Archive for the ‘design’ Category

How To Get The Best Screen Printing Results From Your Art Submissions

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Custom t-shirts are more than just an excellent way to express yourself, they’re also incredible ways to get your artwork in the public space. Whichever you’re placing a custom order for, it’s important that your art or design comes out the way you want it to.

Images for T-Shirt Screen Printing

There’s nothing worse than seeing your work of art fail to translate to what you had in mind, which is where following this guide can help. Here’s how to get the best screen printing results from your art submission on sites like The TeeHive or Threadbird.

Using Vector

Vector based images and screen printing are a match made in t-shirt heaven. These files can be resized at any scale without losing an ounce of detail thanks to the mathematical equations surrounding their magnitude and direction. Even better, these images use both lines and curves.

When it comes to color assignment, vector is superbly clean. All you’ll need to create a vector image is a program like Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator, or Inkscape.

Using Raster

Unlike vector images, raster uses pixels instead of lines. This makes using the correct DPI crucial from the get go, but it translates wonderfully to screen printing when done correctly. For reference, a web image looks stellar at 72 DPI while screen printing requires at least 300 to look decent.

While you might not be able to scale up with a raster image, you can create images at the same size they would be on the t-shirt. This gives you the ability to pay close attention to small details, which also helps in translation. Programs like Photoshop and Gimp utilize these types of images.

Images for T-Shirt Screen Printing

Screen Printing 101

The true secret to achieving a fine quality print is using highly defined artwork. That can be easier said than done, as many people find themselves with excellent art that simply isn’t ideal for screen printing.

Often times, individuals opt to do a test print first to make sure their design will translate like they want it to. While it’s always a good idea to test out a company’s quality first, test prints are often made using a different technique. Most of the time, companies will use a digital print or direct to garment printing.

The best way to make sure your art will look fantastic after the printing process is done is to contact the company you plan to work with. It isn’t uncommon for their artists to be able to recreate your image in a more screen print-friendly version. Always double-check to see if that comes with an extra cost, though.

Tips and Tricks

When uploading files to print, make sure they were created in the proper format beforehand. Simple saving something as a .pdf or .eps isn’t going to cut it when it comes to the quality you’re looking for.

Avoid using:

  • .jpg
  • .png
  • Photographs
  • Sketches
  • Or anything with a low resolution

If you are dealing with hard copies of your artwork, it’s best to email the company you’re considering working with. Most have designers on hand that can work with you to ensure your work of art translates properly to the screen printing process. If you happen to live close by, it never hurts to drop in for an in-person chat.

Getting the Color Right

If your design is pre-made and ready to go, then all you’ll need to do is pick the color garment you think it would look best on. Try out different option to see what you like the most, and don’t be afraid to use multiple colored clothing items.

When designing from scratch, you have more ground work to do but a lot more room to play with. Simulate both ink and garment color combination by creating mock-ups first so your can proof the results before placing an order.

Images for T-Shirt Screen Printing

Most printing services use Pantone colors, but it’s important to keep in mind that the colors you’ve used in your vector or raster piece might become slightly off during the printing process. This happens because computer monitors vary widely in color, brightness and contrast.

What you see on your monitor might not be the same the printer sees on their screen. If you own a Pantone Solid Coated Formula Guide, then making a note of which shade you intended to use will solve this problem. If not, the printer will choose the closest available Pantone based on what they see.

Nailing the Best Prints

Getting the best screen print results for your artwork takes some time and dedication, but the above advice will help your work translate the best it possibly can. You’ll have a slew of awesome t-shirts ready to go before you know it!

This articles has been written by Ashley Lipman

Written by ricardo

April 3rd, 2018 at 9:23 am

New Castro Design

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Fidel Castro T-shirt

I’m ordering this t-shirt for myself.

So I export a lot of my illustrations or frames from my animations to images that can be printed onto various products from t-shirts to coffee mugs to stickers and I post them to RedBubble or Society6 or TeePublic. This design I really like and I partly do this because I want to wear some of the stuff that I draw, and this is such a case.

Written by ricardo

January 20th, 2017 at 10:08 pm

Even God Recycles

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This past fall, I entered in to a conversation with a man named Jerry who sat near me on a downtown Brooklyn bench. Jerry was very interested in what I do for a living and asked me to teach him any skills I may have. I told him that I’d be happy to, gave him my card, but told him that he’d have to show up sober. I haven’t heard back from Jerry yet. Some weeks later, I photographed people recycling in the Lower East Side during an afternoon walk about a week before Christmas 2015. There was no particular reason to take the photo other than I liked the composition. Here is the photograph as an animated illustration and a small portion of Jerry talking about the social contract in U.S. culture… According to Jerry, we all play a role in the project that is this country and he wants to play a larger role.

Written by ricardo

January 14th, 2016 at 9:51 am

Mugabe Is Old

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I have been working on a series of portrait illustrations of individuals that I consider akin to dictators over the past year. The series is titled “Drunk with Power”. The intention of the illustrations is to make them into animations which is happening very slowly. Occasionally, I’ll make a quick animation, such as the one above. There is also a web version of this animation that uses code for the background rather than triangles colored using markers: http://rmz.nyc/mugabe.html

Written by ricardo

November 23rd, 2015 at 10:30 am

That Angry Inch – Putin’s Twitch

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I’ve been following closely the dispute between Russia and the Ukraine regarding Crimea. At first, it seemed to be no more than a power grab by Russia for all sorts of reasons from capitalist power to cultural identity to saving face from a post cold-war reality. I’m not sure that this is not all true from the perspective of Russia, however, from the view of those who dissented and revolted against the Ukraine, it seems even more complex. Without living the reality, who knows, however from a distant observation, I couldn’t help, but create the GIF below.

Putin's Twitch

Putin’s Twitch

There’s more to come soon!

Stalin & Putin T-Shirts, Totes, Phone Cases…

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I’ve added new art work to my Society6 site. Now you can get vector illustrated portraits of Putin and Stalin on everything from t-shirts to tote bags to coffee mugs to clocks and more…

Written by ricardo

March 27th, 2015 at 2:29 pm

Amanda Cox at Columbia University

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Yesterday (2/23/2015) morning I attended a data visualization presentation by New York Times graphics editor Amanda Cox at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Amanda presented some great examples from the Times as well as other sources while breaking down her presentation to the topics Scale, Context, Pattern and Annotation Layer. I arrived late and missed the majority of the Scale portion. The following are notes from the presentation…

Make the data open, make it flexible, present a user with an interface to manipulate the presentation of the data, to see the data in various groupings.

The power of text: the most common thing that people do on a page is read and by far it is only the top of the page that people read. Most people do not click on buttons.

The example that Amanda presented regarding pattern is “Mapping America: Every City, Every Block”

Form is key to revealing patterns – use of familiar geography to superimpose information employing color, shading, shape and size. In geographic placement of data regarding the House District results one may quickly grasp that urban versus rural areas is decisive.

Annotation Layer
Annotation should be minimal, no more than a layer of pointers or outlines or brief notes superimposed onto graphics be it image or video. Amanda momentarily turned it over to a video interview with NY Times Science Graphics Editor Jonathan Corum:

She then presented a brief video documentation explaining aerial skiing by United States Olympic aerialist Ryan St. Onge and science reporter Henry Fountain in which extremely simple annotation is superimposed on to the video to make important points. She also compared this very simple graphic with and without annotation – “graphs are stronger when they say something” – Amanda Cox.

Peak Break-Up Times without Annotation

Peak Break-Up Times without Annotation


Peak Break-Up Times with Annotation

Peak Break-Up Times with Annotation

An example of the using annotation to illustrate different ways of looking at data is the NY Times “One Report, Diverging Perspectives” – a visualization of the last jobs report before the 2012 elections. The visualization allows one to view the report with “Democratic Goggles” and “Republican Goggles.” The data is the same and both interpretations are true, however the manner in which the data is interpreted depends one’s perspective.

Amanda Cox showed varying forms of engagement through the representation of data. In “All the Medalists: Men’s 100-Meter Sprint,” the reports begins the page with a 3D video animation that depicts the change of speed of gold medalists in the 100 meter run from 1896 to 2012. Following the video the page scrolls down to scatterplot displaying the same information. Of course, the time based animation will engage the viewer very differently than the static scatter chart.

The final example that Amanda Cox presented was a the superimposition of two separate data visualizations to present a cultural and historical reality of the United States. One was a visualization of the Republican versus Democratic votes in the 2012 Presidential Elections from southern states. The pro-Obama areas presented an arch of concentration that presented strong similarities to a very old visualization of cotton farms across the same states. When these two visualizations are collapsed one over the others, a strong sense of history regarding the present is established as the areas that were once cotton farm areas voted strongly for Obama.

Amanda made a point that beyond interactivity and cool graphics is the strength of the content. If one has minimal resources, focus on the content and in depth research. Practically, with so many people looking at the web on their phones, a simple text and image may be much more effective than an immersive experience.

Written by ricardo

February 24th, 2015 at 5:10 am

Naomi Klein & Kate Orff at Columbia

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Kate Orff at Columbia's

Kate Orff at Columbia’s “Planning for Climate Change”


With the imperative of Climate Change radical action is required immediately, including re-thinking design.

Written by ricardo

September 24th, 2014 at 10:21 am

The People’s Climate March Warm Up at La Casita Verde

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The People's Climate March

The People’s Climate March “Warm Up” at La Casita Verde – come and make posters for the march!

Come out Saturday to the green space at Division and Bedford, Brooklyn – La Casita Verde – for a fun afternoon of poster making for Sunday’s People’s Climate March. 1-4pm Saturday, September 20th at 451 Bedford.

Written by ricardo

September 16th, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Digital Publishing Innovation Summit, Part 6

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Following lunch on the second day of the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit, Jason Wagenheim of Teen Vogue took the stage to discuss what Teen Vogue’s mobile strategy to increase audience and traffic. As Kremins of Epicurious pointed out, mobile ad engagement is key while the reader is in store, when it matters most. It is at the moment of shopping while in the store that Teen Vogue can help retail advertisers connect with its audience.

Wagenheim pointed out that 17 year olds have smart phones and she influences the rest of the family, the 17 year old with the smart phone is powerful force that advertisers must successfully target. He stated that by 2018, internet traffic will be 35% mobile and 65% desktop. Social networks function as a mobile gateway, referrals are 25% social, 33% search based and 39% direct.

Although native apps present the advantage of third party APIs, Teen Vogue decided to focus and optimize for mobile web. Since doing so there was a 33% lift in unique visits largely due to batching image resize for mobile web. By 2018, less than .01% of consumer apps will be financially successful.

Wagenheim presented a case study in which a mobile product launched in unison with a sales event. The launch was designed to showcase partner content and drive retail engagement. Targeted coupons were presented via the mobile web app at the moment of sale. The teen would take a picture of the dress and share it along with the coupon id and sales skyrocketed. Wagenheim did make a point that business partners must use their own mobile tools for an ad campaign to succeed for everyone.

Teen Vogue partnered with a couple of developers from Taiwan to create “me girl” that lead to 4 million installs. Users use “me girl” to dress an avatar, see what an outfit looks like and then purchase.

Wagenheim ended his presentation by stating the following keys to success:

  • Know your audience’s consumption trends, most visible via mobile web
  • Support intuitive behavior through UX development
  • Understand internal resources and limitations
  • Execute a social conversion strategy
  • Plan for change
Teen Vogue's keys to success for mobile advertising

Teen Vogue’s keys to success for mobile advertising

Following Wagenheim, Hayley Romer of The Atlantic took the stage to discuss “The Role of Premium Publishers Today.” She stated that publishers need radical change without changing who they are. And went on to discuss the paradoxes of programmatic advertising such as:

  • sell on quantity versus sell on quality
  • advertisers want CPM data but are unwilling pay for it
  • shorter is better versus longer is better
  • mobile is our downfall versus mobile is our future

Regarding “shorter vs longer” she pointed to the two top stories from 2013 and 2014. In 2013, it was a data visualization simulating “World Births and Deaths in Real-Time.” Whereas in 2014 it has been Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “The Case for Reparations,” a 16,000 word article. This demonstrates that it’s not about shorter or longer being better, but rather presenting compelling content in the right format.

Regarding “mobile downfall vs mobile future,” Romer pointed out that mobile usage is up 43% whereas ad spending breaks down to 7 cents on mobile, 14 cents desktop and 83 cents for print. 2014 banner ad spending is at $10.27 billion and expected to rise to 11.29 billion by 2016. Romer’s keys to success are:

  • Strong Concept
  • Brainstorm different ways of telling the story based on the medium… what is the right format
  • Testing
  • She presented the highly successful visualization of red lining in Chicago, because it doesn’t present the data in words, but rather a time-based visualization onto a map of Chicago to visually show the information.

    Amongst the weakest speaker at the summit was Mike Germano who presented a Vice commercial, talked about being a Yankees fan and then went on to give a motivational pitch on the importance of fear. He was very charismatic, but really did not present anything of value. And I missed the final speaker Paul Rogers of Liverpool FC who discussed the need of thinking global while acting local as a form of media engagement.

Written by ricardo

July 25th, 2014 at 7:56 am