Tag Archive for: decorating

Tee It Up – We’ve Got Your Back

Typically, you may not think of a promotional products company like The Creative J to be your best source for screen printed tshirts. However, you just might want to think about that again. Apparel is a BIG part of our business, and an area at which we really excel.

No, we don’t have our own equipment and no, we don’t print them here at our offices. However, this offers our customers an advantage over traditional tshirt shops:  Options – and lots of them!


Since we are able to combine the best sources for your specific order, you’ll receive our expert marketing and creative input on each project. We won’t just slap your logo on the left chest and call it good, we’ll work with you to make sure you project the image you envision.

So, why should you use The Creative J for apparel?

  • More apparel brands and options
    • Since we’re not tied into any one source for our apparel, we offer a wide variety of brands, styles, and price points for our customers.
    • We customize each order by choosing the apparel source, the decorator and the shipping method in order to fit our customer’s specific needs for style, budget and time-frame.
    • Need more than shirts? We’ve got it – shirts, caps, pants, jackets, accessories, even shoes!
    • Brands such as Eddie Bauer, Ogio, Columbia, Carhartt, Red Kap, Greg Norman, Adidas, Nike, Puma, Ralph Lauren/Polo, Izod, Dri-Duck, Lacoste, American Apparel, Champion, Gildan … the list goes on and on.
  • Customization
    • Want to customize the apparel tag with your own brand? We can do that.
    • Want to create your own custom color and style combinations? We can do that.
    • Want to shorten sleeves, add pockets, coordinate laces, create shirt/cap combos? We can do that.
    • Want to combine various decorating techniques? We can do that.
  • Multiple Sources
    • We can pull inventory from multiple warehouses and suppliers, so we have more options when stocks run low.
  • Schedule Flexibility
    • Since we work with multiple decorators, we aren’t tied into any one decorator’s schedule. If Decorator A is booked, we can move to Decorator B to meet your event date.
  • Creative Decoration and Design
    • We utilize decorators across the country in order to bring our customers unique options that will truly set them apart, such as:
      • laser etching and applique
      • oversized screen printing
      • specialty inks, including metallics, puff, suede, clear, glow-in-the-dark, foils, soft-hand, distressed and more
      • full color heat transfers, sequins, rhinestones, and embroidery
      • full color overall sublimation printing
  • Safety Compliance for Youth Apparel
    • We make sure all youth apparel is properly tested and tagged according to federal safety regulations.
  • Upfront Pricing and Details
    • As always, we’ll provide you with complete order details and costs before you pay a penny, and we stand by our quotes. You won’t find us sneaking in additional charges on the final invoice.
  • Guided Options and Choices
    • We don’t expect you to come in knowing exactly what you want or need. We’ll help guide you through the process to narrow down the specific styles, brands, decoration and budgets which will work best for your unique situation.
So, now that you know a little more about us, we’d like to know more about you. Tell us about your next project and see how we can help.

Custom Apparel – Makin’ It Your Own

If you’re looking for a truly unique way to outfit your employees and make your organization’s apparel program really stand out, consider custom. With as few as 48 pieces, you can create a totally unique look which reflects your colors and your style.

With our reliable manufacturers, you now have the option to create custom apparel which is delivered in 35-45 days. Just let us know what types of apparel you are interested in, we’ll get you electronic mock ups of several ideas for your review. (Click here to see sample mockup presentation.)


Then just review the presentation and make tweaks where needed. Once you’ve decided on the details, you’ll receive a fully-decorated production sample for final approval.

The options are endless. Pick your colors, fabrics, styles and decoration to create one-of-a-kind apparel you won’t find anywhere else.

What better way to really set yourself apart from the rest!

Since the apparel is created and sewn from the ground up, you now have more options than just your standard left chest decoration. And what’s really great, pricing is still very similar to good-quality stock apparel.

Pop Your Pocket – Not Your Basic Tee

Looking for a new look for your basic tshirt? Pop Your Pocket!


With our Pop-Your-Pocket program, you combine a tshirt color and a pocket color along with a variety of decorating techniques for a truly custom look.

Decoration can be applied on top or beneath the pocket, as well as on or above. By combining unique color combinations along with a variety of screenprint techniques and inks, you’ll have a tshirt like no other.

Minimum order is 72 pieces. Contact us for a free virtual concept.

Boost Your Color — With TruColor Imprints

We just met with our supplier rep from Starline who showed us a great new imprinting process they are offering — TruColor. It’s a new technology for printing vibrant, beautiful color directly on drinkware and other selected products. Normally, when printing drinkware, there can be many issues, usually related to multi-color imprints. TruColor eliminates those issues and creates a truly custom, professional-looking item that promotes your brand like never before.


TruColor Imprints Stand Out on a Variety of Items

No borders, no registration issues, fine photographic detail with a slightly raised feel to the imprint, lends to a very high-end product.

Instead of drinkware that sports a simple one color logo, amp it up by adding a full wrap photo to showcase your product, services, location, or event. The flat matte surface of these black vacuum tumblers makes a great background for any artwork, especially when paired with a colored band around the top.

Full Wrap Available – Get Creative!

Give us a call if you’d like to see some ideas showcasing your brand using this new method. We’ll get creative, do some brainstorming, and come up with a eye-catching virtual proof for your review.

View items which are available for this printing process:  Click Here

Wear Tested – The Softest Sweatshirt You’ll Ever Own

What says fall more than a soft, comfy sweatshirt? We ran across one that can’t be beat.

Its 80% cotton/20% poly brushed-back jersey fleece makes you feel like you’re wrapped up in your favorite plush blanket. And like Goldilock’s porridge, it’s medium weight of 7oz is just right.

Add a tagless label, rib v-notch and locker patch, and your run-of-the-mill sweatshirts just can’t compete. We can’t say enough about how much we love this particular sweatshirt.


And, to top it off, it comes in 3 styles:  Crewneck, Pullover Hoodie, and Full-Zip Hoodie.


We also love this creative decoration – laser tech patch appliqué.
Tech patch is a flexible, smooth, vinyl-like material that can be laser cut to any shape.
It’s thickness creates a 3D look, which when used in an outlined shape as shown below,
creates a truly unique look.
Combine it with embroidery, and you can really have a custom look.

Creative Bag Imprinting Ideas

Bags are a common promotional item businesses are buying these days. Be it die cut plastic bags, recyclable grocery bags, coolers or totes, you see them everywhere you go. And because they are an item that gets used and reused, it’s a great advertising vehicle for your logo.

But, problem is, since you do see them everywhere, we tend to not pay attention to them as much since most bags utilize the most basic decorating – a one color imprint centered on the front panel.

To really help your message and your brand stand out, how about trying some more creative and unique decorating methods? With just a little creative twist, what was once a plain looking bag will now stand out and help show off your brand.

So here’s just a few ideas on how you can make your next bag project unique:


Full Color Imprinting:

Going from a simple one color imprint to a full color logo or even photo, can make a big impact. Look at these two examples – which one demands more attention? Upgrading to a full color doesn’t always add a lot to the price of the item either. In most cases, it’s just a bit over $1 with no additional set up charges.

In addition, by utilizing a full color imprint, you’ve just opened the possibilities for imprint content. How about a map of the event? Or, a schedule of events? Photos of your product?

The possibilities are endless and you’ve created a marketing piece that really promotes  your brand or product, instead of just displaying your logo.


Custom Design

If you’ve got a large quantity (minimums vary, but usually over 3000 pieces), the opportunity for a completely unique and custom design is wide open. All aspects of the bag can be designed from scratch and present a great way to really stand out. From selecting materials to imprint colors and locations, the options are endless. It’s a great way to create a bag that will be memorable and will be used time and time again, presenting your message each time it’s used.

Buckle Tote                              Accessory Tote

Unique Imprint Locations

Another option for a unique look is to place your imprint in non-standard locations. Depending on the bag supplier, your options may include handle imprints, imprinting inside the bag and on the gussets. Combining multiple imprints and locations on the same bag can truly provide a custom look.
These are just a few ideas for getting creative with bags. If you’ve got an occasion coming up where a bag is part of your marketing plans, give us a call and we’ll present you with some creative, custom ideas that will make your bag get noticed.

Heat Seal Decorating

Everyone’s used embroidery for decorating polos, bags, jackets and other items, but have you ever considered, or even heard of heat seal as an alternative?

At first listen, heat seal may conjure up memories of tshirt imprinting of the past – those thick, plasticy transfer imprints that would crack and peel over time. Today’s heat seal or transfers are much more durable and offer a variety of materials.

Heat seal is an excellent option for full-color graphics with great detail. If you’ve got a complicated logo or one with many colors, digital heat seal transfers are a very cost effective solution. Often heat transfer can be a less expensive option than embroidery, especially for imprints with lots of detail or solidly-filled areas.

Transfers are usually digitally printed on a transfer paper or onto printable heat transfer material which is then heat sealed or pressed to the fabric. Photo-quality images can be reproduced for unlimited options.

In addition, since the transfers can be applied to practically any location on an item (as long as it can lie flat), the options are endless for a more creative approach to decorating.

Consider these ideas for imprint locations:  pockets, hem, collar, upper back shoulder, sides, trim areas, or shoulder tops. You are only limited by the ability to lay the heat transfer flat for pressing.

There are a variety of heat seal materials available such as glitter, reflective, rhinestones, sequins, foil, felt, and twill.

Ask about using heat seal decoration as an option on your next apparel project. We’ll brainstorm with you to come up with some unique and creative ways to make your apparel stand out from the rest of the crowd.


Laser Etching – Decorating Methods #1

Since there’s so many decorating methods for apparel, in addition to the standard embroidery and screenprinting, I thought it might be a good idea to talk about some of them.

One of our favorite decorating methods is laser etching. Instead of adding something to the apparel, like stitching with embroidery or ink with screenprinting, laser etching actually changes the fabric’s surface. The result differs depending on the type of fabric it’s applied.
For a quick little video showing a fleece being etched, click here.
On most laser etching, you’ll want to stay away from fabrics that are really dark in color, like black or navy, as the effect will not show up well on those colors, since the imprint takes on a tone-on-tone look for most applications.
Fleece fabric probably creates the most dramatic effect since the laser actually etches part of the top layer away. This leaves a 3 dimensional effect for the imprint. It can be really dramatic when used as a full imprint on a blanket or the back of a fleece jacket or pullover.
On wovens or knits, the effect is more subtle, usually darkening the fabric color a bit to create a tone-on-tone look. Since it is a more subtle effect, it offers the ability to be more creative with placement and sizing as the imprint can then become part of the design of the apparel. One example would be to take a graphic element from a logo, enlarge it, and position it possibly at the bottom of a shirt, overlapping a zipper, or extending off the item. View some of the out-of-the-box etching placements here.
Denim creates a whole different look since the laser removes the pigment, leaving a lighter-colored imprint. This would be a very affordable way to imprint the full back of a jean jacket.
Laser etching tends to be very cost effective too. Set ups range from $0 to $32 and run charges are right in the range of embroidery, but usually don’t vary based on size. We have some items which can be ordered at just 1 piece with no set up charge — a great idea for gifts or thank you’s.
And, we offer laser etching in our online webstore – no set ups, no additional run charges, no minimums. Check it out here. Items which can be lasered include blankets, awards, glassware, sportswear, jackets and more.