So you have your printer and heat press. Now what?

So you have your printer and heat press.  Now what?

Adobe Illustrator icon

It’s time to load up your favorite graphic editing program and get to know it on a first name basis. Start each day with it, and end each night with it.  When I first started, my wife was light years ahead of me with her knowledge of Adobe products.  I was perfectly comfortable with my old Paint Shop Pro software and had no desire to use anything else.  Sit down in front of the software and work through all the tutorials you can find online.  The more familiar you are with the photo editing software, the quicker you can make designs, print designs, and sell product!

Start with buying some templates or images first. you don’t have to start with creating images from scratch. This means that you can keep your learning curve down to figuring out the size of the images you want to print. You’ll have plenty of time to dig in as you go.

Now that you have that first project ready to print – load the paper into the printer and print it!  Is it really that easy?  GOTCHA.  Make sure that you stop to think about how the design is going to be transferred to the finished product.  If it’s a coffee mug, the image has to be printed in REVERSE so that it shows up correctly on the finished mug. Not all sublimation items have to be reversed… so it takes some getting used to.

Once you have the image printed, use some heat tape to position the paper onto the item that you are sublimating and press it according to the instructions …  Please note that the instructions are going to be an awesome STARTING PLACE, but you are probably going to need to make adjustments because every heat press is different and even different batches of things like mugs make require some tweaking too.  You may need to increase or decrease the pressure, time, and temperature.  Every press is slightly different…

Experiment. Keep a log and record your experiences. It might help to think of it as a science experiment when you’re starting out. Pay attention to everything and when you have a problem, think about the things you just changed. Try only changing one thing at a time so you can an idea of how that one thing affects what you’re doing.

~Michael

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