No Man Walks Alone is thrilled to announce a collaboration between Tony Shirtmakers and graphic designer Bang Tran. We asked both Tony and Bang to talk about the process of creating the shirt, which will be live on our website Friday, June 14. This is Tony's design diary; you can read Bang's side here.
When Kyle approached me on creating a special edition run with graphic artist Bang Tran I was very excited. I am not used to having help with design, but I enjoyed the collaboration.
Bang and I discussed some ideas and agreed we wanted to do something in my camp cut. We wanted a design that was fun but also refined and not as commonly seen as a Hawaiian floral.
Bang's research and design provided me with a layout of options. I had a hard time deciding whether to use a combination or one singular shape.
I decided on one singular shape - the fern - for two reasons. First, I thought that choosing a single design instead of a combination would do a better job showcasing the artwork. Clean. Each print Bang designed was so beautiful and unique, I didn’t want a combination to take away from the individuality of each print. Second, the shape of the fern alone works best with the type of printing and layout we use for our shirts. The shape is long and has varying widths which creates beautiful negative space.
I also wanted to print with black ink, to carry that aesthetic over from Bangs beautiful hand made prints. I chose a muddy clay color linen for the base fabric. The earthiness of it provides fertile ground for the ferns. And I love black and brown together anyway.
Our print process is very organic. We first cut panels, then print. We have one screen with the individual fern. This fern is then hand printed and rotated one print at a time. This gives us placement control and the ability to create an imperfect repeat print. We rotate depending on placement and negative space.
This process relies heavily on no maker errors and is very labor intensive. A printing mistake could result in cutting a new panel. But printing after cut gives me the most creative control, which I like.
I'm delighted with how the shirt came out. I think both Bang and I honored the aesthetic the other brought to the process, and the result is a shirt as timeless as the fern.