WHO ARE WE?
Imaginative Ink are a small but independent family run business created here in the UK by T-shirt lover and designer, Martin Hastings.
It’s no secret that Martin (or Marty as he’s more commonly known) likes his geeky/neeky fandom T-shirts. Whether it’s a silly slogan, a game character turned into a cereal packet or Foster’s home for Imaginary Friends in a Tim Burton style, he loves his tees. After finding a site selling some awesome designs he started his growing collection but when he started missing out on designs because he’d missed the cut off date or he had spotted designs that hadn’t received enough votes to be printed, he started trawling the internet to find if these designs were available elsewhere.
Eventually he found an American site selling a design he’d previously missed out on from his usual store, so he ordered it and waited. Eventually after a long but patient wait he was shocked to receive a letter from the mail man telling him that they were holding his beloved new tee hostage until he paid a Queens ransom, otherwise known as the dreaded customs charge.
Reluctantly he paid this and finally was united with his beloved new tee. Although the quality wasn’t what he’d previously had from the other site he was happy to finally have it but had been surprised to discover that the designer was from here in the UK, selling to their UK and worldwide fans, through stores in America.
After failing to find a comparable UK store he started to look deeper into the companies that offered everyday T-shirt printing over in America or other countries and found that nearly all of them shared one thing in common, they weren’t actually printers. They were merely a web front for companies who used third party contract printers to handle the actual printing, packaging and shipping. Having previously spent over 20 years working in the printing industry and seeing receptionists or sales representatives receiving all of the credit for the hard work of the nameless, faceless artists and printers who were often hidden away behind the shop front, he decided he wanted to do something different.
So after attending many trade exhibitions and talking to many of his past and current suppliers, he found the equipment necessary to add to his existing equipment to be able to produce high quality reproductions of the artwork created by artists worldwide. Having contacted a number of artists through facebook/email/twitter or whatever means possible he managed to get some artists on board, and then it was just down to years of experience creating websites for other people to create this site for artists to make their designs available to their fans.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t just UK fans that were interested in Imaginative Ink, but fans from America and other countries as well.
What makes us different?
As we said above, Imaginative Ink are a small, independent, family run business that are behind everything from start to finish. Okay, so we don’t physically manufacture the T-shirts from rolls of fabric and our designs are created by talented independent artists from around the world who have sent us their designs to sell to you, but from this website that you’re on now, to ordering the blank stock, ensuring the design is set up to print at the best quality possible, to packaging and posting your order, everything is done in house with no third party suppliers or contractors anywhere, so if you order a product from us, you know that we printed it, we pressed it, we folded it, we bagged it, we labelled it and we walked to the post office to send it off to you. If you need to discuss anything about your order then you won’t be passed from one virtual sales rep to the next acting on behalf of one of many companies they pretend to work for, you’ll be dealing direct with us.
Why are we called Imaginative Ink
We picked the name because of the awesome Imagination that goes into creating the designs we have on our site and having been in commercial print for over two decades, Martin knew that there were no limitations on what a design could be printed onto, one way or another it would be ink of some description and in time Imaginative ink want to push the boundaries on the limitations designers have been working within and let them use more of their imagination to create not just stunning pieces of colour work, but designs that really stand out from the norm, but having already told a few people of our ideas and seeing them become a reality on our competitor’s sites, we’re keeping our ideas under wraps for now.