These images are of two Hermès of Paris scarves that were gifts to me. Their original owner was a life-long friend who felt that an outfit just wasn’t complete without a beautiful scarf. I remember her being especially elegant and sophisticated when wearing one of her gorgeous, purchased-in-Paris silk scarves. Four years ago, my darling friend died at too early of an age. I was deeply touched when her sister wanted me to have two of her Hermès of Paris scarves. When I wore one for the first time, I finally understood the special effect of an Hermès. Isn’t that the same effect we want our apparel to have on customers?
How does ICONIC happen?
How does a screen printer’s work become iconic like the house of Hermès? Is it by using many screens similar to the 47 screens that go into printing each Hermès scarf? Or is it like the 11 stages of silk screen printing that Hermès screen printers go through to create the perfect art? Or is it just the original design? Or…. is it similar to the “Tipping Point” (by Malcolm Gladwell) when he shares the story of Hush Puppies shoes that were suddenly “discovered” by a younger generation that helped the company return from a downward slide (I hope I’m remembering that correctly; BTW – great book for anyone in business).
So, how do screen printer’s creations get discovered? One way is to think impulse buy. Pierre-Alexis Dumas, the artistic director of Hermès International and the great-great-great grandson of Hermès creator Thierry Hermes shared the story about the time he saw a long-haired young man with roller blades buy a twilly, a small silk band scarf in the Paris Hermes store because he needed to hold his hair back. What a opportune moment for Hermès and the next group of potentially young consumers seeking out silk bands by Hermes! Talk about on a whim purchase helping to tip the scales in a new direction!
I think there’s much that those of us in the screen printing industry can learn from Hermès of Paris; about creating something that’s timeless with perfect technique that offers perfect art (think: vintage Rolling Stones T-shirt). And, a pathway to a very different status with apparel that appeals to the “impulse”.
Just like the screen printers who send their original printed designs to their favorite musicians or to American Idol contestants and then spot them wearing their shirts in local and national venues and in the media, be proactive. When Grace Kelly was spotted in a Hermès of Paris scarf, you already know what that did to help make Hermès accessible and symbolic of beauty and class.
Here are a few thoughts: Retire a bestselling piece and then give it new life after sufficient hiatus. Add a touch of an unexpected color in the design. Give it a vintage edge. Print it on a more form fitting, athletic-type shirt that does away with the baggy effect. Print on DARK. And, make it into a t-shirt dress that is always timely. Use an Icat or exotic motif. Make your creations accessible to impulse buyers. And, get your art out on social media. And, remember, there is not just one type of customer. They are all ages and sizes.
Learn from Hermès.
I learned the history of the Hermès of Paris printing technique after stumbling upon a few articles written by Allison Carey, The Plain Dealer. She detailed an event in 2013 hosted by The Cleveland Museum of Art and Cuffs Custom Clothing of Chagrin Falls that featured Hermes of Paris and two printers from the Hermès Ateliers in Lyon, France, who were invited to demonstrate the secrets of printing the company’s iconic scarves. I’m grateful to Ms. Carey for the information. Please read her articles Here and Here.
The tradition of Hermès began in 1937 when Robert Dumas created the first scarf or carres. It continues with Dumas who says that Hermès are image-makers; that “my family is obsessed. We are dreamers. Human relations are very important, and the desire to achieve a form of excellence is very strong. Whatever you do, you have to do it with your heart and as best as possible. I think the small company started to attract people who share the same values and Hermès became a very special place.”
Is this what you wish to achieve in your small business, as well? Do you share these values with your customers? Do you put your heart and soul into everything you produce? What about your printing technique? Dumas relates that although the process has changed since 1937, art is unable to be separated from tools. “All artists love their tools. They love their brushes, their little tricks, their recipes and techniques. Artists are inventors and innovators…” . Do you love your tools; your printing press, the squeegees that should be in top form to lay the ink onto your substrate? Do you have a perfect set-up? Are your screen cleaning products eco-sensitive (think RhinoTech environmentally-sensitive screen cleaning products) and perfect for the job at hand? Do the final results of everything you do in your work reflect your best creative efforts? Do you embrace new tools and technology like Dumas who offered that though his company has employed the same master screen printers for decades, they explore all new digital and other technologies to ensure that the art that results is true?
We want you to be iconic and hope we can help. Thanks for reading.
Shelley Markus, Marketing Director/RhinoTech
It’s Chicago on the lake in the summertime. And it’s the 15th annual ASI Show that includes the Signage + Decoration Pavilion that will be held July 15-17, 2014, at McCormick Place.
RhinoTech on Deck on Booth 480 in the Signage + Decoration Pavilion
This year, the ASI Show features an unprecedented schedule that includes Sales Boot Camp with leadership expert, Stephen M.R. Covey, and a multimedia presentation by Erik Wahl. The Signage + Decoration, On-the-Show-Floor Workshops will feature a variety of topics including one presented by Gregory Markus, president/RhinoTech, who will demo the latest digital technology and share tips on how, by embracing change and new technology, a traditional printing business can be more creative and innovative, thrive and survive. He will also offer information on how-to economically and easily embrace digital technology to broaden advantage and create new revenue streams. For Free Registration to attend the show, click HERE – complements of RhinoTech!
No Woo-Woo. It’s just New Age Digital Printing with the RT SunAngel DARK Series and other Fine Systems.
This workshop is the place where Greg Markus will help to demystify the art of decorating apparel and other products through digitally printed, heat-applied graphics using the latest heat-transfer papers, toners and equipment. Attendees who want to start a business, as well as, those in established screen/graphics printing and embroidery businesses will learn how to 1) transition a digital printing specialty into an established business space; 2) learn how to improve profitability and efficiency with digital transfer systems without a huge capital investment.
The techniques discussed will be applicable for sign companies, art studios, screen, graphics and digital printers, embroiderers, promotional products distributors, those mulling over the start-up needs of a digital printing business. The session will cover:
• Step-by-step instruction on how-to digitally print on light and DARK apparel and fabrics with the RT SunAngel DARK series of heat transfer paper, printers and toners that include fluorescent colors + white and traditional CMYK toners + white.
• How to print images using weedless, SingleStep™ heat transfer laser paper for light color apparel.
• Methods for printing textile metallic foil and rhinestones on light and dark fabrics,
• How to print on hard surfaces such as metal, glass, acrylic, plastic, wood and ceramic using SinglePrint™ heat transfer paper for laser printers.
• An overview of SingleJet™ heat transfer paper for use with inkjet printers.
• The heat-transfer media, printers/toners and heat-press equipment used.
• Cost considerations of producing decorated apparel digitally versus direct-to-garment and manual textile printing.
• Tips on how to choose between laser and inkjet systems, determining space needs and other considerations for adding digital heat transfer technology to an existing printing business or for a start-up operation.
• Enable attendees to hold and feel the texture of the printed garment.
After the workshop, participants will be invited to Booth 480 to watch live action, digital printing demos.
Throughout his 35+ year career in our industry, Greg Markus has fully embraced change as the landscape of screen, graphics and digital printing has evolved. In doing so, he explains, “creativity and innovation are enhanced, helping business to thrive and survive”. He encourages all in our industry and those entering it to venture out and investigate possible opportunities to the fullest within the realm of the “new normal” in printing. This involves either merging digital printing technology into traditional printing/embroidery, art studio businesses etc. and/or when starting-up as a stand-alone.
Gregory Markus is the president and owner of RhinoTech, based in St. Paul, MN. Since the company’s inception 19 years ago, Greg, along with his partner, Todd Michaels, V.P./Operations, has charted the growth of RhinoTech into a worldwide manufacturer/distributor of screen, digital and graphics equipment and papers; screen frame GLUE/adhesives, eco-friendly screen cleaning chemicals and equipment, washout booths that help save on water resources, triple-action filtration systems, screen cleaning and recirculating systems, commercial pressure washers, supplies and more.
Once again, thanks for checking this site out!
“Old School Screen Printing in the Digital Age” (SGIA Journal, Winter, 2014) reflects what we have never disregarded – that traditional, manual screen printing remains a mainstay in the art and reproduction world despite the onset of the digital age. For those rediscovering or just discerning its potential, the simplicity and relative affordability of setting up a home-based or storefront studio and the dynamics of creating/selling beautiful, handcrafted pieces has kicked up a firestorm of brilliance.
DIY ART IS SCREEN PRINTING
As mentioned in the SGIA Journal feature, Etsy (on-line), art festivals and even Thunder on the Bay (a Sarasota, FL, biker festival of music, crafts, art and food) represent the face-to-face business that is building as manual screen printing churns out vivid creations in wearable and print arts. Various venues in 2014 will continue to host specialty, handmade items in small batches. Check out Art Expo in NYC. Watch for music festivals in Seattle, Barcelona, Chicago, Austin and Hamburg, Germany via Flatstock poster shows. The Renegade Craft Fairs in London, Chicago, Brooklyn, Austin, LA and San Francisco will also be favorite exhibits sites to be awed as will be other arts/crafts fairs throughout U.S. cities and around the nation.
COMMERCIAL ART IS SCREEN PRINTING
And, for the artists who are venturing into printed art/fabric design that appeals to commercial enterprise, the resurgence of manually screen printed items remain big ticket items. Gregory Markus, president of RhinoTech was interviewed after his attendance at a fine art show in the Park Avenue Armory in NYC that is a grand, towering exhibit space in itself. He noted the multi-dimensional screen printed art on display, the bold graphics and sharp, expressive designs. His zealous enthusiasm was infectious regarding the artists whose multi-layered original art prints represented a new wave of “traditionalists” creating limited-edition posters, lithographs and more.
The reemergence of this manually screen printed work, whether displayed in private or commercial arenas, signals an energized marketplace and excitement for a vastly creative, hands-on method in which to design and create. And, importantly, it helps to dispel the myth of manual screen printing’s downturn in favor of a solely digitally printed world. With a 30+ year background in fine art, screen, graphics and digital printing, Mr. Markus has been witness to bold changes and a new facination in producing art with manual screen printing!
NEW DIGITAL PRINTING TECHNIQUES VIA RhinoTech
RhinoTech is an example of a company that has remained true to its roots, firmly immersed in all things screen printing; yet, has recognized the value of digital printing and its highly creative genius. The company’s ability to blend these two types of printing practices helps all printers learn how to merge these processes under one roof to meet their own creative outlets and the needs of their customers. For example, though highly simple and refined software like Smart Designer Creative Assistant X6(that blends with CorelDRAW X6), this art production software tool offers value to both digital and manual screen printers. By tracking the pulse of these art-in-all-forms producing industries, RhinoTech offers value to its customers through providing software, screen cleaning equipment, earth-friendly screen frame cleaning chemicals, adhesives, manual screen printing accessories AND digital heat transfer equipment, the latest specialty transfer papers for use with both laser and inkjet printers.
Thanks for reading and checking out our site!