- By Eric Jenson
In a world of creative ideas and revolving trends, new ideas are becoming an interesting topic. Some schools and companies have simplified their designs and follow the rinse and repeat rule. Others are continually trying to revamp their brand or enhance their logo or mascot. Adding visual value to an existing design or identity may be the only thing needed to create a spark. With the newer processes, this can be done with high resolution fills, striking photography, distress overlays, etc.
In this article we will focus on the distress pattern option.. Some will call these overlays as they will simply be laid over a design to create a weathered or distressed effect. There are really two ways to use this effect to your advantage. The first involves adding a “same-color as the shirt” overlay atop the entire design to make the shirt look vintage.
The first shirt is a basic design WITHOUT the distress overlay. It looks fairly boring for a modern day shirt. The second reflects an overlay and gives off more of a “throwback” vintage feel. Now suddenly the shirt comes to life. It gives an emotional connection for the buyers. It makes people think you pulled out an old tee from the early 80’s and brought it back to life. This is very common with concert tees, etc.
The second way to leverage distressed overlays is to assign the distressing to only a certain part of the design. Maybe you distress just the text or just the graphic. This will trick the eye into thinking something is extra interesting about the art.Some people cannot put their finger on it. What’s at play here is that part of the design looks vintage and another part does not. I personally think this style is very attractive.
Put one of these right next to one with no distress and show your prospects. You will be surprised at how many positive comments you will receive from them.
Here’s an example of this.
There are a few different ways to gain access to distressed files. One method is to crinkle up a piece of paper and scan it in. There are only so many ways one can crinkle paper. Therefore, one is limited to the distressed options here. Another way is to purchase premade patterns from art companies or a professional designer. This method provides the most options for success in this category. Action Illustrated provides a plug-in software for Corel DRAW called Instant Designer and comes preloaded with 42 distressed patterns (overlays). Using automation for an effect like this makes it easier to offer a second option when sending proofs to a customer. Without the automation, one can access the powerclip function to clip the overlay ontop of the graphic.
In summary, distressed overlays are yet another way for a screenprinter, etc. to add visual value to a tired design or even a new concept. They are fairly easy to work with if the necessary tools are available. They can be colored to match the shirt color. They ultimately will add a cool, vintage feel to any design you or your customer can think up. Distress to impress!
Article by Eric Jenson
*All ideas expressed in this post are the exclusively those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the policies or opinions of Decorated Apparel Magazine. The author represents that he or she is exclusively responsible for the content contained, and that he or she is the owner of any intellectual property used or expressed, and has the right to publish any statements or images contained herein. All content is offered 'as-is' and Decorated Apparel Magazine does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of any statements contained in this or any other post. Your use of any advice or statements of fact or opinion offered are completely at your own risk.