Infused Mugs

Coffee and calligraphy

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We love hand made goods and love it even more when there is great lettering involved. It just might be time to retire your current hot beverage vessel and get yourself one of these bad boys from Infused Mugs.

Infused Mugs

When we saw what Infused Mugs were doing, we wanted to know more so we got in touch to find out about their process. They are a team that love calligraphy and want to bring more of it into their everyday lives. Morning coffee and calligraphy, it’s a tough match to beat.

Printing calligraphy on a cylinder is deceptively complex. The challenge is not only printing on curved surface but also ensuring the artwork fits aesthetically with the mug. Extra care was taken in selecting exact quotes and letter counts to create the perfect marriage of artwork and mug.

A big challenge Infused Mugs faced was that their work didn’t look right on mass produced mugs. Rather than settle for a something they weren’t happy with, they chose to design their own shape and produce their own ceramic base. Taking inspiration from metal tourist/camping mugs, a 3D model was created to form the base mould. From pouring the ceramic to screen printing the graphics, the entire process is done by hand.


Infused Mugs
All artwork was reproduced on a sieve and printed on the mugs by hand.
Infused Mugs
Mugs were baked several times to for durability.
Infused Mugs
Highest quality inks were used.
Infused Mugs
Going the extra step with custom wrapping paper.
Infused Mugs
and branded boxes

A few of the final products


Check out Infusedmugs.comFollow Infused Mugs on Instagram

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Signal Noise - James White

Signalnoise: The work of James White

James White is a designer, speaker and the man behind Signalnoise studio. His work has a distinct 80s vibe with blasts of neon. We love it.

Are we posting too much neon related work…? Nah.

Check out more of James White‘s work.


Real Thead - Screen printing

The art of screen printing

Real Thread are an awesome screen printing company from Florida. A little while ago we had a T-shirt give away and they handled pretty much everything. They could not be more helpful or knowledgeable about their craft. We wanted to know more about how they work so they put this article together for Type Gang.

Real Thead - Screen printing

Screen printing is an art, and there’s no doubt about it. It takes close attention, skill, and people who care deeply about their craft.

It’s also a really fun, fascinating process! Simple in theory – only needing ink, a squeegee, and a screen – but in practice, there’s a lot of fine detail that goes into getting great screen printing results. At Real Thread, we’ve spent the past decade perfecting the process.

Here’s a look behind the curtain at the screen printing process here at Real Thread, and what we do get the perfect print on every single t-shirt.


Where It All Starts: The Design

Every single project here at Real Thread starts at the same place – the design. Part of what makes printing t-shirts so much fun is the amazing talent we have the opportunity to work with. Talented designers from all over the world, send us their art, and we get to play a role in making it come to life on some super soft t-shirts. To a screen printer, this is living the dream.

After receiving a t-shirt design, our in-house art team will create a free hi-res digital mockup of the t-shirt. We stand by our mockup as an exact representation of what the t-shirts will look like when they are delivered. We do not print anything until a mockup has been 100% approved.

At Real Thread, we specialize in printing with water-based inks. They are unique because the ink literally sinks into the fabric, dying the t-shirt, rather than sitting on top. This leaves a much more breathable, long lasting print that can’t be felt on the shirt.

Check out the video we created for a more visual look at the difference water-based printing makes compared to plastisol ink, the more industry standard.

Because of the particular nature of water-based inks and how they react differently with every single shirt , it takes a strong familiarity with colors, fabrics, and how they both react together to be able to match the color of an artwork exactly. That’s why we rely heavily on our art team and their knowledge to create the hi-res mockup, as well as prepping the ink colors for a design.

Printing Prep: Screens & Ink

Once a mockup is approved, the printing process begins! The first step here is having the screen or screens created.

The easiest way to think of how screen printing works at an incredibly simple level is to think of the screen as a giant stencil. First, the screen is covered in a layer of green material called emulsion. Emulsion is the solid part of a stencil that doesn’t let any ink through.

Real Thead - Screen printing

After that, we burn the t-shirt design onto the screen, using a CTS (computer-to-screen exposure unit). This machine knocks out some of the emulsion, creating the area that the ink will pass through. You can see this as the yellow mesh in the photo above.

Real Thead - Screen printing

The next step in the process is mixing inks to match the design. This is quite an art form, we have ink mixing masters familiar with the delicate balances of combining ink colors to achieve exact shades. We also provide Pantone matching, if a customer has specific brand colors.

Real Thead - Screen printing

Finishing Touches: Printing & Retail Details

Once the ink is mixed and ready to go, it’s time to put ink to the t-shirt. A press operator uses a laser alignment tool to align the screens and load each shirt.  This ensures all shirts are perfectly positioned every time.

Real Thead - Screen printing

Once printed, shirts are loaded onto the dryer. This is nothing like a conventional clothing dryer. It is a massive piece of machinery that carries shirts through on a conveyor belt.

Real Thead - Screen printing

T-shirts are then either sent to the finishing team for any add-on services, or straight to shipping for delivery. Once quality checked, shirts are neatly folded, boxed up, and sent out to excited customers.

Real Thead - Screen printing

Screen printing dates back to the 1600’s – we are always looking for ways to innovate. Each design, ink color, and even t-shirt fabric are uniquely different, and requires a disciplined team of artists to ensure a beautiful t-shirt.

Our team of experts care deeply about the work they do and do it to ensure all our products exceed all client expectations.


Note from Type Gang:

If you are looking for a screen printer we strongly urge you to contact Real Thread. Their staff are amazing and their product quality is fantastic.

Check out Real Thread

Maggie Enterios - Type Gang

Maggie Enterrios: Natural light and a cozy blanket

Maggie Enterios - Type Gang

Maggie Enterrios is an illustrator and typographer with a flair for all things botanical. Working for clients such Apple, Crayola, Instagram, Madam C.J Walker for Sephora, Craftsy, Chronicle Books and also being featured on the TODAY Show. Maggie's style is equal parts formal and whimsical with its contrast of ultra detail you could get lost in, and heavy weight lettering.

What city do you live in?

Chicago, IL

What is your background?

Bachelor’s degree – Art + Design, Columbia College Chicago

Worked as an Art Director in Advertising 2010-2016

Where do you work?

I work from home, a renovated brewery building

When did you first start pursuing art/typography?

2008

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on two packaging projects, both for beverage products. It’s a wonderful new challenge to work with something that is 3-dimensional. Other than that, my goal is to be proactive rather than reactive in my career. I typically have 8-20 clients at a time, so I’m trying to treat myself like a client and come out with more products and passion projects that truly feel representative of my style and blossoming aesthetic.

What was your first commercial job, how did you get it?

I suppose my first real commercial gig was Apple. Before that, I mostly did logo commissions and personal fine art pieces – and I was content that way! But Apple was my first big brand, and since then I’ve been fortunate enough to leverage the exposure into several other commercial partnerships. Social media has been my main tool for obtaining work. I truly believe in the power of Instagram, Pinterest and Behance!

What do you want to be better at/what are you not good at?

I would like to improve at drawing depth and shadowing. Oftentimes I’m so booked up with client work that I don’t get much time for exploration. Whenever I get the green light from a client (you know, the type that says “you’re the expert. I trust you!”) that’s when the magic really happens and I can explore new styles. I’d also like to improve when it comes to life and figure drawing.

What can’t you live without?

I can’t live without a naturally-lit workspace and a cozy blanket. I’m the type to really dive into the creative zone and not come out of it for hours, so I need to be comfy!

How do you stay productive when client work is slow?

Knock on wood, but I haven’t had a dip in demand yet. I’m a bit hyper-productive, so sometimes I need to remind myself to slow down and think things through instead of churning out work quickly just to satisfy deadlines.

What is important to you?

The most important things in my life are breakfast, naps and quality conversations with good friends. I work a ton, but I think regular socialization is so very important, especially when working solo from home. I heavily rely on morning exercise, taking walks with neighborhood friends, and phone calls with loved ones to keep me balanced.

What do you wish you had known when first starting as a designer?

I wish I had learned more about business management, invoicing, pricing and independent taxes. It was a subject that was rarely (if ever) touched on when I was in Art School. As soon as I entered the workforce, I realized how much I had to learn about managing my finances.


I heavily rely on morning exercise, taking walks with neighbourhood friends, and phone calls with loved ones to keep me balanced.


Looking back on your design career, what is something you persisted with but should have stopped?

I think I wasted a lot of time trying to fit into the box of other designers I saw around me. I thought that I need to have clean, vector illustrations and a flat design aesthetic. It took me far too long to realize that what I have is unique and that I should embrace it.

How do you cope with a creative block?

Creative block is definitely the enemy! I like to keep a list handy of personal project ideas. If I’m stuck on a project or feeling slow and uninspired, I’ll look to that list and pick something off of it to start on. Ten out of ten times, it helps reawaken my creativity just to work on something new like that, and I can return to my original project with fresh eyes.

What is your spirit animal?

My spirit animal is a snake. I’ve always felt connected to them. Maybe because I had a bad lisp as a child. But really, I love them visually: they are living, moving patterns. They are symbols of transformation and rebirth, and in Chinese Zodiac are thought to represent skill and quick wit.

What book (or books) would you recommend to someone you just met?

Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” had a big impact on me. My mother read it when I was young and told me about the 10,000 Hour Rule: that’s how many hours it takes to become and expert in one area. While some theories in the book don’t ring 100% true for me, I think it’s a valuable read for anyone that is determined to succeed in their field and needs some affirmation.

What is the most important lesson you have learned?

Time. There is no substitute for time. When I look back at old design work, I can see so many embarrassing errors. I know that down the road, I may see that in my current work. But I’ve had to embrace that growth can only happen with consistent work and exploration.

Hypothetical scenario: Someone has 6 months to go from amateur to as competent in typography design as possible. Aside from lots of practice, what do you tell them to research and work on?

Mathematics! Learning about grids and layouts has been one of my most valuable experiences. I would encourage that person to study publication design and layouts and learn about the fundamentals of typography use before worrying about letter forms. Practicing drawing pretty letters won’t get you too far if you don’t know how they fit within compositions.

Take us through a typical work day from when you get up to when you go to bed.

I break my week into two parts: 3 days Administrative and 3 days Creative. On an Administrative day, I spend the morning answering emails, invoicing clients and updating current clients on project status. On those afternoons, I also do project research. So, I’ll gather reference materials or research the industry of the brand I’m working with. On Creative days, I spend between 7am-3pm drawing in natural light. For the remainder of the day, once I lose some light, I’ll focus on the digital aspect of work: scanning, retouching and creating layouts and proofs. On the weekends, to relax, I’ll do whatever work my friends, parents or sister-in-law have been asking me to do. 🙂

Describe yourself in one word.

Heart.


Maggie also has a wonderful book for sale

See more of Nature Observer by Maggie Enterrios

See more Maggie at these internet places:

Instagram: @littlepatterns

Website: littlepatterns.com

Shout outs and thanks

Lisa Quine! (Formerly Lisa Lorek) – has been KILLING IT lately. She just went full-time freelance and I am so thrilled for her. Not only is she wildly talented, we also share a mutual best friend, so I know she is one of the world’s loveliest people.

Jenn Gietzen

Lisa Perrin (my new favorite illustrator)


Scotty Russell - Type Gang

Scotty Russell: sick dragons and neon crayons

Scotty Russell - Type Gang

Scotty Russell is the man behind the expanding Perspective Collective empire. On any given day he'll be hard at work on one of his many creative outlets. Take in his site/Instagram/podcast and you'll be swept up in his infectious work ethic. There is a phrase that comes to mind when we think of Scotty - "Putting in work".

We wanted to know more about what makes him tick and got to ask him a bunch of questions.

What city do you live in?

Cedar Falls, IA

What is your background? (education, training, apprenticeships, etc)

Bachelor in Fine Arts and Graphic Design from Wartburg College

Where do you work?

Day Job – Web & Graphic Designer for Viking Pump

Side Business – Letterer, Illustrator, Speaker & Podcaster under the name Perspective-Collective

When did you first start pursuing art/typography?

The first time I remember drawing was in kindergarten and I drew a sick dragon with neon crayons… I was hooked.

I’d also grown up always trying to write my name and others in cool letters. I feel that interest as a kid sparked my obsession of hand lettering 4 years ago. I’ve been finding ways to combine both illustrations and lettering ever since.

What are you currently working on?

I’ve just finished up two back-to-back murals. Now I’m going to take a month off freelance and focus on building the podcast and stepping up my digital game now that I swooped the iPad Pro with the Procreate App.

What was your first commercial job, how did you get it?

I’ve been doing some type of $50 logo or tattoo for friends and family since I was in high school. However, my first real commercial job would have been two years ago when I did a publication magazine spread for an issue of the Teaching Tolerance Magazine.

They found me because I was sharing my work religiously on Instagram and things have taken off from there as one job has led to the next.

What do you want to be better at/what are you not good at?

Working digitally makes me extremely uncomfortable as drawing by hand is second nature to me. Definitely want to push the boundaries and see where digital art on the iPad can take me into 2018.

What can’t you live without?

My Fieldnotes sketchbooks and a pencil. I have these with me 24/7.

How do you stay productive when client work is slow?

I’m a big advocate for pursuing side projects and creating the type of work you want to get paid to create.

However, I hold down a day job along with podcasting and public speaking, I don’t find too many slow moments and have to force myself to take a break.

What is important to you?

Sticking to my guns and creating what resonates with me. I’m a believer that opportunities show up when you consistently show up, get uncomfortable and pour yourself into your work.

Shit will happen if you roll by these rules.


Opportunities show up when you consistently show up, get uncomfortable and pour yourself into your work


What do you wish you had known when first starting as a designer?

The importance of being consistent and not getting caught up in perfection. It takes a lot of shitty work to stumble across your best work. In a sense, quantity over quality will lead to quality.

Looking back on your design career, what is something you persisted with but should have stopped?

I finally claimed that I was an artist / designer / creative in my early twenties. I spent the previous portion of my life scared to share these things because I didn’t want to get judged, scrutinized and have people not like what I created.

I wanted everyone to love my work but you can’t please everyone because you are not pizza.

If I could go back I would’ve stopped being so caught up in comparison and got to work on my dream much sooner.

How do you cope with a creative block?

Not to sound like a pompous ass but I really don’t deal with creative block.

My secret weapon is to constantly journal, thumbnail and collect any idea that comes around. That’s why I keep a Field Notes sketchbook with me everywhere.

Whether I get an idea from Instagram, Dribbble, Blogs, Podcasts or Audiobooks. I’ll stop what I’m doing and jot that shit down.

That way I’m banking all these ideas and can cash one of them out when the time comes to throw down and get to work.

What book (or books) would you recommend to someone you just met?

I got book recommendations for days on my resources page: PerspectiveCollectiveResources.com

However, below are some great ones to start with.

Creative Personal Development:
Start With Why – Simon Sinek
Art & Fear – David Bayles & Ted Orland
The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
Start – Jon Acuff
Finish – Jon Acuff

Design & Lettering Related:
Logotypes & Letterforms – Doyald Young
Dangerous Curves: Mastering Logotype Design- Doyald Young

What is the most important lesson you have learned?

Building your creative empire is a slow and steady grind. Stick to what you enjoy most and do best. Be consistent and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.

Hypothetical scenario: Someone has 6 months to go from amateur to as competent in typography design as possible. Aside from lots of practice, what do you tell them to research and work on?

  1. Read every book by Donald Young or any type related book.
  2. Find workshops that you could attend that covered the basics, intermediate and advanced.
  3. Take online courses that are available on the topic (Skillshare, Lynda, Creative Live, etc.).
  4. Soak up every free resource online like YouTube or related articles.

Take us through a typical work day from when you get up to when you go to bed.

Since I work a day job, I have to be intentional about every minute in the day in order to juggle a podcast, freelance and husband duties.

4:30am:

Wake up and write, edit, and schedule for the podcast

7:00am – 4:00pm:

Work from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm with an hour lunch which I’ll either draw, follow up on emails and social, or do product fulfilment.

4:00pm – 5:30pm:

Get off work head to the gym for an hour or so to relieve stress and get my mind right.

5:30pm – 7:30pm:

Shower of course then put in another 1–2 hours of freelance, drawing or recording.

9:00pm:

Plan out my next day and the top 1–3 important tasks that I need to attack. I never want to approach a morning having to guess what to work on.

Describe yourself in one word.

“Creative” is too easy so I’m going with “driven”.

See more Scotty at these internet places:

Perspective-Collective.com

PerspectivePodcast.com

Instagram: @PRSPCTV_CLLCTV

Instagram: @PerspectivePodcast

Join the team at: Perspective-CollectiveTeam.com

Check out drawing tips, tools and book: Perspective-CollectiveResources.com

Shout outs and thanks.

  1. Type Gang for sharing my work over the year to every corner of the earth
  2. My wife Emily (@TheOilShelf) for always supporting my dream.
  3. My family and friends for constantly encouraging me.
  4. My Mastermind Group for always ripping my work and not letting me settle


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Best of Instagram

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Basics of Hand Lettering workshop with Phoebe & Roxy in Los Angeles, CA!

Pandr Design Co. hand lettering workshops

Roxy and Phoebe from Pandr Design Co. have a bunch of hand lettering workshops coming up in December. If they are in your town or even close to it, you should sign up quickly because spots are limited.

Phoenix - December 3

Sign up for Phoenix workshop

Austin - December 7

Sign up for Austin workshop

Dallas - December 10

Sign up for Dallas workshop

Houston - December 12

Sign up for Houston workshop

San Diego - December 17

Sign up for San Diego workshop

LA - December 17

Sign up for LA workshop

Have a lettering workshop or a meetup you want people to know about? Let us know!


Improve your lettering and design skills with these 6 courses

Improve your hand lettering as well as your digital skills. We’ve put together a list of 6 courses that cover everything from sketching through to vectorising your work with Adobe Illustrator.

Illustrated Lettering - Gemma O'Brien

Gemma O’Brien is an Australian illustrator and letterer. You’ve probably seen photos of her incredible mural work or perhaps seen her speak at a design conference. She has worked with many global brands including Apple, Adobe, Volcom Stone, L’Oréal, Playboy Magazine and The New York Times. This course will take you through Gemma’s process for creating unique floral based typography.

Go to course: Illustrated Lettering - Gemma O'Brien

Hand Lettering Essentials for Beginners - Mary Kate McDevitt

Mary Kate McDevitt is an illustrator and letterer. This is a fantastic beginners class and goes through developing a concept, sketching, tools, inking and finalising your work.

Go to course: Hand Lettering Essentials for Beginners - Mary Kate McDevitt

Logotype Design: Create Brand Marks with Typography

Mackey Saturday is primarily an identity and branding designer specialising in lettering logos. You’ve definitely seen his work before, Mackey created the Instagram script logo. This course is aimed at freelancers wanting to take their skills and apply it to a commercial market.

Go to course: Logotype Design: Create Brand Marks with Typography

Hand Lettering Styles and Techniques for Embellishment

This is a great class if you want to become more familiar with Adobe Illustrator. In this primarily digital based lesson, Spencer Charles will take you through letterform research, Adobe Illustrator best practices, alphabet script styles, effects for embellishment and monograms.

Go to course: Hand Lettering Styles and Techniques for Embellishment

Botanical Illustrations with Typography

Botanical illustrations with typography is a design trend you’ve no doubt seen on posters, cards, stationery and a range of other items. This course will take you through sourcing images, using masks in photoshop and how to arrange it all with your chosen lettering.

Go to course: Botanical illustrations with typography

Lettering for Designers - Jessica Hische

Jessica Hische is a letterer, illustrator and creator of the Daily Drop Cap. Jessica has a very impressive list of notable clients such as Wes Anderson, The New York Times, Tiffany & Co., American Express and Nike. This course will take you through research, sketching, digitising and self critique.

Go to course: Lettering for designers - Jessica Hische