Skip Navigation LinksNews > Awards > Wearables Top Decorator
Details About the Shirts

Entry #1: Superhero

Inspiration: "The idea behind this shirt was to treat the 'World Tour' like a concert. We have a shirt for the crew working the event and a T-shirt to be either sold or given out to fans or people in general. All art was custom created for this challenge by Aurora Art Company."


Work Shirt: This Dickies work shirt features left-chest embroidery and four-color HiRes Process print on the back at 120 LPI. The back also features a metallic silver spot imprint and embroidery for mixed media decoration.


T-shirt: Printed on a Bella+Canvas garment, this design features a four-color HiRes Process print at 120 LPI and a touch plate of silver.


Enlarge
photo
Watch
video
Judges'
comments


Superhero

Entry #2: Around the World in Eighty Days

Inspiration: "The design was a fusion of the local and the worldly – being that Albuquerque, NM is the home of the Albuquerque International Balloon fiesta, hot air ballooning is never far from our minds. And with the spectacular colors and shapes seen in ballooning in mind, we created a design that reflected both a fun, retro rock-concert feeling utilizing the balloons as a design motif."


Work Shirt: The Dickies work shirt features left-chest embroidery and a screen-printed patch with a distressed cut that was appliqued with a manual zig-zag stitch. Custom designed passport stamps were distress embroidered with a Tajima multi-head machine using Ackerman Isacord polyester threads.


T-shirt: The Gildan shirt was decorated with Wilflex inks on an M&R Challenger press with 255-305 mesh screens. The front design is comprised of eight spot colors, and the back features three spot colors.


Enlarge
photo
Watch
video
Judges'
comments


Superhero
close this window X

Scott Fresener: The printing quality is outstanding here. And they went the extra mile with embroidery, special effects inks and more. The superhero entry is a great print and according to their specs it is a 120 LPI. That is practically unheard of – and for those printers who can barely hold a 65 line halftone, think of the issues of holding a 120 LPI halftone. Impressive! This is the best print of the two entries. Great job!

C.J. Mittica: Strong work from this decorator all contest culminates with a great final entry. The colors are what really jump out me – vivid shades both bright and deep share the space in harmony. The original superhero art is dynamic and printed in high detail. Lots of great little touches too – the fancy border on the work shirt for one, the gradient and paint drop effects as well. The embroidered globe is a subtle touch; it could have even been a little more prominent. All in all, great work.

Stephanie Woods: I like the idea of an ASI superhero and find it to be very relevant with all of the recent movies that center on comic book superheroes. The design on the crew shirt is highlighted well with the use of the metallic ink and incorporates the embroidered globe skillfully into the printed design. The embroidery on the front is high quality with tight stitching and fine, detailed lettering. My only negative comment: the image of the superhero is lost against the black shirt. The ink colors are dark and don’t offer much contrast to the black fabric. When designing the give-away shirt, they did a much better job of using brighter colors to create a stronger contrast and this design stands out much better. Overall, I really like the concept of creating the superhero theme and feel both pieces were well executed.

close this window X
close this window X

Scott Fresener: This is also an outstanding print. They did not say if this was at 120 LPI or not. While I like the print and the colorfulness of it, I leaned towards the Superhero as the one I liked best. Had this print gone up against other entries before, I would have had it number one. It is a great print and again a great use of special effects. In this case, the print on the "crew" shirt is stitched on and there is added embroidery. Another great job!

C.J. Mittica: This decorator has been solid all contest – I think this is their best work yet. There is a very evocative, pastoral feel to the colors and imagery. It’s abstract yet imaginative. I really like the way embroidery is used here; it does mimic that passport stamp look, and overall feels like a very smart way to integrate embroidery and screen-printing into a multimedia decoration. Lastly, the large screen-printed patch on the back of the work shirt brings a lightness that elevates the look (pun not intended), instead of trying to compete against the dark background. This is a standout.

Stephanie Woods: This is another great concept and also well-executed. I like how the theme of Around the World in Eighty Days is a clever way to tie in the world tour concept and how they incorporated it in the art design. The colors are vibrant and eye-catching. I appreciate the impact achieved with the oversized printed appliqué on the back of the crew shirt. I also find the embroidery of the passport stamps layered over the appliqué to be great quality and to be a thoughtful element in the design. The give-away shirt is equally impressive, with a fantastic use of color and an impressive detail to the registration of the design elements. I also think it shows an extra effort by imprinting the back with the tour dates like a concert tour shirt would have. Great job all around!

close this window X
close this window X

Scott Fresener: This one is interesting. I think some of the work that went into it gets lost on the simplicity of the image. They show great creativity when printing halftones on top of the foil to give it a shading effect, but I think the average user would not be blown away by it. A printer will because they know of the registration issues. I love the laser etching along the bottom and back. I am not sure how well this will show up in a photo. It is pretty subtle and again, I think it works well but the average user would not appreciate the time and handling that went into this shirt. Overall, a very nice job.

C.J. Mittica: The foil work with American's logo is fantastic – there's an inviting metallic sheen and subtle gradations that add compelling depth. The laser etching on the back and side wrap are not only handled well, but show creative uses of off-location printing. I would like to have seen something additional on the front chest, even just a word mark that says "American Airlines." Because the logo is so prominent, I know the decorator was trying to avoid overloading the front, but to me, it feels a touch barren.

Stephanie Woods: I think this is a good attempt at using some newer decorating techniques in an effective way to update a logo and its impact. The foil is used well to highlight the logo and to add dimension to it. I'm a little thrown off by the upper right shoulder placement and the 'TM' is way too big. I like that they used laser etching on the fabric but I'm not sure the placement wrapping around the side on the bottom hem or on the yoke are the best use of the effect. It's hard to read the entire word "American" because it is wrapped around, and the yoke placement would be lost on anyone with longer hair. I like the effort but think the elements could have been laid out better for more impact.

close this window X
close this window X

Scott Fresener: This one was hard. The overall idea was good but it is hard to judge how well the print was really executed. And, I think between the time they printed this and submitted it there was some bleeding of the black garment color into the print because the shirt I got was very dull and dark. They used a 65% poly/35% cotton garment, and my guess is it was brighter when printed. That said, it certainly has a vintage feel to it with the distressed look and dulled graphic. I think they went a little too far in dulling down. I was a printer back then and the graphics were a little brighter but certainly chipped and cracked because of how thick the prints were back then.

C.J. Mittica: A lot of neat things going on here. The work shirt was a great choice to go with the hot rod/auto theme. The heavy-duty distressing shows some creative thought. While the desaturated colors do fall in line with everything else, I think they were turned down a little too much; I would have been curious to see this graphic with colors that were punchier. Lastly, the symbols on the chest and sleeve (dig the metallic wrenches) make this a fun item to wear.

Stephanie Woods: This is very cool! I like the subtle but effective use of the foil to highlight design elements. I think the weathered effect on the “Wearables” design is well done and a fun twist on the concept. I can definitely see a guy wanting to wear this jacket!

close this window X
close this window X

Scott Fresener: This was the only entry that was a true CMYK job on white. It is a very clean print that shows good technique and good registration, but like a lot of CMYK jobs the print is a little darker than the original. If this was their first CMYK print, maybe they sent an early print. CMYK tends to settle in after a dozen or so prints and you get a feel for the proper squeegee pressure for each color. Black is about the hardest color to hold because often CMY is used along with black to make it black, and if you aren’t careful the black will turn a shade of a color. In this case the black turned a tad magenta. I would have like to seen two blacks and maybe they did that. With a spot black for the solid black areas (the borders) and then a spot black for the image, it helps control the black. This is a good print but because of the extra dot gain they got the image turned a little dark and the background cars turned out a little muddy and not the exact colors. But, for a first time attempt it was a nice job!

C.J. Mittica: With everybody printing on black, the choice of a white shirt was a nice contrast. But by just printing the image, this shirt was going to need be a technical marvel to stand up. It doesn't quite reach that level. Plusses: the hand is soft, and the image is reasonably replicated. Minuses: The blacks appear a little dark and the colors have too much edge to them, as if somebody turned up the tint on your TV. Considering the first entry took the same approach and knocked it out of the park, this tee has its work cut out.

Stephanie Woods: Nice job! The process print is detailed and well-executed. The spot colors have good overage while maintaining a nice hand. My sample did have some areas with ink bleed into the lettering but overall it's a good effort.

close this window X

Top Decorator was open to distributors, decorators and suppliers with screen-printing equipment. Participants must prominently use screen-printing in their design. They are allowed to incorporate it into mixed media with other decoration methods.

Voting for the Wearables Top Decorator Awards consists of online visitors choosing a favorite design, based on creativity, technical mastery and design appeal. One vote is allowed per person per challenge round. In the fifth and final round, the submission with the least amount of votes will be eliminated and a champion will be crowned.

close this window X
Sponsored By:
Sponsored By: