• Arizona Cap Company

It starts with an idea for your brand. You want everyone to know your company's name. Your employees need to have cohesive uniforms with the company logo. But you can't get ahold of the artist who drew your logo. What is this Vector that people keep talking about? If all you have is a 1000X1000 pixel JPG of your logo, but your screen printer needs it in curves what do you do? What is the difference between the two? Some decorators will charge you an artwork fee to convert your logo into a vector they can use. If you are like some companies, you might have drawn yourself by hand, or using the paint software on your computer. Sometimes, the artist you hired will include a Vector of your logo. No matter what your situation, have no fear! Arizona Cap Company is here to explain the difference! A JPG, PNG, or Bitmap is made up of lots of little squares of color to create the image. That is why it looks pixelated when you zoom in. And this is also why it isn't useable for decorators. A Vector image is made up of just CURVES! There are small nodes that can be adjusted, made into straight or curved lines, and placed in high or low concentrations to make the shapes you need. No matter how close you zoom in, the images will still be clear. The nature of a vector is what gives an artist and decorator's freedom to make minor or significant changes to perfect your logo. Now, how does someone make a bitmap into curves?

As a Decorator, we take those Bitmap images and run them through trace software. Sometimes, this works wonders and we have a perfectly curved and beautiful logo. Other times, we need to clean it up a little. This means we manually adjust the nodes to make it looks crisp, so it doesn't have any little pieces that stick out in odd directions. If the resolution of the bitmap image is too low, or the contrast of colors in the image is insufficient, we may be unable to make any usable artwork out of it and the artwork will need to be redrawn from scratch. We then must do color separations. Each color of your logo must be separated and grouped. Meaning if you have a small part of your logo that is blue, and the text of your logo the same blue, they must be pulled away from the other colors and grouped. After that grouping is done, each color then must be changed to true black and printed on a clear film that will be "burned" onto a mesh screen. The burning process is accomplished by exposing the emulsion covered mesh to intense UV light. The black images on the film cover portions of the mesh, so that it stays soft and will wash away with water leaving a perfect stencil of the film. The screen is then rinsed, dried, and put on the printing press to be used for making your apparel.

The process is not dissimilar to what would be done for embroidery. Rather than being color-separated, we would run the vectorized logo through another piece of software that creates a digitized stitch file for our embroidery machine to read. We do the same cleanup and adjusting in that digitizing software that we do in the original trace of your bitmapped logo. We want to make sure that it sews out cleanly and is perfect for your needs. We then must match the color of thread to each color in your logo. After all of this, we run a test to ensure that everything runs smoothly. The process of taking your logo from a simple JPG to decorated apparel has a lot of little steps that all must be done correctly. With Arizona Cap Company on your side, you can rest assured that your company's name will be seen and remembered.

  • Arizona Cap Company

Updated: 3 days ago

Whether you are pro mask wearer, or think it is a government control conspiracy, we simply just can't get around wearing them at some places. If we have to wear them, we might as well promote our company at the same time. We've decorated several different kinds of face masks in three decoration methods, and are here to help you pick the best option for your needs.

The number one way to decorate masks is with screen printing. With perfect details that help get your company's message across, it isn't hard to see why it is the most popular option right now. Rather than making a screen and printing directly on the masks, we make printed transfers with our plastisol inks that are then carefully heat pressed onto the masks. Transferring them, rather than directly printing them, allows us to ensure that they have optimal placement on your product. The down side is that this processes only allows for single color prints. The wash ability and durability of the logo print is undeniable compared to options two and three.

The next option we like to suggest is vinyl transfers. These give you a more color capabilities, and has crisp details. If you want a three or more color logo, it is possible with a vinyl application. We print and cut the vinyl, then heat transfer them onto the mask. This option, though it allows for more colors than a screen print, has several cons:

1) it costs more for both the printer and customer. Though lots of small start up businesses tout that vinyl is the best, it really is more costly! for smaller orders it can be easier for businesses to use rather than the lengthy process of a screen print, but it really ends up costing so much more in many ways.

2) It cracks under excessive wear, washing, and heat. It just isn't as durable as our other options!

3) Since it is a vinyl, with a bonding agent on flexible fabric, it causes the fabric to no longer stretch freely in the applied area. That lack of flexibility means that if you put it on the center of your mask, it could also cause problems with fit.

4) it can be hard to breathe through a full vinyl application.

Last option that we recommend to our customers is Direct to Garment printing (DTG for short). All the colors of the rainbow at one set cost on a mask if that is what you wish! DTG printing is a water based ink that is heat set into the fabric. You could take any image of your choosing, and print it onto a mask. The one fall back: it must be on light colored fabrics! Because of the type of machine we have, we only allow the lightest of fabrics to be used. Ash grey, Light blue, and light yellow are other acceptable options. You will lose some clarity if you choose ANY colored fabric though. The good thing about choosing white masks with a DTG is that you will also not come across inventory issues. Black and navy are the most in demand colors for masks; while white is the least.

We have had questions about embroidery for masks. We don't recommend it. That is not to say that it isn't possible or wouldn't look good. It is just not something that we offer. A big part of that is our high standards. We want each piece to be consistent in manufacturing and decoration. The small size of a mask causes issues with hooping each piece exactly the same every time. That small margin of movement does not comply to our "No 2%" rule. Since there is no way around the issue, we just don't recommend it as one of the best options for decoration on masks.

Decorating your mask

  • Arizona Cap Company

Updated: Aug 28

There are a lot of hats. For someone who is not well-acquainted with the different options and terminology that is in the apparel industry, it can get awfully confusing. Structured vs. unstructured, 5-panel vs. 6-panel, which is best for screen printing (yes, we can screen print on a hat!). You will all be experts after watching this short 90-second video below.

In a nutshell, here is what the differences are in structured vs. unstructured hats.

Structured vs. Unstructured Hat Comparison

You may have also seen others wearing mesh-back caps. I know....you might be thinking that these are trucker hats. However, mesh-back caps have lately surged in popularity and offer moisture-wicking and breathability on a level that a typical hat never could. AND THE MESH CAN BE EMBROIDERED ON!

As a company based out of Arizona, we know very well that heat can be major problem for employees working in the sun. This is an option to consider if you are in a hot climate.

To Mesh or Not To Mesh

Now in the world of custom apparel, people are particular about not only how the front of the hat will look, but the back as well. The type of closure that you select can make or break a hat. For example, you might like the sleek look of having a stretch-fit back, but that eliminates the adjustable feature that you may want. Here is a short video and infographic that explains the different options for hat closures.

Infographic of Hat Closures

With so many options available, it is easy to find the type of hat perfect for your group. But can you afford it?

In many cases, the type of hat you want is probably in your budget. Below is a simple chart that outlines how the price of a hat can vary based on brand. Keep in mind that shops often offer discounts for bulk purchases and just because a brand costs more does not necessarily make it higher quality than a more affordable option.

Table of Hat Prices by Brand

That's it!

Now that you are hat gurus, go check out our online hat catalog. With hundreds of styles to choose from, we are certain that you will find something you will love!

  • Arizona Cap Company

© 2020 by Arizona Cap Company


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