Lesson Two: Checking Your Work
Fashion-forward prints are great, but they can bring a few technical complications as well. For one, Cocco explained that printing without an underlay on colored garments, either to create a vintage look or to print over a seem or zipper, can cause some variation in color from shirt to shirt. But beyond issues inherent to the processes themselves, Kevin Orga, vice president of contract printing for ITA Printing, Butler, Pa., noted that fashion-forward printing overall can be a struggle for some printers.
"Do your research with whoever is doing their printing," he said. Orga stated that not all printers are equipped to handle complex printing tasks such as oversized or cross-zipper designs. He explained that both special machines and special pallets are required for such work, but some printers will try to squeak by and do the work without them. "They take their machine and try and put in bigger screens and make pallets work that really aren't built for doing that type of thing," he said.
Lesson 3: Look Into Licensing
A downside to the lucrativeness of collegiate work is that sometimes a school's logo will be restricted by various licensing laws and agreements. Before you start work on a collegiate project, be sure that either your client is able to guarantee usage rights or you're able to secure them on your own.
To check that a given person at a school has authority over logo usage, Orga recommended contacting the school's licensing department, or barring that, the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), the governing body that handles all college licensing. This may seem like a silly step to take if you've been hired by the college, but keep in mind that your client may not be aware of the licensing rules themselves. Orga gave the example of student greek organizations as collegiate bodies that will occasionally stumble over licensing laws. "There's a lot of sororities and fraternities that think just because they're a sorority or fraternity of that school that they can go and put that school's logo on the front of a T-shirt, and that's usually not the case," he said. "Some of your smaller schools yes, but the bigger schools, you're not allowed to." He noted as well that if you're looking for access to the license yourself, you have to go through the CLC.