As part of the brand identity for the cafe I wanted to design and produce some t-shirts that the staff would wear. I did a bit of research and decided that something simple would be best. I also decided that black was a good option for the shirt colour because it would be more practical and would show less dirt. I looked into getting the t-shirts printed in Oxford but for such a small quantity (I would only need 2 really) they were too expensive. I also thought about using iron on transfers which I think would work ok but might look a little unprofessional. In the end I decided to screen print the t-shirts in the print room with Elaine.
I had said at the beginning of the project that I wanted to do some screen printing and possibly screen print some t-shirts and bags but after talking to Elaine I decided it would be too expensive. However, after thinking about it more, I decided that it would be a really worthwhile thing to learn to do since I had never done it before. I spoke to Elaine again and it turned out that the budget would cover one screen and as long as I didn’t open any new ink, all I would have to pay for was the acetate. I had already done some designs by this point so I had to go bag and review them for the limitations of only being able to produce one screen. The obvious limitation would be that one screen would only allow me to do one colour and since I wanted text, the illustrations wouldn’t really be able to be in the design because they would require several screens. I am disappointed about this because I would have liked to have incorporated some colour into the t-shirts.
I was very keen to try to incorporate some more sustainability into the project because that was something that I had wanted to be a big part of the project but I had lost sight of slightly. To try to do this I looked up relatively affordable high street clothes shops that sold organic t-shirts. I found that Gap, H&M and Zara all did so I went to compare them. I bought two H&M black t-shirts. The man’s one is 50% organic cotton and the woman’s one is 100% organic cotton. I am really glad that I did this because I could have quite easily bought shirts from Primark but that would have completely gone against the socially responsible aims of the project. The screen printing went very well and I was able to print two t shirts and several bags. I found that the fabric ink needed several coats to become opaque but the final t shirts look good because they are not too bright white. If I did it again, I might have used yellow ink because that would have gone better with the colour scheme.
I really enjoyed doing the screen printing and I was very excited when I was making the screen. I am really glad that I managed to do some screen printing as part of the project and that I was able to learn a new skill. It really was much more straight forward than I had thought so I would definitely like to do more of it in the future.