Print Flash Print: An Ode to the T-shirt Screenprinter

Print Flash Print - Marshall Atkinson

Print Flash Print.

A mantra for the one-color hit.

Bold replacing boring

of a blank stock t-shirt.

A delicate effort of force.

Print Flash Print


Daily rituals.

More sales add both security and stress.

For the neophyte, a journey begins with a basic decision.

Push or pull?

Irrelevant with consistent effort.

Print Flash Print.


Another shirt.

Loaded straight, the collar drapes down

off the platen.


An even flood stroke, like cake icing.

Screen lowered.

Athletic precision…

Print Flash Print


Always the process is mechanical

but performed by hand,

with sore feet and an aching back.

Platens rotate with a clock’s fidelity.

Another t-shirt complete.

Dozens march down the belt single file

towards order completeness.


Quality is either there, or it is not.

Stacked on a table, shirt sleeves tucked.

Six-dozen and time to box.

Print Flash Print


How many mediums remain?

Plenty of stacked shirts piled flat on the cart.

Today’s sweat produces tomorrow’s dreams.

Memories of that trip.

That concert.

The team.

Brand opportunities for a business.

Solving problems one creative idea at a time.

Print Flash Print


A trifecta of art, craftsmanship, and science.

Esoteric mysteries that are not secrets.


Tension. Mesh count.

Exposure time.

Pressure. Angle. Stroke.


Print Flash Print


Means eliminating variables.

Standardizing processes.

Learning hard to pronounce words like


Which is Greek for “you better stir your ink”.

Print Flash Print


Monetizing creativity.

“Can this be a good business?”, your spouse asked once.

The answer was yes.  Of course.

But only if we don’t sell the print.

Sell the emotion instead.

Today’s sweat produces tomorrow’s dreams.

Remembrances of summer camp.

The mosh pit at the concert.

Championship victory.

Logo’d apparel for customers with expanding sales.

Turning customers into friends, like water into wine.

Print Flash Print


The struggle is real.

But passion conquers obstacles.

There is much to learn. but you are not alone.

Improvement is out there for your taking.

If you simply grab onto it and hang on.

Try and fail. Then try again.

DIY evolution of knowledge.

Print Flash Print


Another blank shirt converted.

Welcome to the tribe.

Soon to be the favorite of a stranger.

Today’s sweat produces tomorrow’s dreams.

Family reunion tees for four generations.

That concert where you held hands and kissed.

The softball team that lost every game but had fun anyway.

Branded tees fired from a cannon into the crowd.

Creative ideas nurtured over hot coffee and digital magic.

Print Flash Print


Size change!

The shirt is placed sideways on the belt.

The stack of Mediums now empty.

Larges are up next.

Mute before, now each printed shirt has something to say.

Meaning and tone influenced

by color and font choice.

Print Flash Print


T-shirts give voice to the downtrodden.

Have been a reward for excellence.

Promote diverse ideas, controversial thoughts,

and ubiquitous cat memes equally.

Colorful graphics mirror our personalities.

Each one created with the same ritual.

Print Flash Print


The last shirt on the cart!

A swell of pride and accomplishment.

You did it.

There it goes down the belt.

Like a baby chick leaving the nest.


Make someone happy.



What is this? Another order!

A new cart of shirts.

The ritual is repeated with new screens, ink, and labor.

Today’s sweat produces tomorrow’s dreams.

Memories of a lifetime.

The concert shirt from the high school band.

Laughing at the tailgate before the game.

The nervous product launch at a trade show.

An endless cycle that is somehow always different.



Living life by a schedule about two weeks out.

Next month seems so far away.

Until it is here.

Hopefully, there is a trip, a concert, a team, or a brand

all lining up for some divine squeegee magic.

You have so much to share.

One Print Flash Print cycle at a time.



“Quality is not an act, it is a habit.” – Aristotle

“Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody is watching.” – Satchel Paige

“Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.” – John Wooden



Free Workflow eBook


Top 10 Workflow Tips by Marshall Atkinson

Learn how the best shops in the industry get more work completed and out the door with this free eBook that you can download.

Top 10 Workflow Tips is an easy to use guide that can elevate the way you organize your production for better results.

Click here to download your copy today!





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