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View Full Version : Stupid question - but one to which I do not know the answer!



Robert
05-01-2010, 09:35 AM
Hi Everyone,

I have a question. When printing onto sublimation paper for mugs, to you print the image reverse? - now I know that sounds kinda obvious, but I wasn't sure whether sub paper was super thin therefore allowing the inks to penetrate! Anyway, would just like confirmation so that I can correct all of my designs if necessary before my mug press arrives.

thanks in advance.

Also, if anyone can offer start to finish advice on printing mugs, it would be most appreciated - like all of the newbie mistakes - which I would rather much like to bypass as I don't have the money to go wasting mugs or ink!

purpledragon
05-01-2010, 09:48 AM
This is a cracking post as i think we forget we were all newbies once
first answer yes you must print in reverse the paper goes on the mug with the ink side to the surface of the mug.

Not sure what you want in the way of advice but will give you the benifit of my experiance and hopefully other forum members will add to it.

1. customer is king without them theres no business.
2.Buying cheap does not work simple quality suffers you end up spending your profits on new stuff and customer confidence suffer
3.your choice of inks and paper make huge differences always use quality ink and paper
4.dont fall into the trap of thinking harley davidson arnt going to bother a small business like me for using their logo. They will i have the letter from their legal dept to prove it this goes for all copyright dont abuse it you will get caught.
5. use this forum as much as you can the advice on here is worth thousands and its given by those who have done it seen it printed the t shirt an worn it .
Good luck and remember there are no stupid questions just questions
Brett

Stitch Up
05-01-2010, 09:52 AM
No question is stupid, if you don't know the answer, please ask.

Print in mirror. You shouldn't need to alter your designs in anyway as most (I think) printers allow you to print in MIRROR. Incidentally, when you print to sub paper, the image will likey look horrible, this is usual :)

It is easy when things are going okay Robert. My first entry into DyeSub was with the Ricoh GX 7000 & Sawgrass gel inks. Hardly any setup time and works right out of the box - no clogged heads to worry about either.

Prior to DyeSub we did (and still do) laser mugs, probably a few 1000.

JSR
05-01-2010, 10:02 AM
Just one point to add. If you're printing glass items such as glass coasters, glass placemats, glass worktop savers, or glass clocks, then you *don't* reverse the image. These items have a receptive white coating on the underside. You print in the normal non-mirrored fashion and the ink penetrates the white coating so that when you look "through" the glass you'll see it as it would look on the paper.

And to confuse things, you *do* reverse the image for glass mugs, glass whiskey glasses, etc.

mrs maggot
05-01-2010, 10:11 AM
Also, if anyone can offer start to finish advice on printing mugs

i think the process, in simple steps would be good to have on here, i know there are some dunkers and some non dunkers. still not pressed any yet so i cannot offer any help - but i like you would like a simple step guide - i know it will vary a little machine by machine

I think Bretts points are great as general business points - and yes i have decided a couple of times the customer may be king but it does not always stop him being a cock - said in James May style

purpledragon
05-01-2010, 10:19 AM
the customer may be king but it does not always stop him being a cock - said in James May style


Never a truer word said :lol: :lol: :lol:

Robert
05-01-2010, 10:30 AM
Thank you all for the comments. Coincidentally, my Mug press has just arrived. And, first point I noted was that it's not identical to the one in the picture!
Secondly, I notice that when the lever is in the open position, the wrap does look a little twisted - will this correct itself under pressure?!
Also, I notice 2 small dimples on the mat - I assume that this will result in 2 not printed dots on the mug? Should I return it, or for 70 am I better off just investing in a new wrap??

I made sure that I bought Artinium inks and good paper, but I thought I could get away with a cheap press :(

Robert
05-01-2010, 10:34 AM
4.dont fall into the trap of thinking harley davidson arnt going to bother a small business like me for using their logo. They will i have the letter from their legal dept to prove it this goes for all copyright dont abuse it you will get caught.


What do you mean by "don't abuse it". I actually had this discussion with my wife, as I was indeed planning on doing some cartoon characters mugs - having seen many others printing them, I assumed that these companies weren't bothered. What images can be used - for example, if I take a pic of a celebrity or Laurel and Hardy for example, is it likely that I will get sued? Is it just big brand companies I should steer away from?

mrs maggot
05-01-2010, 12:22 PM
who owns the picture you will be using, is more to the point - its really not that easy - put beckham / jade goodey / esther rantzen / gordon brown on a mug and see how long a solicitors letter takes - ive tried to take one person from every walk of life (and death lol)

if david beckam walks past you and you take a picture of him - you may own the photo but you do not own the right to use your picture of him to promote your goods

Robert
05-01-2010, 12:45 PM
= if david beckam walks past you and you take a picture of him - you may own the photo but you do not own the right to use your picture of him to promote your goods

How does it work with a newspaper then - they take celeb photos and then use them to promote their product?

JSR
05-01-2010, 01:00 PM
= if david beckam walks past you and you take a picture of him - you may own the photo but you do not own the right to use your picture of him to promote your goods

How does it work with a newspaper then - they take celeb photos and then use them to promote their product?
No, they take photographs to illustrate news articles. It's the article that sells the paper, not the photo. The press are allowed certain liberties which the regular commercial business does not. They also have teams of legal bods to be sure they're safe, or who can fight their corner when they're not. Do you?

How many times have we read "Celebrity X sues The Sun for 10m!" The newspaper can afford 10m - such a case will not prevent them from using the image or misrepresenting the celebrity. They may have to pay out 10m but they probably made 20m in newspaper sales. Would the same thing apply to us?

It's like with logos. If you take a photo of your friend on a busy street and, in the far distance, there's a shop selling Coca-Cola with the logo on their door then you won't be sued by Coca-Cola. But if you take a photo of the Coca-Cola logo from that door and print it as the primary image on your mug, you will be sued.

Copyright isn't as simple as it seems - it's a whole subject called "Intellectual Property" (read: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/). For me, copyright isn't something to be infringed "if I think I can get away with it". I just consider how I would like being the victim if I.P. theft. I wouldn't like it, so I don't do it. There are hundreds of shysters on a certain popular auction site who clearly don't have the same conscience. But, at the end of the day, someone who flouts IP isn't someone who's going to be around very long (they're only in it for a quick buck). I see my business lasting the years, not just a few weeks.

Robert
05-01-2010, 01:08 PM
Whilst I am not getting into a debate and trying to argue a case (as I quite agree with you on the main jist of things) I would like to dissagree on the point you made regarding "It's the article that sells the paper, not the photo". A photo is worth a thousand words, and if it's tabloids where talking about, it's the photo that sells - also, it is often the article that the celebrity sues over, not the photo :)

I once ran an ebay business, and I used to take all of my own photos and was subject on numerous ocassions to my images being stolen and used by my competitors. Needless to say, they were reported, and the images removed

JSR
05-01-2010, 01:19 PM
Whilst I am not getting into a debate and trying to argue a case (as I quite agree with you on the main jist of things) I would like to dissagree on the point you made regarding "It's the article that sells the paper, not the photo". A photo is worth a thousand words, and if it's tabloids where talking about, it's the photo that sells - also, it is often the article that the celebrity sues over, not the photo :)
What we may think about the use of photos in articles from tabloid newspapers and how they are seen in the eyes of the law may be two different things. None of us here are legal people and the only way to be "safe" is to have legal people work with you when using images that may be subject to IP protection. It's worth remembering that newspapers are "press" and there are certain liberties allowed for the press that the rest of us can't use.


I once ran an ebay business, and I used to take all of my own photos and was subject on numerous ocassions to my images being stolen and used by my competitors. Needless to say, they were reported, and the images removed
In the first instance, that's probably what most "normal" celebrities would do if they saw their photo being used without permission - issue a "cease and desist" letter. However, if their legal people pursue the case at it comes to compensation and damages, you'd probably find yourself on a hiding to nothing.

If you're trying to build up a good business with solid foundations and a reputation for doing the right thing, is it worth the risk? For me it's not, but I can only speak for me.

Robert
05-01-2010, 01:26 PM
I was just probing earlier to see what the legal side was. Just so there is no confusion over my ethics, I would like to point out that I am currently waiting for a large well known organisation to get back to me regarding permission for use of their images, and some agreement relating to royalties.
;)

JSR
05-01-2010, 02:23 PM
I was just probing earlier to see what the legal side was. Just so there is no confusion over my ethics, I would like to point out that I am currently waiting for a large well known organisation to get back to me regarding permission for use of their images, and some agreement relating to royalties.
;)
I hope I didn't sound like I was questioning your ethics. The simple fact that you're seeking clarity proves that you aim to do the right thing.

There's no doubt that it's a bit of a minefield and all we can really do is aim to do the right thing. If we still trip up then at least we do so with a clear conscience.

Robert
05-01-2010, 02:51 PM
Not at all JSR. I think though that your right about the number of sellers on ebay who are clearly breaching copyright - it makes it difficult for a legit seller to compete as they to not incurr the fees that one might if paying royalties.

JSR
05-01-2010, 03:00 PM
Not at all JSR. I think though that your right about the number of sellers on ebay who are clearly breaching copyright - it makes it difficult for a legit seller to compete as they to not incurr the fees that one might if paying royalties.
Yes, it's very annoying - particularly when it appears that these people "get away with it". Makes you wonder why we're kicking ourselves about doing the right thing.

The way I look at it is that I'm building a business that I want to be here for a long time to come. I'm not here to make a quick buck and run off with the profits. If you intend to stick around, customers will learn this and will see you as a trusted supplier.

I often check with customers on the subject of copyright-protected images and most customers respond favourably because they learn that you care about the product enough to enquire. And legit customers are more likely to come back if they know that they can trust you with their design (because they know you're aware of copyright and so are not suddenly going to flog it over "a popular auction site" or something).

Reputation is the toughest thing to build, but the easiest thing to destroy.

Robert
05-01-2010, 03:15 PM
I think there is a difference if you are selling a custom designed mug and a customer supplies you with images which are breaching copyright. In this case, I think that it would be the customer who is in breach and not the printer. I doubt very much under these circumstances I would object, as where do you draw the line? When a customer is supplying the images, there is rarely going to be an instance when you can be certain that the customer owns the copyright.
Under these circumstances, I think that the printer is just following the customers instructions. It would be different if the customer asked you to obtain a particular copyright image - this would be completely different, and under these circumstances, it would be wrong.
Also, with regards to ebay, don't forget, every item page has a link to report breaches of copyright :D - if you can't beat them, then just put them out of business

purpledragon
05-01-2010, 03:34 PM
Yes, it's very annoying - particularly when it appears that these people "get away with it".


Im not sure they are getting away with it maybe in the short term but it does catch up with them.
If a customer provides you with an image that is subject to copyright im afraid you are still as much at fault its up to you as a business to ensure the legalities of what you produce saying the image was provided so its not my fault is like saying i didnt steal the dvd player i just bought it
Brett

JSR
05-01-2010, 03:45 PM
I think there is a difference if you are selling a custom designed mug and a customer supplies you with images which are breaching copyright. In this case, I think that it would be the customer who is in breach and not the printer. I doubt very much under these circumstances I would object, as where do you draw the line? When a customer is supplying the images, there is rarely going to be an instance when you can be certain that the customer owns the copyright.
It is a grey area as you can't always be 100% certain and you just wouldn't get any work done if you asked everyone to provide proof of copyright ownership. However, I don't think that telling some highly paid lawyer that "it's the customer's fault" is going to cut much ice with them.

I just use common sense and judgement. If it looks like a holiday picture or a photo of Great Aunt Maud then it invariably is just that and there's no sense in querying copyright. But if the design looks like a football logo, or a Porsche badge, or a picture someone's just nicked off a website, then it's time to start asking questions.

The other reason it's not enough to say "it's the customer's fault" and print it regardless is because the customer could be an agent of a big business or a football club. Someone (perhaps a rival or competitor with nefarious purpose) could have put the word in that you've printed copyright images even if you haven't. To get proof, someone working for said business could "test you out". Okay, it's not likely to happen and it's probably a paranoid attitude, but it doesn't take much to be cautious.

We're not always going to get it right but we can minimise the risks.

JSR
05-01-2010, 03:47 PM
Yes, it's very annoying - particularly when it appears that these people "get away with it".


Im not sure they are getting away with it maybe in the short term but it does catch up with them.
It'd be nice if there was a few high profile cases of this reported in big headlines everywhere in order to put those off who haven't yet been caught.

Robert
05-01-2010, 04:29 PM
I took legal advice once on Logo design. We had a client who ran a website with a similar name to a competitor. The client did have a good relationship with the competitor. The client requested their logo to be designed as similar to the competitors as possible but at the same time being different as not to "breach copyright". The competitor was and still is a high profile company. I therefore sought advice from a solicitor who argued that in this instance we could get into trouble since the client specifically asked us to copy someone elses logo. However it was stated that it was not our duty to be checking copyright and as a designer, we are simply following guidelines from the client as to what they want. It is the one who commissioned the work and who would then be using it that would be responsible for ensuring no copyright is breached. It was pointed out that if the client had not specifically given the competitors logo and brought our attention to it, but rather had provided a draft of how they wished their logo to appear, then it is likely that we would not have been liable. It was also brought to our attention though that this is a grey area, and it all depends if it ever goes to court, what the outcome would be.
Similarly, the same principles apply to printing I would have thought. If someone is buying a single item for their own use, I suppose it is different again to someone ordering a few thousand units.

In case you want to know what happened with the logo design, it was done, then passed to the competitor by the client for them to approve. After a few changes, everyone was happy.

JSR
05-01-2010, 04:52 PM
Sounds like you had a unique situation but you did the right thing by seeking legal advice. I think if it was me, I may have contacted the competitor and asked for confirmation that they didn't mind your client requesting what they did.

Similarly, the same principles apply to printing I would have thought. If someone is buying a single item for their own use, I suppose it is different again to someone ordering a few thousand units.
I had this discussion with someone before and it's not as simple as it sounds.

Say someone brings you a "Porsche" logo and wants a mug for their brother's birthday because he likes the cars. Out of good faith and, as it'll be a one-off, you decide to do it. You think that no one will complain about that.

But, next week, the customer returns and says "he took the mug to work, everyone loved it, now I want 500". So you say, "aha, I can't do that because of infringing copyright". They say "Copyright? But you copied it last week! If you don't do more of them, I'll report you to Porsche for infringing their copyright!"

All of a sudden, what you did in good faith turns into a nightmare. That's why I wouldn't do it, even if it's just for one. Even if it's for a member of my family. If they want a Porsche mug (or similar), I'm sure there are official outlets from which to buy one without getting me into hot water.

mrs maggot
05-01-2010, 07:13 PM
we sometimes get asked for particular t shirt wording - which we know belongs to another t shirt company, its being sold to raise money for charity, but they think if the order a slogan t shirt from us for 10 they wll have the same thing. we always say no and remind them what the t shirt is for and that they need to order it from them..... but i know i could go on ebay, spreadshirt or others and order it GRrrrrrrrr

Justin
05-01-2010, 08:47 PM
Also, if anyone can offer start to finish advice on printing mugs, it would be most appreciated - like all of the newbie mistakes - which I would rather much like to bypass as I don't have the money to go wasting mugs or ink!

Hi Robert,

This is something that's in the pipeline :-) There are a lot of silly little things that can go wrong, please ask anything you need no matter how daft it may sound, we've all been there. If we can help you save time/blanks etc. we're more than happy to help.

Justin :-)

jennywren
05-01-2010, 10:39 PM
This always gives me a headache this subject it goes on for ever and when you think you got it right something crops up, but there are only two rules,
1. If its not yours , don't use it
2. If you do , don't get caught :D
ONLY JOKING :lol: :lol: :lol:

Robert
05-01-2010, 10:59 PM
This forum is made up of the most law abiding group of people I have met. Well Done :)
Although I must admit, when times are hard, temptation can get the better of you.
I suppose like many have already mentioned, if you're here today, gone tomorrow, then your likely to get away with it. However, if you really want to build a good brand image, then everything must be above board.

The one thing to remember, is that if you do get caught up in a copyright breach, then you can be made to pay all profits generated from the sales of such items, + damages, etc, etc. So, for the person or business who is in it for the long run, it's really not worth it.

purpledragon
06-01-2010, 08:35 AM
Its not a case of us all being angels and law abiding i think its a case of good sense, As i stated in an earlier post i did breach copyright once thinking id get away with it and i didnt lesson learnt !!!
Brett

JSR
06-01-2010, 11:06 AM
I think we all do the right thing for our own reasons. For some people it's "once bitten, twice shy". In my case, I just think of how I'd feel if someone ripped off my work. I wouldn't like it, so I don't do it.

Even if times were hard I wouldn't do it, because I wouldn't accept that excuse from someone ripping off my work.

Some people see copyright as an annoyance, an irritation, something that "doesn't apply", and they bandy around phrases that they don't understand like "fair use", "public domain", and "I found it on a website so it must be free". But copyright isn't the enemy. It's there to help everybody. The one day you do something original of your own, you'll be pleased that we have some kind of automatic protection in this country that you don't have to pay for. Anyone who respects anyone else will not abuse their copyright. And if that person doesn't respect anyone else and thus abuses their copyright deserves to have their pants sued off them.

(I'll put my soapbox away now.) :D

JSR
06-01-2010, 11:08 AM
like all of the newbie mistakes - which I would rather much like to bypass as I don't have the money to go wasting mugs or ink!
Ah, but you have to make all the mistakes in the beginning. Only by wasting several boxes of mugs and looking at a deficit in your bank balance do you get that sense of "achievement" when it all works right!

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Robert
06-01-2010, 11:30 AM
like all of the newbie mistakes - which I would rather much like to bypass as I don't have the money to go wasting mugs or ink!
Ah, but you have to make all the mistakes in the beginning. Only by wasting several boxes of mugs and looking at a deficit in your bank balance do you get that sense of "achievement" when it all works right!

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Maybe so, but I would like to see the deficit in the bank balance to be as minimal as possible :)
I have so far used only 4 mugs. The 4th is satisfactory and posted earlier in the post. Most of the mistakes I have already avoided through use of this forum which is by far much cheaper than a few boxes of mugs...my satisfaction and sense of achievement will not be the deficit in the bank balance, but rather the credit in there. That's not to say though that my 5th mug will turn out the same. I'm sure I have many many more lessons to learn

JSR
06-01-2010, 11:41 AM
like all of the newbie mistakes - which I would rather much like to bypass as I don't have the money to go wasting mugs or ink!
Ah, but you have to make all the mistakes in the beginning. Only by wasting several boxes of mugs and looking at a deficit in your bank balance do you get that sense of "achievement" when it all works right!

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Maybe so, but I would like to see the deficit in the bank balance to be as minimal as possible :)
I have so far used only 4 mugs. The 4th is satisfactory and posted earlier in the post. Most of the mistakes I have already avoided through use of this forum which is by far much cheaper than a few boxes of mugs...my satisfaction and sense of achievement will not be the deficit in the bank balance, but rather the credit in there. That's not to say though that my 5th mug will turn out the same. I'm sure I have many many more lessons to learn
Ah, I still remember my first month. There were no forums like this back in those days and I had no help with even the simplest of things. I must have worked through a whole box of mugs trying to work out why the colours wouldn't come out even remotely right.

Them were the days... </nostalgia>

LOL!

Robert
06-01-2010, 11:46 AM
I can see how you would have that sense of achievement after that - but I bet you have never been so frustrated as then. There's nothing worse when you have an issue, google it, and nothing comes up.

JSR
06-01-2010, 11:50 AM
I can see how you would have that sense of achievement after that - but I bet you have never been so frustrated as then. There's nothing worse when you have an issue, google it, and nothing comes up.
That's true. You know nothing can be as bad as that, so you tend not to get too wound up when things don't immediately go right.