Digital Decorating:

On Design: Dog Days

April 30, 2021

This month’s tongue-wagging design, “What Up Dog,” is courtesy of New Jersey-based Breakthrough Custom Clothing. Founded by Gerald Cantalupo Jr. in 2007, the company was built around a heat press, plastisol transfers and vinyl.

“After we discovered [direct-to-garment printing] at a past ISS show, and conducting our own research and in-person demos, I ended up buying a Neoflex,” Cantalupo says. “My thought process was [that] I can use DTG to create samples for my own clothing line but also grab small orders from customers [under 36], since most shops were offering only bulk orders. This helped me expand and generate more customers, especially ones that needed drop-shipping. There are no minimums and full digital images are still our niche.”

This design was inspired by a supplied photo of a real Doberman Pinscher. Using Adobe Photoshop, the company enhanced the dog’s highlights, curves and saturation, ultimately bringing the animal to life.

“Knowing which areas to increase a highlight, while leaving areas around it with a darker look, will really help make an image pop,” Cantalupo says. “With DTG printing, having a high-quality image from the beginning helps a lot.”

According to Cantalupo, the only difficult part involved removing the background and ensuring it had a smooth transition; the final printing touches were a breeze.

“Achieving the professional-photography look is the combination of the high-quality photo we received, plus having our RIP software dialed in to achieve the print exactly as we see [it] on the screen,” he says. — Dustin Shrader

Design Details

Dimensions: 15″ x 25″

Direct-to-Garment Printer: All-American Neoflex

Heat Press: Stahls’  Hotronix Fusion IQ

Software: Adobe Photoshop and Kothari