Blog posts of '2012' 'April'

*4,553,692,294th Annual Earth Day

It seems like only 365 rotations of the globe ago that the last Earth Day was here. But what if we lived on Mercury? We could celebrate Mercury Day every 88 Earth Days. Did you know that it takes Mercury 176 Earth Days to make 1 rotation? That means 1 Mercurian day is 2 Mercurian years long. So on Mercury, you'd have to celebrate Mercury Day twice a day, every day. Okay, that is hurting my brain. Moving on.

Back on Earth, it's Earth Day again, and we here at INK participated in the 3rd Annual Clean Up Calumet Project. On Friday, April 20th, we took to the streets, fields & woods in our surrounding area picking up trash. A couple hours and a few full garbage bags later we enjoyed a yummy lunch, provided by our neighbor Alpha Source, who hosted the event. A big tree hug to them for that.

Also, on Saturday, April 21st, Milwaukee Riverkeeper hosted their 17th Annual Spring River Cleanup. As part of our "Green Initiative", we were proud to be a corporate sponsor. We even printed the event t-shirts! You have to look good while doin' good, right?

Share your Earth Day stories with us. We'd love to hear them!

Check out some of the pics to the events!

*give or take

For the “hel” of it?

Helyesica DesignSo, Ink to the People has finally become a reality. I’m excited. Really excited! What a great platform for us creative-types to get some work out there, connect with the masses, and hopefully sell some shirts.

But what to design? What, indeed… This should be easy. I’ve been a designer for many years. It should be a no brainer, right? I quickly realized, it’s harder than it seems. When there’s a client, there is a strategy, an objective, a budget, and always, a deadline. This one was on my shoulders, fully. The proverbial empty canvas. Art-for-art-sake. Yep, it’s a bit daunting.

As I stared into space for inspiration (long enough for my psychedelic screen saver to ignite), it hit me. Unicorns. With that, I began. I typically start by typing in a word just to get the wheels rolling. Unicorn, as it so happens, is quite a handsome word. Good start I thought. Next was to select a font. Should I go for something Roman, I asked myself, perhaps a nice Baskerville, Minion or maybe Bodoni? Hmm, not feeling ‘em. How about something silly, I wondered. Log Cabin fit the bill. Uh, NO. As I was about to abandon ship and get back to my “real” work, I tried Helvetica. My standard, underestimated, sometime revered, Helvetica. It was PERFECT. It’s a font I use a lot. One that has always been there for me, and in my time of need, once again, it came through.

I decided to shelf unicorns and focus on my go-to font as the subject of the design. From my earliest design memory, there has always been a degree of controversy about the widely used sans-serif typeface developed in 1957 by Swiss typeface designer Max Miedinger with Eduard Hoffmann.

Helvetica sometimes gets a bad rap. It’s been called boring, predictable, and generic, but many designers disagree. In sharp contrast, they love it. And can’t live without it. By now you have probably guessed, I am one of the loyalists. It’s beautifully designed and timeless. It can look big and bad, or with the right size proportions and letter spacing, remarkably elegant. Having created hundreds, if not thousands of designs using Helvetica, I set out to create a custom t-shirt design that is in firm support of a subject close to my heart, and my aesthetics. 

The question is a simple one: To Helvetica or not to Helvetica? I say: Helyesica!

Anyone up for a challenge?

Not everyone agrees that Helvetica is the end-all sans-serif solution. Some like Futura, Gill Sans, or dare I say, the system-safe star, Arial. Well, fellow designers, and haters, let’s see what you’ve got! Yep, it’s a good ol’ fashioned, initial cap, perfectly kerned, leaded-to-the-nth, gentleman’s challenge! If anyone is up to the task, I’m looking forward to wearing one of your font inspired shirt designs. To sweeten the deal, the best selling font inspired design will get a nifty Ink to the People logo shirt. Oh yeah.

I’m hopeful that this little rant, if for nothing else, serves as inspiration to anyone looking for a subject in which to focus your design.

-Neil Becker
Principal, Becker Design
Creative Director, Ink to the People

Our First Shipment

Ink to the People packagingJesse packaging the first INKInk to the People packagingInk to the People box of orders

Today is a special day here at INK.

Today we shipped our first set of orders out to the good people of the world. Thank you for supporting us and the fine artists on our site. We would love to see pics of you in your spiffy new shirt. If you'd like to share, you can post on our Facebook page. Happy Inking!

Our First INK

Molly FloodPug LifeJuan printing the first INK shirt

Congratulations to our first successful INKer!

Molly Flood, an Illustration student at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, was the first person to have a successful Public INK. Pictured above holding THE very first Ink to the People order, Molly was part of our test group. Her INK, entitled "Pug Life", sold 25 shirts and put cash in her pocket. Wanna be like Molly and make money selling your own custom designed t-shirts? Start your Design now!

Fundraising Made Easy with INK

Ink to the People is only a few days old, but there are many different ways to utilize our revolutionary website. Nowadays, everyone needs to fundraise at some point, so we built our site to make the process easy for you.

Raising money is much easier when you don't have to buy your product first and then try to sell it. Many times, if you don't sell everything you bought, your efforts have been diminished with excess inventory and smaller profits to donate. The other annoyance is taking orders, collecting money and finally delivering the items once your program has been completed.

Well, with Ink to the People, all you need to do is design or upload your graphic and place it on one of our 3000+ garment options using our user-friendly Design Tool. Then share it with your own network of people or with the entire world. Heck, you can even do both. Share with your closest friends and family AND reach out to the good people of the world. Leave all of the hassles, such as order taking, money collecting and delivery, to us.

Now it is up to you to give it a go. INK is in BETA but don't let that scare you. Maybe you will be one of the lucky ones to come across a bug. Share what you found with us so we can keep on making INK a better service for you.

Now stop reading and INK the world!

That INK Video

You may or may not have seen our "promotional" video. If you have, then you know it is not your typical "hey look at me, buy my stuff!" advertisement. If you haven't seen it, we recommend that you take a peek. Not only will it give you an idea of what our site can do for you, but it may just put a smile on your face. Not to shabby for a promotional video, right? Developed by the creative powerhouses, Allen Keller and Neil Becker, this video will get you excited about making cash by selling your custom design t-shirts with NO RISK. So if that piqued your interest, watch the video and see what this Ink to the People thing is all about.

Hello, World

The INK Crew

Nice to meet you.

We are Ink to the People, but since we've been casually introduced, you can call us INK for short.

So what's our story?

It all started back in the olde days, 1990 to be exact. First, let's give that some perspective. That's when the public didn't know what the Internet was because it wasn't available. That's when Apple® released it's revolutionary Macintosh Classic, boasting a maximum 4 megabytes of RAM and a 9 inch monochromatic green display. That's when portable music was limited to ONE CD that bounced around your hip and skipped like a Double Dutch Champion. Ah yes, memories. But that's also when two t-shirt-lovin' gents started a garment decorating company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Over the next 20 years, they grew their company into an industry leader by employing passionate employees who cared about quality and their customers. They also were early adopters of the latest & greatest technology in the industry.

Today, they continue those trends by launching the Ink to the People website.

While we aren't the first "Design-A-Shirt Online" website, there are a few things that make us different, unique and revolutionary. Sure, you can design a shirt with our user-friendly Design Tool. Sure, you can upload you own art or logo. Other sites do that too. But they don't allow you to design, share & sell your shirts with NO RISK, no upfront costs, no unsold inventory in your basement.

How does it work?

1. Design or upload your graphic. 
2. Choose a garment. 
3. Set a minimum quantity and your price. 
4. Set the duration of the sale. 
5. Share it with the people you want, or share it with the world by posting it in our Marketplace.

The design isn't printed until the minimum (that you set) is reached. If the minimum quantity (or more) is sold by the end of your sale, we print it and ship it to your buyers. Think of it like the GROUPON® of garments. The best part? We line your pockets with your profits! Cha-Ching, baby!

But what happens if your minimum is not met? Well, your sale just expires. That's it. No one pays a dime, not even you because designing & selling is absolutely FREE. No April Foolin'.

"Okay, that's great", you may say, "but what if I just want to place a bulk order and have them shipped to me... none of this sharing business". Well, guess what? We do that too. It's what we affectionately call a "Personal INK". Basically, the process is the same, easier even! Design or upload your graphic, select a garment, select your sizes & quantities. Boom. Done. We print & ship the bulk order to you, your organization, your event, where ever you need it to go. How cool is that?

Just want to shop?

If you have no interest in designing or selling because your strength is in buying custom designed apparel, I invite you to visit the Ink to the People Marketplace where you can shop to your heart's content.

Alright my friend, enough chit-chat, time to kick our tires and do some doughnuts in the virtual parking lot. And hey, let us know how we handle.