Design insights & tutorials.

Make it Look Like Affliction

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affliction1.jpg

As graphic designers for the apparel industry, we’ve heard the phrase “Make it Look Like Affliction” so many times. It’s a strange coincidence. You have a dozen apparel companies and bands who have absolutely nothing in common with each other except for one thing. And that is to make their shirt look like the ever so popular clothing line started by Eric Foss and Todd Beard in 2005. You know, with the dark gothic imagery, skulls, a generous helping of intricate ornaments and woodcut linework, the huge placement across the shoulders, the faded prints, the garment dying, the splatters, the grunge, I could go on! It’s an alternative clothing company’s dream! The ironic thing is, while these bands and clothing companies attempt to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack, they wind up all looking the same – just not quite there.

So why is Affliction the brand that most of these people want to be like?

Here are 5 reasons:

1.) The illustration is very good. Certainly much better than most of the shirts it hangs next to in the mall. It’s hand drawn, which is admirable in the world of cut and paste graphic “designers” today. Not everyone can just pick up a pencil and draw 16 skeletons riding horses wielding various weaponry. It’s very ambitious illustration driving artwork. I have always had respect for that.

affliction2.jpg2.) It’s trendy. Between a mix of the appropriate spooky subject matter and design fodder such ornaments and splatters it appeals to the rebellious (and somehow the jocks). You will see that on children’s t-shirts at Value City Department Stores for $10 (haven’t checked, but I’m sure you’ll find some). I have been wondering when this trend will die out, but it’s really peaking now. I walked into Buckle recently and checked out the shirts. Just about every brand had some sort of ornate flourishing on it. Yeah, it’s like the make it cool button. But the people behind Affliction like to hand draw this stuff, which is admirable.

3.) Their shirt quality. They have access to specialty apparel manufacturers (possibly overseas) to custom distress, dye, sew, and print their shirts. Word on the street is Affliction gets their shirts cut and sewn by JS Apparel. Printed by Massive Prints and dyed by LA Dye and Wash House.

4.) Their marketing owns you. They have countless Hollywood celebrities wearing their gear. And that probably means more to the general public (those that drop $30 for a t-shirt) than the actual design itself. I am going to make a judgment call and say that a lot of teens at the mall are more concerned with impressing their friends than the art on the shirt. They are more apt to buy into the marketing and celebrity influence than most. Having such a large group of celebrities really does influence what the ignorant public thinks about your brand. A lot of clothing company startups try to sponsor the most popular bands they can because they know they have a good chance of turning that band’s fanbase into customers. And it DOES have an influence on sales. This kind of thing matters to the general public (surprise?). “Fall Out Boy wears this brand so I must wear it too!”

5.) They are setting the standard for this new generation of t-shirt printing. 5 years ago, you couldn’t go to your local screenprinter and have stuff printed and customized to the extent that Affliction does. You still can’t today (realistically speaking), which is changing. Affliction is making this kind of customization popular. With everyone being a designer these days, everyone wants to start a clothing company. The DIY revolution is beginning to take off and individuals are now finding resources that only large corporations had. It’s still not that easy to get this stuff done, but it’s out there if you look hard enough (and can afford it).

Changing the Industry

affliction3.jpgI remember a year and a half ago trying to get Jakprints to do some “specialty” printing and I referenced Affliction. They told me they couldn’t do it. They tried a few techniques that they use, like discharge inks and bigger prints, but it wasn’t as easy as it seemed. Even today, your typical screenprinting shop won’t be able to do it. But the more popular these brands like Affliction get, they will force printers to step up their game and offer these services. But even today, there are only a small percentage of apparel brands with access to this kind of service.

So apparently, Affliction is sort of becoming a role model for clothing companies that want to appeal to the metal and hard rock scene. Even if you’re not a fan of this brand, you have to respect what it is doing for the industry. Inspiring tons of designers to get off their ass and start creating. It’s also inspiring tons of entrepreneurs and business men to try and capitalize on this fad while it’s pretty much still young. So it’s natural that we have about 1 or 2 requests a week from different companies that want to be like Affliction.

I just find it funny that there is one brand that is consistently mentioned. I am sure other designers reading this get this request too.

Advice to Bands and Clothing Companies

I can offer some advice to bands and clothing companies that are asking us to “Make it look like Affliction”: Be prepared to pay for it (hand drawn illustration takes us lots of time) and make sure you have the resources to be able to print and produce what we design for you. Nothing is worse than spending 15 hours designing a t-shirt that will never be printed because of either A) budget or B) lack of resources and know how. Do not just flat out copy Affliction, I hate that. Affliction is doing some good things, but we hate to copy other people’s work. We encourage bands and clothing companies to understand Affliction’s success formula and adapt it to their own unique vision.

Advice to Designers

Us designers can change the way a t-shirt is perceived. It doesn’t have to be an advertisement. I encourage all designers to “think outside the box” and really challenge what you know about t-shirt design. Educate your clients on the possibilities and don’t just give in and copy and paste what someone else already did. One of the best things about Affliction is that they’re hand drawn. I understand not everyone can draw, but to those than can, do it. You’ll be surprised. As I tell myself when I’m struggling to come up with a design: “Just fucking draw it!”

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About the Author, Jeff Finley

I'm a partner at Go Media, a Cleveland web design and development firm. We also specialize in print design and branding. I started Weapons of Mass Creation Fest and wrote the book Thread's Not Dead, teaching artists and designers how to start a clothing company. In my spare time, I write songs and play drums in Campfire Conspiracy. I'm a happy husband and an aspiring b-boy and lucid dreamer.
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Discussion

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  • Joanne

    Great Post! Affliction is great inspiration but not original anymore. I do love the hand drawn look of their t-shirts and so apparently does everyone else.

  • Joanne

    Great Post! Affliction is great inspiration but not original anymore. I do love the hand drawn look of their t-shirts and so apparently does everyone else.

  • http://www.wallofscribbles.com Corey Dutson

    Good article and sound advice. I’ve tried doing shirt designs in the past (nothing to the extent of Affliction or anything near that caliber) and I was annoyed to find that there was no where in my area that could screen what I wanted or how. There are 6 screening places near my home, and not one of them could do what I was asking.

    I also have to agree on shirt designs becoming more than what they ever were. It’s no longer a witty slogan on a shirt in Impact font, and even the faux-faded shirts are dying off. The new breed of shirts emerging are bursting with detail and a lot of thought evident in the design.

  • http://www.wallofscribbles.com Corey Dutson

    Good article and sound advice. I’ve tried doing shirt designs in the past (nothing to the extent of Affliction or anything near that caliber) and I was annoyed to find that there was no where in my area that could screen what I wanted or how. There are 6 screening places near my home, and not one of them could do what I was asking.

    I also have to agree on shirt designs becoming more than what they ever were. It’s no longer a witty slogan on a shirt in Impact font, and even the faux-faded shirts are dying off. The new breed of shirts emerging are bursting with detail and a lot of thought evident in the design.

  • dickiejones33

    very well said.

  • dickiejones33

    very well said.

  • Rai

    Preach on my brother, Church!!!

  • Rai

    Preach on my brother, Church!!!

  • PG

    First, I would like to say I’ve been reading your guys’ blog for awhile and that I respect what you guys are doing at Go Media. I live in Columbus and wish there were more companies here that does the kind of work and style of design that Go Media does. That said, however I do have some thoughts about this article and some of the stuff you guys do.

    You mentioned the “cut and paste graphic designers”… aren’t you guys just feeding into that and encouraging it with the Arsenal packs? The User Showcase is essentially “designers” cut and pasting your guys’ vector elements and calling it a work of art. Don’t get me wrong the designs and artistic skills involved behind the Arsenal packs are top notch, and I have no problem seeing that kind of stuff on projects you guys do for clients, but when the so called “designers” get a hold of it… ehh. I’m not a big fan of the whole clip art thing.

    In the article you also mention going to the mall and seeing almost every shirt have that ornate flourishing and grunge look to it. It’s true because grunge is like the new hip design trend now. BUT, most of Go Media’s designs are exactly this! You guys may do it better than most, with the hand drawn aspect and using actual design principles/philosophies in the process, but it’s still all a part of that said trend you saw at the mall. I don’t know if that’s hypocritical or what? So at the end of the day of course clients will come to you guys wanting that “Affliction look”.

    My comments are not trying to bash you guys as I respect the work Go Media does, but this article just seems conflicting to me.

  • PG

    First, I would like to say I’ve been reading your guys’ blog for awhile and that I respect what you guys are doing at Go Media. I live in Columbus and wish there were more companies here that does the kind of work and style of design that Go Media does. That said, however I do have some thoughts about this article and some of the stuff you guys do.

    You mentioned the “cut and paste graphic designers”… aren’t you guys just feeding into that and encouraging it with the Arsenal packs? The User Showcase is essentially “designers” cut and pasting your guys’ vector elements and calling it a work of art. Don’t get me wrong the designs and artistic skills involved behind the Arsenal packs are top notch, and I have no problem seeing that kind of stuff on projects you guys do for clients, but when the so called “designers” get a hold of it… ehh. I’m not a big fan of the whole clip art thing.

    In the article you also mention going to the mall and seeing almost every shirt have that ornate flourishing and grunge look to it. It’s true because grunge is like the new hip design trend now. BUT, most of Go Media’s designs are exactly this! You guys may do it better than most, with the hand drawn aspect and using actual design principles/philosophies in the process, but it’s still all a part of that said trend you saw at the mall. I don’t know if that’s hypocritical or what? So at the end of the day of course clients will come to you guys wanting that “Affliction look”.

    My comments are not trying to bash you guys as I respect the work Go Media does, but this article just seems conflicting to me.

  • http://www.gomedia.us Jeff

    PG

    Good questions to bring up for sure. With our vector packs, yes we are selling stuff for people to cut and paste into their designs. But that doesn’t mean I don’t encourage people to draw their own stuff. 90% of designers don’t draw, Illustrators do. And not every shirt out there needs to be hand drawn or illustrated to be considered “good.”

    And yes, the whole “grunge” thing is popular now and has been for years, and yes our portfolio is certainly within that realm. Mostly because of the bands we chose to work with fit that aesthetic. And by noticing that it’s all over the mall, I was simply stating an observation. Maybe my tone came across like I was demonizing it, but truth is, there is good design and bad design and good illustration and bad illustration regardless of the trends.

  • http://www.gomedia.us Jeff

    PG

    Good questions to bring up for sure. With our vector packs, yes we are selling stuff for people to cut and paste into their designs. But that doesn’t mean I don’t encourage people to draw their own stuff. 90% of designers don’t draw, Illustrators do. And not every shirt out there needs to be hand drawn or illustrated to be considered “good.”

    And yes, the whole “grunge” thing is popular now and has been for years, and yes our portfolio is certainly within that realm. Mostly because of the bands we chose to work with fit that aesthetic. And by noticing that it’s all over the mall, I was simply stating an observation. Maybe my tone came across like I was demonizing it, but truth is, there is good design and bad design and good illustration and bad illustration regardless of the trends.

  • http://www.digitalskratch.com Josh

    Great post Jeff. I was introduced to Affliction this this summer when I was at my friends house for a UFC fight, lots of those guys wear that brand. My friend was looking up their shirts and was surprised at how expensive they were. But reading this knowing what goes into the actual design and production of the shirt makes sense now.

    I love your quote at the end “just fucking draw it” haha.

    Later man, and Happy Holidays!

  • http://www.digitalskratch.com Josh

    Great post Jeff. I was introduced to Affliction this this summer when I was at my friends house for a UFC fight, lots of those guys wear that brand. My friend was looking up their shirts and was surprised at how expensive they were. But reading this knowing what goes into the actual design and production of the shirt makes sense now.

    I love your quote at the end “just fucking draw it” haha.

    Later man, and Happy Holidays!

  • PG

    Jeff,

    Thanks for clarifying what you wrote in the article. Yes, it did come across to me that you were demonizing what you saw at the mall and the style that goes with it. After reading your reply I understand that wasn’t the case. Nevertheless, keep churning out the good work at Go Media!

  • PG

    Jeff,

    Thanks for clarifying what you wrote in the article. Yes, it did come across to me that you were demonizing what you saw at the mall and the style that goes with it. After reading your reply I understand that wasn’t the case. Nevertheless, keep churning out the good work at Go Media!

  • http://www.gomedia.us Jeff

    PG,

    Yeah I can’t help but admire the hand drawn stuff, I admit I’m really biased. I have grown up admiring artists that can draw. It’s not until the past few years I started getting into the whole grunge thing – and when I first saw it back in 2003 and 2004, I thought it was really cool. I hadn’t seen it before. But nowadays people who are breaking the rules of the “grunge” trend or going beyond is what I like to see.

    I know we make all sorts of trendy vector packs, but those aren’t for me to use. Those are for our fans and other designers who WANT to use that kind of stuff.

    I feel that if anything, Go Media should be creating as high quality original stuff as possible in addition to creating the stock art.

  • http://www.gomedia.us Jeff

    PG,

    Yeah I can’t help but admire the hand drawn stuff, I admit I’m really biased. I have grown up admiring artists that can draw. It’s not until the past few years I started getting into the whole grunge thing – and when I first saw it back in 2003 and 2004, I thought it was really cool. I hadn’t seen it before. But nowadays people who are breaking the rules of the “grunge” trend or going beyond is what I like to see.

    I know we make all sorts of trendy vector packs, but those aren’t for me to use. Those are for our fans and other designers who WANT to use that kind of stuff.

    I feel that if anything, Go Media should be creating as high quality original stuff as possible in addition to creating the stock art.

  • http://www.theswordswallowers.com Charon

    Huzzah for hand-drawn illustration! It will always be my preferred methodology to begin a design of any sort before I even move to the computer (IF I move to the computer). I am so delighted to see great hand-drawn stuff out there for consumption and making waves in the design world to boot.

  • http://www.theswordswallowers.com Charon

    Huzzah for hand-drawn illustration! It will always be my preferred methodology to begin a design of any sort before I even move to the computer (IF I move to the computer). I am so delighted to see great hand-drawn stuff out there for consumption and making waves in the design world to boot.

  • Rich

    Put down your wacom and turn off your computer for a while and pick up a pencil and some paper and draw!

  • Rich

    Put down your wacom and turn off your computer for a while and pick up a pencil and some paper and draw!

  • http://www.bartondamer.com barton damer

    i think that art is the ability to see and communicate things in a creative way. for instance, i am able to paint photo realistically… but that doesn’t make me an artist.. that makes me a human inkjet printer. i struggle with and have pretty much no vision for creating anything unique with a paint brush. but if you hand me a picture and tell me to paint, i can do that. however, when i get on the computer… i am inspired to do all sorts of unique things and feel like that is where my strength as an artist lies – in the expression – via the computer. often it involves hand drawn elements i’m creating. and many times it involves Gomedia elements and basic photo elements i have cut & pasted. The art of it is the way those elements are used together to make the final piece. could i spend the time to draw swirls and make my own grunge patterns? of course. but some times that is not realistic to spend 8 hours creating elements for a client that may or may not approve the design in the end. especially when you’ve budgeted 5 hours for the total design time. having said that, as an illustrator i usually push myself to try to create my own elements for a time period (just so that i know that i can). once i’ve achieved it, my conscience allows me to use Gomedia packs, etc… knowing that i’m using it to save time… and not using it because cause i can’t or don’t know how to create those elements.

    GO MEDIA!

  • http://www.bartondamer.com barton damer

    i think that art is the ability to see and communicate things in a creative way. for instance, i am able to paint photo realistically… but that doesn’t make me an artist.. that makes me a human inkjet printer. i struggle with and have pretty much no vision for creating anything unique with a paint brush. but if you hand me a picture and tell me to paint, i can do that. however, when i get on the computer… i am inspired to do all sorts of unique things and feel like that is where my strength as an artist lies – in the expression – via the computer. often it involves hand drawn elements i’m creating. and many times it involves Gomedia elements and basic photo elements i have cut & pasted. The art of it is the way those elements are used together to make the final piece. could i spend the time to draw swirls and make my own grunge patterns? of course. but some times that is not realistic to spend 8 hours creating elements for a client that may or may not approve the design in the end. especially when you’ve budgeted 5 hours for the total design time. having said that, as an illustrator i usually push myself to try to create my own elements for a time period (just so that i know that i can). once i’ve achieved it, my conscience allows me to use Gomedia packs, etc… knowing that i’m using it to save time… and not using it because cause i can’t or don’t know how to create those elements.

    GO MEDIA!

  • http://www.gomedia.us Jeff

    Good points all

  • http://www.gomedia.us Jeff

    Good points all

  • Joe

    I don’t get it, you sell vector packs geared at people using them in their illustrations yet you make a comment about “cut and paste graphic “designers” ”

    I’m all for custom illustrations but it doesn’t make much sense to slam something Go Media seemingly supports and/or thrives on.

  • Joe

    I don’t get it, you sell vector packs geared at people using them in their illustrations yet you make a comment about “cut and paste graphic “designers” ”

    I’m all for custom illustrations but it doesn’t make much sense to slam something Go Media seemingly supports and/or thrives on.

  • http://www.gomedia.us Jeff

    Joe – I see your point, but we never “slammed” them, but I can see how my tone might have been taken the wrong way.

    We create and sell artwork to be used as stock, which we fully encourage. But it’s more of a statement made towards the design industry in general when “designers” do not know fundamentals of graphic design but only know how to copy and paste. It’s not a stab at using stock art, but a stab at the laziness of people.

    We make it clear that we encourage good use of our stock artwork, but have no control over what people create with our stuff.

    If they want to cut and paste stuff, make a clothing line, and sell it, that’s totaly fine by us. I am not saying I enjoy that technique, as I don’t do it myself.

    I never once tell someone to be lazy. I have an appreciate for hard work.

  • http://www.gomedia.us Jeff

    Joe – I see your point, but we never “slammed” them, but I can see how my tone might have been taken the wrong way.

    We create and sell artwork to be used as stock, which we fully encourage. But it’s more of a statement made towards the design industry in general when “designers” do not know fundamentals of graphic design but only know how to copy and paste. It’s not a stab at using stock art, but a stab at the laziness of people.

    We make it clear that we encourage good use of our stock artwork, but have no control over what people create with our stuff.

    If they want to cut and paste stuff, make a clothing line, and sell it, that’s totaly fine by us. I am not saying I enjoy that technique, as I don’t do it myself.

    I never once tell someone to be lazy. I have an appreciate for hard work.

  • Daniel Newman

    Damn it. I’m trained as a fine artist and have resently switched to computer art to try to get with the times so to speak and now I here hand drawing is in. Curses. I’ll just stick to what I know.

  • Daniel Newman

    Damn it. I’m trained as a fine artist and have resently switched to computer art to try to get with the times so to speak and now I here hand drawing is in. Curses. I’ll just stick to what I know.

  • Godmachine

    the last comment is so true- i was doing designs for companies in the vein of affliction years ago- and it was damn near impossible for companies and producers to have any faith in the ‘big, intricate, had drawn, dark side’ of tee design. So, seeing as i had bills to pay and cats to feed, i started producing crap like bleeding star and all that emo- cut and paste stuff. but guess what- now everyones after the hand drawn stuff again- and me and my mate just scan all our old sketch books it- tell clients it will take days to do- snoop off down the pub and are raking it in. Heres hoping that trends always take a while to catch up with real talent and art (i am not saying that im talented- just lucky lol)

  • Godmachine

    the last comment is so true- i was doing designs for companies in the vein of affliction years ago- and it was damn near impossible for companies and producers to have any faith in the ‘big, intricate, had drawn, dark side’ of tee design. So, seeing as i had bills to pay and cats to feed, i started producing crap like bleeding star and all that emo- cut and paste stuff. but guess what- now everyones after the hand drawn stuff again- and me and my mate just scan all our old sketch books it- tell clients it will take days to do- snoop off down the pub and are raking it in. Heres hoping that trends always take a while to catch up with real talent and art (i am not saying that im talented- just lucky lol)

  • JROCK

    AFFLICTION ISN’T AS GREAT AS YOU’RE MAKING THEM OUT TO BE. THE ONLY GREAT THING THEY DO IS HAND DRAW. THE AESTHETICS IS NOT ORIGINAL. THE STYLE IS NOT ORIGINAL. THEY COPIED AND STILL MIMIC OTHER BRANDS THAT ORIGINATED THE LOOK. THEY ALMOST WENT UNDER BUT THE UFC SAVED THEM. THEY OVERSATURATED THE MARKET WITH THEIR STUFF WHICH MEANS THEY ARE JUST THE NEXT VON DUTCH. BIG FOR NOW BUT GONE PRETTY SOON. MAKE IT LOOK LIKE AFFLICTION IF YOU DON’T WANT TO LAST LONG.

    • Purpledc

      So five years later and with the sales affliction still has? How does that crow taste?

  • JROCK

    AFFLICTION ISN’T AS GREAT AS YOU’RE MAKING THEM OUT TO BE. THE ONLY GREAT THING THEY DO IS HAND DRAW. THE AESTHETICS IS NOT ORIGINAL. THE STYLE IS NOT ORIGINAL. THEY COPIED AND STILL MIMIC OTHER BRANDS THAT ORIGINATED THE LOOK. THEY ALMOST WENT UNDER BUT THE UFC SAVED THEM. THEY OVERSATURATED THE MARKET WITH THEIR STUFF WHICH MEANS THEY ARE JUST THE NEXT VON DUTCH. BIG FOR NOW BUT GONE PRETTY SOON. MAKE IT LOOK LIKE AFFLICTION IF YOU DON’T WANT TO LAST LONG.

  • JROCK

    I MEANT THE ONLY THING THEY DO GOOD IS HAND DRAW. AND THEY DO DO IT WELL.

  • JROCK

    I MEANT THE ONLY THING THEY DO GOOD IS HAND DRAW. AND THEY DO DO IT WELL.

  • Joe Tallman

    i agree with alot of what you said. designers should atleast have a basic understanding of drawing and definitely the principles and elements of design. im embarassed for some of the people i go to school with. they dont seem to be interested in learning about this stuff either.

  • Joe Tallman

    i agree with alot of what you said. designers should atleast have a basic understanding of drawing and definitely the principles and elements of design. im embarassed for some of the people i go to school with. they dont seem to be interested in learning about this stuff either.

  • http://www.gomedia.us Oliver

    easy on the caffeine.

  • http://www.gomedia.us Oliver

    easy on the caffeine.

  • Brooks

    Has anyone found a good printer that can print large format like the affliction shirts that go shoulder to shoulder and across the neck line? Some full front from shoulder to bottom? Most traditional screen shops will only give you their max hoop size which doesn’t come close to full front or shoulder to shoulder. Just looking for a good shop that is able to print that large. Please email me off my contact page at http://www.brookscanavesi.com or respond to this posting.

  • Brooks

    Has anyone found a good printer that can print large format like the affliction shirts that go shoulder to shoulder and across the neck line? Some full front from shoulder to bottom? Most traditional screen shops will only give you their max hoop size which doesn’t come close to full front or shoulder to shoulder. Just looking for a good shop that is able to print that large. Please email me off my contact page at http://www.brookscanavesi.com or respond to this posting.

  • markov ginabot

    nice post!
    thumbsup!

  • markov ginabot

    nice post!
    thumbsup!

  • Buzz

    Nice, google phrase including ‘like affliction’ got me here.

    Nice article. Like Brooks above, I too am looking for a printer to do edge to edge and wrap around printing on quality tees and thermals here in the US. If Go Media now knows of a source, please share.

  • Buzz

    Nice, google phrase including ‘like affliction’ got me here.

    Nice article. Like Brooks above, I too am looking for a printer to do edge to edge and wrap around printing on quality tees and thermals here in the US. If Go Media now knows of a source, please share.

  • Pingback: Newbie Affliction Clothing, Need Florida Dye House Screen Printer - T-Shirt Forums

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/integralapparel Integral Apparel

    I actually saw Jeff post a referral on the net about Shout Out Loud prints and what a great job they do their competitive prices. I got a great deal with them and I don’t have to get 100 prints to get the great prices. I might add, they said they can work with watercolor looks and different placement, by the shoulder, bottom hem, wrap arounds…

    Check em out guys shoutoutloudprints.com, tell Integral Apparel sent ya.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/integralapparel Integral Apparel

    I actually saw Jeff post a referral on the net about Shout Out Loud prints and what a great job they do their competitive prices. I got a great deal with them and I don’t have to get 100 prints to get the great prices. I might add, they said they can work with watercolor looks and different placement, by the shoulder, bottom hem, wrap arounds…

    Check em out guys shoutoutloudprints.com, tell Integral Apparel sent ya.

  • Pingback: 15 Awful Mistakes Made by Designers in the Music & Apparel Industry - 2 of 3 | GoMediaZine

  • http://www.waynetrading.com Michael

    As someone who has started in this industry many years ago as a designer, I can tell you it is not as easy as “hand drawing” something that looks like affliction. With that said, Affliction does not hand draw everything they output. As I have personally progressed in my field I now work in the private label aspect of fashion. I can tell you as far as production goes, to find a factory that will do the garment dying, which is essential to create the effect these shirts have, and the vast allotments of washes is far and in between. The reason a brand such as Affliction can do this is the Quantity of their orders placed within a factory. These applications have been around long before Affliction, mainly used on denim like Jordache’s early washes as good examples. I remember when Affliction was first at Magic, they were doing prints, as most start-ups, on AA blanks, printing from LA print shops, that didn’t even know what garment dying was. Working out of NYC I can also tell you the bigger PS’s over here didn’t ether like Pro Graphics for example. Beyond that, as a lot of you, I’m sure, I have my own personal stockade of graphics which includes some of GoMedia packs. Now to address the main point of this post, Graphical Design or Hand Drawn Illustration of T-shirt Apparel. For somehow to think that Hand Drawn is somehow superior to that of a fully trained Graphic Artist is not practical. A competent Graphic Designer can take something and make it their own no matter the source material. Basically what I am saying is the intial way of design is irrelevant as you could create the same thing with both techniques. It is how good you understand the production of the garment you are creating that really counts. There is nothing that makes me more upset when i get a really beautiful design with a TP that is just terribly lacking any foresight into apps or washes which doesn’t add anything to the “art” of the shirt. If you want to design a shirt or whatever like Affliction, my first suggestion would be to contact whoever hired you and get the production capabilities. Take in as much as you can from all production facilities, even from little experimental ones, which i might add, have the time to play with things you may never have known that you could do to a garment. I apologize for the long thread, I just hope that everyone realizes that the Art is not the only thing that is truly important, it is the quality of a TP and the knowledge of garment construction. Learning this will greatly improve your design capabilities. If nothing else it will impress you employer.

  • http://www.waynetrading.com Michael

    As someone who has started in this industry many years ago as a designer, I can tell you it is not as easy as “hand drawing” something that looks like affliction. With that said, Affliction does not hand draw everything they output. As I have personally progressed in my field I now work in the private label aspect of fashion. I can tell you as far as production goes, to find a factory that will do the garment dying, which is essential to create the effect these shirts have, and the vast allotments of washes is far and in between. The reason a brand such as Affliction can do this is the Quantity of their orders placed within a factory. These applications have been around long before Affliction, mainly used on denim like Jordache’s early washes as good examples. I remember when Affliction was first at Magic, they were doing prints, as most start-ups, on AA blanks, printing from LA print shops, that didn’t even know what garment dying was. Working out of NYC I can also tell you the bigger PS’s over here didn’t ether like Pro Graphics for example. Beyond that, as a lot of you, I’m sure, I have my own personal stockade of graphics which includes some of GoMedia packs. Now to address the main point of this post, Graphical Design or Hand Drawn Illustration of T-shirt Apparel. For somehow to think that Hand Drawn is somehow superior to that of a fully trained Graphic Artist is not practical. A competent Graphic Designer can take something and make it their own no matter the source material. Basically what I am saying is the intial way of design is irrelevant as you could create the same thing with both techniques. It is how good you understand the production of the garment you are creating that really counts. There is nothing that makes me more upset when i get a really beautiful design with a TP that is just terribly lacking any foresight into apps or washes which doesn’t add anything to the “art” of the shirt. If you want to design a shirt or whatever like Affliction, my first suggestion would be to contact whoever hired you and get the production capabilities. Take in as much as you can from all production facilities, even from little experimental ones, which i might add, have the time to play with things you may never have known that you could do to a garment. I apologize for the long thread, I just hope that everyone realizes that the Art is not the only thing that is truly important, it is the quality of a TP and the knowledge of garment construction. Learning this will greatly improve your design capabilities. If nothing else it will impress you employer.

  • Pingback: Designers’ Guide to the Apparel Printing Industry | GoMediaZine

  • http://www.sojones.com/hiphop-clothing/lrg-clothing/ streetwear

    I love hand drawings and I really appreciate the efforts they put into every piece they do. I think you are a great artist too. You write your thoughts very well. Great post!

  • http://thegorillaadagency.com web_design_missouri

    What happened to wanting to innovate?

  • http://twitter.com/_DavidSilva David Silva

    good thoughts on designing something new as I think about my own clothing line.

  • Matt

    Thanks for this nice work!
    dizi izle

  • John

    Great post!
    dizi izle

  • http://www.gucciwebbag.com gucci outlet

    It’s not until the past few years I started getting into the whole grunge thing – and when I first saw it back in 2003 and 2004, I thought it was really cool. I hadn’t seen it before.

  • Dgurley5

    Buy the stock HHWW. This is gonna be big.

  • Liam J.P.

    I think you said it yourself “not everyone can draw”. For those of us that can’t draw we must rely on other techniques. I personally don’t copy and paste, I haven’t bought any of your vector packages. I either pay for high quality stock images to vector or take my own pictures. You’re making it sound like anyone who cannot draw is not a designer or artist. Which is bullshit. How many people do you know that can see 50 images in front of them and find a way to utilize them all in creating a new vivid fantasy like environment and story? There is more to designing then just being able to draw.

    I have horrible hand eye coordination. So I can barely write, in print, in a straight line let alone draw rudimentary shapes. This is not to say I haven’t tried. I just cannot transfer what is in my head to paper via pencil. I can do so much easier through photo manipulation and vectoring. Creativity isn’t born through the skills you have but how you use them to succeed skills you lack.

    For example; I see images and pictures in the clouds, in tree limbs, in grass, in shapes, in the darkness, and I take pictures of these and trace out the pictures I see with my tablet. No one else sees what I see unless I draw them out through tracing.

  • http://twitter.com/urianlee Urian Lee

    It’s funny to go back and look at this trend and realize how overrated and lame their tees were. Honestly, these affliction/edhardy swag tees were never cool in my opinion they were like a really fruity version of BLVCK SCVLE, so it makes me laugh. Skin tight tees with sleeves that short are too revealing for men in my opinion, to say the least lol. I find so much satisfaction in watching this trend die because I never liked it in the beginning. sayonara. tybg. 

  • Miguel Tapia

    i just need directions of where can i print t-shirts like afflicction,
    mike780913@gmail.com,please just need that