24 October 2011

Exhibit Design Mobile gear

We finished EDM's gear last week and we think it looks pretty darn slick. Nathan Herbaly started EDM with some of his co-workers at the Seattle Art Museum, and their job is to craft historical installations for public education around the greater Seattle area. Three cheers for history! We hope to see their installations pop up all over Seattle this year. Props to them!

17 October 2011

Zebulon Kosted rocks new black metal album and Tight Merch

Howdy folks! My long time friend, Rachid Abdel Ghafour, is about to launch his new black metal album under the name Zebulon Kosted, "Swords of the Hordes," and I was fortunate enough that the he honored me with the task of designing his new logo and printing his shirts!

Rachid rocking his new merch at KBGA in Missoula.

The logo at the top of the image was built in the open-source vector program Inkscape, and was crafted using the backdrop of Triple Divide Peak up in Glacier National Park. This logo you can see at the top of the shirt image. The skulls and swords drawing was scanned in from a good friend of his in Indonesia who gave it to him when Rachid toured there last spring (lucky dog!). I halftoned the image using the GIMP's 'Newsprint' function under Filters>Distorts>Newsprint, which I set to input DPI of 300, output LPI (lines per inch, which is the mesh count for my screen) at 160, and went with the default dot size for that. The resulting halftone was a little large, but worked beautifully with the vector logo.

The combo raster/vector had no problems printing at size as an EPS file, so my next experiment is to build color channels and assign them swatches in GIMP, the import to Inkscape and see if the swatches remain. If so, that means a pre-press technician should be able to output individual color layers from Inkscape much like you would a .DCS file from Adobe Illustrator. If anyone has a good line on a PostScript device for use with outputting color seps in open source, I would love to hear about it. Stay tuned!

01 October 2011

First Week Down, More To Come!

The shirts came and went, the ink flew like magpies (at the very least), and we put out some killer merch for local hard rock band, the Balboas. Presley and his bandmates play super tight and work really hard to put on a good show for the kids. They played the Dark Horse (metal bar here in Missoula) with out-of-towners 3 Pill Morning and it was a blast. Here's a shot of Presley singing along with his merch spread.

Bandanas, black unisex T's, and ladies' T's - the guys were stoked!

This coming week, we'll be printing black metal t-shirts for Zebulon Kosted as well as Exhibit Design Mobile, a mobile historical exhibit building unit out of Seattle. More pics to come. Part of the Zebulon Kosted job will include documentation for outputting halftones for screen with The GIMP, so hopefully other print-minded folks will find that information useful for their own workflows. We will continue to post pics of new jobs as we run them. Thanks!

26 September 2011

Who we are, what we do, where we're going!

Howdy folks!

I'm Dave, a screen printer and graphic designer who has been slinging ink and wielding pencils in Missoula, Montana since 1999. I've worked in a number of screen shops over the last 7 years as well as printing for friends and businesses with my own DIY set-up. My folks and I finally decided to break out and start our own business, Iron Image Industries, to provide top-notch design and hand-crafted prints to individuals and businesses in the Missoula Valley and beyond.
I design both by hand and with digital tools - I use only open-source programs, which satisfies my ethical concerns about  class-related access to technology. I plan to provide information to other screen printers and designers about my analog-to-digital workflow, and over the course of time I will compile precise data on how to achieve excellent prints through the use of The GIMP and Inkscape. Little information about color separations for open source software has been made available on the web, and I intend to do my part to expand that knowledge base.
We can print a wide variety of images on a large spread of substrates - if you have a print project in mind we can tackle it! We primarily use water-based inks for a softer hand to our prints and a more environmentally conscious print process. We do not use old-school pthalate-laden or plastisol inks, and as new ink technology becomes available we will strive to use the safest and least harmful chemicals and processes.
We also intend to use this blog as a documentation of the start-up and growth of our family's business as we pursue our vision of the American Dream. We hope that you'll join us in this journey of discovery, and we look forward to hearing from each and every one of you! Thanks!

-Dave, Sue, and Roger Johnson