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By the Numbers: A Visit to Mind's Eye Graphics

By the Numbers: A Visit to Mind's Eye Graphics

Situated on the southwest side of the city of Decatur, Ind., Mind’s Eye Graphics is a bustling screen printing shop that handles a number of both national and local clients. The company has offered screen printing and related services since 1981, and the management team, including shop president Greg Kitson and IT director Rob Keuneke, have worked there for more than 25 years. For Kitson, the finished product, a screen printed T-shirt, is just as important as the first step. As he refers to it, “connecting the dots,” is an important component to understanding and appreciating the entire screen-printing process.
Thursday, June 16, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (1100)/Comments (0)/
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The War Over Water

The War Over Water

It is probably fitting that the term for the sign of a weakness is called an “Achilles Heel” as it matches up wonderfully with an upcoming, unspoken battle facing the decorated apparel industry.  
The war over water.
If you remember your Greek mythology, Achilles was dipped into the river Styx as an infant by his mother Thetis to give him divine protection in battle.  Because she held him by his heel, that was the only part of his body was that wasn’t protected.  Achilles, despite his Brad Pitt good looks,  later died when struck by an arrow in his heel during battle.
For apparel decorators, we’re in the same predicament.  Except, nobody is really talking about our weakness, which like Achilles, is associated with water.  We don’t look like Brad Pitt either.
For most shops, nobody stops to think about how much water plays into your business as we’re already overburdened with orders that have to ship, customer service challenges, employee training and motivation, continuous improvement programs, and a myriad of other things that call for more immediate attention than one sustainability issue.  There just isn’t any top of mind for this.
Monday, June 13, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (979)/Comments (0)/
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When buying a flash-cure unit, does it matter if I’m using a manual or an automatic press?

When buying a flash-cure unit, does it matter if I’m using a manual or an automatic press?

Obviously, you will need to choose a flash-cure unit that is compatible with your press. Some manufacturers make flash cures that are compatible with only their press brand, but there are universal flash cures that will work on any model. For the most part, flash-cure units also are designed to work with either manual or automatic presses. A manual flash unit physically won’t fit into an automatic press, even if it’s the same size as the corresponding automatic unit, and there are mechanical issues as well. 
Friday, June 10, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (1736)/Comments (0)/
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Store Ink Safely in Any Weather

Store Ink Safely in Any Weather

Proper ink storage varies, depending on the climate where you live. In an article recently published in Wearables magazine, Kieth Stevens offers some important tips on how to keep your ink in working condition for a long time.
Thursday, June 9, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (1016)/Comments (0)/
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The New Age of Water-Based Ink

The New Age of Water-Based Ink

The ever-changing retail market has driven the apparel decorating industry to continuously change and evolve. Over the last decade, consumers have demanded retailers be socially and environmentally conscious of how products are manufactured. Retailers have become keenly aware of outside pressures and, as a result, mandated their manufacturing partners to meet compliance requirements in order to maintain the business relationship. 
Initially, phthalates and heavy metals had to be removed from plastisols inks. The result was a phthalate-free, non-toxic plasticizer that ended up as a substitution to the traditional plasticizers. The next wave of change was the PVC-free initiative. Major textile brands put the pressure on ink manufacturers to produce inks that were free of phthalates, heavy metals, and now polyvinyl chlorides. At the same time inks were evolving, so were the garments themselves. The days of 100 percent cotton garments controlling the marketplace were quickly disappearing. Performance wear was now becoming a standard part of the garment decorating landscape. As a result, the inks being used had to change as well. With the changing landscape, water-based inks were becoming the preferred method to meet these new requirements. Textile decorators were beginning to offer several options to produce decorated apparel on a variety of substrates and fabric compositions.
Monday, June 6, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (1203)/Comments (0)/
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5 Tips for Better Shop Staff Accountability

5 Tips for Better Shop Staff Accountability

Are you frustrated by your employees lack of achieving stated goals, missing deadlines or keeping to an on-time production schedule?  Your people promise things and then don’t deliver.  Mistakes keep happening and the only answer is a lame shrug of the shoulders. The year is already half over and most of the top goals that you set in December or January aren’t even started yet. You name it.  There is a problem.
Some days you just want to pull your hair out.  
Here are five tips that you can use to push your crew into a better, more efficient mindset that delivers the accountability your shop needs to grow.  Get some actionable change started today!

Monday, June 6, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (1099)/Comments (0)/
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More Than Meets the Eye

More Than Meets the Eye

There are a few ways create a security mark - something that isn't obvious to the naked eye but can be pointed out or revealed when an authentication is required - on a screen-printed garment or image. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (864)/Comments (0)/
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The $47,476 Overtime Question

The $47,476 Overtime Question

New article from Marshall Atkinson at Atkinsontshirt.com. Last week the Department of Labor officially announced the new FLSA overtime exemption salary cap at $47,476.  This rule is going to force many shops to choose between raising the salary of certain employees or granting them overtime pay.
This new ruling is expected to affect about 15 million workers in the United States.  Previously, companies could get away with not paying overtime by stating that the employee was an executive or manager, and not covered by the law regarding overtime.  Companies could have employees work over 40 hours not not have to pay them for their extra time just by citing they were executives.  In the decorated apparel industry, many “managers” actually handle a lot of the daily work load as well.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (920)/Comments (0)/
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Nazdar SourceOne and MagnaColours Host Special Effects Printing Webinar

Nazdar SourceOne and MagnaColours Host Special Effects Printing Webinar

The print demands of today’s fashion trends continue to grow as consumers want more customization and uniqueness to the apparel they wear. As the demand grows, so has ink technology to create diverse effects that provide new and distinctive graphics. If you’re interested in learning more about special effects and how to print them, join Nazdar SourceOne and MagnaColours on Wednesday, June 15.
Friday, May 27, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (924)/Comments (0)/
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Tips for Leasing Shop Equipment

Tips for Leasing Shop Equipment

While owning your shop's equipment outright can be beneficial, it can be a major investment to start out with. As an alternative, some business owners and start-up entrepreneurs are choosing equipment leasing as their choice for financing their equipment. 

A statement once uttered by J. Paul Getty was “If it appreciates in value, buy it. If it depreciates in value, lease it.” This information still holds true today. While leasing your equipment may be more convenient than buying machines outright, the financing used to acquire the essential equipment could have a dramatic effect on your company’s bottom line, so it's good to be aware of the pros and cons. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (950)/Comments (0)/
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