Those masters of color at Pantone have released their latest report on the colors that will shape apparel and accessories in the season to come! It’s no surprise to see their 2012 pick for color of the year, Tangerine Tango, featured heavily in their designer-made collections, but what does it mean for business apparel? It’s time for you to decide! Let’s look at the palettes that are sure to show up this spring–
Pantone's Spring 2012 Ladies' Apparel Palette
The ladies’ palette features warm, sunny colors, saturated and lively. Even then, with some grounded earth tones in the mix, we can definitely see potential for some earthy, casual workwear. Needless to say, this palette isn’t for those who want to blend in to the background!
Pantone's Spring 2012 Men's Palette
With vivid blues, bright green, and the yellow and famous tangerine we saw in the ladies’ palette, this collection of colors is no less likely to bring you some attention.
All in all, color choice is largely dependant on individual tastes, that said, we think a Tangerine Tango shirt could certainly help you to be seen at your next tradeshow! (Click here to see what we mean!) No matter what colors you decide on for your next work-wear update, we can help you ut together your own palette of corporate identity gear that is never off-color.
(Now that we have author tags enabled for the upcoming addition of new blog contributors from the shop, I’ll be writing this post in the first person, seeing as it’s about my project! -EC)
Stitches Magazine - Featuring the work of Black Duck!
I’m happy to announce that the January issue of the matchless embroidery industry trade magazine Stitches, is out today! Featured on the cover (viewable here in the digital edition) is the work of none other than your Black Duck Blog author, Erich Campbell. I was honored when in November of 2011, the editor of Stitches Magazine, Nicole Rollender, contacted me with twofold good news. First, I’d been voted in to their annual Power List as the 60th most influential person in the industry (seen here) and that they were interested in having me create the embroidery for the January cover.
Being that November and December are our busiest time of year, I was concerned, but I would never deny such a great honor. I jumped at the challenge. Not long later, I was staring at a full-color photograph of a carousel, complete with a depth-of-field effects that, though wonderful in photography, aren’t well suited to the clean edges created by thread and needle. I pitched the concept of rendering the background scene in a range of grays and creating a spectacular full-color piece for the lead horse in the photograph. Luckily for me art director Jim Lange was on board. Now the real work started.
Wanting to create it in secret so as to make for a big reveal, I worked on the project at home. After some 60 hours of art and digitizing (plotting stitch placements and types in specialized machine embroidery software) later, I had a file that would make our embroidery machines spit out a piece measuring over 9.5″ by 10.8″, consisting of 16 colors and 182, 389 stitches. The actual run, when coupled with the necessity of rethreading the machine and prepping the materials, would take over 7 hours to produce. In the end, however, I was very happy with the piece and shipped it off urgently to be photographed, cropped, and styled into the magnificent cover you see here.
I’d like to thank our proprietors, Doug and Dana Bird for the freedom they give their creative staff to do such skill-building projects, as well as the crew at Stitches Magazine for spurring me on to contribute to the industry. Last, but not least, I’d like to thank all of our customers for staying with us, and proving that quality and creativity matter and are worth supporting.
I’m happy to say that we at Black Duck are not just up to industry standards, but as you can see, we influence the standard. When you need something truly amazing, we might not be the only ones who can make it happen, but we have some practice. If you have a spectacular image or brand that you want made into a beautiful embroidered or screenprinted garment, or if you just want an artist’s eye directed toward your company’s uniforms and promotional products, please contact Black Duck. We’ll be happy to go that extra mile for you.
Impressions Magazine posted their latest gallery of inspirational decorated apparel today, and in this latest MULTIMEDIA and Digitizing Artistry gallery, Black Duck was prominently featured through our one-of-a-kind apron for local favorite, Dion’s Pizza! Created from a design once used for company reward jackets, this beatiful, but work-sturdy apron features a detailed rendition of the famous Dion’s logo, complete with all of the wood-cut inspired lines you would expect from this classic piece of logo artistry.
Thanks to the good people of Impressions, and thanks to Dion’s for all the awesome pizza, subs, and salads over the years! (we paid for them all, don’t feel bad, folks! ) We’re happy we’ve been able to help you promote your great products and outfitting your employees with identifiable and professional uniforms and apparel has been a pleasure!
This lacy-backed dress made an excellent canvas for Erich's metalwork-inspired designs.
As we hinted in a previous post, the work of Black Duck’s embroidery digitizer, Erich Campbell, has been featured in Stitches Magazine’s latest fashion shoot, “Bring on the Glam” with his medieval, Anglo-Saxon inspired ethnic embroidery styling. Erich also posted about it on his blog for Stitches magazine, describing the artistic process he went through in creating this fashion-ready piece. Reading through his process gives you a window into how Black Duck operates, building great finished garments, with attention to detail from the fabric, to the design, to the embroidery setup, to the decoration materials, and right through to the execution- we approach each piece as a whole, making every step count.
We know that not many of our customers are looking to create something meant for models and mansions, but when you want your corporate logo, team mascot, or even home furnishings done well, why not look to people who can do so much more than the average left-chest logo? Black Duck features experienced artists and designers in-house for free consultation. Whether you need a baseball hat or a ball gown, Black Duck can find a way to make your visions come to life, just like Erich’s did!
Though it looks better in person, you can see the deep level of detail in this initial test print.
Have you ever wanted to place something truly artistic on a T-shirt? If your art is more than the average logo, or if you are promoting truly fine works, there’s no reason why screen printing can’t suit your needs. Black Duck’s staff is skilled in the recreation of fine art pieces, and though we don’t always have such masterworks to contend with, we recently had just such an order that really shows the versatility of the seemingly humble Tee.
Not long ago, the sales staff was surprised to see a customer enter the shop with a rather large piece of art. Measuring feet to a side rather than the normal inches of most source material we see, this panoramic canvas from our turned out to be an amazing Native American painting by skilled New Mexico artist Yellowman; a vibrant, rich, and detailed piece with more than just its size to make it impressive. No sooner than it was in the door did we hear what we knew would make this job a challenge, this needs to go on a T-shirt.
Immediately we set to work, suggesting how we might crop and arrange it to end up with a selection from the original that would not only capture the spirit of the art, but create T-shirt that people would want to wear; a shirt with a design that provided good coverage and was visible from a distance, all without compromising the original piece. One of our skilled artists, Barry Townsend, created the new layout, and tuned the color separations that would become the screens from which the designs would be printed.
In cooperation with our skilled screen-printing supervisor, Mike Adams, the first test prints were created, and under the watchful eye of Yellowman, who was present for proofing of the initial prints, Barry and Mike tweaked and adjusted the print- achieving a final piece that had great fidelity to the vibrant colors of the original art. When they were done, not only was our customer happy with the outcome, we were all more than impressed with what the fine detail and depth of color they had achieved. If the test prints weren’t impressive enough, on every one of the various colors the customer had ordered, the prints looked fantastic, and maintained the overall soft hand that our work is known for.
We’re proud to say that though we love to print your company logos, team-sports names, and all of the simple pieces that are fairly common in our industry, we can achieve that fine-art look that pleases even the most discerning customer, even the painter of the original of a piece himself! If you find yourself curious about promoting your creation through a truly finely printed T-shirt, don’t hesitate to give Black Duck a chance to make your genius into wearable art.
Doug and Dana in Stitches
The fine folks at Stitches Magazine have decided to feature us and a photo of our owners, Doug and Dana Bird before one of the walls in our famously crimson conference room in their latest issue. We were selected due to our bold use of color in the decoration of our fully-stocked showroom and conference room spaces as Stitches discussed the psychological uses of color in business spaces.
Our red showroom was meant to get our customers revved up! Just ask Doug if you see him stepping out of his awesome red Corvette, or even when he drives the classic Ford truck, complete with Black Duck tailgate, that graces illustrations on our main website- red gets your pulse going! Admittedly, red is supposed to increase sales, and while you might feel like we’re trying to brainwash you, we’re not all that bad. We haven’t started using subliminal messages or tried to hypnotize anyone, we just want to give you the energy to be as fired up as we are about your customized apparel and accessories!
If you’d like to get a snapshot view about color theory and how it affects sales, we recommend checking out this interesting and attractive infographic from the folks at KISSMetrics. It breaks down both the importance of image and the effects various colors could have on your customers, and is well worth a look. There’s a great deal of information out there, but this simple chart should whet your interest to take up a further search if you’re so inclined.
If, after you’ve checked out our mention in Stitches or read up on color with the folks at KISSMetrics, you feel the need to retool your color scheme, Black Duck is here to help you with your apparel, accessories, signage and more. After all, if we paid this much attention to the color and art on our walls, imagine what we’ll do with your gear!