Saturday, August 21, 2010

One thing leads to another and I need a down and dirty art program

One thing leads to another and I need a down and dirty art program. I need to quick edit images from time to time to get them on the web and photoshop isn't always available. I tried the photo program that comes with Windows and I couldn't even get the image to fit into the screen to crop it. Low, Low resolution crap. No wonder all the artwork I get from people often sucks if they tried to do it with Paint. I have heard about Picassa and if this works I'll forward my customers to the Google link to quick edit their own artwork. I will post the progress as it occurs.

Except for trying to bump out the other browser when I started it and request for anonymous error tips, it seems like a harmless photo editor, for now. The program seems to recognize the following file types: jpeg, jpg, tif, tiff, bmp, gif, png, tga and raw. They each are different compression algorythms for photographic files that are often viewable by web browsers and other photo editors. The Raw format is straight out of the camera and I am not sure what a TGA file is. The first thing the Picassa did was search my computer and find all of the above mentioned file types. the sorting window looks pretty good and it organized my images by folder. I was able to open a file and crop it, as well as, apply an assortment of filters. The only save as format was jpeg, .jpg. Next I need to check the image resolution and size.

Picassa allows me to see the image size under Properties, but I can't seem to increase the size arbitrarily. I was able to zoom in on sections. I played with the contrast in the various tonal ranges and that wasn't bad, not great, but not bad. I don't see any export or halftone functions, which limits me for screen printing grey tones, but you can get a down and dirty high contrast effect by manipulating the shades. Rough Edit. Wow, I really like the soft focus when added to a high contrast funky mix. Ok, I can add text, but not that easy to find a blank space. Image posted, 15 minutes of hacking.

I don't think it will replace photoshop, but this appears to work for fun edits. Almost printable artwork.

There is an export function that takes the photo image over to another program, picnik. In this program I was able to resize the image and send it back to Picassa 3 where I saved it and uploaded the images to my website. More editing features were available in teh PicNik program and although I did not get printable artwork out of the software, I was able to convert some web images from large files to viewable jpegs. Success.

I went back later to do a design that popped in my head, "Made in America" but with an Indian Head. I found some clip art and went to work. The combination of Picassa and PicNik isn't bad to get something on the web. I can go back and fix it if it sells and needs to be printed, but this gets me in the ballpark. I would still have to charge for artwork if I received this type of file from a customer, but overall it's a good draft, possibly salvagable into a printable file. A point in favor of the program is that I actually created a folder called "New Designs" on this Acer mini computer, thus recognizing that the file may be printable. It's a good thing I don't have high demands for my artwork requirements. I am interested in the tag elements of the program, it seems like it is allowing the insertion of keywords into the image, which makes alot of sense. I wonder if those are somehow read back into Google? My next step is a web design interface that has a chance at being workable without crashing.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Alternatives to American Apparel - Wholesale Made in USA t-shirts

Y-Que has promoted and sold American Apparel for a long time and there has not been a sufficient amount of focus on providing a direct alternative to American Apparel until now. I sell t-shirts all day long and despite previous problems with the stock and availability of American Apparel in the past I don't think anything will compare to the problems that a company will face with hundreds of leases and not enough cash. To be properly prepared there must be an available resource to provide to my customers that is a viable alternative to American Apparel.

We've listed and discussed various brands in the past and we will have to reconsider and promote many of them until the winner is clear. Consider Y-Que like a wine merchant who gets grapes from many sources and comes up with the best combination for a particular year.

The main brands as alternatives to American apparel t-shirts that are available wholesale are Alternative Apparel, Kavio, Next Level, Canvas, Bella, Hanes, Anvil, Gildan, Alstyle and each of them have their positives and negatives. Made in USA iss the first problem and only American Apparel can boast that, but we have found a private label t-shirt the we can have for Y-Que that is Made in the USA. The problem is there isn't much cost savings from American Apparel, but as an introductary price we are considering selling it for a straight $4.00/ea on whites and $5.00/ea on color. The label is a consideration, but I am thinking about printing a label that will dissolve in the first wash. In this way I can make it easy for printers to find the size, but the buyer of the shirt can get rid of the label by washing it. If they want to keep the printed tag then they would simply iron the space with the print.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's not easy being Green - Save American Apparel

The fact is that survival in corporate america isn't easy, especially when you sell out. American Apparel tried to sell out, everyday, and it isn't working. Selling out is the American Way, so this is an obvious path for the company to have taken, but don't get fooled again. This isn't just about the libido of Dov Charney, this is about profitability and extortion. The financiers that control the clothing industry of this country have a strangle hold on the companies that work in this country and right now is not a good time to have debt. The debt is what is destroying the stock value of American Apparel and the profitability of the company would be sufficient if it weren't for the exhorbant interest rates that are being charged to the short-term financing and covenents that are restricting the ability of the company to post a profit. I am not saying that the other realities like over-expansion and negligence on the part of the administration aren't obvious problems, but that shit happens all the time from Apple to the White House, so stop throwing stones. Face the facts that the very people that made American Apparel what it is are upset because they can't profit as much as they want. REMEMBER PUTNEY SWOPE! SAVE AMERICAN APPAREL!