eyemachine store

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Well I suppose this is quite a turning point for eyemachine. Not that it’s turned into some big business now, but I now have the chance to open the eyemachine store. I’ve always wanted to design t-shirts, and now I sort of get to thanks to Café Press.

So I’ve been going on about this store and these t-shirts for a short while, but wanted to wait until I actually saw one before I could start telling other people to buy them too. And this morning, my eyemachine CITYSCAPE Baseball Jersey arrived.

Now Café Press don’t offer any sort of screen printing, so I knew the print wasn’t going to be of the highest quality, but then again, I had higher expectations than of those crappy prints you get ironed onto t-shirts at the seaside, or those ‘t-shirt home-printing kits’ you get at PC World.

The Shirt
So my initial impressions as I opened the bag were of pleasant surprise. The baseball jersey itself is pretty good quality. It’s a little thin, but then that’s good for summer. It’s also comfortable and fits very well. My only gripe with the actual shirt so far is that because of the shaping and style, the bottom hasn’t really got a proper hem on it. It is stitched, but fairly loosely, so the front and back is starting to curl a little. But then again, that’s just the style and gives it that whole retro look.

The Print
But the most important factor here is the print; and for a virtually risk-free service, it is excellent. Like I said, it isn’t a screen print, so don’t go expecting the sort of quality you’d get on a £25 skating t-shirt.

The areas of the initial design that were transparent are transparent on the print, but still part of the transfer. The rubbery quality of the transfer is meant to disappear after washing (which I will do later). But this particular design had a very large transparent area from the sun across the top of the cityscape, which I was worried would all be part of the print. But it has been sort of trimmed to remove the excess, unused transfer.

Now as consumers, we never see what designs look like on the screen before the printing. For screen prints the colours are generally kept low anyway, so it’s not difficult to keep them accurate. I tried to limit the colours in this design, but out of all the ones to appear in the eyemachine store, this one probably has the largest range. The design submitted – due to the silhouetted buildings in the distance – was also not in CMYK (the usual printing mode), so maybe this is because the colours haven’t come out truly accurate. This could also be because of the transfer they’ve printed it onto.

original design
below: print on shirt (ignore that overly orange sun, its not that intense on the shirt, also consider the lighting a factor in the darkness of the colours)

Now don’t get the wrong idea. You can see the comparison here, and the colours aren’t way off, and if they were offensively wrong I’d be down the post office right now sending the thing back. But I think it gives it a worn, retro feel. But that’s just my personal taste.

So all in all I’m more than happy with the design so far. My only gripe is the transparent parts of the design being part of the print. But then again this is what I was expecting. That sort of thing can’t really be avoided without screen printing, and you’re not really going to get a design this intense to come out using screen printing either (plus I couldn’t afford too anyway!).

The Wash
So the next step really is to wash the thing and see what happens to the print. Well it’s in the wash now, and it’s pretty difficult to see through all the suds, but there don’t appear to be bits of transfer floating around in there just yet.

Ok, I’ve just taken it out of the wash and its all in one piece so that’s good news. I can’t really tell whether the print has faded a little yet as it’s still wet, but it seems ok. But some fading is to be expected as it’s not a screen print, but with transfer prints like this the most damage will be done after the first wash and then they’ll generally be ok.

Well to sum up I’m more than happy with this shirt. And if I thought it was crap I would have sent it back and wouldn’t bother promoting these shirts. But it is pretty cool, and I’m more than pleased with the product, so the shop will be available in the next couple of days. Look out for it!

david twomey

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