Elevate your Souvenir Tee in Three Steps

When you hear “souvenir tee” what comes to mind? The cheesy “I love NY” shirts? The Hollywood sign? Golden Gate Bridge printed on a cheap white tee? Souvenir tees seem to be made quick and cheap with results being undesirable or not lasting. We’re hoping to change this gap in the promotional apparel industry with a printing hack that will transform your next souvenir tee.

Step 1: Elevate your Graphic with Line Art

Souvenir tees often showcase a skyline or the city name in it’s iconic font. The designs typically are not interesting and appear to be created with little to no effort. We challenged this old school approach by taking the standard city skyline image and converted it to a line art design for a modern look.

We took an image of the Las Vegas skyline and outlined it in Illustrator then converted that solid line to dash lines. From there, the outlined graphic  threshold (a.k.a. line density) was increased to be thick enough for the ink to grab the fabric in the printing process. Then, the shirt will be a part of the design as well since the line art is transparent.

 

Step 2: Choose a High Quality Garment

Once y0u have your graphic, you’ll want to choose your blank garment. For this particular design, we went with the sueded tee because of the soft hand feel. The suede tee paired with the line art ink adds an interesting take to contrast in texture. Another great quality about the sueded tee is the durability. You want a strong shirt that will work well with the line art design in the printing process.

Step 3: Print with a Specialty Ink

The ink we used to achieve this textured effect is puff ink with a suede additive. Puff ink is one of the most versatile inks that can change the way a garment feels and looks based on the coverage of the ink. For example, as you might have seen in our Embossed Hack video,  larger coverage results in thicker puff. However, when using puff ink with this particular line design, it creates an embroidered effect due to it’s tenancy to grab and absorb the fabric beneath it. 

The trick with this design is spacing the line art out just right. If the spaces are too close together then the ink will blend together losing the embroidery effect. This is important to keep in mind during the graphic design process particularly when sizing and determining the line weight.

Don’t get left behind with outdated souvenir tees that eventually get thrown away. What are your thoughts on this line art trend that’s taking off?  We’d love to hear your ideas on how to elevate a souvenir tee in the comment section! 

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