Put On Your Inking Cap
For those in need of ideas, Vann stressed textures are hot right now, but they need to be thoughtfully considered. “If you just take the ink and put it on a shirt with someone’s logo on it—boring—[it] doesn’t do anything,” cautioned Vann. “You have got to think about design, bottom line, that’s the key. Think design first.” He said the use of new high-density inks, leather inks and even traditional puff inks can add value to the promotion when used to create 3-D looks, and in some cases, optical illusions that trick the eye into seeing depth.
Besides that, Vann said look to the cities. “What’s hot right now that will use those special effects is anything urban, hip-hop or biker tattoo,” he mentioned. “You see a lot of those looks in the design and then in the middle you’ll see a corporate logo.”
In the end, his best advice is to think retail and perceived value. “What’s most important about the special effects is the ultimate outcome or the feel of the design,” he said. “If you’re going to give something away, spend a little bit more money. It does not have to be a boutique item, but it has to have retail appeal [so] people want to wear it.” And hopefully, wear it they will.