Dayton, Ohio vs Tornadoes
We had a challenge that put our screen printing capabilities to a test. In 2019 Dayton, Ohio suffered 2 tragic situations that made national news. The first tragedy happened on Memorial Day. Over a dozen tornadoes struck the inner city of Dayton, Ohio. Hundreds of homes were destroyed and T-shirt Kings found ourselves screen printing hundreds of #daytonstrong shirts to lift the morale of the community.
On August 4th, 2019, a mass shooting happens in Downtown Dayton, 9 people were killed in a tragic situation. Dayton was filled with national media and celebrities were giving emotional support to the city. T-shirts are often used to make statements. They're a cool way to display how someone feels. Whether it's a memorial photo t-shirt, or a screen printed shirt done for a group of people all expressing how they want to defeat cancer. T-shirts give a voice to serious feelings and are one of the most common forms of non-verbal communication.
A week after the shooting in Dayton, T-shirt Kings got a call from Kanye West. They needed 1500 screen printed shirts for a concert to honor the shooting victims. Doing 1500 screen printed shirts is no problem at all. But doing 1500 screen printed shirts in less than 24 hours definitely is a challenge. Add in the extra detail that Kanye West is a perfectionist and every last shirt had to be exactly the same, perfect without any mistakes. It put our ability to make shirts fast and at a high level to the test.
The Shirt Making Process
When a bulk amount of shirts get made people see the end results, but a lot goes into making a shirt from scratch. It all starts with the artwork submission. Normally people turn in artwork that has to be recreated and vectorize. The recreation process starts with taking the logo or text and vectorizing it so our printing to the film comes out crispy. We separate each color to its own screen and layer the colors on the garment when screen printing. Once the artwork is color separated to film, We put the film on the screen with an l.e.d exposure units. This is known as burning a screen.
Once the image is burned onto the screen, the screen goes to a washout booth where the screen is sprayed until the exposed image is ready to be screen printed.
All of these processes are done with technique and skill, once someone has mastered these processes they can move through it all in a few hours. We got it all done in about 30 minutes. You can take a look at some of our pricing https://tshirtkings247.com/collections/screen-printing
Real fun begins once you've finished with all the artwork and burning the screen. Now you can actually make the shirts. You pop the screens in the press. Set all your adjustments so the artwork is perfectly lined up. Not just centered, the art also has to be the perfect distance above the shirt so when the screen printing process is taking place you get the perfect amount of ink pressed onto the shirt.
Kanye rolled into town on Thursday, called us on Friday and we got the contract late and all the details late Friday night. His concert was Sunday Morning so all the shirts needed to be passed out as soon as possible on Saturday. We wanted to get it done not only because Kanye is obviously a famous person to have on our resume, but we also wanted to come through for Dayton and our community who had a tough year. Here is the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D72N5eRy60
We Get It Done
After 23 hours of designing and vectorizing artwork, rounding up 1500 shirts, sending proofs for approval, working with Kanye's assistant, answering calls, screen printing shirts non-stop, arranging all the shirts by size and counting to make sure all the shirts we're delivered. WE FINISHED!
After we finished I realized that we are capable of doing amazing things for important situations. It gives our staff confidence that nothing can stop us. We know that no order is too big or too small for us.