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Live Screen Printing Tips & Tricks - Max Hellmann (CO-FOUNDER, Family Ind.)

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Last month, our co-owner Max had the honor of being invited to Chicago to speak at this year’s Printavo PrintHustlers Conference. Max had the opportunity to share some tips and tricks on all things Live Screen Printing, and luckily Printavo taped the whole thing!

“After printing for Lollapalooza, Disney, Google, Facebook, Nike, Nintendo, Toyota, Levi's – and dozens more – Family Industries is a leader in the challenging live printing game. We were lucky enough to have Max join us all the way from LA at PrintHustlers Conf 2019 to share his insights from years of traveling, hustling, and pleasing people with fresh prints.”

- Printavo

CHECK OUT MAX’S PRESENTATION BELOW!


 

Interested in a closer look at Max’s “Live Screen Printing Tips & Tricks” slide show? Click the button below and check it out!


Meet A Family Member - Adam Calvary

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

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Adam Calvary

Director of Family Industries Live

Client Relations

Don’t let the smoke clouds in the photo above scare you, Adam is one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. Beneath that leather jacket is one of the most dedicated, hard working, and kindest individuals on planet earth. Adam’s work ethic can best be summed up in one gif:

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Seriously, the man does not stop! We’re still not sure if he actually sleeps, or if he’s figured out a way to survive without it. Whatever his secret is, we love him for it. It’s his endless tenacity and willingness to experiment that’s helped our Live department grow in such an exciting direction. For Adam, there’s no challenge too big. When he wants something, he goes for it, and nine times out of ten he totally nails it.

We couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to the man behind the live event magic, Adam Calvary


What do you do at Family Industries?

I’m in the Event Director for Family. If you’re interested in an activation for your event, I’m your go to guy. My job can consist of anything from helping create ideas for activations that pair well with certain locations, themes, or demographics to bringing those ideas to life, and anything in between.

I spend most my day in email land, dialing in budgets or on the phone talking with clients and suppliers to help piece together a vision for an event and make sure it all lines up. When I have time, I love being able to seek out new and exciting things to add to our repertoire of Live Activations.

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

Honestly, I think the world would be better off without clothing all together. Though working in the garment industry, I do see how stupid that is to say.

That being said, I love my hats and converse shoes!!!! Can’t pick one, cause it would be hard to survive without both.

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THE OVER-SHARE QUESTIONNAIRE


When he isn't working all through the night, Adam sometimes writes charmingly sad poems and turns them into lo-fi, poorly recorded songs.

CHECK OUT HIS WORK (with headphones):


AND FINALLY,

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE GIF…

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Meet A Family Member - John August Roberts

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

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John August Roberts

In-House & Live Embroidery

Screen Printing

With as much traveling as John does on behalf of our live team, it’s a miracle he’s physically up for coming into the warehouse. This would be quite a feat for most people, but for John it almost seems second nature. As soon as he steps foot into the warehouse, he is laser focused. While that sounds super cliché, it wouldn’t if you saw him in action. He’s kind of like a superhero. Whether it’s intentional or not, he’s even got a costume! Can’t knock it though, cause when he places those headphones on top of his signature beanie he makes magic happen.

Hustle like John’s is hard to come by, and we are insanely lucky to call him a Family Member.

Introducing, John August Roberts…


What do you do at Family Industries?

That’s a complicated question… I pretty much do whatever Family needs, but my main focus is on embroidery and screen printing. Outside of the shop I do a lot for the live team. It’s rare that I spend a full week JUST in the shop, as we’re constantly doing events. The live stuff is great though cause I love to travel, and the experiences at some of these events are pretty awesome.

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

My beanie, no question.

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THE OVER-SHARE QUESTIONNAIRE


Like many of us, John has passions that extend beyond the office walls. One of those passions is poster printing.

John started poster printing at Pasadena City College, and wanted to make a series of poster prints comprised of people he knows and places he’s been. The majority of his pieces are four color process prints or posterization.

The print below is a 12"X12" posterization portrait he made back in 2017, and it as it happens: it’s his favorite.

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AND FINALLY,

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE GIF:

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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 - Kerin Amit

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

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Kerin Amit

Fulfillment Department Manager / Master of Direct to Garment

Though it is far from finished, we’ve been working out of Camp Family (our new facility in Frogtown, LA) for quite some time now. Simultaneously managing the workflow of two separate locations would be a much more difficult and stressful situation if it weren’t for one person: Kerin Amit. Over here at the Chinatown warehouse we’re fortunate enough to work alongside our fellow Family members, with someone always there to help pick up the slack. Meanwhile, at Camp Family, Kerin has had to handle the bulk of everything on her own. Most people would lose their minds, but somehow she manages to stay above it all. She’s the very definition of hard worker, and her ability to handle everything with poise and a level head is what makes her an invaluable member of the Family. The Fulfillment Department is a non-stop, ever-changing machine; yet somehow Kerin makes managing it look easy. Add to that the fact that she’s our go-to Direct to Garment printer, and you begin to wonder: is Kerin half human, half machine? Simply put, without Kerin we would be lost. Very few people could do what she does on a daily basis and manage to keep their head on straight. There is never a moment of nuttiness (of which there are plenty) that Kerin let’s get to her. She’s Camp Family’s knight in shining armor, and there isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t make us feel lucky as hell for getting to call her a member of our Family.

Without further ado, we’re excited to finally introduce you to THE Kerin Amit.


What do you do at Family Industries?

To put it simply, I manage the Fulfillment department and run the Direct to Garment printers. I also do live events. I can pretty much do anything. DTG, embroidery, screen print, sublimation, vinyl, heat transfer.

Breaking it down, my main job is to work with clients in managing and maintaining their online store. We offer on demand printing for fulfillment, so when orders come in, I’ll either print them or if there is printed stock I’ll pull from inventory. And then I ship everything out. We can get anywhere between 40-100 orders overnight, so it’s always busy.

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

High waisted pants.

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At the moment, what are your top three songs?

1. “Lost On You” - LP

2. “Little Bit” - Terror Jr.

3. “Needy” - Ariana Grande


THE OVER-SHARE QUESTIONNAIRE


On top of steering the ship known as Camp Family, Kerin is also an incredible artist. If you attended Record Store Day 2019 at Amoeba Records, you might have snagged a shirt with Kerin’s design on it. That’s right, she’s the amazing artist behind this year’s Amoeba Tape design!

AND FINALLY,

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE GIF:

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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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