Printing Success! Tips for the 2017 BOA Season

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As the BOA season quickly approaches, the time of the year for getting your uniforms, flags, and props ready is in FULL swing. Here are a few helpful tips to make sure that process goes a lot smoother for you and for the printer who is producing the items for your show. 

Get Permission!

One of the most overlooked elements when selecting artwork to use for your digital printing is whether or not you have permission. Just because you can grab the image from the Google search you performed, that does NOT mean you have permission to use it -- even if it's absolutely the perfect piece of art. Many printers have access to stock image libraries such as Shutterstock. If you really want to use a particular image, contact the artist directly from wherever you found it.

Understand Basic File Types and Specifications

Do a little bit of research when it comes to file types and get an understanding of how file sizes work. Most printers will have a guideline of print-ready art. If you hire a graphic designer, they should understand how the different files work. Being knowledgable about files such as JPG, PNG, AI, PSD, or PDF that are printing industry standards would only help you as a director. Also, understanding settings like a file's DPI and/or resolution are just as critical as the art itself. Follow your printer's guidelines exactly to ensure the best possible outcome. 

Working with a Graphic Designer

Finding a good working relationship with a graphic designer is like finding a good drill writer. It's important for the designer to be able to bring your ideas to life and take constructive criticism. There needs to be a balance between making it about his or her personal artwork and not letting the director wander down a path to printing failure. An effective designer will always be open to corrections and feedback but will also know when there are too many changes being requested by one client.

It Looks Different Than My Screen

The most common issue is when the art is printed and the material looks different than it does on the screen. Understand that no matter what you do as a graphic designer, a printed file will inherently look darker than the screen because of the light source. Your screen is emitting light directly toward your eyes, creating a more vibrant coloring. When you look at a printed floor or flag, the source of color is light reflecting off the material and ink. So your eyes are seeing reflections of color. And because some of light is naturally being absorbed by the colors of the material, the amount of light going back into your eyes is reduced. This will make the printed product seem less vibrant. It is a fundamental difference that every printer across every industry deals with, and that's why pantone color books are used in printing. So when Coca-Cola says to hit a certain red, it uses pantone color books rather than trying to match colors on a computer screen. 


Give Yourself Time

This is probably the most underestimated and important part of this process. Give yourself, the designer, the printer, and shipping plenty of time. Create a timeline of when you would like to have things in your hands and work backwards. Let's take a digital floor as an example. Start with a date you'd like to have your floor in hand, then contact the printer you're going to use and get it to outline its estimated production timetable. Do the same with your graphic designer. Keep working backwards from that original date. That way you know when you need to have art completed, submitted, paid, delivered, etc. This will ultimately relieve stress for you, the designer, and the printers. 

Managing Problems

Something will always come up. Whether it's getting a PO, artwork, re-prints, or shipping. There are so many opportunities for something to slip through the cracks that can derail a project. But having clear lines of effective communication and having enough time built into the process from the beginning are the two easiest ways to prepare for hiccups.

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What We're Thankful For This Thanksgiving

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Let's talk turkey about the best parts of the activity. The FloMarching team can't say enough about how grateful we are to be close to such talented musicians and educators, but there are definitely some things we can't help but give thanks for. Here's a handful of our top picks, in no particular order.

Diving Into Drum Corps: Callbacks


The first weekend of drum corps auditions in November are a prompt reminder of how stressful this part of the season can be for prospective members and even veterans who are looking to move to different corps or change instruments. 

Complete List: FloMarching Documentaries

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FloMarching is your source for the latest films and documentaries in the Marching Arts. From Carolina Crown to Claudia Taylor Johnson, we are giving you an inside look at the incredible performers in DCI, BOA and WGI.Below is an extensive list of our original documentaries. Join PRO for access to all past and future documentaries plus training and technique videos and live event streams.

FloSports Weekly Watch Guide: Nov. 6-12


There is a live event for every die-hard sports fan this weekend. If you have Apple TV 4 or Roku, watch the following live events on your TV at home or from anywhere on your iOS phone with the FloSports App. Keep scrolling to see what else is happening across the FloSports Network.

Grand Nats Day 2: 3 Must-Watch Performances


Bands of America is headed back to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for three full days of music, marching, and madness! During the massive 2017 Bands of America Grand National Championship, 50 bands will take the field on Thursday and Friday. Then on Friday evening we find out who gets another chance to perform on Saturday morning and afternoon! Once semifinals come to a close on Saturday afternoon, the top 12 will move on to a third and final performance in BOA Grand National Championship Finals!

Grand Nats Day 1: 3 Must-Watch Performances


Bands of America is headed back to Lucas Oil Stadium for three full days of music, marching and madness! During the massive 2017 Bands of America Grand National Championship, fifty bands will take the field on Thursday and Friday, then Friday we find out who gets another chance to perform on Saturday morning/afternoon! Once semifinals come to a close on Saturday afternoon, the top 12 will move on to a third and final performance in BOA Grand National Championship Finals!

Bands of America Weekly Watch Guide: Grand National Championship


It is here! The finale of the 2017 season will hit the turf in Lucas Oil Stadium in fewer days than you can count on one hand! One hundred bands will head to Indianapolis, IN for the 2017 Bands of America Grand National Championship!

Speeding Things Up In San Antonio


Get a glimpse inside the Alamodome with these time-lapses from the 2017 Bands of America San Antonio Super Regional! Check back for more shows throughout the competition!

San Antonio Super Set-Up For A Stunner


Nothing can top the excitement and entertainment of the final weekend of the Bands of America competitive marching band season with Grand National Championships, but this weekend's Super Regional in San Antonio is about to come quite close. 68 bands will head to the Alamodome on Friday and Saturday to compete in what is widely considered as the most competitive high school marching band competition in the country.

Bands of America Super Regional Highlights FloSports Weekly Viewing Guide

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In our weekly viewing guide, we list the best live coverage and original storytelling coming up across each of our sites. If you have Apple TV 4 or Roku, watch all of these live events on your TV at home or your iOS phone with the FloSports App.