Those involved in the live music sector have had a particularly hard time during the pandemic, and it’s still not clear when there will be a return to traditional indoor gigs in the UK

It was cheering, therefore, to spot this T-shirt with bubbling waves of colour sweeping across it from Koan Sound, an electronic producer duo. Printed by The Live Ink Co on its recently purchased Brother GTXpro Bulk, the artwork was designed by the Army of Few who, says Tim Moore, co-founder of Live Ink, work a lot within the music industry.

“They also release their own range of merchandise throughout the year and aren’t afraid to go bold with colour when it comes to their designs, so we always look forward to working with them,” he adds.

Live Ink has produced T-shirts before for Koan Sound, explains Tim: “We’ve previously screen printed a series of swirling paint-effect T-shirts for them using the MagnaColours inks to get some good texture, and love that their designs are always complex and art-driven rather than just a band name on the front of a shirt.

“The artwork [for this T-shirt] has a very fluid feel to it so we decided DTG would be the best way to keep the super-smooth colour transitions and minimise any added texture from screen printing halftones. Although this is on a vintage white T-shirt, it was printed using a very minimal underbase to allow the colours to really pop whilst still having a soft hand-feel to the print.”

The print run was just 200, Tim reports. “Koan Sound are great at keeping new designs coming so their merchandise range is always fresh, and this is something we’re seeing more and more of as DTG removes the set-up implications of more complex images for smaller print runs,” he says.

The T-shirt was a Stanley/Stella Creator, which is one of Live Ink’s favourite garments to work with. “Anyone who’s printed on them will know that they are a dream to print for screen or DTG, and for both us as a company and our customers the eco-credentials that come with the Stanley/Stella brand are really important,” Tim reveals. “It’s great to see more and more organic and eco-conscious options available when it comes to garment choice, but for an organic staple the Creator is really hard to beat.”