It still surprises me how many companies send me t-shirts without a letter or note. This was such a company. Mostly I can figure out what’s up pretty quickly but sometimes I am not quite sure what people want to get promoted and this is one of those cases.
Damascus Apparel vs. Live Now Die Never
Damascus Apparel is a t-shirt printing business that will also design your graphic for you. Let’s face it. We are not all graphic designers/artists and even those who are sometimes don’t have the time or necessary skills to make a cool design for tees.
They sent over two t-shirts and a tank top from their own brand, Live Now Die Never. I’m not sure if they are trying to promote that brand or their t-shirt printing business but let’s have a look at both.
The two t-shirts they sent over are black gamer t-shirts. As you may or may not know, to have vivid colors on black t-shirts you have to use more ink which makes the print heavier and takes away from the softness of the t-shirt. There is not much we can do about that with today’s tech.
The two tees have some vivid colors but there is a range. The more muted colors are very soft and the printing is impeccable. If they are trying to showcase what they can do at Damascus Apparel, they made a good choice with the Now We Rage t-shirt. It shows some versatility. The Start Screen tee is simpler and the larger solid print area makes it feel almost like a patch on the chest of the t-shirt. Still, I have to say that it is a perfect print.
As for the designs, they don’t really stand out. I guess that’s because they hold no particular meaning for me. But I think that is one of the things about Damascus Apparel. They create designs especially for you, so I imagine if I did business with them I would be very happy with what they came up with as they would hold particular meaning for me.
One thing that I don’t get though is their use of fake Japanese words. At least I think they’re fake. Why not just use a dictionary or Google Translate to find something that is relevant?
The t-shirt art on the tank top is the best of the three. The face looks beautiful, mysterious, mystical and dangerous all at the same time and the colors pop. The text in the ring is LIVE NOW DIE NEVER but done in a style that makes them look like Egyptian hieroglyphics. And even though their brand is splashed all over the tee it looks more like a slogan than branding.
Even on the white tank-top they sent, the print is a little heavy. I’m not sure if this is because of the amount of ink used or because they opted for plastisol over water-based.
Each item has the Damascus Apparel printed under the neck on the back but it looks good. No text or url which can make people feel like walking billboards for a brand.
There is also a sewn-on DAMASCUS label on the bottom left hem on the back of the t-shirt. It’s text, but it is well done and helps to make the t-shirts look like premium products.
There are currently just 4 t-shirts and 5/6 tank tops available in the store, most of which come across as logo t-shirts, which makes me think that the real purpose of the store is not to sell t-shirts but rather showcase their abilities and promote their screen-printing business as well as their custom stores.
Yes, it seems that Damascus Apparel also manage and host online stores for people who want to sell the tees that Damascus print for them. It’s free to set up a store but you will of course need to pay to get your t-shirts (at least 75) printed.
The t-shirt art doesn’t blow me away (logo tees rarely do) but the tees look good all the same. Live Now Die Forever seems a little self-indulgent but Damascus Apparel seems to provide a pretty cool service from design to delivery. You should check them out.