Category Archives: T-shirts


The Friskies awards celebrate the only thing that makes the internet worth itvideos of cats! Kong was excited to print awards shirts for the 2nd year in a row for this beloved event. IMG_9084IMG_9080 IMG_9085

Kung Fu Rice Noodle Logo Shirts

Kung Fu Rice Noodle Logo Shirts

Many contemporary logos have complex gradients and color overlays in them, which create a bit of a challenge to reproduce on a t-shirt or poster. Screen printing is a stenciling process, that pushes ink through a piece of polyester onto the substrate below. In order to print multicolor graphics, a separate screen must be prepared for each color printed, as only one color of ink can go through the stencil at a time.

In order to create the illusion of gradients, we use a process called halftoning.  Halftones allow gradients and tonal changes to be printed as a series of dots, which give the illusion of color change. These shirts for Kung Fu Rice Noodle are a great example of this process at work. A white underlay of ink was printed on a black shirt, and yellow halftone and a red halftone screens were printed on top to create the gradient look of yellow/orange/red.



One of the most common questions we get is “How do I pick the right t-shirt for my project?” And, with so many options available to you in today’s market, it’s not an easy question to answer.


Kong groups shirts into 4 basic tiers based upon the type of materials used, the brand name, the point of manufacture, and how well we have found the shirts to print and last over time. We typically recommend going with the best shirt your budget affords, as people like to wear shirts that fit well, are soft, and will last for a long time.


When determining what shirt is right for your project, material is the first essential element to consider. Cotton is, by far, the most common material used to make garments, and manufacturers use a variety of terms to let you know what type of cotton they are using. 100% Preshrunk Cotton and 100% Ringspun Cotton are the two most common types used. Manufacturers also use synthetic fibers including Polyester, Rayon and Spandex in garments as well. Sometimes these fibers will be blended with the natural cotton to yield a different type of shirt.


Preshrunk or “Open Cotton” shirts are the least expensive option you can choose for your project. The typical weights for a t-shirt in this category are 5.0 – 6.5 ounces and would be considered “Heavyweight”. Because this type of cotton is just one step above raw cotton, it cannot be woven as fine or as soft. Most common brands/models for this type of shirt would be Gildan 2000 and 5000, Hanes Tagless and Beefy T, Jerzees 29.


Ringspun Cotton shirts are lighter weight and have stronger fibers because they are made with a higher grade of cotton. Sometimes called combed ringspun cotton, this way of making a shirt creates a tighter weave and softer feel. Common brands we regularly use in this category include Next Level 3600, Bella+Canvas 3001 and American Apparel 2001’s (American Made). These brands are considered fashion forward in cut and feel and typically offer men’s/unisex and ladies companion styles in the same color selection.


Polyester is great at keeping us cool and is often marketed as a moisture wicking fabric or High Performance Shirt. There lots of terms manufacturers use to brand this fiber – for instance, Cool-max or Clima-cool – but they are generally made from 100% poly or a mixture of it and other synthetics.


When considering the tee that’s best for you, one great shirt option combines a high quality ringspun cotton with polyester. Many common blend ratios are 50/50, 60/40 and 65/35. Blending the two fabrics increases strength, decreases weight, and adds to softness. Although not a moisture wicking shirt, these blends do reduce sweating and show fewer stains. Common brands we print in this category would be the American Apparel BB401 (50/50), the Next Level Cotton/Poly 6200 (65/35) or CVC 6210 (60/40), and the Bella+Canvas 3650 (52/4).


Still another approach is the much beloved Tri-blend – a shirt using ringspun cotton, polyester and rayon. American Apparel’s version is the TR401, which they call the Track Tee. The Bella+Canvas 3413 and Next Level 6010 are also great options for Tri-blend shirts.


All of the above shirts, namely ringspun cotton, Polyester and Cotton/Poly blends will commonly come in Crew Necks & V-Necks and in Men’s & Women’s Styles. Some brands offer tank tops, racerbacks, deep V necks, scoop necks and youth styles as well.


Brand, fit and style options are often a matter of personal preference. However one thing is certain, there is no shortage of options to choose from when selecting shirts for your screen-printed project. Our staff is happy to advise you on what shirt will best fit your project and your budget. We also welcome you to come to our studio to see and feel the difference for yourself.

Born To Lose, Live to WInBeezelbub


Kong is excited to announce two new designs for the Kong Artist Series. “Born to Lose” uses discharge ink, on a tri-blend Bella+Canvas shirt which keeps it nice and soft. The other is our “Beelzebub,”  a black ink on black shirt with a high gloss overprint. Available in men’s and women’s styles, these cool shirts throw out the meek in favor of the metal. Get yourself one exclusively through the Kong Shop.

Two Arms Inc. is a ( soon to be husband and wife team ) founded by Mike Tabie and Karen Goheen in 2009. They met 6 years ago in Orlando, FL while working with a local design agency and screen-printing together on nights and weekends. Karen and Mike independently moved to New York but continued to work separately within large and small design agencies. After a year they decided to take the plunge and partner together and start a business focused on their unique own vision. Two Arms’ focus and dedication to craftsmanship, attention to detail, and that sweet spot between concept and execution have got them noticed in a lot of places, just like these shirts will get you noticed. For more info visit

Kong Artist Series

Kong is excited to announce our new project, launching  11.15.2013.  Has Launched. You’ll be able to see the first editions at our studios during the East Austin Studio Tour starting tomorrow. See the shirts now by clicking here.

We’re taking art off the wall and putting it on you!

The Kong Artist Series (#KAS) is an ongoing collaborative series between Kong Screenprinting and leading contemporary artists.  Kong invites an established or emerging artist to design a series of shirts, focused on a theme of subject the artist selects. No limitations are placed on subject matter. Artist are encouraged to experiment with the T-shirt as a venue for their concept and aesthetics, and to use it as a way to build more intimate connections with the wearer.

The designs are printed on the finest garments with premium inks and the utmost attention of Kong’s Master Printers. Initial runs of each design will be 60 shirts, which are published as open editions. Every detail has been considered. Our approach is simple – use the highest highest quality garments and processes possible, and let the art shine.

Garments tell as story about who we are and what we care about in the world. The Kong Artist Series appeals to people who realize that graphics can project quality, intellect, humor and beauty. If you’re looking for something unique, the Kong Artist Series will offer you new ways to break the mold.

To launch the series, Kong has selected three artists – Jiha Moon, M-lon (AKA Miguel Gonzalez)  and Kristofer Porter. Here’s a sneak peak of what’s to come:

Sneak Peak of Jiha Moon Art #KAS

Sneak Peak of M-lon Art #KAS

Sneak Peak of Kristofer Porter Design #KAS

Sneak Peak of Kristofer Porter Art#KAS


November Sale

Kong is offering you a deal during November– 50- 1 color Premium Ring Spun Cotton Bella Canvas 3001’s with a 1 (one) color front imprint for $340 per shirt (not including sales tax). That works out to less than $7 a shirt! Please email with the subject line: November Sale and get yourself some cool shirts!