Wednesday, July 3, 2013

T-Shirt Making Class and Lumi Co.

So for the entire last week, I was at a T-Shirt making class with a friend of mine. The class is a program for high school students at ArtCenter in Pasadena.  It was also, much to our surprise, a business class (more so than a t-shirt making class). We learned how to license our products and copyright our designs, which of our designs would sell better, and how to advertise our designs.

Before this camp, I had made t-shirts with my cousin using screen printing which is very time consuming. I wanted to take the class so that I can learn different ways to print on t-shirts that are both more efficient and to place more detailed graphics on them.

At this Art Center camp, we first designed what we wanted to put on our t-shirts and scanned them into the computer. You can also draw your designs directly on the computer too. Then we formatted it on a 11x17 canvas size and turned the images into negatives.
Negative of my T-shirt design
We emailed our designs to Lumi Co. who then printed our designs out on film. Lumi Co. is  a company that has created a new type of dye called Inkodye that is clear when rolled on to a surface, but becomes colored when exposed to direct sunlight. The Inkodye colors come through the transparent part of our film, but remains clear where the film is black because the black parts block the sunlight and prevents the dye from activating. If the film has grey tones, then a little bit more light gets in to form a gradient. What's more amazing is the fact that Lumi Co was founded by a young woman called Jesse Genet, who started the company when she was only 16. We met her. She was really nice. Her company is in this artist's colony at the Brewery, a live work place for cool artists.

Here's a link to Lumi Co's website where they explain how the print process takes place.

My teammates modeling the T-shirts I made.
With the Lumi Co. dyes you can experiment a lot more than you can with screen printing. However, if you want your designs to look exact with more colors, I would suggest screen printing. Both are very time consuming (so you might want to get a company to print t-shirts if you were looking for mass production). However, DYI is a lot of fun to do. I'll be making my own T-shirts soon, so look for them my store site at

By the way, I sold three of my T-shirts for a total of $90! Not bad eh?

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