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    Behind the Screens with Retro Activewear

    In Behind The Screens we talk to some of the companies and printers that use MagnaColours water-based inks. finding out more about what they print and the reasons why they use MagnaPrint.

    We sat down with Graham at Retro Activewear, to find out more about his long career in the printing industry.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your company and what you do.
My name is Graham, I’ve been printing shirts since about 1979. I started in the industry producing swag for the men I worked with offshore, hand-painting the logos led to a book on screen printing.  The rest is history. 

I was a director of Things Limited who in the good old days were the biggest t-shirt printer in Europe.  We printed for all the major rock tours, Adidas, Puma etc. We designed and supplied all the shirts for Live Aid and the Mandela Freedom Concert.  

One thing that sticks out was we took a punt at designing a winners shirts for both France and Brazil for Adidas at the 98 World Cup Final…. 100 shirts per team.  France won, and we printed 1 million winners shirts …11 machines running 24 hours a day.  

What equipment do you use?  
M&R House, always have been.  Plus we have started digital printing on a Kornit Storm Hexa these days.  

Why do use water-based inks?  
The green mindset is driving us away from plastisol and the MagnaPrint ranges are so good to use. 

How long have you been printing water-based inks & how have they changed your business?    
Quality, soft hand and the ability to replicate what designers have in their heads.   MagnaColours are world leaders – period. 

Do you have a favourite ink or special effect in the MagnaPrint Range?      
There is not a bad product in the range! Most work is straight forward, so the discharge range works for me, easy to use and vibrant colours.  

What is your favourite print you’ve made with MagnaPrint? 
Kiss Foil, this print has blown a few people away, 55 dpi with foil at 35dpi, just superb.

How has the printing industry changed since you started?  
I was in t-shirt printing almost at the beginning, I have seen the boom and the slow demise on many levels.  Digital printing is eroding many aspects of the industry, but if you are good at your craft there is work to be won.  

How do you keep it interesting?  
I take a person who tells me “I have no skills’   we train him, we give him some screens, some inks and some t-shirts.  An hour later he delivers a stunning piece of art on a canvas that we call a t-shirt.  We teach our staff how to print …to really understand the technical aspects that deliver great quality. 

What is one printing tip or trick that you wished you knew when you wee starting out?
Understanding what dpi ranges did for prints. 

Where can people find you?
www.retroactivewear.co.uk