The Print Room - Dead Cool
“A t-shirt’s more than a t-shirt,” says Jon Thom of The Print Room. “It’s the end result of a process of creation: from the idea, to the realisation, to wearing it because you think it’s cool.” Jon has been an artist since high school: “I always wanted to do my own thing and liked English and photography, art and fashion.” Making a name for himself in charcoals and portraits, some on walls around the city, he started the clothing label Moodie Tuesday with childhood friend Chris Brun six years ago. “We grew up together in Clyde, we’re actually step-cousins” he says (weirdly, of the 9 staff employed by The Print Room, 4 are from Clyde). “We had people approaching us to print their t-shirts, and saw a gap for making team wear and leavers gear that people really liked.”
The Print Room is housed in a labyrinthine building in Kaikorai Valley, once a funeral home. Rumour has it coffins were found in the ceiling (!) and the floor-to-ceiling black PVC wet room looks like something out of a Mexican cartel slaughterhouse from Breaking Bad. Cue spooky music.
Relax, a murder house would never be carpeted in so much Axminster, even though it is quite stain resistant. This place is more like Warhol’s Factory: everyone who works here is an artist, print maker, musician or all three; and everything is made by hand, adding to the artistic co-op feel. And of course all clothing makers have to be arbiters of cool, know that they’re making things people want to buy. “Which is why it’s great to be able to pop into the uni area, check out what they’re wearing, plus we employ part-time students to keep ideas fresh and relevant.”
“We are creative,” says Jon, “but it’s about getting the work out. There’s a pretty good vibe in Dunedin at the mo, a positive atmosphere in the city. Good things are happening. Why wouldn’t you do business from here? I hate traffic, wouldn’t survive in Auckland. Plus, shipping rates are really cheap, rent costs next to nothing and you can get your head down and smash out the work.” The Print Room specialise in short runs with a fast turn-around and a focus on the online aspect and removing some of the stress for the person in charge of ordering team t-shirts. “It’s hard to run round and badger people for coin, so now all they have to do is send the link out. We’re paid in advance, the shirts are shipped, it’s massive for customers.” With production about to ramp up from 100 to 600 t-shirts an hour, you could say they’re killing it.
The Print Room
3 Hermond St
Post submitted by Lisa Scott