June '21

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8 2 G R A P H I C S P R O J U N E 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M CASE STUDY: COVID-19 UN- MASKS BUSINESS OPPORTUNI- TIES FOR SCREEN PRINTERS B Y M A R K V A S I L A N T O N E W ith the onset of the pandemic, many screen printers saw the door to their livelihood closing. However, most found new avenues for growth through commu- nity involvement and printing face masks using a platen built for their manual presses. MI SCREEN PRINTING Schools and events previously comprised the majority of MI Screen Printing's custom- er base. When shutdowns went into effect, the company, located in Mooresville, North Carolina, reached out to small businesses in the area. "When COVID hit, we were forced to think outside the box and started helping those in need," says Danielle Gordon. "We had a huge amount of overstock shirts, so we printed 'Support Local Businesses' on the front of the shirts and our logo on the back." Danielle and her husband Jason printed approximately 500 one-color shirts on their press and gave them away to local busi- nesses, who in turn gave some to their customers. The couple also set up an online store and raised $1,000 for small businesses in the area. As the city began to reopen, re- cipients of the free shirts reached out to the shop with T-shirt or- ders. Soon the Gordons received queries about printing masks. "We tried five or six test prints on our (platens) using a lot of ad- hesive to hold the masks down, but the masks moved around too MI Screen Printing supplied the Mooresville Fire Department with neck gaiters printed on the Vastex face mask platen. (All images courtesy Vastex International)

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