This article demonstrates the importance of broadening your skill sets and experimenting with new materials and techniques.
By Ryan Moor
What if you could expand your business and open doors to new markets? What if you had the ability to increase your margin per print 10 fold? What if you had the opportunity to partner with companies that produce work for brands like Nike? What would you say if all of these great things required you to venture outside of your comfort zone or product specialty?
If you don’t open yourself to the possibility, you could be missing out on a lot. Take my company, for example. Ryonet, does not screen print for profit—that is, we don’t print jobs for customers. Instead, we focus on educating and supplying screen printers. So, how did we end up printing a job (Figure 1) for a large-scale advertising campaign involving an international ad agency, a commercial design house, a high-end photography studio, and one of the most recognizable brands featuring various high-profile athletes—all with a profit of $25-30 per print? It was simple: by being open-minded and flexible. By stepping outside the world of T-shirts, Ryonet had the opportunity to screen print the core piece of a national advertising campaign that encompassed graphics screen printing, digital photography, digital printing, and—eventually—garment screen printing.
The background story
It all started on a late Friday afternoon in January of 2010. I received an urgent call from my good friend, Tyler. While we have known each other personally for years, Tyler has freelanced for Ryonet with various product-photography projects and professionally works as a commercial photographer at a high-profile photography studio in Portland, OR. As we talked that afternoon, the tone of desperation in Tyler’s voice told me he needed some help. He asked me, “Is it hard to screen print onto glass?” “That depends,” I said, “on how many colors are being used, the size of the prints, and the number of designs.”
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