May '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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16 | Printwear M ay 20 1 4 From Software to Substrate by Lon Winters Lon Winters learned screen printing from the bottom up, starting his 20-plus-year career reclaiming screens. He has won nearly 50 internation- al industry awards and honors, published numerous articles, and led sev- eral industry seminars and workshops. Currently, he is president of Colo.- based Print This, Inc./, an international consulting firm specializing in technical advances, plant design, layout, troubleshoot- ing, productivity, quality analysis and complete garment-embellishing solutions. Visit for more information. Contact Winters at | | | | I f there is anything better than beers and gears, it might be liquor and chrome. We are, as you know, experts and quite experienced at most anything of this nature. After all, we are screen printers. It seems as though we de- veloped a theme over the years, for better or worse. We have a client, who, to us, is a pretty big customer. In fact, one of our largest. These guys happen to hold several substantial western brands. That said, as you might expect, there are a number of shirts being printed for these brands, and we get to print plenty of them. Season after season, we develop new looks and designs with the designers and merchandisers. We work hand-in-hand with them and have done some really nice lines. The most recent project was a bit different, though. Obviously, branding is extremely important to these folks and anything new comes with scrutiny. We ran into a couple of the VPs at a recent trade show. They, too were exhibiting, but had a chance to walk the rest of the show and got a load of the "wall" in our booth. They really had no idea of the scope of what garment decoration was all about. Each embellish- ment was examined carefully and after several, "I think this is my favorite!" exclamations, the fellows decided on several inspirations to apply to their brands. (If you haven't seen it, Graphic Elephants regularly exhibits at The NBM Show and our display is what we call our body of work.) This month, we will look at one of the projects that came out of that conversation. Our inspiration comes from the classic AC/ DC print we did years ago for a merchan- diser with that appropriate licensing. Snap to it! This job was a rush (like everything else). But that was okay because we are used to that. The go ahead from the client arrived all about the Chrome! The final effect: serious-looking chrome with a texture to match. (all images courtesy the author) PW_MAY14.indd 16 4/17/14 9:38 AM

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