Screen Printing - June/July 2012 - (Page 40)

E DITO R I A L I N S I G HT S SHIRT TALES Printed T-shirts can identify a group or loyalty, a memory, a sense of humor, or some aspect of a person’s personality. his has been a great issue to put together. Every article had something to say about printing garments for sports or pleasure. Working on it made me think about where logos, sayings, and printed images have come from. Remember the rattlesnake image that Benjamin Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette printed? Franklin suggested that the colonists should ship a cargo of rattlesnakes to St. James Park, Spring Garden, and other places of pleasure in England. In 1778, the same paper printed the picture of a snake as a commentary on the Albany Congress. The snake was divided into pieces, each one marked by the initials of each colony. Below the image of the snake, the warning, “Join or Die,” said it all. Later, the first Navy Jack flag adapted the rebellious stripes created at the time of the Stamp Act with a rattlesnake stretched across it diagonally and a logo at the bottom: DON’T TREAD ON ME. Logos and mottos have been popular for lots of reasons. Today it’s not a newspaper print or flag that flies so much as an image on a T-shirt that we wear like a human signpost. When Bella, my grandchild, first said, “Just do it,” I thought that she had repeated a phrase that her mother used when trying to get her to pick up toys. Then I noticed the Nike logo and realized that it represented the indomitable spirit required to compete in sports. There are lots of reasons why people like T-shirts with pictures and printed words. They can identify a group or loyalty, a memory, a sense of humor, or some aspect of a person’s personality. I visited Austin, TX, last month and found a certain tolerance that made me feel as if I’d slipped back into the 1960s in some strange time warp. Let me give you some examples. While I walked down a clean, tree-lined neighborhood one morning, a man trotted past me on a horse. “I’m drunk and I’m not getting another DUI,” said his T-shirt. “So I’m driving a horse.” T It gets better. The music coming out of Austin’s multiple festivals, such as South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Armadillo Bazaar and others, is fabulous. The food at Central Market and Whole Foods headquarters cannot be more upscale, fresh, and hip. There’s also a collection of bats that have settled in the area and you can take a boat to view them under a bridge. All of these are promoted in T-shirts of every description. The more I learn about Austin, the more I like it. The University of Texas and being the state capital probably contribute to the intelligent diversity and tolerance. Before hopping on a plane to leave, I bought two T-shirts that read, “Keep Austin Weird.” One of my favorite T-shirt success stories is that of the Life is good Inc. (, a private company out of Boston, MA, founded by brothers Bert and John Jacobs. In 1989, the brothers design and sold their first Tshirts in the streets of Boston out of an old van at colleges and street fairs. In 1994, after one of these roadtrips, they threw a party. On the walls of their apartment, the brothers asked their friends to comment on the drawings and sayings posted on their walls. The one drawing that got the most attention was a beret-wearing stick figure, much like a child would draw in grade school, with a smiling face and the phrase, “Life is good” written below it. Now, Life is good sells T-shirts, hats, PJs, and all types of printed garments and souvenirs. More than 4500 stores carry the merchandise. The firm raises money for children’s charities and other events. There’s a quiet optimism, a soft sense of humor, and a wonderful printed image of Jake, the contagiously optimistic stick figure, having fun on all of their merchandise. I have a few of their T-shirts, too. Editor 40 SCREENPRINTING

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Screen Printing - June/July 2012

Screen Printing - June/july 2012
New Products
Digital vs. Screen and the Dilemma of Process Improvement
Grayscale Magic
Step Up Your Game With Team Wear
Boosting Garment-Printing Efficiency
What Printers Think About Rip Software
Direct-to-Garment Site Preparation and the Environment
Industry Update
Shop Talk
Distributor/Dealer Directory
Ad Index
Editorial Insights

Screen Printing - June/July 2012