So Ka-Blam can print t-shirts?
Yep. On our brand new and insanely expensive direct-to-garment printer.
This is not just some kind of iron-on transfer thing, is it? ‘Cause I can do that with my $10 inkjet printer.
This is NOT iron-ons. NOT transfers. And trust me, this is NOT something you can create at home. This is direct-to-garment printing with high quality textile inks, comparable to — or even better than — the quality you could expect from screen printing. Don’t believe it? Just order a shirt from IndyPlanet and you’ll see the kind of quality we’re talking about.
Oh, I get it. You take my order, but the shirt’s actually printed at some third world sweat shop by little kids chained to their work stations, right?
Nope. That’s not how we operate. We own the printer — it’s just a couple of doors down from the presses on which we print our comics — and all printing, packaging, and shipping is done by the staff here at Ka-Blam in our own offices. We do NOT farm out our shirt printing, so you can expect the same standards of quality that you’ve come to expect from our comics and tpb printing.
So am I limited to a certain number of colors or something like that?
No limits. This is full process color. Anything we can print for a comic, trade paperback, or poster, we can print on a t-shirt.
White shirts only I’m guessing?
Nope. You can print on WHITE or BLACK shirts … and we may be adding other shirt options in the future as well.
Is there anything you will not print on a shirt?
Well, sure. Our standard printing policies still apply even on T-shirts. So nothing illegal, defamatory, or libelous. Nothing sexually explicit in nature. And absolutely nothing that you don’t have print rights to. Don’t send us a design of your favorite Marvel or DC character(s) and expect us to print it on a shirt for you. We can’t do that. Your characters … fine. Terrific actually! Characters that you don’t have the print rights to … not gonna happen.
This may sound stupid, but … do you supply the shirt or do have to send it to you when I place an order?
You’re right that did sound stupid. :) We provide the shirts, of course. All you do is send us the image(s) you want printed on them.
How do I send you an image?
First things first … you need to download our t-shirt template. We’ve got a full-sized template and a pocket-sized template if you only want something printed on or in the pocket area of your shirt.
Once you’ve got the template open in photoshop you’ll see that it’s simply a blank, transparent psd file, 11 x 17 at 300dpi (the pocket template is smaller of course, but the same principles will apply so keep reading). The template represents the maximum printable area of the shirt. The top of the template will be approximately two inches from the collar of the shirt. So take the image you want to print then copy and paste (or drag and drop — whatever makes you happy) it onto the template and position it as you want it printed. We are going to print whatever is in the template and it’s position on the shirt will be determined by the image’s position within the template. If you want it centered, then center it in the template. If you want it closer to the bottom position it closer to the bottom or off center to the right then move it to the right — you get the idea.
If your image is larger than the template, then you’ll need to scale your image down until it all fits within the template. Similarly, if it’s too small then you should enlarge it until it is the size you want it to be. 11 x 17 is a pretty big image, so keep that in mind when designing your shirt. Your image doesn’t have to be that big, but it CAN be if you want it to.
Once the image is positioned on the template as you want it to be printed, rename it something you’ll remember, save it, and then upload it to either to your website or some free third party storage site (as always we recommend sendspace.com). On the order form you’ll see a place for file location info. That’s where you put the ftp address or url link for you files.
Do NOT flatten the file. I repeat — DO NOT FLATTEN.
Once we’ve got the image we’ll create a t-shirt thumbnail image to give you a rough idea of what the positioning will look like on a shirt.
That’s it? Anything else I need to take into consideration?
That’s pretty much it. Download the template, insert your image, then send it back to us. It’s not rocket science.
The only other thing is to just try to keep your designs interesting.
There’s nothing wrong with blowing up a cover of a given issue and slapping that on a t-shirt, but it’s kinda … box-y looking, you know?
True, your designs must be confined to our template but that doesn’t mean they have to look confined on the shirt. By keeping your design away from the edges of the template you can actually make it look bigger and more expansive on the shirt.
For example … a big logo and a couple of full body shots of your main characters with minimal or no background and maybe a catchy phrase across the bottom of the shirt looks less confined and therefore larger on a shirt than a box-y confined cover image. Be creative. And don’t be afraid to fade the edges of your designs to transparent. We can handle that.
What’s the shirt itself like? Gotta be some cheap, crappy, so-thin-you-can-see-throught-it shirt, right?
Nope. We print on Hanes 6.1 ounce tagless t’s. These are good, durable heavyweight shirts with a tight weave.
So are the colors going to fade or wash off?
Not if you follow our simple garment care instructions … which will be included with your order.
Alright, so I’ve read this whole F.A.Q. and you still didn’t answer my question. Now what do I do?
Simple, just ask your question at our Message Center and we’ll get back to you ASAP with an answer.