new software & upgrades
Stitches Annual
Software
Guide
It’s that time of year again – we talk to the top software
vendors about their new and updated artwork and
business management software. Plus, users test-drive the
software and report back.
By Shane Dale
E
mbroidery software users report that they want flexibility
and simplicity in software that takes care of all of their
embellishment needs in one stop.
Peter Giummo, owner of Tri-Lakes Team Sports in Menifee,
CA, and user of FastManager PRO software, says he likes programs that address his embellishment offerings. “We do screen
printing, embroidery, heat transfers and digital printing in-house,”
he says. “I also have nine outside sales reps. So, I need a package
that can quote our jobs and take the jobs through completion.”
Pam Augspurger, owner of Dream Maker Embroidery &
Sewing LLC in Easley, SC, says her software of choice – Forté
Embroidery Suite from Pantograms – allows her to adapt to all
of her customers’ needs. “Forté offers flexibility,” she says. “The
majority of my clients request designs that contain lettering,
especially monograms. I like that I can completely customize all
designs to my customers’ satisfaction.”
A program that’s fast and efficient, but can also be counted upon
to do a quality job every single time, is crucial for Brent Carlson, a
digitizer with The Jamestown Cycle Shop in Jamestown, NY, and
user of Proel Millennium III software from Bito USA. “Generally,
I’m just looking for my embroidery software to help me digitize
my logos quick and easy, and at the same time create nice, quality
embroidery designs to be applied to the product,” he says. “The
most important features to me are easy navigation of the program,
great tools, along with good node control, and simulating the look
of the design on the screen.”
To find these features and more in your next software purchase,
read on for Stitches’ comprehensive software guide.
Software included in this review:
Embroidery Graphics and
Design Software
Bito USA
Proel Millennium III. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Brother International
ApS-Ethos Embroidery Software. . . . 48
Dalco Athletic
StockStitch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Melco Industries Inc.
DesignShop v9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Pantograms
Forté Embroidery Suite,. . . . . . . . . . . 50
Pulse Microsystems Ltd.
Tajima DG/ML by Pulse 2010. . . . . . 50
Wilcom International
Wilcom DecoNetwork Version 2. . . 52
Embroidery Business
Management Software
Shopworks
OnSite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
JCW Software LLC
FastManager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
NEW RELEASES
Floriani Commercial
Floriani Total Control. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
SWF East
Stitch Era Universal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
ASI Computer Systems
ProfitMaker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Digital Art Solutions
Smart Designer X4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
stitches.com --- MARCH/APRIL 2010 47
new software & upgrades
Embroidery Graphics and Design Software
Company and
Software Package
Bito USA
Proel Millennium III
Brother International
ApS-Ethos
Embroidery Software
Dalco Athletic
StockStitch
Digital Art Solutions
Smart Designer X4
What’s New
Who Shouldn’t
Use It
Key Features
Cost
Who Should Use It
Different levels of
digitizing software:
• Lettering
• Basic, intermediate
and advanced editing
• Standard, professional and advanced
digitizing
• AutoPunch digitizing program
• Offers a direct connection from the computer to all embroidery machines that have serial and USB interfaces.
• Digitizing software works with any embroidery machine brand,
and is compatible with modern and older machines.
• Fifth-generation software offers the capability to combine
embroidery with laser cutting to do auto laser lettering. The
programming necessary for an embroidery machine to sew out
a digitized design and automatically cut out an appliqué shape
using a laser bridge machine or a single-head laser attached to an
embroidery machine is included.
Lettering with Basic
Editing: $1,000;
Standard Digitizing with Mid-Level
Editor: $4,995; Pro
Level with Top
Editor: $9,995; Full
Option AdvancedLevel Digitizing:
$18,000
Any digitizer or decorator
who performs lettering,
editing, digitizing and laser
cutting can use Proel Millennium.
Any decorator who
outsources digitizing
“The features in Proel Millennium III that I really like are the
‘show as real’ option in the toolbar and the great transfers of
vectored art from CorelDRAW to Millennium III,” says Brent
Carlson, digitizer with The Jamestown Cycle Shop in Jamestown,
NY.
There are, however, a couple of things about Millennium III that
Carlson would like to see improved. “Not too many fonts come
with the program, and there are a few glitches in the program that
sometimes leave me having to recreate unsaved work,” he says.
Bito USA,
Oceanside, NY;
(866) 248-6872,
www.bitousa.com
The Version 11
upgrade of ApSEthos from GS-USA
is scheduled for
release this spring;
the software comes
in two versions – a
basic package called
Artisan Plus, and
Virtuoso Plus, which
is designed for more
advanced decorators.
• Version 11 is fully compatible with the Windows 7 operating
system.
• New features include that the existing snapshot feature now has
a check-box beneath each film strip, enabling the user to easily
select and deselect multiple blocks within a design for quick
reordering and block selection.
• Accidental deletes can be easily recovered in Version 11.
• All start and exit points will be visible through the program’s
full-render view.
• When editing a stitch effect for multiple sections, if the
selected sections already have different effects, the software will
ask the user if she wants to combine them into one new effect.
Upgrading from
Brother’s BES-100
software to Artisan
Plus costs $995 (the
BES-100 software
must be traded in to
receive this price).
Purchasing Artisan
Plus costs $5,440;
Virtuoso Plus,
$12,400. All prices
include four days of
online training.
Satin digitizers will benefit
from Version 11, since the
reflect tool can now be
used when they’re digitizing satin stitches. Those
who work with lettering
and editing will also be
able to take advantage of
the software’s Smart Text,
which automatically adjusts
text to suit the lettering size
chosen.
Inexperienced
digitizers
When he was looking for decorating software, Dennis Sutton,
owner of Dunellen, NJ-based Digital Production Studios, picked
ApS-Ethos because he found it to have the “quickest, easiest and
most precise methods for digitizing manually,” he says. “The
ApS-Ethos software package gives the best representation of how a
design will stitch out when using the full-render view. It also makes
it fairly easy to differentiate between jump and trim stitches.”
One downside to the software, according to Sutton, is that
there isn’t a single button on the toolbar that allows him to quickly
switch between full- and quick-render modes. “Also, it would be a
tremendous advantage for the user to have a way to instantly highlight and then navigate to the exact point where a stitch trim and/
or the stitch jump starts and ends for quick editing,” he says.
Brother International, Bridgewater, NJ; (800)
432-3532; www.
brother.com
StockStitch 6.1A
is compatible with
Windows 7 and StockStitch is compatible
with 2000 XP Vista
and Windows.
• Windows-based, standalone program that’s designed for automated sewing of stock letters, numbers and appliqué shapes and
comes with more than 40 fonts.
• Software can be used with any of the most popular materials
offered by Dalco. These include twill, designer fabrics like polka
dots, pebble grain – which simulates the look of a basketball or
football – and Dal-Chenille, which is a material that looks like
real chenille.
• Users can select multiple sizes of each font, along with multiple
stitch types, including bean, satin and zigzag.
• Users can control stitch width and density.
$295
Decorators who create
award jackets, spiritwear,
team uniforms and fashion
appliqué. Software is
designed to be easy to use,
since users don’t have to
cut lettering – all of the
component parts are precut
to fit the StockStitch predigitized program.
Users who want to
digitize or edit.
M.J. Shockley, owner of Spiritwear in Richardson, TX, likes the
ability to customize school logos with StockStitch. “You’re able
to go in and letter your own name,” she says. “So, if you need
to have eagles or bulldogs, you have that capability to go in and
customize it right then on the spot.”
Shockley says the program saves time because she doesn’t have
to order the material and wait for it to be cut. “It’s right there at
your fingertips,” she says. “You can type it in, put it to disk and put
the disk in the machine.”
Dalco Athletic,
Dallas; (800)
288-3252; www.
dalcoathletic.com
More than 140 new
features have been
added to CorelDRAW
using Corel’s new
seamless docker technology.
• Smart Designer X4 automates more than 100 complex design
and production tasks, including text effects, circle text, arches,
athletic tails and weathered effects.
• Software automatically creates virtual samples from a library of
stock product templates in vector and high-resolution photographic formats.
• Key benefit of Smart Designer X4 is its integration with
more than 30 titles of Digital Art Solutions digital art volumes;
software can interactively edit stock design templates to create
custom graphics.
$699
The target user is someone Non-graphic artists
who wants a combined
design and marketing tool.
Businesses that use the software include embroiderers,
engravers, sign- and screen
printers, direct-to-substrate
digital printers, and promotional products distributors.
Jan Calahan, owner of Oakland, CA-based Oak Tree Embroidery, says one of the reasons she bought Smart Designer was
for its ability to easily allow her to create split-front tackle twill
and vinyl. “Also, with Smart Designer, I can launch my cutting
and rhinestone program right from there, and the images are
automatically transferred,” she says. “Honestly, the program was
such a time-saver for our company, and that by itself was more
than worth the investment.”
Calahan also loves the training manuals and high-quality tech
support that come with the software. “I haven’t had a bit of trouble
trying to find a solution to any problem,” she says.
Digital Art Solutions, Tempe, AZ;
(800) 959-7267;
www.smartdesigns.
com
48 MARCH/APRIL 2010 --- stitches.com
User Review
Contact
stitches.com --- MARCH/APRIL 2010 49
new software & upgrades
Embroidery Graphics and Design Software
Company and
Software Package
Melco Industries Inc.
DesignShop v9
Pantograms
Forté Embroidery
Suite
Pulse Microsystems
Ltd.
Tajima DG/ML
What’s New
Key Features
Cost
Who Should Use It
• DesignShop has new digitizing features,
including the UnaFill splicer that allows the
user to splice multiple directions of fill stitches
for one object.
• New auto-underlay feature with multiple
choices of underlay styles for any digitized
object or font; objects will maintain color
properties so that copy and paste won’t require
re-sequencing colors.
• New vector graphics-to-embroidery assistant
provides easy point-and-click conversion of
any vector file to be digitized quickly.
• With DesignShop v9, design information
may be printed with bar codes. Users can
use a bar-code reader at any time to recall
the design, eliminating the need to search
for design files on hard drives or disks.
• DesignShop’s LogoExpress feature allows
users to link directly into an online digitizing service portal. Digitizing turnaround
times can be as short as 24 hours, and users
can purchase the LogoExpress feature during times of heavy volume.
Contact vendor
directly for a
price quote.
Anyone who can benefit
from production tools,
such as fabric profiles
that allow users to save
design information,
or the ability to apply
fabric profiles to specific
designs
• Upgraded Forté Embroidery Suite is a
fully loaded embroidery software program
that includes lettering, editing, and digitizing
capabilities.
• User-friendly interface so new users can
adapt quickly, and advanced digitizers have
complete control over their designs.
• Forté has 250 keyboard fonts and a large
selection of fill patterns and running stitches.
• Includes has a built-in database, so you can
keep track of designs and orders.
• Includes thread charts for major thread
manufacturers.
• Forté gives advanced users full control of
their designs, by editing the keyboard fonts,
fill patterns and running stitches built into it,
and even creating their own for future use.
• Software is compatible with 16 different
embroidery formats, from home machines to
commercial units.
• Allows for 17 different types of images to
be imported for digitizing.
Forté Lettering
and Editing:
$1,495; Forté
Intermediate Digitizing:
$3,495; Forté
Professional
Digitizing with
Auto Digitizer:
$5,495
• Unveiled in January 2010.
• Designed to be faster as it uses Quad-Core
technology.
• Uses new interface, with personalized workspaces and dockable windows.
• New features include Quotation Maker,
which allows users to send a quotation to their
customers by using a 3-D image rendering on
the chosen garment, along with variable stitch
density in satin and fill segments.
• Version 2010 supports the new Windows 7
taskbar and the Windows 7 Libraries feature to
quickly access embroidery designs and artwork
stored across multiple folders.
• Software has more than 200 professionally
digitized embroidery fonts and monogram
features.
• Users can vector import and cut-and-paste
from programs such as Adobe Illustrator and
CorelDRAW.
• Offers AutoTrace wizards, and numerous
other advanced automatic features.
• Pulse reads and writes all popular commercial and home formats, communicates
with all brands of commercial machines, and
offers support for Tajima’s LAN machines,
gearing it for commercial embroiderers.
Contact vendor
directly for a
price quote.
50 MARCH/APRIL 2010 --- stitches.com
Who Shouldn’t
Use It
User Review
Contact
Decorators outside
the U.S., as the
LogoExpress
feature is limited to
U.S.-based decorators.
“When we were looking to upgrade our software, we looked for tools
that made it easy to offer our customer unique fills, patterns, outlines
and decorative stitches that sew well each and every time,” says Chuck
Northcutt Jr., co-owner of The Digiguy and CPI in Seattle. “The
DesignShop v9 software is easy to use and easy for us to train new users
on. In the most recent version, all of the adjustments, such as stitch
length, density and underlay, are available right from the design window. There’s no need to leave the design and click in a separate window
or menu.” Northcutt says the auto-digitizing features are another great benefit
of DesignShop v9. “You have the choice of completely automatic or
choosing the order and stitch type of each individual element,” he says.
“The auto-outline feature saves an incredible amount of time, both on
design elements and fonts. The amount of control DesignShop gives us
allows us to create detailed and striking designs that allow us to stay a
step ahead.”
Melco Industries
Inc., Denver;
(800) 799-8313;
www.melcousa.com
Apparel decorators and
digitizers who want to:
• Digitize logos by
tracing lines through
e-mailed or scanned files
• Auto-digitize vector
artwork
• Create embroidery
art without any preset
design to trace
• Create different monogramming and lettering
styles
Commercial
embroiderers and
hobbyists
Pam Augspurger, owner of Dream Maker Embroidery & Sewing
LLC in Easley, SC, says Forté gives her the flexibility she needs to
meet her new clients’ demands. “In addition, some specific features
that help me include Real View and Slow Draw,” she says. “I rely on
the Real View feature where I can get a glimpse of how the design
might look sewn out on the actual color of the background; it saves
me from doing more test-sews than I might otherwise. With Slow
Draw, I can watch the design sew on the screen and look for potential
problems in the sewout.”
Augspurger hasn’t run into any major issues with the software. “The
only thing I can suggest is perhaps a little more flexibility with the autodigitizing feature,” she says.
Pantograms,
Tampa, FL; (800)
872-1555; www.
pantograms.com
The software is most
commonly used for
embroidered apparel,
caps, and sports and team
uniforms. The software
has been put to use in
many challenging projects, including making
aircraft seats, horse jackets, sofa covers, sequined
denim, embroidered
linens and designer home
furnishings and shoes.
Users who want to
manage or track
orders or perform
shop-management
tasks
Saundra Rodgers, owner of Branson, MO-based Works of Art Embroidery, uses the interface between Tajima DG/ML and CorelDRAW to
create all of her chenille, tackle twill and appliqué designs. “This feature
makes my life so simple, as well as my screen-printing application, since
I’m much better with my artwork in Pulse than in Corel,” she says. “I
also use the vector art tools tremendously to redraw or create in Pulse.
This gives me the vector formatting needed to screen print the exact
designs I use for embroidery. It’s a great tool.”
Rodgers adds that she loves the easy-to-use zoom feature. “What a
great way to see up close and far away with just a click of a button and
without ending my segment,” she says.
Pulse Microsystems Ltd., Mississauga, Ontario,
Canada; (905)
821-8300; www.
pulsemicro.com
stitches.com --- MARCH/APRIL 2010 51
new software & upgrades
Embroidery Graphics and Design Software
Company and
Software Package
Wilcom International
Wilcom DecoNetwork
Version 2
What’s New
Key Features
Cost
Who Should Use It
Gives decorators access to
business management, sales
and marketing tools, to drive
traffic to their T-shirt design
Web sites.
• Popular brands of embellishable products are already configured with various
stock designs and fonts are available on
DecoNetwork, a Web site, shopping cart
and online T-shirt designer.
• Decorators’ customers can design their
own shirts online with this software; endbuyers can order 24/7 on the Web.
The vendor offers flexible pricing plans: Solo Plan starts at $147
connection fee plus $49 per month;
Solo Plus Plan starts at $237 connection fee plus $79 per month;
Affiliates plan starts at $297 connection fee plus $99 per month. (Get
complete rates at www.deconetwork.
com/pricing.aspx.)
Established embroidery
and printing companies,
promotional product
distributors, new and
upcoming T-shirt
designers, and those
who are new to digital
garment printing or
embroidery.
Who Shouldn’t
Use It
Decorated apparel
providers who
aren’t interested
in selling online
(and setting up and
maintaining a Web
store)
User Review
Contact
Nick Sanders, marketing director for Direct Print LLC in Logan,
UT, loves the “create function” that comes with DecoNetwork. “All
of our products are based around the idea that you can customize it
and make it your own,” he says. “We wanted a feature in which people
could come and create something that’s unique to them and have an
experience with it. We also wanted a system that would allow us to
grow quickly, and the Affiliate program allows us to do that.”
The software’s inability to create promo codes or gift certificates
has been one of its drawbacks, Sanders says; however, he notes that
the Version 2 update has resolved that issue.
Wilcom International Pty.
Ltd., Alexandria,
Australia; www.
wilcom.com.au
Embroidery Business management software
Company and
Software Package
Shopworks
OnSite
JCW Software LLC
FastManager
ASI Computer
Systems
ProfitMaker
What’s New
Key Features
Cost
Who Should Use It
Recently released Version 7.1
includes a point-of-sale system,
a touch-screen interface and barcoding enhancements.
• OnSite is an integrated product that allows decorators to manage their entire business, from customer
relationship management to quotes, order entry, purchasing, inventory and accounting.
• OnSite is specific to the decorator business model, to
include decorator-specific orders, embroidery designs
and production.
$4,900 for the
first license; $990
for each additional license
Decorated apparel-related
companies – embroiderers, screen printers,
promotional products
suppliers and distributors
and digital printers – that
earn between $250,000
and $50 million per year
in revenue can benefit
from OnSite.
The latest updates include a pointof-sale system, improved QuickBooks integration, and well as
compatibility with ASI’s new ESP
Orders (www.asicentral.com).
• Software helps users manage entire process of selling
embellished apparel, including creating a professional
quote by using information from a user’s preferred vendor catalog directly from FastManager. Once the quote
is accepted, it can be converted to an order, which creates a work-in-progress that allows a purchase order to
be created and sent to the supplier of choice.
• Artwork creation and approval process is managed by
the system, keeping the artwork associated with a job as
it moves to production and onto delivery.
• All data is displayed in a centralized job board for
easy viewing by any member of a user’s staff.
FastManager
SMS (for small to
mid-size shops):
$1,495; FastManager PRO (for
large, multidepartmental
operations):
$4,900
• Version 9.2, out in March 2010,
offers users the ability to print,
e-mail and fax an invoice and
schedule various reports to run
unattended.
• Can access ASI Computer’s
knowledgebase, customer forum
and online videos.
• Users can also now post Twitter
alerts from the system.
• Software focuses on offering solid ordering, tracking
and accounting abilities.
• Detailed accounting system is able to comprehend
complicated orders.
• Software is updated semiannually.
Basic package
starts at $5,000
52 MARCH/APRIL 2010 --- stitches.com
Who Shouldn’t
Use It
User Review
Contact
OnSite isn’t designed
for companies that
aren’t in the decorated
apparel industry. Also,
OnSite can store
design file images, but
isn’t used to create the
images. You’ll need
CorelDRAW, Photoshop or other digital
art software to do this.
Mary Shaw, owner of Your Image Works Inc. in Indianapolis,
IN, bought OnSite because she wanted all of her company’s
information to be linked. “OnSite 7.1 allows us to track where
we purchased items from and how we’re decorating them,” she
says. “The most important feature is being able to see our profits
before we process the job. It’s also great because we’re able to do
reorders in no time.”
Shaw says that there are still a few glitches in the software
that need to be fixed. “This can be frustrating because you don’t
know if it’s a user error or a glitch,” she says. “Also, I’d love to see
specific things adjusted, like our net-cost screen on the front end
of order entry.”
Shopworks, West
Palm Beach, FL;
(561) 491-6000;
www.shopworx.com
Small to large apparel
decorators or promotional
products distributors who
sell embellished wearables
as a primary part of their
business
Decorators or promotional products distributors who don’t focus
on selling decorated
apparel
Peter Giummo, owner of Tri-Lakes Team Sports in Menifee,
CA, says the FastManager PRO software allows all nine of his
outside sales reps to quote the same prices to all potential customers – “the prices I established to make the margins I wanted
to make,” he says. Giummo also likes being able to use FastManager to download the catalogs from all of the companies from
which he buys. “This feature is worth the price of the software by
itself,” he says. “I don’t have to enter any of the products; all new
products and prices are updated automatically.”
Giummo says FastManager’s easy purchase-order system
and its ability to automatically submit invoices and payments to
QuickBooks made it a great buy for him.
FastManager,
West Palm
Beach, FL; (888)
728-8718; www.
fastmanager.com
Decorators, distributors
or suppliers that need a
more robust way to process and track their orders
Decorators, distributors or suppliers that
won’t benefit financially by improving
the efficiency of their
ordering or accounting processes
Mark Briggs, team leader at Boulder, CO-based Distinctive
Threads Inc., says ProfitMaker’s best feature is its easy billing
ability. “I can account for an invoice from a vendor in six clicks,
rather than manual input,” he says. “The ability to make Web
stores for customers is great, as well. It’s nice to have the ordering
and accounting software integrated.
Briggs does say, however, that he finds the software “clunky”
and says it needs to be upgraded to work with such programs as
ESP. He says the software lacks the ability for him to customize it
to his individual needs.
ASI Computer
Systems, Cedar
Falls, IA; (319)
266-7688; www.
asicomp.com
stitches.com --- MARCH/APRIL 2010 53
new software & upgrades
new releases
Company and
Software Package
Floriani Commercial
Floriani Total Control
SWF East
Stitch Era Universal
What Is It?
Key Features
Cost
Who Should Use It
Who Shouldn’t Use It
Contact
Total Control is a
full-featured digitizing and advanced
editing program that
is designed to be easy
to use. Software will
be released April 1,
2010.
• Software will work with non-native formats such as .dst files, as it does with files created
in the software itself.
• Users will have total control of editing the outlines, points and nodes, stitch angle
directions, and start and end points for an element when working with native and nonnative design formats.
• Another key feature, Save2Sew, which gives a digitizer or embroiderer the ability to
modify the density, underlay and compensation values of a design based on the fabric
type they’re embroidering onto. For even more control of the Save2Sew feature, users
can select only the areas of the design – density, underlay and compensation – they want
to modify for the given design and fabric type; a user would just check the areas of the
design he wants modified during the process. The Save2Sew feature ensures a user has
the proper design values for the fabric type she’s embroidering.
$2,999
All commercial digitizers and
embroiderers, regardless of their
experience level
Home digitizers and embroiderers
Floriani Commercial, Knoxville, TN; (865)
459-5115; www.
rnkdistributing.com
Stitch Era Universal
from Sierra Technology Group is a
free, full-featured
digitizing software
program. Software
will be released fall
2010.
• Stitch Era Universal’s “ribbon concept” is designed to teach decorators the software.
The ribbon follows a user’s actions and presents her with options, so she avoids rows of
toolbars, or menus with additional layers of submenus.
• Software includes embroidery fonts, monogram templates and unlimited true-type
fonts.
• Has different modes for manual or auto digitizing, along with more advanced effects,
such as auto color blending, cloning and other power features.
• Software brings vectorizing tools inside the embroidery software screen, so a user
doesn’t have to convert graphics into stitches through two different applications.
$995 for Stitch
Era Liberty, the
dongle-based
upgrade
People who need a cost-effective
way to have software in more than
one station
Stitch Era Universal doesn’t come with quoting, invoicing and inventory capabilities, although those features are
available as optional modules for other Sierra products. Also,
people who don’t have a permanent broadband connection
available at all times should look elsewhere. In lieu of the free
software, users can upgrade to the USB-dongle-based Stitch
Era Liberty software, so they can skip the permanent online
connection requirement.
SWF East,
Tampa, FL; (877)
793-3278; www.
swfeast.com
SHANE DALE is a contributing writer for Stitches.
What’s the Right Artwork Software for Me?
Software creators and users agree that the number one question that decorators should ask themselves before they purchase decorating software is: What kind of decorator am I?
“For example, are they screen printers, embroiderers or digital
graphics artists?” says Peter Giummo, owner of Tri-Lakes Team
Sports in Menifee, CA. “Each function requires different capabilities. For printing, the company needs to use a graphics program
that can convert and produce graphics in a vectorized format.
This is much more detailed than a bitmap and .jpeg format. It’s
probably the hardest thing we have to explain to our customers
– that we can’t just take their bitmap logo and put in on T-shirts,
because the quality will be terrible; it’s along the lines of watch-
54 MARCH/APRIL 2010 --- stitches.com
ing TV in regular format compared to HD format.”
Similarly, Jay Malanga, president of Shopworks, which
creates OnSite software, says decorators need to ask if
their software will be used for screen printing, embroidery,
promotional products or something else. “This is important
because the answer will dictate the type of software they’ll
need,” he says. “For example, someone who’s developing
artwork for embroidery will need a program to create the
original artwork – typically CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator or
another vector-based program. In addition, if they intend to
do the digitizing themselves, they’ll need a digitizing software package, plus the training on how to use it.”
Here are four other important questions decorators should ask
themselves before making that important software purchase:
1
What kind of computer will I be using? It’s important to
find out if the software is compatible with a PC and/or a Mac,
says Zach Lawson, graphic designer for Your Image Works Inc. in
Indianapolis, IN.
2
How much artwork will I be subcontracting? “Subcontracting may actually be cheaper and more effective in
some cases, especially when it comes to embroidery digitizing,”
Malanga says.
3
Will I waste money on features that my company won’t
need? “For example, if you need to do basic editing on bitmap
files but don’t need all of the bells and whistles, there’s no need to
purchase Adobe Photoshop, which is a $600 piece of software,”
Malanga says. “Photoshop is very powerful and is excellent software, but if you need basic editing capabilities only, then it’s overkill.”
4
Does the software include a tracing function? “Illustrator
has a very nice Live Trace function that can convert raster images into vector with a click of the button,” Lawson says. “That’s big
in this industry, because you get a lot of companies that will send
you bad images of their logos, and you’ll have to redraw the logos
in order for them to print well.”
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