family industries

Cured in 60 Seconds: An inside look at live screen printing

Ten years ago we ventured into the unknown world of Live Screen Printing. At the time, no one was really doing it so our gauge on whether or not it would work was… well, there was no gauge. We were attempting to build an entire business around something that had zero proof it would actually be successful. All we knew was that we had a solid idea, the skills to pull it off, and the drive to make it work.

Today, a decade later, we are doing over four hundred events a year. To say we’ve been extremely fortunate is an understatement. We owe a giant debt of gratitude to all the incredible people who have supported us along the way, and all the brands we’ve been lucky enough to work with throughout the years.

As incredibly exciting as these past ten years have been, we couldn’t have gotten to this point without lots and LOTS of practice. As cliché as it is, practice really does make perfect. We’ve had to fall and pick ourselves back up more times than not, but those falls have taught us something each time. That’s why, in the spirit of learning, we wanted to show you how we make the magic happen. From prep work to the event itself, there’s a lot that goes into live screen printing.

Here’s a little inside look into how we do what we do…


PREPARATION IS KEY

Stagecoach 2019 Prep — Before we headed to the desert for 2019’s Stagecoach Country Music Festival, we had to prepare hundreds of pre-printed posters for the event.

Stagecoach 2019 Prep — Before we headed to the desert for 2019’s Stagecoach Country Music Festival, we had to prepare hundreds of pre-printed posters for the event.

Some say that “eighty percent of life is just showing up”. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really apply to live screen printing. Depending on the type of item we’re printing on, as well as the designs themselves; prep work is usually inevitable. We never want to walk into an event blindly, so we typically spend the days leading up to it practicing the activation.

Reasons for prep work ranges from types of ink we’re using to pre-printing tags and brand logos onto the items. For example, before we went to Tik Tok’s “For Black History” event in Hollywood, we pre-printed hundreds of denim jackets with the Tik Tok logo.

You may be asking yourself: “Wait. if you’re ‘live screen printing’ why are you printing stuff BEFORE you’re actually live?” That’s a solid question. What it usually comes down to is twofold: time and branding. Typically when we’re hired to work an event, a company will want their logo/branding on the items we’ll be live printing. This is completely separate from the design(s) they want to be printed live.

Whenever we’re live, we want to make sure guests of the event are given their items in a timely manner, and not wasting their time waiting in line. No one wants to wait a long time for a t-shirt when there’s food and drinks to be had! So in order to save time, we tend to pre-print any branding that the company wants on their items. That way, the items are ready to go for guests once they get to our booth. They only thing they have to worry about is choosing which design they want live printed.

Pre-printing is far from the only reason we do prep work for our live events. Sometimes we’re asked to print on an item we’ve never printed on before, and like anything you want to get good at doing: practice makes perfect.

This past April we were asked by The Fields Restaurant to do live printing on clear, PVC tote bags. While it may sound simple, printing on plastic bags can be quite tough. ESPECIALLY live. That’s why our Production Manager Mike hit the floor and practiced until we knew we could pull this off. Lucky for us, Mike is a master problem solver and came up with a system that would make this activation possible. Check out photos of the bags below!


pack it up, pack it in…

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Once we’ve got everything prepped and ready to go, it’s time for everyone’s favorite activity: PACKING! Lugging our equipment around as often as we do can be quite taxing, but practice has certainly made for a smoother operation.

Most of the events we do call for a specific type of screen printing ink. Before everything gets packed up, we need to get all those inks ready to go. Our live team will either grab something off of the ink wall that’s already prepared, or mix something up.

After the inks are ready to go, we gather all our road-ready equipment and pack it up. Depending on where the event is taking place, we either transport the equipment ourselves or ship it to the event destination.


live from [insert location]… it’s family industries!

Stagecoach Country Music Festival 2019 - Indio, CA

Stagecoach Country Music Festival 2019 - Indio, CA

Over the last ten years, we’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the country. Life on the road is a rollercoaster, but it’s like a rollercoaster in Disneyland; it never gets old, it’s always a good time, and there is very little motion sickness.

Every event is different, but load in and set up always take place before the festivities get going. After everything’s good to go, that’s when the fun begins. It can get pretty nuts whenever we’re live printing, especially at large scale music festivals like Lollapalooza and Stagecoach, but that’s kind of why we love it. We feed off the energy of the crowd, and that’s what keeps the work interesting after all these years.

Depending on the activation and item being printed, our live team can turn an item out every thirty to ninety seconds. That’s why we’ve been able to take events on like the grand opening of Toyota’s headquarters in Plano, Texas where we printed five thousand shirts in four hours. Our heads were spinning and our arms were tired, but boy did we have a great time! That’s why we’re always down for a good challenge. The more, the merrier.


THAt’s all folks!

Bugs Ball 2019 - Warner Bros. Studio

Bugs Ball 2019 - Warner Bros. Studio

HOPE WE SEE YOU ON THE ROAD!

For more information on Live Screen Printing and all the other awesome activations we do, head over to our website:

Meet A Family Member - Phil McDonald

Each month we bring you inside our warehouse to introduce you to a member of our Family.

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PHIL McDONALD

Customer Service Manager

It’s quite fitting that Phil is the first face you see when you walk into Family Industries. From his unique ability to make everyone around him feel comfortable, to the always present smile on his face; Phil is the physical embodiment of what we represent as a company. Whether your a customer who’s been with Family for ten years or ten minutes, he makes you feel like there’s no one else in the world more important than YOU. Despite the occasional crap we give him for being such a sweet-hearted softy, this place wouldn’t be the same without him.

We’re really excited to introduce you to the man who’s stolen all of our hearts, and might just steal yours: Phil McDonald.


What do you do at Family Industries?

I work with our customers one on one to help them get their projects off the ground. From their initial idea, all the way to the physical, tangible product; I am there to make sure it gets where it needs to be, and gets there on time. I work hand-in-hand with people to help them brainstorm ideas, and make sure they get exactly what they came in looking for. If necessary, as some customers don’t always have a solid idea of exactly what they want, I’ll bring in our in-house art department to help with artwork and design. From there, it’s off to the presses… well, not THAT quickly. Because our day-to-day workload is often quite substantial, I am always keeping track of our production schedule, as to avoid any potential delays. I’m also in constant contact with the customer throughout the art and design phase to make sure they’re seeing their vision come to life. My goal is for the customer to have a seamless experience with us, and for everything to come together like magic!

What piece of clothing that you own could you not live without?

Does my Casio F-91W count? Cause if so, DEFINITELY that.

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THE OVER-SHARE QUESTIONNAIRE


Outside of working at Family Industries, Phil’s in a band! They’re named Punch Punch Kick, and you can check their music out here:

Official Music Video for "Licking My Wounds" by Punch Punch Kick From the debut album available now on Lolipop Records.


AND FINALLY,

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE GIF:

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Meet A Family Member - Mike Trujillo

Each month we bring you inside our warehouse to introduce you to a member of our Family.

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MIKE TRUJILLO

Production Manager

There are hard workers, and then there’s Mike Trujillo. From running the production floor, to making his forearms burn on the manual screen press, and even jumping in whenever we need him at one of our live events; Mike is a machine. We’ve tried to find his off button, but at this point we’re pretty sure there isn’t one. Simply put, our shop wouldn’t be the same without him, and it’s his work ethic that motivates us every single day. We’re excited for you to get to know him!

What do you do at Family Industries?

I manage the production floor and schedule our work week. When I've got a second I usually hop on the manual press and help the team finish up whatever loose ends we need to meet our deadlines.

What piece of clothing that you own could you not live without?

Unfortunately my beanie. One day i'll buy hair product.

But in the shop it's my customized Converge "Jane Doe" apron. I made it about 3 years ago and can't work without it.

At the moment, what are your top three songs?

1. "Corpse Master" - True Widow

2. "Elegant View" - Colour Revolt

3. "Didn't know what I was in for" - Better Oblivion Community Center

THE OVER-SHARE QUESTIONNAIRE

AND FINALLY,

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE GIF:

kickdrumdog - Michael Trujillo.gif

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Camp Family

As some of you may know, we’ve been hard at work on planning and building a brand new facility. Well, we’d like to formally introduce you to Camp Family; our brand new facility in Frogtown, Los Angeles, CA!

We know, we know… the place is a bit of a mess right now. We actually have a very good explanation for this beautiful mess. As of Monday, March 11 we’ve officially broken ground on Camp Family’s construction! We are giddy as hell to finally get started on building our new home, but there’s still a ways to go.

In our continued effort to bring you beyond our walls and inside the Family, we are going to periodically share photos of Camp Family’s progress.


CHECK OUT PHOTOS FROM DAY 2 OF CONSTRUCTION:


Meet A Family Member

Each month we bring you inside our warehouse to introduce you to a member of our Family.

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ANDREA UEDA

Graphic Designer / Customer Service /

Dog Whisperer

This month we’re introducing you to one of our masters of design, Andrea. On top of being an incredibly talented artist, Andrea is also our in-house dog whisperer. As you know, we have two pups here at Family Industries, and they loooooove to talk. Sometimes they talk a little TOO much, and Andrea can get them to zip-it like no one else. We have no idea what we’d do without her.

Check out some of Andrea’s work!

What do you do at Family Industries?

I’m a member of our Graphic design team, and I also work in customer service.

What piece of clothing that you own could you not live without?

Alternative Apparel’s tank tops and harem pants FOR SURE.

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At the moment, what are your top three songs?

1. “One More” - Yaeji

2. “Boo’d Up” - Ella Mai

3. “You should see me in a crown” - Billie Ellish

THE OVER-SHARE QUESTIONNAIRE

AND FINALLY,

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE GIF:

giphy - Andrea Ueda.gif

It Came from the Interweb!

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Did you know there’s a ton of random, cool stuff on the internet?

Well anytime we find something weird, funny, or just plain interesting we are going to share it with you.

It’s like your on our group text, but without all the annoying notifications!


The Salton Sea:

A "post-apocalyptic wasteland" that shows there is beauty in decay

© Laura Austin

© Laura Austin

In the times we live in today, there is something to be said about finding the beauty amidst all the B.S. Tora Black’s article takes us into a nearly forgotten wasteland, and shows us how to look at things from a new perspective.

As lovers of art and photography, this article inspired us quite a bit. Check out the article, scroll through the photos, and you too will see past the desert wasteland; finding beauty in a place you’d least expect to find it.

Click here to see more!

© Laura Austin

© Laura Austin