Today I ordered blanks to print more EMN t-shirts with the updated "Redux" artwork. I updated portions of the original graphic where the details were too small and came out blurry on the actual t-shirt. I plan on reprinting more of the classic purple on black, like before, but I also want to print a new color. Below are the colors I'm considering:
Redux on the left. Original artwork on the right.
When I printed the EMN shirts with the original artwork, a lot of the smaller details were washed out or blurry. Now that I'm going to print more I decided to redo the parts of the image that weren't so sharp. I printed the original artwork in black & white on paper then highlighted the parts that came out blurry on the t-shirt. I then digitally made some of those lines thicker and redrew others completely. This should result in a better looking print on the next batch of shirts. I feel like I did what George Lucas did to Star Wars when he released the Special Edition versions of his original trilogy.
It's time to reprint more EMN shirts and replenish my inventory but first I'm going to make a few edits to the artwork. There were too many fine details in the digital artwork that came out blurry or washed out when screen printed onto shirts. I took this into consideration when I made the EMNSJ (San Jose) shirts and made sure not to make any lines that were too small. Now that it's time print more I'm going to fix the mistakes and get a better looking image next time around.
They're heeeeeere... almost. More EMNSJ shirts have been reprinted and are ready for pick up. I can't wait to get my fat little hands on them :)
Check out the Downtown Screen Printers on Insta
I spent a lot of time today, and previous days, trying to figure out how many shirts I should reprint. I used to try and guess which sizes & styles would sell more. Now that I have more data I can see what sells faster versus what stays in inventory longer. And because I'm on a budget for the rest of the year (I'm setting money aside for income & sales taxes) I've decided to reprint in smaller batches, starting with my most popular design. I intended to reprint all EMNSJ styles but my supplier was all out of heather gray blanks so I just bought black shirts for now. That's ok since my two most popular styles are the Black/Blue and Black/Pink EMNSJ (San Jose) t-shirts. If I ordered the right amount, and sales continue the way they have been, I shouldn't run out of one style/size too quickly or have others sit for too long. They blanks should arrive soon then they're off to the printers. Hopefully it won't take more than a couple weeks to have the finished shirts in hand.
There have been several times I've had screen printers try and sell me on using cheaper blank shirts for me to print my designs and I've told them this story:
I've always been a big dude so finding cool shirts that fit has never been easy. The shirt I'm wearing in the picture below, taken almost 10 years ago, was one of the few tees that fit and had a cool graphic. I loved it. I probably only had it for a couple years then threw it out because it faded or the seams came undone, or maybe both. Soon after, I bought myself a few American Apparel blanks to see what the hoopla was about this brand. The material was super soft and felt better than almost every other shirt I owned. I loved them. I wore them all the time up until a couple years ago. The shirts are over 8 years old and they still look and feel great, The only reason I stopped wearing them was because I dropped from a 3X to a 2X. When it came time to choose which blank shirts I'd use for my Frankie Mcfly shirts the choice was simple, American Apparel. I want other people to love my shirts as much I do and I want them to feel great wearing them. Yes, they cost more than other brands but I feel it's worth it.
I worked with the Downtown Screen Printers again tonight. Things didn't go as smoothly as yesterday but it made me appreciate what these guys do a whole lot more.
Tonight I helped my buddies Alex & Jimmy, the Downtown Screen Printers, with a big print job. 100+ shirts with one color on the front and two on the back. Jimmy loaded the shirts onto the platen, Alex laid down the ink and I took the printed shirt off and put them in the dryer to cure. I was able to ask lots of questions and see first hand how they problem solve when issues came up. It gave me a better understanding of the t-shirt printing process which I never got to see firsthand before. It also got me thinking about when I bought screen printing gear and built my own one-color press. I'm glad I tried and learned but I'm happier letting the professionals handle the printing so I can focus on the design and everything else.
The Downtown Screen Printers printed my "San Jose" shirt, EMNSJ, back in May/June.
The picture below was taken tonight after we were done. It took about 6 hours from start to end.
Years ago I spent hundreds of dollars on screen printing equipment and countless hours learning how to use it. I originally intended to design AND screen print shirts myself. I tried so many times but wasn't able to achieve the results I wanted. It was really frustrating and it discouraged me from moving forward. I almost gave up on my t-shirts before I even started. I don't remember how long it took before I decided to let the professionals do the printing while I focused on the designs, but it was a long time. I did manage to print some decent looking shirts for my brother's studio before eventually selling all my equipment. I don't regret trying & spending all the money learning to print myself, I only wish I had cut my losses sooner. Looking back, it was a great learning experience.