Tuesday, August 2, 2016

screen printing

it shouldn't come as much surprise that printing tshirts grew rather quickly from a hobby into a full-time job - the fact that this blog hasn't been updated in nearly ten years speaks to the success of said job. but with that success came a bit of myopia about what had lead me to screen printing in the first place. finding a career in printmaking seemed like fate; i mean, i've always collected tshirts - the oldest tshirt i have is over a quarter century old. i've even held onto posters, stickers and screen printed skateboard decks i had in the mid-80s. printing for upstart clothing companies or established brands and small businesses just felt right. and it was. but along the way i got a little sidetracked with running and growing the business, and eight years in i realized that the company had taken on a life of it's own. one that i no longer felt comfortable with. so i sold it. well, i sold my share to my business partner and reinvested in growing a company from the ground up (again!). the idea this go-round is to concentrate less on automation of process and practice and instead refocus on the science and artistry that yield exceptional screen prints. if you're interested, check me out: Method Print Co. more to come!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

twelve reasons.

"back in the days biz said it was the vapors but today, i realized that it's the papers..." -jeru.

(click image for detail)

twelve colorways - how can you go wrong? strong feedback had me thinking i needed to offer something more than silver. ask and you shall receive. it's also taking me some time to get these into local shops, so i've added a "buy it now" feature via paypal to the blog. every shirt will ship priority via usps - and i'll get 'em to you as fast as i can. let's not forget that the print is designed to look distressed, so the opacity of the lighter inks will not be one-hundred percent. enjoy!

(note: i'm only doing men's tees right now, sorry ladies. and bulk orders will require separate shipping calculations. email: jfktolax [at] gmail [dot] com for inquiries)


Thursday, January 24, 2008

ice cream & syrup.


"remember what i told you, right? what'd i say? it's grown man business..." -ant

i pressed up the first batch this past weekend. aside from re-cropping the image and running off new vellums to accommodate for a slightly larger print area, not much changed. i did, however, have some difficulty at the wash-out booth. to achieve the desired "water-based" plastisol effect i used screens with a higher thread count and tension to limit the overall ink deposit on the tee - see below. therefore creating a proper gasket via coating was a challenge; nevermind that i tend to undercoat and thus higher mesh screens tend to wash out, entirely. not good. needless to say i was gentle with the pressure-washer, maybe too gentle as some spots weren't as clean as i would have liked. perfection always has it's price. but of course the tees came out ridiculous.

(print mania)

(not quite finished)

Monday, January 14, 2008

the re-release.

"i'm a sucker for clothes. that paper stack up, if ya let it. but i keep fucking up, i got a shoe fetish. bad habits i'm at Walter's every week, fifty pairs of new nike airs ain't cheap. you know i got to get the cap to match. new era shit, a-town at that..." - jeezy


like i said, people started asking and i started thinking; i couldn't live in the big hustle and not hustle. but it did take most of the summer for me to begin seriously considering the prospects of a second run: the shop was unusually busy, i spent some time in california and i was still pretty adamant about the limited in "limited edition." that didn't last too long. following a weekend jaunt to one of those "upscale" boutiques i realized that i could offer what they couldn't, a design that wasn't: derivative. poorly printed. or ridiculously overpriced. i also wanted to push a tee that repped atlanta. somebody had to. like forty said, "fuck everybody else, i got myself on my shirt."

so i re-relased it.

(flyer front)

(flyer back)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

the event.

"but you gotta drip it like it's marble cake..." -the wally champ


most of june sixth was spent printing the tees for the event that night. aside from finishing them on-time, registering the screens presented the biggest overall problem as micro-registration on the press i was using came closer to brute patience than finesse. luckily, everything came together quite smoothly and the tees were ready to go well before we left for octane.

as soon as we arrived we knew we were in good company. our friends from epidemik coalition had already set up a booth and were busy selling their ATL Kicks tee along with several other designs from their collection. this was going to be good. immediately after we put the shirts out, they began to move; and before we knew it, they were gone. no argument here, though. following hours of design and print work, it was great to watch those original 50 limited tees disappear.

i ended up talking with a host of amazing designers and streetwear enthusiasts about the methodology of the tee. everyone stood behind the throwback aesthetic and asked about a second run. initially i didn't want to produce another batch, if you were at the event, then you got the tee. that was the idea. but after a slew of phone calls and emails throughout the following months, i started to think differently...

thanks to everyone who supported the event with their creativity and/or with their donations. you made it the success that it was.

enough verbosity. apparently pictures are worth thousands of words so i'll let them do the talking then.

(the event, click for more)

(photos courtesy: original uploaders)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

the process.

"if you could beef him up a little, that'd be great. straighten the bill of the hat out - i want it flat. the grave is perfect, i like it clean like that - no junk or fill dirt laying around, just an open rectangle; sure it doesn't make a whole lot of sense but it's a zombie wearing shoes and a hat so fuck it." -nsl


the initial design had been penned, no problem. now i had to art direct, a seemingly difficult task considering three-thousand miles separated art-director from designer. again, no problem as Shyminja's proficiency as a designer is his ability to listen and predict. undoubtedly we were on the same page from the outset. emails and phone calls ensued, drafts were hosted, critiqued and altered accordingly. repeat. twice. and within just a week, boom, we had the final layout.

(week two, final layout)

(2007 copyright Shyminja. all rights reserved.)

at his own behest, Shyminja employed his creative ingenuity to what would become the final version of the design. in keeping with the tradition reminiscent of over-sized comics, a makers mark, date and price were added alongside some other more subtle flair. i then simplified the color-scheme such that rendering the design for screen-printing would result in a print which sacrificed little in the way of necessary detail. it ended up as five colors. nasty. but five colors up on 4.3oz american apparel tees could be very thick and very heavy. not good. once the vellums were created i chose to burn them onto high mesh screens to limit the overall ink deposit on the tee. without a base, then, this would yield a thinner, more "aged" print as if we were using water-based inks; and, of course i wanted to tip my hat to velocity and danger. done and done.

(week two, the final version)

(2007 copyright Shyminja. all rights reserved.)

then it was time to print. the results spoke for themselves.

(week two, the results)