"You're a wizard of the shirt."
-Tomas, Founder of I Believe in Atlanta
Hours before he quit, David Broughton got fired from his first screen printing job, late in 2011. The plan was to work for two years, but differing priorities turned a rift into a chasm, and after 17 months, that was that.
Within a few weeks, he was off to prospect a manual screen printing set up, being sold by a friendly fella named Bubba. Arrangements were made, and David became the proud owner of a handful of (very used) screen printing equipment! It wasn't until months later, scratching words and names on a napkin at a bar in Atlanta, that David came up with the name - Baron Press.
Coming from a triad of references, the name pulls from history - personal and otherwise - as well as the entrepreneurial spirit. Starting slow, with little knowledge outside of printing, Baron Press began to make its - ahem - impression on the Atlanta scene. Believing that most of his designs were "before their time" rather than the possibility that hey, maybe they just weren't awesome, David kept at it.
2012? WooHoo priced sale bread and butter, rice and beans - this was what was on the menu, as Baron Press designs were just so strikingly ahead of their time! Later in the year, Baron Press could be found at Youngblood Gallery as well as on Scoutmob Shoppe. Things were looking up! Slowly but surely, companies gave Baron Press a chance to print their goods. This was also around the time David stopped referring to himself as a "starving artist". Be careful what you joke about folks - you have all the power to make your words come true!
2013 brought sobriety. With that? Clarity. And a whole lot of extra head-ache free time! Printing and printing and printing. Baron Press still spent time on personal designs, but the client list was growing. Word of mouth - it's slow, but powerful!
2014?! This is where things really started to get fun. Business was still slow, so David took on a part time job screen printing at another shop. Hats off to Scott for the time, and continued mentorship, even to this day! That same time, Baron Press linked up with Lazarus Ministries for a huge print show. 15 artists submitted artwork based on a quote by C.S. Lewis. David blindly accepted the job, saying he could make it happen - no worries. He would print using CMYK inks - four color process - as to not have to mix a million colors. Note, David had, 1. Not screen printed on paper since undergrad in 2008, and 2. NEVER done high quality four color process work. How hard could it be?!
Very. Very hard. Like, the hardest thing he's had to do to date. And on a timeline of 3 weeks. While printing 20 hours a week for a different company! Breakdowns. Blood. Frustration. Tears. Ripped screens. Reprints. Breakdowns (it was a lot)... Less than 24 hours until showtime, David dropped off the prints to Benjamin and Jeff. And it turned out to be one of the most special experiences of his life, as well as introducing him to many really great artists and designers in the Atlanta area. Big life lessons learned here.
Shirts Y'all was formed shortly after that - a hip, nitty gritty duo of amazing tee designs put together by Danilouillustrates and Baron Press. A great partnership had formed with a really excellent designer in Danielle, and we were having a blast!
2015 held another Lazarus art show - 15 more artists, but the deadline was much more lenient. Clients growing and growing, and soon David was putting together the thoughts on actually outgrowing the two-car garage that had become Baron Press.
In 2016, we moved out of Brookhaven to a sizable warehouse in Lithonia, GA, and have been enjoying the spacious room since!
a bit more
We hope you get a glimpse into how passionate we are about the screen printing process. It's our favorite. We probably should have thrown in the towel after the first couple years! Luckily, we had no plan B. Our passion is paralleled by our humility. We take pride in providing every one of our clients with the best possible screen printing we are capable of. Without you, there'd be no us!