Spring break is when color makes its comeback. After months of dark winter apparel, it’s safe to say we’re ready to brighten things up.

Enter spring break: Relaxation, warm weather, and fun with friends. Spring break means colorful tees and tanks commemorating your vacation with friends. It means printed hats with hashtags and inside jokes. For those of us who no longer get to experience spring break, these items are a fun reminder. For those of you who still do, customized gear is an absolute necessity. We’ll give you three real reasons.

REASON #1: YOU WONT GET LOST

If you’re going on vacation with your friends to somewhere beachy, chances are you can expect a crowd. Spring break is a popular vacation time, but remember: unfamiliar cities + lots of people = lost friends.

How do you avoid the lost friend problem? Obviously you need to get matching neon shirts for your whole group. If one friend disappears for a few minutes, they will be easy to spot in a crowd. When you ask people if they’ve seen your friend, they’re more likely to remember the person in a neon orange tank top than the person in a white shirt. *Side note: If you plan on ditching your friends, you should probably bring a white shirt to change into, because nobody loses the friend in neon! #fact

REASON #2: TAUNTING THE FRIEND WHO STAYED HOME

Group vacations are never easy. There’s always one person whose schedule didn’t work out and they have to stay home. We feel bad for that friend. However, sometimes one friend CHOOSES to stay behind! When a friend chooses to stay behind instead of have fun, they deserve to be punished.

How do you punish this friend? Step 1: Make custom shirts, tanks, hats, fanny packs, really anything you can think of. Step 2: Print inside joke from the trip on those items. Make it a funny saying or a #hashtag phrase. Step 3: Wear these items around this friend for years and years to come, but never tell them what the inside joke means.

REASON #3: SPRING BREAK DOESN’T LAST FOREVER

Unless you’re a teacher (or a student for life), there comes a time when we must let go of spring break and all of its glory. Someday when you’re out there adulting, wishing you were on a beach, you can pull out those spring break shirts and feel young and free. You can look at the pictures of you and your friends in matching neon and think about all the memories you made (unless you’re the friend who stayed home).

Custom tees hold sentimental value because they remind us of times we cherish and memories made. Trust us, spring break with your friends is one of those times. Commemorate it while you can!

get silly

If you see a design you like on the blog, simply email us and let us know! We can print any of the designs you see above or create something new and custom just for you. For more design inspiration, visit our social media sites below:

#SpringBreakMemories

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Producing high-quality screen prints requires a thorough understanding of the screen printing process and a great deal of practice. Many people don’t realize the screen printing process is lengthy and requires much attention to detail. Aaron Allen, a long-time member of our team, created this step by step video of our process. We’ll elaborate on each step below.

This video shows the screen printing process AFTER artwork is already created, separated into individual colors (each color = 1 screen), and printed onto clear films.

Step 1: Lining up and taping your image to be exposed in a light source.

In order to transfer an image from a clear film to a screen for printing, we first place the film on a UV light source and secure it with clear tape. Then we coat our screen with a light activated chemical called emulsion and place the screen on top of our film.

Step 2: Exposing the SCREEN TO THE light in order to burn the image into it

When emulsion is hit with UV light, it cures, or hardens, on the screen. The printed areas of your film will block out light. The emulsion will cure on the blank areas of the film only. This process, commonly referred to as ‘burning,’ essentially turns your screen into a stencil. Later, when your screen is on the printing press, ink will only be able to travel through the areas of the screen where there is no emulsion.

Step 3: Soak the screen

After your image is burned in the screen, take the screen to the wash tank and thoroughly soak each side of the screen. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the water time to react with the uncured emulsion.

Step 4: Spray out screen

Still at the wash tank, use a hose to spray off excess emulsion from your print area. You should spray the screen until you can clearly see through the design.

Step 5: Taping the screen up so ink doesn’t get through

Once you’ve let your screen dry and you’re ready to go to press, tape all around the edges of the screen’s borders. This will ensure no ink leaks onto your garment.

Step 6: Lining the screen up and adding ink

Now you’re moving the screen to your printing press and lining it up for print. For multi-colored designs, you will have multiple screens so it’s important to pay attention to detail and align the screens correctly. Otherwise, you could end up with one part of a print at the top of a shirt and the other part at the bottom.

Once your screens are lined up on your press, add ink. Only add one ink color per screen.

Step 7: Loading and pulling the shirts while running them through the dryer

As the press starts, load shirts onto blank pallets. Once a shirt has gone through it’s printing cycle, remove and place it onto the drying belt. It’s important to make sure the temperature of your dryer is high enough to properly cure the ink. If the temperature is not high enough, the image will crack and wash out. Once again, attention to detail is required. To ensure a high-quality print, check the dryer temperature with a laser thermometer.

Step 8: Remove squeegee and flood bar. Unhook air lock.

When all of your shirts are printed, it’s time to clean up. We first remove the squeegee and flood bar. The squeegee in screen printing is similar to the squeegee you use to clean your car windows, except this one was used to force ink through the mesh screen onto your garment. The flood bar is used to contain the ink. It helps keep ink under the squeegee and away from the edges of the frame.

Step 9: Remove and clean screen out. Return ink to its proper container

Once you’ve removed the screen from the press, clear the screen of ink and tape. If there’s excess ink, put it back in the ink container, it’s okay to reuse!

Step 10: Fold shirts

Finally, fold the shirts and box them up for customers to enjoy!

While this is a very simplified version of our process, we hope it was helpful to see how a T-shirt is made at Cornerstone Impressions!

What else would you like to know? If you have questions about our company or what we do, email them to hannah@csimpressions.com and we’ll answer them on the blog! In the meantime, we love to connect with readers on social media:

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Okay, we admit it. We are confusing. Cornerstone Impressions is a multifaceted company and we make a whole lot of stuff.  Sometimes it’s hard for clients to understand everything each department produces.  We can fix that!

Let’s begin with digital printing. Digital printing is mysterious simply because the term ‘digital printing’ is vague. Today, we’re going to cut through the confusion and answer two simple questions: “What exactly is digital printing?” and “How can digital printing services benefit me?”

What exactly is digital printing?

Digital printing refers to taking an image from your device or computer and printing that image on a product of your choosing. To put it simply, digital printing is similar to what your printer at home does, except fancier and on a larger scale.

Digital printing is a cost effective way to create print marketing and advertising materials such as business cards, banners, decals and more. The process also allows for faster turnaround times than other printing options, which means you get your products quickly.

How can digital printing services benefit me?

We’re so glad you asked! Draw attention to your location with large outdoor signs, showcase your brand with colorful brochures, or decorate your business with beautiful posters and canvas prints. As digital printers, we can help you showcase your brand in the best possible way.

Simply send us an image or work with our in-house graphic design team to create one, and we’ll print it on almost anything! Although we would love to list every printed item we offer, they simply wouldn’t all fit in a blog post.

To give you an idea of what digital printing services can do for you, these are some of our frequently ordered products:

Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of what we can make with a digital printer, get creative! Think about your brand and which products will increase your exposure the most. You’ve got plenty of options, so what will you print your logo on next?

To learn more about Cornerstone Impressions products and services, subscribe here at Just Inkin’ Around and email us your questions. To see more of our work, check out our social media pages below. New blog posts go up every Thursday, so be sure to come back and see what’s new at Just Inkin’ Around! 🙂

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Here at Cornerstone Impressions we are incredibly thankful to live, work and play in America! This week, instead of sharing a million reasons we love our country, we’re going to share some of our favorite patriotic prints and designs.

USAEmbroidery

Embroidery: USA with flag and eagle. It doesn’t get much more American than this.

AmericanFlagHat

American flag + camo = cool

AlphaGamShirtwithFlags

Sororities and fraternities have a gift for working the American flag into just about everything!

TexasFlagHat

What? We’re from Texas, we can’t help it. We love America!

IMG_0168

This design is on our all time favorites list.

Fuzzy'sFlagShirtHannah

When you’re taking product shots with the American flag, become the mannequin head. 

We know the Fourth of July is one of the most fun holidays of the year, so watch some fireworks, have a BBQ, find a lake and enjoy the day. We hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday weekend!

This just in: Texas summers are HOT.

Okay, so that’s not breaking news at all. Regardless of where you live, chances are you’ve heard a horror story or two about the brutal Texas summer heat. The good news is, those of us in the lone star state know every trick under the sun (pun intended) for keeping cool. Here at Cornerstone, our favorite trick is to get yourself a really good tank top.

Tanks come in all shapes and styles. Bro tanks, racerback tanks, neon tanks, fashion tanks and that’s just the beginning. To help you choose your favorite summer look, our staff has chosen the five best tanks to beat the heat!

IMG_0470The Neon Tank

We’re not sure what it is, but whenever we see someone in neon, our first thought is “Yep, that person is fun!” The bright summer sun goes hand-in-hand with these comfy unisex tanks from The Neon Tees. As an added bonus, you’ll never have to worry about getting lost in a crowd because nobody loses the person wearing neon. 😉

Vodka & Yoga

The Athletic Tank

For the ladies who work it out all year around, you’ll love this Next Level racerback tank. It’s super soft, thin and breathable. Trust us, you wont ever want to go to the gym without it again.

IMG_0459The Everybody Tank

These unisex, casual tanks have been called many things. Bro tanks, giant tanks, the most comfortable tanks in the world, the cute tanks. Around here, they’re just known as Comfort Colors tanks, and we love them just as much as you do. They’re super soft, breathable and come in a wide variety of colors. All you have to do is choose the one you like and get comfy.

Burnout

The Burnout Tank

Ladies, this racerback by Next Level will change your life. Nothing goes better with your comfy pants than this tank. Why? Because it’s the softest tank top ever, no exaggeration. Do yourself a favor and get one.

IMG_0476The Southwestern Vibes

Southwestern style is the perfect summer concert look. We recommend you choose one of these awesome tanks above, get some friends together and come on in to Cornerstone Impressions. We’ll make sure you leave with your new favorite shirt.

Whatever summer tanks you choose, remember Cornerstone Impressions is here to make you look good. To see more of what we have to offer, check out our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages. See you next week for more Just Inkin’ Around. 🙂

Family Shirts

In life, there are a lot of T-shirts. You probably have enough to fill an extra closet at home, but somehow, you’ll still acquire more. This is because they’re a popular form of advertising. Really, really comfortable advertising. A high quality T-shirt with a great design can be a wonderful way to represent your business, organization or brand. On the flip side, a T-shirt that fits poorly and displays a big, cracked design can be a very negative representation of whatever you’re advertising.

Nobody wants to end up with a bad shirt, but how do you avoid it? Most screen printing companies say they can get you high quality shirts for a low price, but how can you tell if your shirt is high quality? Additionally, how can you ensure that you’re getting the most for your money and not paying unexpected extra fees? To help you make an informed decision, we’ve put together five tips you can use to make sure you’re receiving a high quality product at a reasonable price.

Tip #1: Shirt Quality Matters

When it comes to T-shirts, like many other things in life, you get what you pay for. If you purchase the most inexpensive option available to you, be prepared for it to feel and fit like a cardboard box. Unfortunately, no amount of fabric softener can help some T-shirts.

On the other hand, if you’re willing to spend a little more money, you can get a shirt that will fit and feel amazing for years. Always ask about your options and get quotes for more than one brand of shirt. You may find that the price of good quality isn’t that high after all.

Tip #2: Shirt Quantity Matters

In the world of custom T-shirts, the more you order, the less you pay per shirt. This is true for all brands and styles. Most companies give price breaks based on quantity, so the pricing structure would look something like this:

Sample Pricing Chart

**Note: This is a sample quantity price break chart and does not depict Cornerstone Impressions’ actual prices.

If there’s a chance you’ll need to order more shirts later, it may be more cost effective for you to place a larger original order. Be sure to ask about the pricing structure before you place your order.

Tip #3: More Colors, More Money

Screen printing is exactly what it sounds like, the process of transferring an image from a screen to a printing surface (T-shirt). In the screen printing process, ink colors are printed one at a time using separate screens. So, when creating a shirt design, the first thing you need to know is that each ink color = 1 screen.

The more screens a design requires, the more it costs to print. Because of this, we suggest keeping ink colors to  a minimum if you’re on a tight budget.

Tip #4: Use Samples to Assess Quality

Being able to see and compare product options is one benefit of working with a screen printing company in-person rather than ordering online. When you aren’t sure which brand/style you want to order, ask to see some examples of recently printed shirts. You’ll be able to feel the fabric, see the shape of the shirt, and examine the quality of the screen print. A good screen print should not feel too thick, and when you pull the shirt tight, the print should not separate or crack.

Tip #5: Artwork Fees & File Prep

When you order screen printed items, you’ll generally have design/artwork options. Usually, it’s best for the company’s in-house artists to create a design for you. This means you’ll be charged an artwork fee. Although artwork fees are typically reasonable, every company has it’s own policies and prices, so it’s important to inquire about these ahead of time.

Most screen printing companies also allow clients to bring in their own artwork to print. While this is an appealing way to save on artwork fees, it’s important to ask about design format up-front. It’s likely they require vector graphic files, and unless you’re trained in graphic design, it’s unlikely you’re familiar with vector artwork. Because of this, client submitted artwork is not usually in the correct format. This means the artists must convert and edit the design, resulting in an artwork fee. Asking ahead of time about required file types can help you prep your files accordingly and avoid paying extra artwork fees. To find more information about how to prep your files for print, visit our support page here.

We hope these five tips help you get the most out of your next T-shirt order. For more information from Cornerstone Impressions, check out our website or shoot us an email. To see examples of our work, visit our Instagram and Facebook pages!