Category Archives: graphics screen printing industry news

Starting a Business the Lean Way

business planWhen it comes to starting a business, the path for many people involves carefully charting a course by following the traditional steps of creating a business plan. In an earlier blog article, “So you want to start a screen or graphics printing business”, the steps to beginning/completing a plan were outlined. They included doing market research; defining financial management, sales strategies, responsible organizational and management personnel; how to apply for a loan and more.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

In “Launching Lean” by Daniel Bortz (Money Magazine, page 40, March 2014), the author outlines what this “lean” means. Here it is in it’s entirely. It’s very different than the traditional approach to building a new business. Many will argue its demerits, others will find that this approach speaks to them.

LAUNCHING “LEAN”

Some entrepreneurs are trading in the traditional business plan for trial and error. This methodology, popularized by Eric Ries’s 2011 book, the Lean Startup, is not “rapidly going around the world, ” says Alex DeNoble, head of San Diego State University’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center.

What Lean Means. It’s a fast-track to launch. Instead of painstakingly researching the market first, you dive into product testing, using consumer feedback to develop a “minimum viable product.” So, if you’re making a game for tweens, have kids play with it, pivot based on their reactions, then test again.

When to Skip It. This strategy isn’t for businesses that need to come out of the gate with a fully formed product, says Jeffrey Bernel of the University of Notre Dame’s Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship. A restaurant, for example, might struggle to establish a customer base if it keeps changing its menu.

How to Do It Right. “The output is only as good as the input,” says Daniel Cohen, director of the eLab accelerator at Cornell University. So, clearly ID your target customer before convening focus groups. And, set an end date for testing so you don’t exhaust resources before you launch.

We appreciate that you are a subscriber and/or an occasional reader! Thanks for your input.

Survive and Thrive in Screen, Graphics and Digital Printing.

That’s the Way it Was and We Liked It!

Do you remember the Dana Carvey sketch on SNL, “That’s the Way it Was and We Liked It”? Basically, the character’s mantra was “Phooey on progress. I don’t like things now compared to the way they used to be!”  In thinking about the skit’s theme and how tough change can be for some people, in fact, for many in our industry, it’s actually understandable why people don’t relish change and why they want to hang on to the same way of doing business that has served them for decades (even if not very well).

So..because our livelihoods need to flourish, it’s a mandate that we continually look at trends, what the competition is doing, changing technology, needs of customers, the economy, new printing techniques, the decline of large-run printing jobs, innovation and more .

Diversify and be Flexible.

This article, Tracking Trends is Key to Business Survival, is a highly recommended first and/or second read. It was written by Greg Kitson,  founder of Mind’s Eye Graphics, for Impressions Magazine on Nov. 19, 2013. In “Tracking Trends is Key to Business Survival”, Greg thoughtfully shared how he was forced to change during complicated economic times and the impact of the loss of hi-volume orders, how he accomplished the change by looking at a variety of industry trends, what worked and what didn’t.  In order to survive, Greg shared that small- to mid-sized shops may find they need to regroup and discover what customers are willing to pay for, while also finding enough clients who want the same thing. Companies that are content and continue to do what they have been doing for the past 10 years will be in trouble. This statement remains unchanged today.

RhinoTech on Trend.

An example of a company’s ability to thrive is Eagan, MN-based, RhinoTech. With an ever watchful eye on trends and the tempo of the screen printing industry, the 18 year old company orchestrated its entrance  into the digital printing arena many years ago to ensure its place in the industry and to help its textile and graphics printing customers easily diversify, as well.

In doing so, RhinoTech (info@rhinotechinc.com) broadened its products/equipment base. It remains attuned to the nuances of heat press printing, equipment and heat transfer papers. It offers a wide range of heat press equipment, printers, toners and papers. The company extends its knowledge-base through in-person training and step-by-step video instruction. The company also sells Smart Designer X6 Creative Assistant software (that wraps into CorelDRAW X6) so that customers can buy an entire digital printing package complete with art production software. To help customers capture business with the Fluorescent printing on BLACK trend, RhinoTech offers RT SunAngel DARK. Screen and graphics printers AND embroiderers can easily diversify their businesses with this system to help capture all customers, especially those with short run project needs.

BE PROACTIVE.

Greg Kitson says it best, “I identify trends by reading industry trade magazines, attending trade shows and talking with peers. Don’t find out too late. Track trends now and be prepared for whatever the future may bring.” You can contact him at greg@mindseyeg.com. And,  please be sure to mention that you read his great article on this blog.

Many thanks for reading and subscribing!

Another option to print on DARK garments and fabrics from RhinoTech.

In the world of all forms printing (screen, digital and graphics), the search for a way to print on black, indigo, red, aubergine and other dark apparel and fabrics is on-going.  And, if found, the resulting image from this almost-perfect product should have durability through the virtue of the product, itself, and via prime washability characteristics. The following educational video is from RhinoTech (youtube.com/rhinotechcompany) featuring Jet Opaque Inkjet Heat Transfer Paper. The characteristics you seek have been found!

A Simple, Easy way to Transfer to Black.

This video is a great example of how a new guy to the industry not only learns the digital printing process and a few creative techniques, but then is able to share it to the world in a matter of a few hours due to the ease of use of the heat transfer paper and equipment. As you view the video, be aware that this inkjet transfer process can also be used with other substrates such as T-shirts, hoodies, golf towels, pillow cases, bags, hats, mouse pads and more. Another great aspect of the paper is that it offers a much softer hand, allowing for photo-quality transfers with a white base. Additionally, Jet Opaque heat transfer paper has a distinctive white coating that is actually peeled back and laid down onto the shirt for printing.

These are the steps to printing with Jet Opaque:

Trim off any excess white background (or, as you’ll see with the second that shirt that is going to be printed, add some extra something with a ripped edge – be wholly creative).

Prepress shirt to remove moisture and wrinkles @ 350F (adjustable temperature control, too)

Peel design

Place design on shirt

Immediately cover print with parchment paper and heat press for 30 seconds (using adjustable timer)

Slide t-shirt off press and lay flat until paper is cool to the touch

Remove parchment paper –  the colors will POP!

For best washing results, turn shirt inside out.

Jet Opaque is available in two sizes: 8.5” x 11” and 11” x 17” and can be found HERE and HERE.

Contact info: info@rhinotechinc.com, 651-686-5027 or 888-717-4466.

Facebook, Twitter; RhinoBlast the blog; Google+ and more!

Really appreciate that you’ve read, watched and subscribed!

 

Screen Cleaning Solutions from RhinoTech that Increase Your Eco-Sensitivity Score!

As part of its line-up, RhinoTech announces its latest, most powerful Filtration System – the M-10F! M10F Rhino Logo

Filtration is Good!

Focused on environmental sensitivity, the company has created a triple-action filtration system to help printers/business owners/educational institutions become and remain stewards of the earth, septic and plumbing systems. The cost of the system is competitive while remaining a dramatically efficient way in which to dispose of emulsion and ink by-products.

Like all RhinoTech Filtration systems, the M-10F offers space saving features to enable it to easily fit underneath a RhinoTech (or most other) Washout Booth and connect to plumbing systems. With the use of compatible RhinoClean Green ² Screen Cleaning chemicals that are eco-friendly and biodegradable, the filtered liquid becomes even more drain safe.

The M-10F screen cleaning filtration system works like this:

  • during the screen cleaning process, ink and emulsion flow from the washout booth into the M-10F that has been positioned securely underneath the washout booth.
  • The first of two filtration chambers fill with liquid from the booth.
  • When the liquid reaches the top inside divider of the M-10F, it transfers to the second chamber that houses an auto discharge pump.
  • As the second chamber fills, the pump activates automatically pushing the liquid out of the chamber and through two additional canister filters. At that point, maximum filtration has been achieved.
  • And, only then is the filtered water allowed down the drain.

Utilizing an M-10F Filtration System offers an affordable way for any screen printing company to meet their responsibilities to comply with city, county, state, Parrish, township and federal regulations regarding liquid disposal. Home-based studios especially benefit when septic and plumbing systems are kept in tact with a purposeful screen cleaning filtration system!

Contact information: info@rhinotechinc.com;www.rhinotechinc.com; 88.717.4466; 651.686.5027; youtube.com/rhinotechcompany; rhinotech.blogspot.com; facebook.com/rhinotech; twitter.com/rhinomitemn

Again, thanks for your interest and your subscription!

Screen Printing. Bold. Multi-dimensional. More Artistic than Ever!

“Old School Screen Printing in the Digital Age” (SGIA Journal, Winter, 2014) reflects what we have never disregarded – that traditional, manual screen printing remains a mainstay in the art and reproduction world despite the onset of the digital age. For those rediscovering or just discerning its potential, the simplicity and relative affordability of setting up a home-based or storefront studio and the dynamics of creating/selling beautiful, handcrafted pieces has kicked up a firestorm of brilliance.

DIY ART IS SCREEN PRINTING

SONY DSC

Serigraph of Ringo that is a screen printed limited edition print

As mentioned in the SGIA Journal feature, Etsy (on-line), art festivals and even Thunder on the Bay (a Sarasota, FL, biker festival of music, crafts, art and food) represent the face-to-face business that is building as manual screen printing churns out vivid creations in wearable and print arts. Various venues in 2014 will continue to host specialty, handmade items in small batches. Check out Art Expo in NYC. Watch for music festivals in Seattle, Barcelona, Chicago, Austin and Hamburg, Germany via Flatstock poster shows. The Renegade Craft Fairs in London, Chicago, Brooklyn, Austin, LA and San Francisco will also be favorite exhibits sites to be awed as will be other arts/crafts fairs throughout U.S. cities and around the nation. 

COMMERCIAL ART IS SCREEN PRINTING

And, for the artists who are venturing into printed art/fabric design that appeals to commercial enterprise, the resurgence of manually screen printed items remain big ticket items. Gregory Markus, president of RhinoTech was interviewed after his attendance at a fine art show in the Park Avenue Armory in NYC that is a grand, towering exhibit space in itself. He noted the multi-dimensional screen printed art on display, the bold graphics and sharp, expressive designs. His zealous enthusiasm was infectious regarding the artists whose multi-layered original art prints represented a new wave of “traditionalists” creating limited-edition posters, lithographs and more.

The reemergence of this manually screen printed work, whether displayed in private or commercial arenas, signals an energized marketplace and excitement for a vastly creative, hands-on method in which to design and create. And, importantly, it helps to dispel the myth of manual screen printing’s downturn in favor of a solely digitally printed world. With a 30+ year background in fine art, screen, graphics and digital printing, Mr. Markus has been witness to bold changes and a new facination in producing art with manual screen printing!

NEW DIGITAL PRINTING TECHNIQUES VIA RhinoTech

RhinoTech is an example of a company that has remained true to its roots, firmly immersed in all things screen printing; yet, has recognized the value of digital printing and its highly creative genius. The company’s ability to blend these two types of printing practices helps all printers learn how to merge these processes under one roof to meet their own creative outlets and the needs of their customers. For example, though highly simple and refined software like Smart Designer Creative Assistant X6(that blends with CorelDRAW X6), this art production software tool offers value to both digital and manual screen printers. By tracking the pulse of these art-in-all-forms producing industries, RhinoTech offers value to its customers through providing software, screen cleaning equipment, earth-friendly screen frame cleaning chemicals, adhesives, manual screen printing accessories AND digital heat transfer equipment, the latest specialty transfer papers for use with both laser and inkjet printers.

Thanks for reading and checking out our site!

Green is the New Black!

Just like the LBD, GREEN is the new black in the screen printing industry when it comes to choosing eco-friendly, environmentally-sensitive, screen cleaning chemicals. We know that using soy-based and other biodegradable, non-toxic chemicals is good for people, animals, business and Mother Earth. When these products are locally sourced, they are more of a bonus.

The FACTS. Our industry must reduce its footprint. More and more professional and novice printers or hobbyists are searching out ways to be proactive and lessen their impact on our planet. Students of the arts are graduating with attuned, eco-conscious levels and want to begin their careers in settings that are respectful of the earth, it’s inhabitants and the air we breathe. The numbers of eco-conscious apparel companies are growing. Consumers’ who are seeking out organically grown cotton products printed with water-based inks by employees who are paid a fair wage and work in companies that assure their health and safety grows significantly each year. Examples of these types of companies are  Contempl8 T-Shirts, Prana and ALO (and a whole lot of others who exhibited during NYC’s Fashion Week).

PROFIT MARGIN. As with any business, the final result is the bottom-line. By incorporating the following, you will save time, money and effort:

1.     Generally, you will use less of the eco-product per use as compared to those that are not.

2.     Investigate, compare and invest in a screen wash Recirculation System. A recirculation system generally holds 15-20 gallons of screen wash that works to   filter out ink pigments, cleaning the screen wash for reuse many times over. Another advantage is that it is a system to move you toward environmental compliance.

3.     Take the leap to purchase a dip/soak tank that will hold stencil remover that allows reuse of the stencil remover many times over instead of just letting it run down a drain each time it is sprayed onto a screen in the washout booth. 

4.     Invest in Filtration System like the M-10F powered by RhinoTech. You will be infinitely grateful that you chose to purchase this system and it’s much less expensive that a plumber! Emulsion is a thick substance and you do not want to take the chance of clogging drain pipes and septic fields. Additionally, this system will help insure compliance with local, Parrish, township, state and federal rules governing what goes down the drain.

5.     INVEST in a heavy duty, 1500 A or Pressure Washer or a lighter duty, commercial model like the RS390AR – both from RhinoTech!  With these systems, you save by not having to replace homeowner – type units every 6 months – 1 year; you will speed up screen cleaning/reclaiming efforts and, again, save lots of money to spend on other screen printing equipment, supplies and accessories.

6.     20” x 24” aluminum screen frames with 110 mesh range in price from $22-26. A printer’s goal is to distribute these costs over many projects; for example, if the printer can use the screen for 25 different jobs, the cost per screen per job equals $1. This is the ultimate reason why properly taking care of screen frames for long-term reuse is a vital business practice.

             What are your thoughts? Thanks for absorbing and sharing.                     earth

 

Screen printing Filtration Systems – Why the Need?

A Filtration system in a screen and/or graphics printing business, whether in a corporate, studio or home-based environment, is a highly rated necessity – not a luxury. Choosing one that fits securely underneath a washout booth enables every screen printer the opportunity to easily and responsibly meet city/county/state/Parrish/township regulations for proper disposal of waste particles as part of the screen cleaning process.

Tip # 1 for choosing a system: look for a triple action unit like the M-10F that uses filtration media. This will help to ensure that the final, remaining liquid left behind will test out as the most drain safe, as possible. A 2013 video by Catspit Productions offers a close-up installation of a Filtration System system and its tremendous advantages for both the company and the environment.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and rethink the reasons as to why a Filtration System is a must in 2013!

Break away!

Need a little get-a-way? This is it!

Our pleasure!

Screen Reclaiming with a Heavy Duty Pressure Washer!

There are a variety of pressure washers on the market today. From household units that last about 150 hours to others like the 1500A from RhinoTech, there is much decision – making required whether investing $100 or $7,000.The thing is, you need this essential piece of screen cleaning equipment if you plan to reclaim/reuse your screen frames. The outdoor hose just won’t cut it, especially if you’re cleaning multiple screens per day. And, unless you have a constant and endless revenue stream, you are going to want a pressure washer that will last for many years. The video product review offers a great overview of what will you get when you invest in a quality machine. Yes, it’s an investment, but one that you won’t regret. The pay-off will be your bottom-line profit. Enjoy.

The video is a full-on, product review by Catspit Productions of the RhinoClean 1500A Heavy Duty Pressure Washer. But…watch at your own risk since you’ll definitely want one of these gems after seeing it in action.  RhinoTech offers FREE SHIPPING (as always in contiguous U.S.)  on orders of $50+! 

Thanks for your support of this Industry News site!

 

 

Want a heavy duty Pressure Washer for $495-12% discount; no-freight cost?

We’ve shared this for your pleasure!

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Want-a-heavy-duty-Pressure-Washer-for–495-12—-no-freight-.html?soid=1102591137272&aid=dFRx9jYNCUg.

ANOTHER GREAT DISCOUNT EVENT for SCREEN and GRAPHICS PRINTERS EVERYWHERE. A PRESIDENTIAL-WORTHY SHARE!

 

 

%d bloggers like this: