How to Design Your Own Apparel

3 Tips for Designing Printed Apparel with Dan Byler

Tips for How to Design Your Own Apparel

In today’s video, we introduce you to Dan Byler, Business Development Guru at Jakprints. Jakprints is a premier print shop here in Cleveland with over a decade of experience in online printing. They specialize in custom full-color offset printing, apparel printing/embroidery and sticker production. Dan really knows his stuff, as evidenced by the video you’ll see below, in which Dan discusses his tips for How to Design Your Own Apparel.

Dan Byler has been happily employed at Jakprints since 2004. He began his career in Apparel Production at Jakprints and over the years worked my way into a Business Development role. He is currently working at the Jakprints Oceanside, California office. He has helped hundreds of clients with thousands of projects during his time at Jakprints.

For more on how to design your own apparel, head to some of our most popular articles on this topic under this category:
How to Start Your Own Clothing Company

Tips for Designing Printed Apparel

To connect with Jakprints, head to: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Google+ | Instagram

How Designers Use Social Media

How These Designers Used Social Media to Expand Their Reach, Take On the World

How Designers Use Social Media

These days, you can’t go anywhere without noticing someone staring at their phone, laptop or tablet. Most of the time spent on these beloved devices is on social media like Instagram and Facebook. Social media runs a large part of the public’s everyday lives and many choices are made by the content they see. Why not use social media to your advantage as a designer to get your work out to more prospective clients? Here are some designers who took to the web in order to broaden their reach and made a name for themselves in cyberspace:

joanna zhou photo

Youtube isn’t just for gamers

Joanna Zhou, who goes by Maqaroon on Youtube, is a professional illustrator/designer based in Austria. She first created a Youtube account in 2011 to build a following and gain exposure for her budding online shop. When she started posting videos in 2013, she had little to no experience in the online world and how to create a niche for herself. But, two years later, her YouTube account has become a hub for all things girly “Do-It-Yourself”. With 208,296 subscribers and 10,444,514 total views in two years, Joanna became the most successful Youtuber in Austria, now partners with Tastemade and has 22.5k Instagram followers. Since her online exposure, she has been featured in magazines like Cosmopolitan.

lolly wolly doodle photo

Homemaker to Facebook extraordinaire

Facebook isn’t just for friending anymore. Many people spend their time liking, sharing and commenting their little fingers off. What most people don’t consider are the business benefits available to you because of it. Homemaker turned designer, Brandi Temple, made a name for herself on Facebook. Now the CEO for Lolly Wolly Doodle, a clothing company for children, Brandi created an empire overnight with her designs. She originally started by just posting clothing designs on Facebook and selling to friends. Now a full-fledged company, Lolly Wolly Doodle uses their Facebook page to let fans know about deals, sales and upcoming seasonal lines. What started as a homemaker’s hobby in 2009 turned to a startup conquering Facebook sales, Lolly Wolly Doodle boasts over 1.1m likes, made $11 million in 2013 and has been featured in The Business Journal many times.

Instagram first….then the World
Instagram is one of the newer social media platforms, at least compared to Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. Originating in 2010, the social media app focuses on sharing photos and short videos with your following and allowing them to like and comment on them. Below are two artists who took this app to the next level and used it to not only showcase their hard work but even get them the exposure of their dreams!

mike kus photo

Designer and photographer, Mike Kus, turned his Instagram in a mobile on-the-go portfolio. Boasting a whopping 859k followers and 1,461 posts, Mike uses the app for traditional social media purposes and also keeping fans and clients up to date with progress. Since he was one of the early adopters of the app, he also found himself at the forefront of a budding phenomenon. Instagram featured him as a suggested user for other users to follow and offers started pouring in. Some of these projects include being approached by the clothing company Burberry to shoot them backstage at London Fashion Week 2011 and to shoot for the European cell phone company O2. Using the social media app, he shows off his finished projects with hints on where to pick them up. Mike has also worked with HP Europe and Techné Watches, and posted mockups and photos of the designs to his Instagram followers.

Maura Photo

Instagram was what sealed the deal for young designer and illustrator, Maura Creighton. Currently majoring in Arts Management and minoring in Design at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Maura gained notoriety on social medias for her art and designs. What started out as a hobby for Maura, turned into something she found could make her money online. Her exposure on Instagram allowed the creator of the clothing brand Anthem Made, Kellin Quinn, to contact her on the app after seeing some of her work to create two designs for the Summer and Fall 2014 lines for the company. After her stint with Anthem Made, she was commissioned to make t-shirt design for the band Man Overboard. Since then, she has gained a following and commissions designs straight from her Instagram for those who are interested and constantly updates her followers with designs that are in progress.

Interactive Webcomics

Not only are comic books a very popular endeavor as of late, but some designers have found notoriety on the web for their stories. Web-comics came to be a gold-mine for Andrew Hussie, who created the popular hub of MS Paint Adventures. MS Paint Adventures houses his four series, which are Jail Break, Bard Quest, Problem Sleuth and most famously Homestuck.

homestuck photo

The use of the online platform not only allowed Andrew to get his work out to a larger audience but also employ different design techniques like GIFs, Flash plug-ins and music to make his comics come to life and capture readers. The popularity has grown so large that Andrew’s Homestuck has merchandise in Hot Topic.


Whether you use any of the social medias listed above or another one entirely–they are an important tool to consider. Using social media in a technology driven world like ours to create a name for yourself is one of the more clever business moves to make. Just because your accounts are online, you can still promote yourself in person with Favicards. The above designers took to the web to not only promote themselves but also get their designs to the masses and you can do the same.

Custom Storefront Window Graphics

Our New Storefront & Window Graphics – From Concept to Creation!

Custom Storefront Window Graphics

We teamed up with Jakprints to show off our brand new store front as well as their awesome large format printing capabilities. Here you’ll get to see the full process from conception to installation.

Step 1 : The Concept

We ran through a few different ideas before finally landing on a concept for our first set of window banners. We wanted to create a large collage of icons which all, in one way or another represented the life of an artist and more specifically the crew here at Cleveland graphic, logo and web design studio Go Media. This included a good mix of the tools we use, the things we like and Cleveland, Ohio!

We thought it would be most helpful to start by creating  a list of all of the individual items that needed to be created – then we asked our entire staff to add items that they felt represented Go Media and being an artist to them. We made sure to include a piece of everyone.

Inspiration List

Step 2 : Sketches & Measurements

Now we had the concept down, and the first step in the production phase was to measure and quickly sketch the general layout of the icons.

Initial Sketch

Individual Elements

Step 3 : Graphic Proofs

Now we had the concept down, and the first step in the production phase was to measure and quickly sketch the general layout of the icons. Once we had our rough blueprint sketch, it was a process of knocking out each item on the list one by one and working them together with some Jakprints logos to really fill the space.

Final Design Mockup

Once all the icons were in place, a texture was applied using an opacity mask.

Step 4 : Applying an Opacity Mask (Texture)

An opacity mask is essentially a combination of a layer mask and a clipping mask. It allows you to control the transparency of a shape based off of a black and white gradient or in this case texture. You can use an opacity mask in place of a vector texture to cut back on your file size.

How it works:
  1. Group all of the elements you wish to apply the opacity mask to and make sure they are set to 100% opacity.Opacity Mask (Step 1)
  2. With your group selected, click the drop down menu in the transparency palette and select ‘Make Opacity Mask’.Opacity Mask (Step 2)
  3. A mask is applied to the image like you see here, click into the mask.Opacity Mask (Step 3)
  4. With the mask selected, you can now file > place your texture.Opacity Mask (Step 4)

You’re Done! Depending on the texture you selected the result might be very subtle or rather extreme. Because the one we are using here is primarily light the outcome was very subtle. You can also check the ‘Invert Mask’ box to get a different effect, but for our purpose this subtle texture was just right.

Opacity Mask (Final Result)

Step 5 : Teaming Up with Jakprints

Now we had a graphic proof and were ready to sit down with Jakprints and go over our options. We knew we wanted to do banners for the windows but weren’t quite sure how we were going to tackle the doors. JakPrints was able to provide us with a list of options to consider. Some of which included:

  • Vinyl Banners
  • Vinyl Mesh Banners
  • Poly-Banners with Stitched Hems
  • Window Clings
  • Vinyl Decals

We ended up up selecting a lightweight stretch banner for the main windows. This material is wrinkle resistant, and because we know we will be swapping out banners over the years this works out best in terms of storage. JakPrints also offers a wide variety of substrates (eco-friendly, economic, or synthetic for maximum durability).

For the windows we decided to go with a clear vinyl application. This was adhered backwards to the inside of the windows, a non-permanent short term option that prevents weathering of the graphics. JakPrints also has long term outdoor durability options as well as many more solutions for just about any application. Some  others include: Wall, floor, posters, trade show displays, indoor/outdoor signs, back-lit material, yard signage, even vehicle wrap.

Step 6 : The Printing Process

After rounds of revisions, swapping icons in and out the design was done it was ready for the printers at Jakprints to work their magic.

Step 7 : Installation

Before we were ready to physically install the banners we needed to think through the logistics of the space. We created a mockup of our hanging system and had Jakprints sew in hems to match.

Installation Mockup

When the banners finally arrived we were all anxious to get them up. So we gathered our team and got to work.

The window vinyl for the doors was a slightly more complicated installation, not one we were willing to attempt. But we need not worry because  Jakprints has access to a nationwide network of certified 3M installers, so they set out one of their guys to finish the job.

Step 6 : Conclusion

So there you have it, after all that hard work we are proud to reveal our beautiful new store front and our very first set of window graphics!

Store Front (Corner View) Store Front (Side View)

A big thank you to JakPrints for working with us on this project!

Want to work with us to create something beautiful? Contact us here.

Adventures in Design: Episode 331 “LIVE from Ohio” WMC Fest 6 Keynote Performance

Adventures in Design Live from WMC Fest

We here at Cleveland creative agency Go Media, producers of design conference Weapons of Mass Creation Fest were beyond honored to have Mark Brickey of the Adventures in Design Podcast as a keynote speaker for WMC Fest 6. As expected, Mark did not disappoint. If you weren’t present to experience AID Live from WMC Fest, it was truly magical. But you’re in luck – you can listen in now over at Adventures in Design!

Here’s a summary of what you’ll enjoy when you listen in >>

Episode 331 “LIVE from Ohio”
WMC Fest 6 Keynote Performance.
First Ever Circle of Trust Meet Up from Jakprints.

PART 01 – WMC Fest 6 Keynote Performance

Our friends Go Media hired Mark Brickey to deliver the keynote presentation for Weapons of Mass Creation 6. With a packed house, full of the most Circle of Trust members ever to assemble in one room, Adventures In Design brought in the A game! Hear Brickley’s keynote speech on becoming the best version of yourself by using the power of Kayne. WMC fest emcee Aaron Sechrist of sits in as sidekick for the evening shedding light on the day’s events and making light of all weird places Mark steers the ship. WMC Fest founder Jeff Finley joins the stage to talk about disconnecting from projects that define your professional identity and shares with us his 2 year journey of personal development. Last but not least Dustin Lee joins us to talk about how passive income changed his life when he needed it the most.


The Circle of Trust (Paid Subscriber Content)

PART 02 – First Ever Circle of Trust Meet Up from Jakprints.

There has never been a bigger supporter of this project than Jakprints. With so many Adventures In Design listeners setting up shop in Cleveland for the weekend it was the perfect storm to take the show to the mothership and have the first ever Circle of Trust meet up. Always, one to offer the best customer service, Mark let the audience pick the night’s topic! Listen to this special Circle of Trust content (for members only) where we get a step by step break down to creating passive income and tiered earnings. Finally we had the time, space and place to go into the dirty details on changing your professional and personal life.

Enjoy and thanks to Mark Brickey for being awesome!

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Join the Circle of Trust

Don’t Make Squiggliepoo: Trade Show Marketing Ideas with the Experts from Jakprints




1. useless marketing detritus, usually handed out at conventions or trade shows

Synonyms: junk, tchotchke, futile doodads

You’ve put in the time and effort to get your company space at the big trade show – good job. Next, you’re prepared a checklist of must haves for convention success:

  • Booth – check
  • Chairs – check
  • Branded tri-folds – check
  • Business cards – check
  • Product samples – check
  • Key chain ice scrapers with your company logo on it – …why?

Take a quick survey of your desk right now. How many promotional stress balls do you have emblazoned with random company logos? Are your keys currently attached to any functionless keychains? Breweries know what’s up, my Bell’s key chain is a bottle opener.)

Don't Print Keychain

If you’re like most people, coming home from a convention is when the Great Unloading Ceremony takes place; when you – unceremoniously – toss all the useless garbage you’ve accumulated. So why even make this type of item? Is “trash” the thought you want associated with your brand? We both know you’re better than garbage!

At Jakprints, we are all about having cool booth stuff to give away. We do a number of large shows every year (SXSW, HOW Design, etc.) and as printers we have tried it all with the best of intentions (and some of it has been marketing chaff, sorry plastic Inky).

Don't Print Inky

You want your brand to add value to a customer’s convention experience, and in turn have them associate you with that value. Doing this is simple, give them something they can use right away.  At shows, we have started giving away our pocket notes, so that attendees had something to write on that looked way cooler than a normal pad. When they got home, instead of our marketing handout being tossed in the trash, it stuck around with all of their valuable show notes in it. Now, every time they go back to look at something they committed to paper, they’re also reminded of our brand. So far, these little books have been the most successful item we’ve handed out — more so than some of the design kits or sticker packs (don’t worry, we love our sticker too much to stop passing those out). Judging by the way pocket notes fly off our tables, they should be a convention staple for us for a long time to come.

unbranded pocket note sample
| unbranded pocket note sample |

We’ve got it made with these little books because they promote our brand and show off one of our favorite products at the same time. We realize not everyone has this opportunity, but as a rule of thumb, try to get your swag as close to the product or service that you offer while still keeping the item useful. Cleveland graphic design firm Go Media gives it’s new clients a branded Moleskine. It relates to their business, as many designers use it to sketch their ideas, but is also useful to any business owner.

Everyone has a stockpile of branded bank pens on their desk or lost somewhere between the drivers seat in your car and a cup holder full or change and other miscellaneous items. However, in either your house, or your parents (depending on your generation), I bet you will find at least 1 calculator with a bank logo on it. While no one really associates banks with writing, back in the day, balancing a checkbook required a calculator (so I am told) which made it useful and easy to link it to a bank.

Checkbook open to pay bills

[Tweet “”The best way to be remembered is to provide value.” – Jakprints”]

So for your next convention checklist, keep in mind the best way to be remembered is to provide value. Don’t get too gimmicky and be lumped in with all the other cheap, off the rack companies. Stand out with useful giveaways and watch your hard work pay off with increased leads from your next show.

Tutorial: Pro Tips On Preparing Artwork For T-Shirt Printing

Go Media’s 1st Annual Best of Cleveland Design Awards

Best of Cleveland Web and Graphic Awards

Here at Go Media, we totally geek out about design. It’s all that we do and all that we dream about.

We love not only getting our hands dirty every single day, but also recognizing great design when we see it. And living in Cleveland, we are proud to be surrounded by many companies equally obsessed with impeccable design. We’re proud to be surrounded by companies and clients who go out of their way to dedicate time, money and attention to ensuring their brands, logos, websites and design experiences are top-notch.

Our challenge was paring down a long list of such companies whose design was on point in 2014.

Here are some of our favorites (in no particular order).

We award these companies with our first annual Go Media 1st Annual Best of Cleveland Web and Graphic Design Awards.

To these companies, we say: well done!

Cleveland Museum of Art
Nominated by Chris Comella
“My favorite design experience in the city, hands down. The Cleveland Museum of Art’s newly finished renovations have brought the whole experience to a new level.”


Nominated by Chris Comella
“Team Sawyer’s new restaurant has such a nice, tight visual identity. A lovely combination of art, textiles, and graphic touches create a very unique and sophisticated brand for the new restaurant.” Hats off to Jonathan Sawyer, Amelia Sawyer, Jason Radcliffe, Matt Sweeney and Christine Wisnieksi

unnamed (4)

Nominated by Chris Comella
“All the attention to detail adds up to a really fun, and appropriate visual identity for Jenis ice cream. Not only is the ice cream my personal favorite, but when you want to actually drive to the eastside town of Chagrin Falls just so you can also take in the vibe at the shop, you know the design is working.”


Market Garden Brewery 
Nominated by Lauren Hudac
“The MGB brand depicts a wonderful balance of bold, industrial chic design. They’ve mastered the art of a brand identity system with the a library of graphics for various applications.”

Campbell’s Popcorn
Nominated by Lauren Hudac and Aaron Roberts
“Campbell’s business continues to grow as it opened its newest “factory” store in Lakewood last year. New awnings and window decals make the whole brand experience just that much sweeter.”

Rustbelt Reclamation
Nominated by Lauren Hudac
“The logo almost has that hand-crafted appeal, which reflects what the company offers through their up-cycled materials. A clean website, beautiful photography, and moving brand video round out the circle for a strong brand.”


Access Shelter by Form
Nominated by Wilson Revehl
“Form’s branding and site design for ACCESS, a homeless women & children advocacy and assistance organization, is perfect. The new identity and color palette is approachable, while vibrant, and well curated for the demographic.

The ACCESS homepage greets you with bold, full screen HTML5 video vignettes which cycle through succinct personal stories scrawled on cardboard. It’s completely engaging and effective without making a sound.

The rest of the site boasts a beautiful, spacious layout. The site does a great job fully leveraging the color palette in a tasteful way. A lot of care went into photo selection & treatments. Focal panels and calls to action are well thought out. You can tell Form carefully considered the information architecture and brand messaging when they approached each key page design. Well done.”


Duct Tape Festival
Design and Development by Aztek
Nominated by Bryan Garvin
“Single page, responsive, and just straight beautiful. Scroll through the Duct Tape Festival website and you’ll see why it’s one of my favorites. Bright, whimsical and warm are just a few characteristics that makes this one of the best sites in the region.”

Duct Tape Festival   Shurtech

Cleveland Public Theatre
Website and Event Materials
Nominated by Bryan Garvin and Carly Utegg
“Let us give a big high-five to Sean Higgins for his illustration work on all of the CPT event posters. His work is beautiful and engaging, doing it’s job of attracting an audience.” – Carly

“The CPT Event Posters set them a part. Quality work and the site works with them. The site allows the posters to thrive without overwhelming you. Just a great presentation.” – Bryan

Best of Cleveland Web and Graphic Awards


Ohio City
Nominated by Aaron Roberts
“It’s no surprise that Ohio City is on the rise. With all the new shops, bars and restaurants opening up, the new identity & website speaks to its approachability and continued prosperity.”

Best of Cleveland Web and Graphic Awards Ohio City   Cleveland s Complete Neighborhood

CAN Journal
Nominated by Aaron Roberts
“It’s always exciting to see the new CAN issue on the racks. Every page is not only eye catching, but thoughtfully designed. This is by far our favorite local arts publication.”

Welcome to Collective Arts Network Collective Arts Network

Nominated by Aaron Roberts
“Go Media gave the Northeast Ohio Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (NEOMFA) program a fresh new look in 2013. We’re so happy to see how it has been implemented and enhanced since then.”

NEOMFA   English Department  Cleveland State University   2121 Euclid Ave. Cleveland Ohio 44115   216.687.3971

Spice Kitchen and Bar
Nominated by Aaron Roberts and Renee Gabella 
“Every part of the Spice experience has been executed with design in mind. No matter if you’re dining at the restaurant, checking out their website, or having food catered by Spice of Life Catering Co., all their touch points seamlessly speak to their mission and personality.” – Aaron

“Their website, is very informative, holistic – exposing, and expressing the brand without too much clutter, or loosing the interest of the viewer. A++” – Renee


Bad Racket Recording Studio
Nominated by Heather Sakai
“Bad Racket’s site is a Cleveland music lover’s dream. Photos, videos, interviews, articles. Plus, design-wise, it’s crisp and clean. Easy to navigate. All around, a win.”


Jakprints – Designed and Directed by Ted Barnes and Justin Carolyne
Nominated by Heather Sakai and William Beachy
“Everything Jakprints does – from their website, to logo, to trade show display – is downright solid. They just know who they are and how to express that to the world.” – Heather

“Marketing Materials, Print Ads, Tradeshow Displays – you name it, JakPrints is KILLING IT.  Nevermind that we’re super close friends of theirs…their designs rock.” – William

jp1 jp3 jp5accordion-brochure


CLE Clothing
Nominated by William Beachy
“There are a LOT of Cleveland Apparel brands, but the quality of CLE Clothing’s designs is unrivaled. The concepts are more clever and the style is spot-on.”

Home — CLE Clothing Co.

Sherwin Williams
Nominated by William Beachy
“From their clean, well designed stores to the amazing animated color swatch TV commercials, SW’s design is absolutely top notch – and BEAUTIFUL. And hat’s off to them for not changing their politically incorrect logo of a paint can dumping paint over the entire world – how easy it would have been for upper management to shy away from from this classic logo.”

University Hospitals
Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital
Nominated by Heather Sakai
“University Hospital’s “There’s Only One Rainbow” brand campaign by Brokaw is simple yet engaging, warm and inviting.”




Yes! We know! We missed someone! Who? Let us know in the comments section below! See you next year!

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