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“The Doctor Wants to Know How I Got Plastisol in My Blood”

We asked you to fill in the blank: You know you’re a screen printer when ___. There were many ink-related grievances.




“The Doctor Wants to Know How I Got Plastisol in My Blood”

IN A RECENT BRAIN Squad survey, we asked members to fill in the blank: You know you’re a screen printer when ____.

If anyone outside of the industry wants to get a glimpse into the life of a screen printer, all they have to do is check out these responses. They’ll make you laugh, they’ll make you proud, and they’ll make you feel part of a community within the industry. We’re all in this together, and you all have ink somewhere you can’t get rid of.

  • You rub on shirts in the store when you’re shopping to critique the print method used… LOL. — Deonjala Williams, Dee’s Sweet Tees and Heart and a Heat Press, Lake Worth, Florida
  • You start printing for people other than yourself and family members. — Shannon McKinnon, Aisle6ix Industries, Sydney, Australia
  • The doctor wants to know how I got plastisol in my blood.— Randy Reneau, All Seasons Screen Printing & Embroidery, Chicago
  • You still have ink on your hands when you get together with friends. — Dennis Bruso, East Coast Printers, Essex Junction, Vermont
  • You smile when someone says emulsion! — Jeremy Picker, AMB3R Creative, Denver
  • You got ink on your hands. — Jim Bradley, Bradley Nameplate Corporation, Fremont, California
  • You wake up at 2 a.m. remembering all the details you forgot to enter into that order.
 — David Campbell, Cool Air Creations, Smithfield, Rhode Island
  • You catch yourself saying, “Where did this ink come from?” (Oh, and it’s probably red ink, too!) — Joe Ortinau, Ortinau Art, Pemberville, Ohio
  • There is ink everywhere. — Arnold Footle, Dahlgrens, Deerfield, Illinois
  • People tell you they have a great idea for a T-Shirt. — Rick Poore, Shirts101, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • You are happy with the results of your work. — John Wilhelmsen, Distinct Impression, Tucson, Arizona

  • You have the ability to adapt and adjust seamlessly. This could be supply chain issues, changing event dates, absentee employees, power outages, etc. — Keith Abrams, The Decoration Facility, Indian Trail, North Carolina
  • 90 percent of your wardrobe has ink on it and the other 10 percent is saved for special occasions. — Alison Banholzer, Wear Your Spirit Warehouse, Huntingtown, Maryland
  • You get excited about talking to someone who knows what EOM is. — Michael McCall, Chattanooga Labeling Systems, Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • When you’re at a retail store checking out the prints on T-shirts! — Ron Augelli, Talk Shirty to Me, Dickson City, Pennsylvania
  • You go for a “nicer T-shirt,” but cannot find a one that doesn’t have a little ink smudge on it. — Eric Carnell, Independence Printage Corp, Bellevue, Washington
  • You make sure to put on ink-stained clothes in the morning. — Kyle Baker, Baker Prints, Chicago
  • You ruin perfectly good and new T-shirts to do sample prints. — Tracey Johnston-Aldworth, Traces Screen Printing, Waterloo, Ontario
  • You pull the first print of the last color and it looks perfect. Except for that one little th… — Andy MacDougall, MacDougall Screen Printing, Royston, British Columbia
  • When you’re racking jobs at 13 for your dad’s screen printing business. — Robert Francis, ScreenPrintPlus, Naperville, Illinois
  • Someone sees you looking too closely at prints in a store. — Doug Heminger, SS Designs, Winter Haven, Florida

  • You dream of work in your sleep. — Bill Bischoff, Bischoff, Design/Atomic Tees, Modesto, California
  • You are constantly testing printed product in the market for stretch and scratch resistance and for image sharpness and registration. — Mark Coudray, Coudray Growth Tech, San Luis Obispo, California
  • There’s green ink on your car seat. — Marshall Atkinson, Atkinson Consulting, Mesa, Arizona
  • You’re unable to purchase graphic tees from department stores without immediately finding each and every flaw in them. — Joshua Rogers, Grunt Style, Carol Stream, Illinois
  • You’re in your car sitting in traffic, and notice ink in your car, but it’s a color you haven’t used in months. — Pete Junior, New Era Apparel, Oceanside, New York
  • You have a comment (internalized) about every shirt you see. — Kristin Deutsch, Hair of the Dog Graphics, Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin
  • When you are at the store (or mall) feeling how soft the print is on T-shirts on the store’s display. — Gavin StGeorges, Proud Tshirts, Miami
  • Your wardrobe is all shorts and T-shirts. — Luiz Enchinton, 3 Little Birdz, El Paso, Texas

Share your thoughts with Screen Printing. Email us at or join our Brain Squad at



Let’s Talk About It

Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Screen Printing Industry

LET’S TALK About It: Part 3 discusses how four screen printers have employed people with disabilities, why you should consider doing the same, the resources that are available, and more. Watch the live webinar, held August 16, moderated by Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief, Screen Printing magazine, with panelists Ali Banholzer, Amber Massey, Ryan Moor, and Jed Seifert. The multi-part series is hosted exclusively by ROQ.US and U.N.I.T.E Together. Let’s Talk About It: Part 1 focused on Black, female screen printers and can be watched here; Part 2 focused on the LGBTQ+ community and can be watched here.

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