Decoration - From Stock Art to Custom Imprints

Stock Art Can Provide An Inexpensive And Creative Decorating Option

Stock ArtClients don't always have artwork ready for apparel application. In fact, many small businesses or nonprofit organizations might not even have a logo for a promotion. Designing one from scratch takes time and drives up costs.

That's when customizing stock art becomes a great advantage. Stock art can be purchased as individual images, in collections (grouped by themes such as sports, mascots, military or occupations) and as entire libraries. A single stock art image can cost as little as a few dollars, and then be customized in less than an hour.

Dane Clement, founder of Great Dane Graphics, suggests sourcing stock art from a provider that understands the ad specialty business. For example, you'll want images that are royalty-free with no limitations on how many times they can be used or on the type of product on which they'll be imprinted. Ideally, once you purchase the stock art image, you can use it to decorate a T-shirt, cap, mug – or whatever promotional item is required for a program.

"Make sure to read the licensing agreement," Clement says. Some generic stock art sources don't allow printing on goods to be sold.

You'll also want full-color stock art that is easily manipulated with graphic design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or CorelDraw. The Great Dane collection of stock art comes as high-resolution, layered Photoshop files with two layers: artwork and background. This easily allows you to add your own type, logos, etc., and can be used for embroidery digitizing, dye-sublimation transfers, digital transfers (inkjet and color laser), digital direct-to-garment printing or screen printing.

Whether you choose stock art that's stylized or photographic, you can manipulate it to look very different. Clement suggests playing with the graphic by adding or eliminating portions. For example, you can encapsulate an image within lettering or use just part of the design. You can alter the look of full-color artwork by making it monochromatic or distressed or adding embellishment such as foil or rhinestones.