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10 Wonderful and Inspiring things that Happened in 2016

2016 has been a rough year by most standards. There’s war, attacks of all kinds, social and political turmoil and lots of people would like nothing more than to put it bed. These issues are impactful and not to be taken lightly but there are a lot of positive stories too. We’d like to end this year by featuring some inspiring events, stories, and reports that have taken place recently and sincerely wish everyone a Happy 2017!

Teenage Felons Experience Act of Kindness from Opposing Team Players

In Gainesville Texas a group of teenagers that typically never have anyone cheering for their side got a heartwarming surprise thanks to the wishes of a few members of the opposing team. The Gainesville Tornadoes aren’t used to having cheerleaders, cheering fans, or any of the usual bolstering that is typical of high school basketball games. That’s because the Gainesville Tornadoes are not made up of your typical high school athletes. They are actually felons who get to participate on the basketball team as a reward for good behavior.

None of the details of their crimes are revealed in this story but given their age, we’ll give them some latitude and accept they are paying their debt to society. That’s what a couple of the students from The Vanguard, a private school that was hosting the Tornadoes did. The students asked some of their fan base to cheer for the opposing team. The reaction from the players for the Tornadoes is priceless. The encouragement and acceptance they received from total strangers will leave a positive mark on them for years to come.

EnChroma glasses leave Dad blown away by the color of the eyes of his children

Most people take the gift of seeing the world in color for granted but when this father of three sees color for the first time, his emotional response is touching. You can see how he’s overcome almost immediately after the putting the glasses on. Color blindness impacts roughly 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women. EnChroma glasses cut out sharp wavelengths of light to enhance the specific colors of red and green also impacting purple and orange.

Women gets Cochlear Implant and hears her boyfriend for the first time as he proposes

We don’t know the back story of this sweet video but this woman gets a Cochlear Implant that restores her hearing. Cochlear implants work differently than traditional hearing aids which amplify noise. The implant bypasses the damaged part of the ear. Although the nature of the hearing is different, recipients are able to understand speech in person and over the phone. The first words her boyfriend utters to her is a proposal of marriage so not only is she extremely happy about gaining a sense, she is beseeched by her best friend to spend the rest of their lives together.

Man is able to move paralyzed limbs with brain chip implant

During a diving accident in his teens, Ian Burkhart was permanently paralyzed. This year he was the recipient of a brain chip implant that connects to electrodes in his hands, he’s able to will movement in his hands for the first time in five years, completely bypassing his damaged spinal cord. The seemingly miraculous technology differs from other technology recently developed to help paralyzed people in that it’s not a detached prosthetic. The implant is not overtly invasive and the electronic sleeve is paper thin. The technology is also a smart technology in that it’s part of machine learning continuously improving with interactions. Currently the technology is only available in the lab but a wireless model is being worked on.

The hole in the ozone layer of our atmosphere is slowly on the mend

During the 1980’s, our use of chlorine containing chemical compounds like the kind used in aerosol sprays caused a horrifically scary problem, a hole in the ozone layer above the Antarctic. The chlorine in our atmosphere destroyed ozone because of a reaction with natural conditions. Without the ozone layer we would be exposed to deadly ultraviolet rays. The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty drafted to eliminate the use of these chemicals and levels have been on the decline resulting in 4,000,000 kilometer shrinkage of the ozone hole. That’s wonderful news for everyone!

Free dental care for veterans

Veterans around the country were offered a day of free dental care compliments of Aspen Dental. More than 300 offices across the nation opened their doors to provide much needed services to veterans that would not normally be able to afford this type of care.

Kids meditate rather than get detention

A school in Baltimore decided instead of punishing bad behavior with detention, children that were disruptive would instead be sent to the meditation room. The school’s students start each morning with breathing exercises. Baltimore is one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. and many of these children experience a lot of negativity in their home life. Instead of punishing, they teach them breathing exercises to control their impulses and reactionary behavior. Since implementing the program the school has reported far less behavioral issues within the student body.

National database created to make sure hungry people get the food they need

A young woman that has spent most of her life involved with charitable food pantries worked with a programmer to develop a nationwide database that helps disperse excess food donations. Organizations sign up to identify who they are, what they need, and how far they are willing to travel to pick up the charitable donation. Restaurants, grocery stores, and food pantries no longer have to throw away excess food. If the need is there and the donation matches what’s needed, users receive and alert. 1 in 6 Americans struggle with hunger and the development of the Means database is a step towards solving this problem.

Canadian city starts program for recycling textiles including old t-shirts
recycling old clothes

In Canada, one city has tackled the issue of textile garbage in a big way. The government officials of Markham have been all about the sustainable life for decades but what they found out about one recyclable material was disturbing. Only 15% off discarded clothing was being recycled, mainly because people only donated their nicest discards, the rest went in the trash because there wasn’t an understanding of additional ways to recycle textiles. Garments can be repurposed in a variety of ways including industrial. Carpet padding, home insulation, landscaping fabrics and even diapers can be created from recycled textiles. The city now has textile recycle receptacles all over the city.

Brewery creates edible six pack ring material

Saltwater Brewery in Florida invented a revolutionary idea. Edible six pack rings that actually feed marine life instead of endangering it. Marine biologist have warned about the deadly impact of plastic on marine life and even though a lot of people now cut plastic rings, fish still ingest pieces. Not to mention the impact on the environment when plastic deteriorates. The owners of the brewery partnered with engineers from Entelequia, Inc. to create the first biodegradable and edible packaging in the beer industry. The material is made from barley and wheat rivets, natural discards from the brewing process.

Perception, Emotion, and Color

Understanding how colors can impact others perception of you is pretty powerful knowledge. Colors also have an impact on how you feel about yourself. You can use the principles of color theory intelligently in your day-to-day life to subtly influence positive changes and avoid negativity.

color theory

From our earliest years were taught to associate colors with the environment around us. Red flames that will burn us, blue water that soothes us, blue skies that forecast a beautiful day, green leaves that promise springtime, and so forth.

The psychological impact of these environmental cues is deeply rooted in our psyche but how can we harness this power and make it work for us in a practical manner? There have been numerous scientific studies on the subject of color. One from Cornell University suggests that not only does the size of a dinner plate impact the serving portion of the individual, but the contrast of color does as well.

pasta plate test

Participants of the study were split up, one group given white plates, and the other group given red plates. They were offered pasta with either Alfredo sauce or tomato sauce. Those that chose Alfredo with white plates and likewise, those that had red plates and chose tomato sauce served themselves a significantly larger portion than those with high contrast choices such as tomato sauce on a white plate. Because of the low contrast, they did not recognize how much they were about to consume.

Ever wonder why your doctor’s lab coat is white even though it’s probably the most impractical color choice? White reminds us of cleanliness, purity, protection, and imparts a sense of orderliness. Viewed in that light, white becomes the most practical color choice when trying to assure patients of efficiency.

white labcoat

Want to have a great workout session? Try wearing orange. Orange has the power of energy and vitality. It’s an optimistic and extroverted color that spouts enthusiasm. According to holistic and alternative medicine practitioners, wearing orange while exercising can increase oxygen supply to the brain. Orange is the perfect marriage of red and yellow, two of the most exciting colors on the spectrum.

orange workout

Yellow is the color of clarity and mental alertness. It also induces positivity. Yellow is the color of the sun and lack of sunlight can result in a serious medical conditional known as Seasonal Effective Disorder, more commonly known as Winter Depression. The effect of the color yellow is so dramatic, some color therapists believe exposure to the color can help with conditions like depression and stimulates confidence and optimism. However too much yellow is said to have negative effects on emotions and can cause anger or hyperactivity.

yellow color

Red has been perhaps the most studied color since it’s so controversial. It’s said to evoke emotions of anger, excitement, and even raises blood pressure. It’s also extremely popular in restaurants color schemes because it’s supposed to increase appetite. Wearing red has been found to enhance the physical attractiveness of a woman. According to the research of two University of Rochester professors, red is the color you want to be wearing if you’re looking to entice a male partner. Men were shown a series of photographs of women, some simply had red frames and others were wearing red shirts. Consistently throughout the research, women shown in association with the color red were rated as more sexually attractive. No other trait was seen to increase like intelligence or kindness. The professors suggest it has something to do with the primitive mind. Interestingly enough, the men were not aware that it was the color that was changing their perception since in many cases they were shown pictures of the exact same woman wearing a different color.

red woman

Blue is possibly the most beloved color of them all. It has a calming and serene effect on most people. Maybe because the sky is blue and it’s the color of the ocean. Our affinity with water is dramatic. Most of the population of the Earth lives within 60 miles of a body of water. It soothes us, speaks to our souls, and it’s a source of livelihood and survival. It invokes emotion. It’s hard to imagine that our ancestors didn’t even have a word for the color blue. Opposite of the findings on the color red, blue is supposed to be the best color for a man to wear on a date presumably because of the calming effect.

color blue

If you’re looking to appear more efficient in the workforce, wear black. Black has been scientifically shown to induce the attitude of aggressiveness, not only to the person wearing black, but also has the same impact on how others perceive you. Black has always been associated with the color of night and malevolence. While this sounds negative, translating these traits into the workplace means you are to be taken seriously and have authority. It’s no wonder why Steve Jobs always wore his signature black turtleneck.

black color

Green is the color of relaxation and rejuvenation. Wearing green conveys you are trustworthy and dependable. It also reduces stress and anxiety so if you’re going to have to deal with a problem client or troublesome family member, green is going to have a calming effect. It’s also very soothing to the eyes as it’s the most prevalent color in nature. That’s why skincare companies like Aveda use green in their packaging and advertising.

green color

Perception of color is so subjective that we even extend our feelings toward what the color is called. Why are we drawn to amber and not orange? Spice, but not brown? Iced Cherries but not bright pink? It’s obvious why makeup companies, textile designers, and marketers all over the world expend a lot of resources on research to find out what moves people to buy.

perspective

An important thing to remember about color and perceptions is that it is influenced by context and references to our upbringing and memories. If someone strongly associates the color blue with a negative memory from childhood, it’s not going to have the soothing effect that it is generally known to have. Many ideas on color are part of social conditioning like bold colors for men and softer hues for women. In general color should be used to persuade and influence but don’t expect a universal reaction. Each person is subject to their own impressions.

Custom T Shirts Cheap

The cost of printing custom t shirts is often the number one factor in deciding whether to go with one t-shirt printer over the other. To answer the question of where to get t shirts made for cheap without sacrificing quality presents a challenge if you’re not familiar with t-shirt printers. Making the right decision can impact how your judgement is perceived by family, teammates, or even your boss, so it’s no wonder that choosing can cause some anxiety.

quality printers

What factors into making custom t shirts cheap or expensive? There are two major aspects that influence the cost per piece of custom decorated apparel. The number of colors used in the design and the product the design is going to be printed on.

Some very cheap t-shirt printers do not disclose the type or brand name of the t-shirt that will be used in the price per item, or they only offer unfamiliar products. If you’re unfamiliar with t-shirt products, you may not understand that a really poor quality t-shirt will affect the likelihood that the shirt will make it through the wash a few times. T-shirt printers are rarely t-shirt manufacturers but a reputable printer will have a deep knowledge of quality products. If you receive custom printed shirts and the hems are sewn crooked or they are unraveling, alarm bells should be ringing.

washing clothes

If you’re planning on placing a large order or if a lot is riding on the outcome of the printed t-shirts, a test print is the best way to evaluate a printer. However these do no come free. It’s also important to understand that most t-shirt printers will default to digital printing if you order just one t-shirt or even a few. This is the most cost effective way to print a small batch t-shirt order. If your end goal is to have screen printed shirts, communicate to the printer that you are running a test and need to see the quality of their workmanship before placing a larger order. You’ll then put them on notice to price your test print for screen printing which can be quite expensive but will afford you the best “proof” prior to placing a large order. You can evaluate their print quality and the apparel product at the same time.

The second biggest influence to price is the number of colors in the design. Screen printing requires that different screens be burned. There’s no actual fire involved though. It’s more the fabrication of a stencil. Each color requires a screen of its own and here is where a lot of cost is incurred. It’s a photographic process and the screens are coated with a light sensitive emulsion. The art is sized and taped to the screen in the size required for the t-shirt design and print and then burned onto the screen with use of halogen light.

screen print colors

These steps need to be reproduced for each color in the design. The time spent separating and setting up the screens for each color will factor into the price per unit as well. To keep costs down, stick with a simple, one color design. However, if you need a design that is more complicated, getting custom t shirts cheap can be achieved with the quantity of your order. The price per shirt ordinarily goes down per item when there is an opportunity to produce in volume.

burned screened

A final point to assess when making a decision about a cheap t-shirt printer is the level of customer service and reliability. Check to see if they have customer reviews and the longevity of their business. There is little recourse if you order from a custom t-shirt printer in another country and are displeased with the results. Also consider the longevity of the company. A custom apparel printer that’s been established for a period of time has a reputation to protect. Quality, inexpensive t-shirt printing is no myth if you find middle ground with an experienced t-shirt printer.

Ordering T-Shirts in Bulk: Pitfalls and Pointers

Ordering t-shirts in bulk is a strategy that can save money regardless of the purpose and increase probability if you intend to resell. Oftentimes customers may not be aware of the savings possibilities if they order more t-shirts than less. It makes sense to only order the t-shirts you need if it’s for a one-time event or if the design has any specific date or is redesigned annually. However if it’s a design that remains static over time or it’s a signature piece in a clothing line collection, bulk is the way to order.

The price per unit decreases as the number of shirts goes up. It’s easier for screen printers to pass on the savings in quantity once the costs associated with press and art setup are absorbed.

Another benefit is consistency in the run. Most screen printers recycle their screens after a job is completed unless there is a contract on file and the exact design is reordered frequently. There is always the possibility when setting up new screens, something could be altered. Another possibility is the shirt product may be inconsistent because t-shirt manufactures often use a variety of sources to sew their t-shirts. If you order in bulk, these possibilities are basically eradicated.

Saving time is another benefit of buying printed t-shirts in bulk. Each time you order one-off t-shirts, the ordering process is still a requirement and you may have to go through customer service checks and proofs. If you’re using a screen printer that doesn’t offer free shipping, the costs for shipping can really add up.

T-Shirts are also a great marketing asset. Keeping plenty of branded t-shirts in stock for giveaways are far more memorable than a business card or refrigerator magnet. And, when ordering in bulk, the cost per item makes it far more reasonable as a giveaway than you might think.

If you intend to resell, you should not order in bulk if you don’t feel confident the item will sell. If it’s a new design, you should do some market research to gauge the reaction. Even asking well trusted friends what they think of the new design is better than investing heavily on the front side only to have the garment end up on the discount rack.

For resell or giveaway, it’s important to consider the quality of the apparel product you choose. Going for the cheapest product may not be the way to entice sales or make the recipient feel they’ve been given something of value. Comfort is critical. Even the best design will hang in the closet if the garment is scratchy, ill-fitting, or an objectionable color.

Custom T-Shirt Printing: The Top 5 Things you need to Know

You find yourself in charge of ordering custom t-shirts for an event, a business, or the next family reunion but aren’t sure what to expect from a custom t-shirt printer. If you’re inexperienced with purchasing custom products, it can be a little scary since the end product reflects your decisions and probably represents a significant portion of the budget allowed for the entire venture.

We’ve printed millions of custom t-shirts and shipped them to customers across the U.S. so we’re decidedly the experts when it comes to identifying potential issues and educating our customers on the best course of action. Here are the top 5 things you need to know when engaging in custom t-shirt printing.

  1. Quantity and pricing are like peas and carrots, they just go together
  2. Most t-shirt printers offer quantity discounts but it’s important to understand the logic behind it. Burning screens for a screen printing job is part of the setup process and is built into our pricing. Because it involves a lot of work, a small number of t-shirts are going to incur a greater price per item.

    However there are price breaks where we’ve been able to rationalize a significant decrease in the price per item. It’s a point of cancelling out the cost of production and maximizing our screen printer’s awesome powers of speed if you will. Our most generous price breaks are at 12, 36, 72, 144, and 300 pieces.

  3. What’s the difference between screen printing and digitally printing a t-shirt?
  4. There are 3 factors you want to consider for this question. The type of t-shirt product, the design, and the number of t-shirts desired. Screen printing is the traditional method by which custom printed clothing has been produced. However, since the innovation of polyblend materials, (a certain percentage of the fabric is made from synthetic materials) and the demand for photo quality finished designs, a distinction has to be made when choosing a t-shirt product. If your design is relatively simple or if you need your design printed on performance wear, (typically a polyblend) you’re going to choose screen printing.

    Typical Screen Print Design

    Typical Digital Print Design

    The digital print method would be the default if your design is complex or photo like. Digital printing requires that the garment you choose be made of 100% cotton for the inks used in digital printing to adhere properly. Additionally, if you’re looking for six items or less, you would choose the digital print method because it will be cheaper per item than screen print.

  5. This t-shirt design is just for my personal use. Why can’t I use images I found on the Internet?
  6. We all love popular icons from movies, music, and other forms of entertainment. However, most images that are found on the Internet are owned by someone unless released under a Creative Commons License. That means an ethical custom t-shirt printer would not print images, and thus, make a profit from someone else’s copyright protected or trademarked images.

    Additionally, many times when images are downloaded from the Internet the quality is low resolution and would not reproduce to your expectations. It may look fine on a computer screen but when blown up to actual size the result can be disappointing. If you’re not sure of the legality of using an image, contact us and we can do a reverse image search to verify copyright concerns.

  7. I have a deadline, how far in advance do I need to order my t-shirts?
  8. If you need your t-shirts by an exact date, placing your order 10 calendar days ahead of that date will ensure you receive them in time with no extra shipping charges. Although we do offer lightning fast options in as little as 3 days, giving yourself plenty of time to review choices, artwork proofs, and customer service questions is of course the most tactical. Especially if you have more than one decision maker involved with your t-shirt order.

    If you request a proof, be sure to follow up with our customer service department on the approval. Since we want to make sure you’re happy with your custom products, we need that verification before proceeding with the order.

  9. I’m a reseller. How do I know my artwork will be protected?
  10. Your design is your design. We never make your artwork available for others to print without your express permission. Some online custom t-shirt printers offer ecommerce stores for their customers to sell their t-shirts designs on demand. However, if you’re a serious reseller looking to build a clothing line, read the fine print.

    These stores require you to relinquish total rights to the design and they use them for marketing and make a profit every time your design is sold. While this may sound like a low hassle way to run a store, it makes it very hard to build a brand that’s under your control.