Spotlight: Roland DGA
Funny thing about being a creative. While you’re supposed to be brainstorming your client’s latest logo or packaging, sometimes all you can really think about is that fantastic personal design you’re dying to try out on a T-shirt or tote bag. And the truly maddening part? You know you could actually earn some extra money on Etsy or eBay selling it if only you could keep your costs down and experiment with different designs. And that’s where the Roland DG VersaStudio BT-12 direct-to-garment printer comes in. Think of the BT-12 as a vitamin B12 shot for your creativity and earnings potential, especially during our on-again/off-again work-from-home situations.
Customize Fabric…and Make Money
Up till now if you wanted to customize a bag or piece of clothing you’d have to screen print it yourself – which is both messy and time consuming as each screen only prints one color – or invest in an expensive direct-to-garment printer. Alternatively, professional screen printers have minimum order requirements of anywhere from 10 to 24 pieces or more, making it difficult to experiment with different designs affordably.
Roland DGA’s BT-12, on the other hand, uses inkjet technology to print your work in full color directly on fabric in just a few minutes, one piece at a time. Have an idea for a cool new bandana or face mask that might sell well? Print one, photograph it, and post it online to see if someone buys it. If they do, repeat the process, maybe varying the design slightly to test which sells better. (Yes, we’re talking about A/B testing fashion here :-))
Here are just some of the products you can add your unique look to:
- Baby bibs
- Face masks
- Polo shirts
- Tote bags
- Cushion fabric
- Wall art
And one of the most appealing aspects of using the Roland DG BT-12 is the potential to make big profits on each piece. A T-shirt with an 8-x-11-inch image, for example, will cost you about $3.32 for the blank shirt and ink, yet it can easily fetch $15-$20 or more, depending on your amazing design skills!
How it Works
What makes the BT-12 so powerful is the ease with which you can move from an idea to a finished product. For starters it only takes up about the same amount of space as a small desktop laser printer, so you can easily set it up in a corner of your home office to ensure it’s always there when you’re ready to create. Once you are, simply:
1. Import your design from Photoshop into the easy-to-use printing software
2. Place your shirt/bag/etc. into the cassette tray
3. Insert that tray into the oven unit to remove any wrinkles
4. Put the tray into the printer and print your design on the item
5. Place the tray back in the oven to cure the inks in just minutes
This last stage is crucial, ensuring that your design won’t fade after repeated washings. In fact, your garment design should enjoy the same lifespan as garments you’d buy in the store.
One of the greatest illustrations of how easy it is to put the Roland DG BT-12 to work is a recent unboxing video posted by online women’s clothing and accessories boutique Wendy & Wander. The excitement you hear in the voice of owner Laura Sims at the end of the video says it all. And yes, you can even buy the tee you just saw her print!
All at a Compelling Price
Which leads to the biggest question of all: How much does the printer actually cost? Normally it sells for $4,995, but for a limited time Roland DGA is offering it for just $3,4995 – or automatic credit card payments of $99 per month (while supplies last). Getting started couldn’t be easier – simply order it right here.
See the Results for Yourself
To truly appreciate the possibilities of the Roland DG BT-12, you really need to get a print sample in your hands ASAP. That’s why Roland DGA is making a small number of printed zipper pouches (pictured above) available to PaperSpecs readers for a limited time. Not only are they cool and funky, they’re big enough to accommodate papers, a tablet PC and more. Enter to win one of 100 zipper pouches right now! Hurry, this contest ends July 30th. (North American entries only, please.)