We sat down with our friends Mike and Maggie over at Filth Mart to get the lowdown on the epic new t-shirts that they made for us. Check it out!
DG: How did you guys come up with the artwork for this tee?
FM: Most of our designs are inspired by vintage shirts. This one was kind of an advertising theme. We see a lot of weird old ‘promo shirts’ where a brand like Haynes does an allover print on their own tee to advertise Hanes t-shirts. We remember that one even had some weird “cut here marks” on the collar describing different elements of the construction of the shirt. Heineken also used to do things like this on their ‘Grab a Heinie’ shirts with a picture of the bottle printed on the front. We also like the way head shops used to do wacky spoof shirts to promote their stores but they would use a drawing of a Campbell’s soup cans that said “Cannabis”. There's also a promo shirt from Alice Cooper, We think it was for his Greatest Hits ‘74 record, and there’s this holster that’s printed really weird and the belt of the holster goes up around the back and, somehow, somebody flipped the shirt over and then was able to continue the print, along with a couple of bullet holes or something like that. So we wanted to do something like that, part pop art and part winging it.
Below: Some of Filth Mart's inspiration for the Pack-Pocket Tees
Below: That epic Alice Cooper Tee
DG: You don’t normally see artwork screen printed on top of a pocket, how did you do that?
FM: Putting it on the pocket was a challenge, but we liked the sort of 3D aspect of it, where the pocket opening is actually where the top of the pack would flip up. It’s a cool tactical element, almost like we sewed something on to make this promo shirt, even though it was already a pocket tee. Luckily, the different sized shirts all have the same sized pocket, so we only had to make one set of screens. But getting the print to work on the pocket was tricky because, during the process, the shirt torques and twists a little bit. And when you switch colors from red to gold and dry the ink, the pocket can move around making it hard to get each layer to line up right. But we like the little imperfections. We prefer when the registrations are not perfect. Or if the print gets a little heavier on one and a little lighter on the next one. We make these by hand, like the old days, which makes it feel less corporate or like it came off an assembly line. That’s part of the charm.
DG: How do you prepare the artwork for screen printing?
FM: For this one, we did an initial pencil sketch of the pack then laid one piece of Vellum over the sketch and did the black outline of what was the red. Then we laid another piece of Vellum on top of that and did the gold.
Below: The sketch...then the red and gold layers...then the finished product!
DG: What kind of inks do you use for your shirts?
FM: For lighter color fabrics, we typically use water-based inks because it soaks in nicer and has a softer feel. We don't really do any kind of discharging or anything like that. For the Dad Grass tees, we used a water-based ink for the red and plastisol with a little bit of super-fine sparkle for the metallic gold. We wanted it to have a kind of matte feel and then a pop of something a little shiny, kind of like the Dad Grass pack.
Go here to pick up a shirt (while supplies last!)
Learn more about Filth Mart on their website or, if you are in LA, visit their shop located at 1038 N Fairfax Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90046.