Picture this: You’ve browsed and browsed, and finally found a tee that you just need to have! You place your order and anxiously wait until you receive that magnificent email – your order has now shipped! You see that wonderful delivery truck pull up. You run (or speed-walk, because safety is always a priority) to the mailbox and pull out that envelope emblazoned with the TeeFury logo. You can’t contain your excitement much longer so you rip that bad boy open, pull out the treasure you’ve been waiting for and unfold it…
This story usually ends with smiles, jumping, somersaults, or some other variation of joyful expression. And why wouldn’t it? You just got an awesome custom-printed tee designed by a super talented artist! How could it get any better? Well, you could win the lottery – but that’s not why we’re here. We’re here because on a rare occasion, this tale ends with a customer who may be less-than-stoked about their tee. Sometimes, this happens because the printed design just isn’t up to par. Other times, the tee may not look exactly like the image you see on your screen because of the method that was used to print it. And we’re here to help you tell the difference.
We here at TeeFury pride ourselves on having the coolest collection of artwork available, and we do our best to ensure that our amazing customers get the best quality tees. When you order something from our newly revamped “Tees” section, you’re ordering an awesome design that is custom-printed using Direct-To-Garment (DTG) technology – read more about that here.
Now, let’s imagine that you opened your package and found this waiting inside:
Would you look at that! Bold color, crisp details, and by all means a beautiful image. It is a perfect example of all that DTG technology is capable of producing, and why TeeFury utilizes this method for the majority of our orders. This type of print is exactly what we strive to produce for all of you lovely TeeFurians!
A question we see a lot from our customers stems from the fact that the image on our website looks different than the print that they received: My shirt looks nothing like this photo – why?! The images used on our website are not printed tees, but digital mock ups of the artwork. Using a digitally imposed image lets the customer get a feel for how the design will look on a tee before they buy. If you’ve ever browsed our site (as we’re guessing you have) you know that we have thousands of designs available. Now imagine printing and photographing all of those individually… we’re exhausted just thinking about it! Because the image online is not physically printed, there is always bound to be some variation depending on how a design translates when printed onto fabric. The color of the garment will have an effect on the print as well. For example, art printed on black as compared to turquoise will always differ slightly.
This tee is a prime example of the color variation that can occur when using a DTG printer. The details of the design are all present, but you’ll notice that the colors appear softer. This is due to the fact that DTG ink, while having the ability to produce vibrant images, may appear thinner or a bit muted depending on which colors are used or the number colors involved in the design. Although this print is not as bold as the previous example it is not considered to be misprinted.
Both of these designs, while differing in vibrancy, are what we’d rank on the good-print end of the spectrum. Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty, the real reason you’re here… Let’s talk about bad prints.
We mentioned color variation in our last section, and while some variation is normal there are times when the color of a print just isn’t right. Notice the overabundance of yellow throughout the print? That definitely qualifies as a misprint!
Sometimes with DTG printing you’ll get an image that looks a bit grainy, and this tee showcases that effect. This is typically caused by the way the digital art file is designed or the style that the artist used for their piece. Our art team works hard to prepare every piece to print as best as it can, and more often than not we’re able to get great results. If you’ve gotten a grainy print like this, it’s not up to our standards, so let us know – we should be able to get you a more fine-tuned copy!
There are cases where your print will look a bit faded, even if the design you’ve ordered doesn’t call for that vintage/worn appearance. This can be the result of the printer running low on ink or an issue with the printing heads. This is definitely something we can fix easily, so a replacement will look much better!
Occasionally, there are errors in our digital art files that will cause details of the design to be missing from the printed image. You can see a side-by-side comparison above of two companion tees that should both have similar details in the background. The design on the left looks like the file may not have been properly formatted prior to being printed. This is something that can be quickly remedied by our fantastic art team and replaced for you!
Another thing we’d like to address, though not necessarily related to bad prints, is white ink.
We offer quite a few designs that are composed of either purely white ink or use it as the primary color, and it truly plays by its own rules. You’ll notice in the photo above that the ink appears almost transparent in places. This is because it is very tough to make a white design truly opaque. We do what we can to get these images as solid as possible, but with white ink you’ll nearly always see the tee color showing through a bit. While some transparency is normal, there are instances where there’s just too much tee showing through the design. If you feel like that is the case for a white ink design you’ve received, be sure to reach out to our customer service team!
The last item on our list relates to all DTG printed items. Before we can print your chosen design, the tee needs to be prepped with a solution that helps the ink adhere to the fabric. Every so often, you may see leftover residue from this treatment – but fear not! A simple wash ( in cold water with the tee turned inside-out) and hang dry should get this right out. Unfortunately, this pretreatment may sometimes cause the design to flake once washed and this is definitely something that should not happen. If you wash your tee once and the image looks like the one below, please reach out to our customer service team right away with photos!
So what does this all mean? You’ve seen the good prints.You’ve seen the bad prints. If you’re feeling like your tee just doesn’t measure up, our customer service team is happy to help in any way that they can! To best help us help YOU, here are some tips:
Lay your tee down flat and try to alleviate any wrinkles. Take some photos of the tee in natural light or in a well-lit room with overhead lighting (to avoid creating shadows) – be sure to include both close-ups/isolated images of problem areas as well as a photo or two of the entire design! You may want to take a few of each in case any of them turn out a little blurry. Once you’ve gotten your photos together and have your order number handy, drop our team a line using our customer support ticket system!