As Creative Director I get to see all of the submissions as they come in and I have to look and think, ‘Which of these beauties would make an amazing product?’ Sometimes that’s easy, sometimes it’s tricky. Every once in a while a design is selected and I am excited by the challenge it will create at the printing stage. Seeing art go from paper to graphic T-shirt is a part of my job I relish.
Luckily for us our printers are willing to try 99.99% of things we throw at them. I approve the very first t-shirt that is printed of every design. It’s a big responsibility but it’s also very exciting. In this blog I am going to list 8 tees that blew my mind when I saw the first sample. The tees that literally made me go ‘whoa!’ The art that transformed beautifully from a submission to a garment. Let’s do this!
This design won 3rd place in the Bright Futures Contest and I loved it from the day it was submitted. At the printing stage I went for super soft discharge inks. As a neon design I was concerned that the inks wouldn’t ‘pop’ enough. When I saw it roll off the press I almost fell over. Amazing bright neon colors and so soft. How? We mixed custom neon inks by hand!
Ron’s work has always caught my eye but this tee was especially successful. I choose a Sage Heather blank for this one and the water-based inks worked well with the softer lighter fabric. The colors chosen by the artist were perfect. As it passed each printing screen it was clear that it was going to be amazing. The amount of detail and crisp color variations were always going to make it a popular tee. This artist knows how to make artwork that works in harmony with a blank. One of the most beautiful shirt designs on Design by Humans in my opinion.
The day this t shirt design rolled off the dryer belt was legendary. We selected it with a nervous unknowing regarding printing. Could we print something this graphic so big? I was confident we could but the colors and the sheer size of this thing made everyone pay attention. The first print literally stopped the print floor, everyone clambering to take a look. It was glorious and as I signed it off for production I knew it would be a best seller.
An instant eye catcher, this pencil design was a popular submission but I had my reservations about whether we could capture that hand drawn fine pencil detail. I upped the screen mesh count for this one and it paid off. The fine detail was captured and the art blended brilliantly with the fabric. The first print was instantly approved, taken to my office and lives on my rack of ‘amazing Design By Humans tees I like to show off’ to visitors. It’s beautiful and popular.
Raw discharge ink. It can be tricky and has varying results so I choose to use it on the winner of the Dark Knight Rises contest! As this complex t shirt design rolled off the printer I breathed a sign of relief. It worked and the detail was all there, it took some fine tweaking but it looked magnificent. I personally delivered it to the Warner Brothers offices and the reaction was exactly what I had been looking for. Awesome. A tee elevated by a print technique.
This simple geometric design seemed too tricky to print on first glance but then I noticed the art was distressed and broken up. This is perfect for an all over because the print usually has a few creases or broken areas of print ink. When this printed using a red discharge ink I was gob smacked by the sheer volume of ink needed to cover the area. As it passed through the dryer a very cool abstract shirt design appeared.
A designer who considered the process ended up with a very cool result.
From the day this was submitted we knew it would be a winner, beautiful artwork by a very talented artist. However green as a base tee color is not very popular usually and it has varied print results. The other concern was that printing the same size art on a small tee through to a 2XL tee can mean some of the art gets compromised. We lined this up and I watched it print. As the final color hit the tee my jaw dropped open. The halftones popped and the colors worked brilliantly together, never has a green tee looked so good!Control By Angry_Monk
When this unique and slightly weird art was submitted I was instantly drawn to it. Dark and interesting with many details to get lost in. I asked myself whether it could really work as a printed design. Yes was the answer, obviously. When I saw the sample print I was amazed at the detail that had been captured. Only a few colors and a some handsome halftones from our separator and this thing really popped. Unique, well composed and one of the nicest printed tees I have seen in a while.
As Design By Humans continues to grow I am sure I will see a wealth of beautiful prints. Design By Humans is always delivering cool art that makes my job a joy. Seeing each shirt design come alive is awesome but every once in a while a print amazes my seasoned eyes.