First Printed Product

by CJ on Mon 17 May, 2010

It’s official. The first Unknown Artifact (UA) shirts are out in the world. They were part of a silent auction at the Experimental Education Unit here in Seattle, Washington. UA donated 3 custom printed/dyed youth shirts; one each of the pictured designs: Lorem Ipsum Dolor, Einstein in 3-D Glasses, and Distressed Star.

Shirt Details

All designs were printed on 100% organic cotton, American Apparel, youth size 8 t-shirts, with water-based inks. The shirts were custom pigment dyed and pre-shrunk prior to printing.


Completing these shirts is a significant milestone not only because it’s the first UA product but because it forced me to go through the whole process, from start to finish, in a short amount of time. I had only two weeks to design and print these shirts (in the evenings, after my day job). Screen printing boot camp! Up until this event, I’ve only done test prints so this was my first commitment to producing a product.

I won’t sugar coat it, the process was challenging. There were a lot of proverbial hurdles and I was learning the process along the way. One major hurdle was generating the 3 designs in a hurry. If you’ve read my State of the Union post, you know that my design skills are a work-in-progress. That said, I know these three designs won’t win any awards but I’m quite happy with them (for the moment) considering the pressure I was under. People reacted positively to them (to my face anyway) so I think I got lucky with the artwork. Another major hurdle was fatigue. If I wasn’t on the computer fretting about the artwork, I was in the garage mixing ink or setting up screens. Since it’s not second nature yet, my mind was working hard to think ahead and anticipate the next step. Any major mistake would have prevented me from delivering the goods on time. I was exhausted by the time the auction rolled around but I’m so glad I put in the effort. I learned a ton.

An online shopping cart is on the TODO list so if you would like to buy one of these shirts for your kiddo, just drop me a note.

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