WALLINGFORD — Since opening their print shop four years ago, skateboarding friends and Wallingford natives Tony Diep and Justin Brangiero have noticed a trend in design requests — cats.
Pictures of cats on socks, cats on shirts, cats on anything that can be printed are the biggest seller, according to Diep. The shop also prints a variety of designs for purchase, sold primarily online.
Q: What kind of printing do you do here?
Diep: We do the traditional screen printing, which is basically what most shops do. We also have DTG — direct to garment printing — which is a little bit more uncommon especially in Connecticut. It’s basically digital printing. We also do embroidery. Sublimation is the one that’s really interesting, that’s how we print all of our socks. So we can do a lot of full color graphics on polyester garments.
Q: What are your most requested designs?
Diep: Honestly anything with cats. Cats on socks. Cats on shirts. Cats on anything. They sell really well.
Q: What is your customer base like?
Diep: Online it’s mostly men and women from 18 years old to 35 years old. In store it’s kind of just a mix of walk-in traffic. We get a lot of people from Choate and we work with a lot of small businesses.
Q: What kind of businesses do you work with?
Diep: Electricians, barbershops, restaurants, most of the small businesses down the street. We just finished up an order for The Eatery. It’s a nice tight-knit community around here.
Q: What are those projects like?
Diep: Mostly T-shirts, hats.
Q: How does the printing process work?
Diep: In the basement we have the screen press, the digital printer, just basically the entire print shop downstairs and we get all our work done down there.
Q: How were you and Brangiero able to figure out what customers want when it comes to design and aesthetic?
Diep: Trial and error. We learned a lot at our last job basically just creating different designs to see what works and then kind of piggybacking off those ideas.
Q: Do you have an art background?
Diep: You don’t necessarily need a college degree for it because I went to school for marketing and I taught myself how to design on Youtube.
Q: How long does the process take from request to design to fulfillment?
Diep: For socks we can have them designed and ready to go within 45 minutes to an hour. I designed a sock yesterday and I got my first order today. That’s always exciting.
Q: When is your busiest time of year?
Diep: Christmastime. This past season we moved thousands of socks alone.