Explore how a change in mentality, practice, and process can ease the transition into simulated-process-color screen printing on garments.
1. Provide training for your printers and artists, and include rewards/incentives for achievements. Of course, few rewards compare to a monetary one, but sometimes a change in title is even enough. Silly as it may sound, a new title of master printer or senior artist can do wonders in motivation when the money isn't available.
2. Set a realistic timetable for necessary training and tasks to be completed. Factor in some practice and training downtime for each area: artwork prep, separations, screenmaking, press setup, and printing production.
3. Find a role model or mentor—a person who has handled this level of printing before—and use that individual as a resource and motivator. Everyone should believe that they, too, can accomplish the task.
Wait until everyone is on board for the challenge before you venture out onto the practice stage. As you move through the more difficult steps in a higher level of printing, it is important to review the mentality and morale of the people involved and make sure they are willing to hang in through the learning curve. People commonly agree to things in a meeting, but then when the going gets tough, they revert back to old habits or get turned off quickly. So stay tuned to your group's morale, and let them know the achievement is one that everyone will be proud of in the end.
The practice of simulated process
I understand that the typical motivation for a company to move up into simulated-process printing is customer demand for specific artwork, but the ideal situation is not to attempt a whole new process from scratch on a deadline-driven customer order. Doing so is setting up a situation for serious and expensive problems.
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