS | JUNE 2003
                                                   Now more than ever, clients are looking
                                                   for that special touch that sets their
                                                   garments apart and makes consumers
                                                   want to pull it off the shelf and wear it
                                                   home. Here are a few examples:
                                                   LEFT: Group Athletica created the       Something
                                                   Reebok vector, a dotticular print
                                                   (similar to lenticular, but round) with a
                                                   three-color spot separation using
                                                   Rutland inks on top of Rutland gel.
                                                   LOWER LEFT: Tee’s Plus used its GraphicFusion process to create
                                                   this silvery logo for Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Casino.
                                                   BELOW: Glow-in-the-Dark Rutland ink gives Thunder Creek’s licensed
                                                   image of Dexter from the Cartoon Network’s hit Dexter’s Laboratory
                                                   the perfect punch.

                                 SCREEN            PRINTERS
       Company                   Units Printed   % Change from 2001       Finished Garments      #Impressions

 1     Ampro                        17,220,000                  -27%               16,800,000       18,950,000

 2     Total Enterprises            12,773,552                  +9.5                2,554,710       14,050,907

 3     Crown Prince                 10,000,000                 +20%                10,000,000       12,000,000

 4     Incredible Clothing Co.       7,100,000                 +34%                 7,100,000         8,700,000

 5     Art FX                        5,650,100                 +35%                 4,355,100         7,345,200

 6     Group Athletica/Reebok        5,307,110                  +4%                  5,307,110      10,444,392

 7     Print Inc.                    5,246,254                   -8%                4,909,402         8,307,739

 8     Screened Images               4,992,000                 +10%                 4,660,000         6,700,000

 9     JRP Screen Printing           4,285,714                 +35%                  4,285,714        5,285,714

 10    Blazer Screenprint Co.        4,080,500                   NA                 3,312,800         6,632,600
                                     Ah, the good old days. Remember the
                                     ’70s and ’80s, all that fun we had
                                     watching bad TV and even cheesier

  Blasts                             Michael J. Fox movies? Thunder Creek
                                     does, and they’re taking a stroll down
from                                 memory lane by giving fun twists to

 the Past
                                     some familiar images.
                                     RIGHT: That classic ’70s icon, the
                                     “I’m with Stupid” shirt, gets updated
for a new century with a simple, black gel ink from Rutland.
LOWER RIGHT: To bring Back to the Future’s juiced-up DeLorean and
snazzy logo from 1985 to 2002, Thunder Creek used a pearlescent Rutland
ink and its own proprietary concoction of inks called “pleather.”
BELOW: The logo for hunky TV cops Starsky and Hutch (along with their
fabulous Ford Gran Torino) gets a new look courtesy of some clear Wilflex gel.

                                                  SCREEN                        PRINTERS
            Company                                  Units Printed         % Change from 2001   Finished Garments    #Impressions

   11       T.S. Designs                                  3,088,521                      +2%                  NA              NA

   12       Holoubek                                      3,000,000                     +25%            3,000,000       6,000,000

   13       Sea and Sun Graphics                          2,575,215                      +3%             2,575,215      2,600,100

   14       Sweat Equity Laboratories                     2,475,160                     +205             4,324,749      4,558,340

   15       CC Creations/Red Oak Sportswear               2,150,000                     +20%             2,150,000      3,300,000

   16       Oregon Screen Impressions                     2,100,000                     +10%             2,100,000      3,123,000

   17       Sunburst Sportswear                           2,010,000                     -4.3%           1,330,000       3,040,000

   18       Graphic Elements                              2,000,000                     +65%            2,000,000       2,500,000

   19       Insta Graphic Systems                         1,915,021                     -2.7%            1,832,373      2,734,664

   20       Trademarks Promotional Products               1,866,800                      +4%            1,685,840       2,860,000

                                                                                                       IMPRESSIONS | JUNE 2003
                                    If you want to sell shirts these days, you
                                    gotta have that ever-elusive cool factor
                                    that appeals to kids all over, whether
                                    they’re living in downtown Detroit or
                                    rural Alabama.

  Urban                             RIGHT: Art FX created this special
                                    application print for Southpole using

Renewal                             a combination of puff ink and direct
                                    LOWER RIGHT: Trademarks adds to
 the ever-popular Ecko Unlimited line with this four-color version of the
 company’s famous Rhino logo. The underbase and topcoat are Wilflex
 Extreme White; the background is Wilflex Black; and the wavy lines are
 Rutland’s High Density Black.
 BELOW: Azzure Denim’s logo benefits from Art FX’s expert touch. The
 screen printed image was printed inside a pattern of clear gel dots.

                                                   SCREEN                        PRINTERS
             Company                                  Units Printed         % Change from 2001        Finished Garments           #Impressions

    21       Sportswear Unlimited                          1,850,000                      +17%                    1,850,000            2,000,000

    22       Magnum Screenprint                            1,833,129                       +9%                     1,833,129           2,071,435

    23       Printex                                       1,720,000                      +11%                    1,705,000            2,460,000

    24       Sun Creations                                 1,660,000                        NA                            NA           2,475,000

    25       Tee’s Plus                                    1,543,441                      +17%                    1,500,000             2,114,303

    26       Thunder Creek Apparel                         1,535,953                     +20%                     1,535,953            2,269,941
             & Promotional Products
    27       Cinder Block Ink                              1,421,602                     +30%                      1,421,602           1,953,381

    28       Goodbye Blue Monday                           1,387,389                       +8%                     1,387,389           1,828,583

    29       ScreenWorks USA                               1,385,000                       -6%                    1,385,000            2,173,000

    30       House of Ink                                  1,355,719                        NA                    1,342,000             1,707,852

                                                                                      Use Info•Action #63 for Russell Artwear at ➜
                                                                                                                IMPRESSIONS | JUNE 2003
                                                         Recent years have seen an influx of
                                                         T-shirts and other garments in more
                                                         feminine shapes and colors. With
                                                         manufacturers clearly on the girl-
                                                         friendly wagon, it seems that designers
                                                         are getting the message too.                 Girly
                                                         LEFT: In Thunder Creek’s version, Dee
                                                         Dee (from Dexter’s Laboratory on
                                                         Cartoon Network) gets glam with
                                                         Rutland crystalina ink.
                                                         LOWER LEFT: Group Athletica unearths the power of the flower in this daisy
                                                         design for Reebok made with a Rutland puff ink under a crystalina top coat.
                                                         BELOW: To create this Lady Bug for Reebok, Group Athletica used an
                                                         eight-color simulated process separation and printed the image with
                                                         Rutland inks. The top layer is an application of clear caviar beads.

                                      SCREEN            PRINTERS
       Company                        Units Printed   % Change from 2001           Finished Garments          #Impressions

 31    Multicolor Screen Printing         1,334,352                    -12%                    1,287,017           1,694,712

 32    Devant                             1,325,000                 +0.21%                     1,325,000           1,392,000

 33    East Coast Sportswear & More       1,200,000                   +20%                     1,020,000          1,900,000

 34    Kenmar Shirts                      1,194,000                +0.025%                     1,100,000           1,595,000

 35    Sunflower Marketing                1,161,823                   -4.8%                    1,161,823           1,742,735

 36    Team Victory                       1,142,000                     10%                    1,142,000           1,335,000

 37    Target Graphics Ltd.               1,033,448                    -10%                    1,030,948           1,454,249

 38    Sportswear Promotions               941,625                      +7%                     935,000            1,255,500

 39    Trend Graphics Ltd.                 915,000                       NA                      915,000          1,464,000

 40    Price Prints                        909,000                       NA                     909,000              950,000
                                  Who better to know what forward-thinking sports fans want
                                  than Group Athletica, which prints exclusively for Reebok.

                                  TOP: To commemorate Super Bowl XXXVII, the company
                                  created this nine-color simulated process image, printed it

                                  with Rutland color booster inks and overlaid it with a coat
                                  of Rutland Super Gel.

                                  MIDDLE: The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t make it to the
                                  Super Bowl, but they got a T-shirt worthy of champions in
                                  this eight-color simulated process image printed with
 Rutland color booster inks and topped with Rutland’s dome gel.
 BOTTOM: This season-opener shirt results from a spot separation printed with Rutland
 inks. Rutland’s pearl gel was used to create the unique “egg carton” texture.

                                                      IMPRESSIONS | JUNE 2003
                                           SCREEN                  PRINTERS
       Company                             Units Printed       % Change from 2001           Finished Garments   #Impressions
 41    B Screened                               850,000                           +10%                800,000            NA
 42    Paradise Unlimited                       848,862                           -15%                848,862      1,241,027
 43    American Environmental Outfitters        821,490                             -5%               821,490      1,067,937
 44    Prolific Screen Printing                 804,822                            +7%                568,627      1,089,135
 45    High Peak Sportswear                     795,786                              0%               795,786      1,313,047
 46    Applied Pressure Press                   734,400                            +2%                720,000      1,296,000
 47    Berg Sportswear                          732,000                             NA                    NA             NA
 48    Techstyles                               723,000                            +5%                723,000       868,000
 49    Team Print                               622,586                            +1%                403,647      2,490,344
 50    Galapagos Studios                        575,000                           +15%                575,000       900,000
 51    F&E Sportswear                           562,000                          +20%                     NA        982,000
 52    Eagle Promotions                         550,000                          +7.5%                600,000       600,000
 53    To-A-Tee                                  518,153                        +135%                 518,153        597,205
 54    Jones & Mitchell Sportswear               517,000                           -11%               517,000        537,680

                                            Use Info•Action #21 at
                                It doesn’t take a big shop to turn out quality prints.
                                TOP: Gandy Ink created one of its hallmark distressed
                                images for Texas’ Everman High School using Wilflex inks.

     Ones                       MIDDLE: Silk Graphics Hawaii printed this design, created
                                by Maui artist Sherri Reeve, as a modified four-color process

       To                       image. An underbase, as well as a glitter and highlight top
                                coat, help the flowers burst from the garment.

      Watch                     BOTTOM: Brown & Gold printed this seven-color, simulated
                                process design for Wyoming University. ■

     Ones to Watch
                            Units     % Change          Finished
      Company             Printed         2001         Garments        #Impressions

      Gandy Ink           483,662           +6%          483,662               719,676

      Custom Logos        431,328            -2%         431,328              709,431

      Dodger Industries   424,131          +22%          418,895                    NA
      Wheat Buckley and   420,000         -0.5%          408,700              495,000
      His Talking Horse

36                                                   IMPRESSIONS | JUNE 2003

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