There are 3 ways we can print onto our products and all are described in detail below. The best ways to supply your art and the design services we offer can also be found here. Proofs, (art sent back to you, for approval or changes), copyright issues and the things we won’t print are also covered below.
Single Colour Screen Print
This is the cheapest, and simplest of the 3 printing techniques we offer. We can print a single colour logo or design on any jersey-neoprene colour. Please note that opaque inks such as white or yellow do not print well on the camouflage pattern neoprene because there is some show through of the base pattern.
After approval of your full colour proof, which shows the proposed artwork, product and print colour/s, the image is broken down to black on white/clear computer screen in a vector based drawing program — Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator are used. This is called a positive, from which a film is made. The film is laid under an aluminium-framed screen, and after exposure to light, the design areas of your print become ‘gaps’ which the screen print ink can pass through.
After fixing the screen in a flat bed printer, your chosen ink colour is pushed over and though the screen, directly to the jersey covering of the neoprene blank. After drying, the products are glued and/or sewn together. Because the ink has soaked into the jersey covering, it will not peel or flake off.
Heavily tinted ink, printed in large art blocks may show cracks over time — we will advise you in advance if we think there could be a problem. A small amount of ‘ink bleed’ occurs, however with good quality art, this is not visible to the naked eye.
- Screen print colour can be mixed to closely match your company, club, business, event, or government logo. Please supply a Pantone™ spot colour number if colour matching is required
- Lines and dots need to be above 0.3mm, due to product surface and ink limitations on the open jersey fabric
- Maximum one colour print. For multiple colour printing, please refer to our plastisol transfer, or dye sublimation print techniques below.
- Within one order of the same artwork, we can mix the product colours in minimum quantities of 10
- A small charge of $10.00 Au (+ 10% GST, if you are an Australian client), will apply to each print colour changeover within a print run. This covers the labour costs of washing the screen and printing machine.
- As the print is applied as a wet ink, to the jersey covering of the flat product panels, we are unable to print right to/over the cut edge of the panel. Refer to the individual products for the maximum printable art areas (usually 10 mm less than the top/bottom/sides of the product panel) and print run minimums.
- For most products, the minimum print run for screen printing is 50. For product codes 556, 557, and 558, the minimum order is 100, and for 015 and 021 minimum is 200
- For the best way to supply us your artwork, or to use our artwork services, please read the specifications at the bottom of this page
- A minimal charge of $10.00 AU (+ 10% GST, if you are an Australian client) will be included in your quote for setting up a single colour screen print run
Plastisol Transfer Print
This is a multiple colour, solid print technique. An indirect way of multiple colour screen-printing, where from 2 to 6 colors are printed on any jersey-neoprene colour.
After approval of your full colour artwork proof which shows proposed product and print colours, the image is reverted to vector based art where each colour is created in a separate layer within the art file.
Individual layers are then separated to black on a white/clear computer screen — this is called a positive, from which the film is created. The film is then laid under an aluminium framed screen and after exposure to light, the art areas of your print become ‘gaps’ which the plastisol ink can pass through.
The individual colors are printed in layers on a release paper, drying between each colour. The end result is a plastisol transfer which is heat pressed onto the surface of the jersey covering of the product blank. After cooling the applied transfer, the products are then glued and/or sewn together.
With the correct application temperature, plastisol transfers become bonded with the jersey covering, and are not prone to peel away. Because there is negligible ink bleed, this is an ideal print technique for maintaining the integrity of corporate logo standards.
- Ink colours can be mixed to closely match your company, club, business, event or government logo colour. Please supply Pantone™ spot colours if colour matching is required
- Lines and dots should be above 0.2 mm
- Maximum six colour print. For more colours, or where shading and colour blending are required, please refer to our dye sublimation print technique below.
- Within an order, we can mix the product colours using the same transfers in minimum multiples of 10
- Refer to the individual products for maximum printable art area. There are 8 different art areas available: 100 x 90 mm, 190 x 45 mm, 145 x 65 mm, 190 x 55 mm, 190 x 70 mm, 100 x 140 mm, 200 x 12 mm and 190 x 90 mm. The number of colours and the art area affect the price, so when submitting a quote request, it’s essential that you briefly describe your requirements in the ‘comments’ box, or send an e-mail attachment of your art.
- Minimum print run is 200, however if the transfers are of appropriate size, they can be shared over several different products.
- For the best way to supply us your artwork, or to use our artwork services, please read the specifications at the bottom of this page
- A minimal charge of $30.00 AU (+ 10% GST, if you are an Australian client) will be included in your quote, for setting up to print a plastisol transfer product run
Dye Sublimation Print
This is an unlimited colour printing technique: complex, computer generated graphics with colour blending, 3D effects, full colour drawings or scanned copies of art, cartoons, full colour or black and white photographs can be printed using dye sublimation.
It’s a completely different process from either screen print or plastisol transfers — there are no screens to make, it’s a digital print.
After approval of your full colour art, the image is fed to a high-end inkjet printer, which outputs full colour onto a special paper. The paper is then heat pressed onto white product blanks, which turns the ink into a gas, and dyes the jersey covering of the neoprene.
The process will not work if pre colored jersey (neoprene) is used, so please ignore the colour chart on this site. It would be like trying to print a full colour photograph to pre-colored photographic paper, or using colored paper in your laser/ink jet printer and sending a photo from your computer to be printed — the colours of your art would be completely changed, and would not be true to the original. However, we can include your chosen background colour as part of your design, and dye sublimate print over the top of the white product blank. Once printed, no white of the product blank is left showing. Therefore, you’re not limited to choosing from our pre-coloured neoprene. In fact, quite often, dye sublimated products are printed entirely with a full colour photograph so there’s no ‘background’ colour — the photo is the background colour!
The special paper used for this process comes in A3 width rolls, and is quite expensive, as are the inks used. To completely cover the white product blanks, a ‘bleed off’ of 5 mm is required, so that the entire white blank is overprinted with your full colour art and choice of background colour. The size of the paper limits the range of products that we can print on. For odd shaped or large product blanks, there is quite a bit of paper wastage, which adds to the unit cost. The most efficient use of the paper is for product codes: 001, 002, 002BC, 002eh, 003, 020, and 015. These items all have square or rectangular blank shapes.
- Dye sublimation isn’t a completely accurate colour matching process. There are a number of reasons for this, including, but not limited to: the age of the technology, the jersey not being available in brilliant white, and the fact that we are dyeing a material by turning a solid to a gas when heat pressed. We are able to reproduce a close match to your corporate logo colours, but not exact.
- Very fine detail can be printed, including half tones and colour blending. Please be aware, that because the ink is being applied to an open woven jersey fabric (which allows it to stretch at close to the rate of the underlying neoprene) that the there is a small amount of unavoidable ink bleed in to the fabric’s fibres - this means that quite a lot of resolution is lost. It’s important that logos/fonts are reasonably large, to avoid having the background colour/s bleeding it to them, which can subtly change their colour. E.g. thin/small white fonts with a red background can turn out pink, unless the text is enlarged or has a thick white outline added.
- An unlimited amount of colours that can be printed.
- Within an order, the product’s background colour/s can only be changed through a new print run — minimum quantity starts at 24, but depends on the product.
- Refer to the individual products for the maximum printable art area. Only products made from 3 or 5mm neoprene can be dye sublimated, as this is the only sheet thickness we have with white jersey covering.
- Minimum print run is 24.
- For the best way to supply us your artwork, or to use our artwork services, please read the specifications at the bottom of this page.
- A minimal charge of $30.00 AU (+ 10% GST, if you are an Australian client) will be included in your quote, which covers print set-up and ‘colour calibration’ costs for a dye sublimated print product run.
Dye Sublimation Print Process
Artwork (Supplied By You)
The quickest way for you to send your art is via e-mail as an attachment — PC friendly format preferred. You can also post your art: hand drawn or laser printed on white paper; original photographs for dye sublimation print; a CD, or USB storage device (PC format preferred). All artwork is sent back to you in full colour for final approval before commencing printing (see proofs below).
- For the best print result, computer files need to be at least 300 dpi (dots per inch — a measure of print resolution). Starting with a low-resolution file and simply boosting the resolution to 300 dpi will not work — it simply results in a bigger file size and loss of quality.
- Most file types are supported, however vector based, PC format art is preferred and will give the best print results. Corel Draw (version 11 or lower), Adobe Illustrator (CS or lower), Freehand (MX or lower) are ideal, and tend to be programs used in the creation of logos, brands and club emblems. Vector based art — with the colours assigned in Pantone™ spot colour layers— is particularly necessary for plastisol transfer printing. Please ensure the fonts within your art are converted to curves or paths.
- Many corporations, businesses and government departments have a document, (usually in .pdf format, or ‘hidden’ on your web site) which outlines the permissible use of their logo or brand, including positioning and Pantone™ colors. Please forward this in its entirety if available, or send the link to the relevant section of your website, along with any passwords necessary to access the data.
- My ISP’s server will block attachments over 5 Mb, so please keep e-mailed attachments below this. You can post a CD/USB storage device for larger files.
- Pixel based art (e.g. those with file extensions of .jpg, .tif, .bmp, .psd, .gif) are nowhere near as good as vector based art. These formats are OK for dye sublimation, or where colour separations are not required. For single colour screen print, single colour files in these formats, at least 300 dpi, the exact size to be printed will generally work.
- Please avoid ‘mixed’ file types. E.g. dropping a pixel-based file, into a vector-based file will not result in it converting to a vector file. However, mixed format art is fine for dye sublimation printing.
- Please avoid sending art in Microsoft Office programs (e.g. Word and Excel). It’s quite common when using these programs for the image and fonts you create on your computer to open and format differently on another computer. Equally, any art dropped in to a Microsoft Office program has its resolution automatically dropped to 72 dpi — we need 300 dpi art for the best print results.
- Facsimile transmissions (fax.) are not useful, as they are transmitted at low (72dpi) resolution. They are sometimes OK for simple single colour screen print jobs if supplied at 200% of your desired print image size.
- Most images on web sites are low-resolution .gif files — 72dpi or lower, to save on page load times. These can be used to print using dye sublimation, but the result can be quite poor.
- If you’re having a cartoon drawn, (especially popular for single colour screen printed products) have your cartoonist use a thick, black ‘texta’ on white paper. Full colour cartoons, for printing with our dye sublimation process work best when using vibrant, contrasting colours. I also have an ‘in house’ cartoonist available (see artwork services below).
- When taking a photograph for use on a dye sublimation printed product, boost the resolution on your camera to its highest setting.
- If you’re scanning original art, or photographs, boost the resolution on your scanner to its highest setting. You can also post originals to me, and I can scan it for you.
- Be careful not to infringe anyone’s copyright when sending art.
If you’re having trouble suppling the art you want printed, please email me or ring me on (03) 6231 5188 (within Australia) or +61 3 6231 5188 (outside Australia). I’m here to help you.
Most simple art services, such as adding and re-positioning fonts, adding, re-colouring and positioning of clip art, company logos, brands and scanning can be done by me free of charge, for any size order. I can also create simple logos for you from scratch. I use Corel Draw, (versions 6 to 11 — a vector based drawing program) and copyright free clip art plus any art supplied by you to do this. Please contact me to discuss your artwork requirements.
If you’d like some clip art to use as part of your print, I’m a subscriber to the Clipart.com web site which has heaps (10 million, so they say!) of good quality images on it. Visit the Clipart website to find the image you want to use as part of your design, use the search box on the left of the page. After clicking on the info/download button, you can then email me the item number or the image you like, I then download the image, to use in your design. Fonts work differently to clip art - I need the font's name (which usually start with the prefix JI). Don't try to download the image or font yourself.
- To use an image as part of single colour screen print we can only use EPS, B/W, or WMF files, so make sure only these 3 boxes are ticked on the search ‘filters’ box. To save time, I’ve done some searches for you, and these are available on the coolers for weddings, bucks and hens nights, birthdays and special events page.
- To use an image as part of plastisol transfer print we can only use colour, EPS, B/W, or WMF files, so make sure only these 4 boxes are ticked on the search ‘filters’ box. Be aware that some full colour images can’t be used, as they have too many colour layers (over 6), or have half tones and shading, which can’t be reproduced using plastisol transfer print.
- To use a photo or clip art image as part of a dye sublimation print we can use virtually any image, (including full colour photographs) in any format, from the site. Be aware that for the best print result, the image needs to be high resolution (over 300 dpi is ideal).
Using Different Fonts
There are also an abundance of font types (writing styles) available for us to download and use on your print. You can search for a font alphabetically, or search by category. Click on the link below, and after finding the font type you like, email me the font name. Don't try to download the font file yourself.
Re-creating Logos and Photo Manipulation
More complex jobs, involving conversion of pixel based art to vector, (for screen print or plastisol transfer), re-creating corporate logos, or complex manipulation of photographs can be done by my graphic artist friend Larry, in Port Douglas: firstname.lastname@example.org. He charges a very reasonable $30.00 AU an hour (+ 10% GST, if you are an Australian client).
For cartoons and caricatures, I recommend the services of David Green - a professional cartoonist, with 25 years experience. Please visit his web site at www.davidgreen.com.au to check out the high quality of his work. His full colour candid caricatures can be used with our dye sublimation print process, and black + white ones can be used with our single colour screen print process.
To arrange a custom drawn cartoon or caricature to incorporate with your print, please deal with David directly, (and e-mail me the finished product) but please also liaise with me as to the best dimensions & layout to fit the product you want printed.
Some examples of David's cartoon logos:
Proofs (Art Sent To You For Approval)
Unless you are re-ordering a print run with no art changes, we will e-mail or post a full colour proof to you prior to printing.
- To make it easy for you to open and view, proofs are sent as .jpg, .pdf or compressed .tif file types, which open on most computers worldwide.
- Generally, the proofs are laid out in the flat ‘blank’ stage (prior to being glued/sewn together). I’ll let you know what to expect, in terms of viewable width of the various sections of your art once the product is formed to its final shape.
- If you don’t like a particular font type, logo/clip art position, background colour etc, please tell me — most minor changes are easy! It’s my job to make sure you’re happy with the end product.
I’ve been wholesaling neoprene products since September 1994 and have supplied many hundreds of clients. In fact I sold my millionth product sometime in the middle of 2007! I can guide you through the best positioning and size of your art to ensure your products show your logo or message with maximum exposure.
If you’d like us to print on your behalf, a club logo, business logo, product logo, corporate logo, government logo, (and the list goes on) a photograph, an image lifted from a web site, or copy of an original artwork, you must have an existing right to use these, or permission from the artwork owner to re-produce them.
- Most art/logo owners will be happy to see their product, business, club, organisation or government department promoted, so don’t take the risk being sued by not asking.
- If you supply artwork that is not recognised by Tropical Coolers as infringing the artwork owner’s rights, you do so at your own risk and this also absolves us — but not you — from legal action being taken against you by the logo’s owner.
- We may refuse to print your art if we feel there’s been a violation of copyright, on a moral as well as legal ground.
- Nobody likes their art being ripped off — including us. I have successfully had products legally removed from display and destroyed after another manufacturer appropriated 3 designs of mine.
- All of the layout, colour scheme, text and images within this site are protected by copyright, and subject to a trademark disclaimer.
What We Won’t Print
We reserve the right to refuse to print material which may be considered defamatory, incites violence or hatred against others, is potentially libellous, is of an indecent (sexual or otherwise) nature, is immoral, fraudulent or illegal, or promotes an activity or business to which we are vehemently opposed. For example, if your company manufactures land mines, or clear fells old growth forests — forget about us helping to promote your product or business!
If the wording or design is not written in English and a translation is not provided, we will not be able to check that the product print doesn’t fall into any of the above categories. Proceeding with the order absolves us from risk.