The Prologue: A Screen Printing Story

Hello Friendly Arctic Expeditioners, welcome to our new company blog!

We’re glad you’re here! This blog will serve as an informative and entertaining platform for your screen printing answers and inspire some ideas!

We will be using this blog to highlight a variety of things. These include special screen printing services/processes we offer, design projects we have worked on, and cool local companies and nonprofits we have worked with. We’ll get to that stuff in some of our later posts. We wanted to start off on the right foot and set sail through a little bit of Friendly Arctic lore.

Capt. Andy Bird and his wife Hadassah started Friendly Arctic Printing and Design in 2008, in their Nashville home’s garage. The shop has moved around East Nashville before gradually landing at 1045 Granada Ave. It has always operated as an exclusively water-based ink screen printing shop. The vast majority of screen printing shops use polyester-oil based inks, called plastisol, because they are cheaper and easier to work with. They don’t dry out on press like water-based inks, which makes running the equipment a lot easier. Until recently plastisol inks have been the only way to achieve bright, opaque prints.

So why do we only use water-based, you ask? We proudly use Permaset Aqua inks because they are better for the environment, better for us, feel a lot softer on the garments, and were specifically developed to achieve fully bright, opaque prints that can be matched to specific Pantone color codes. Water-based inks also grant us more flexibility with the overall opacity of the final print. For example, a more vintage look is achieved with our single pass print technique. We believe the soft feel, high quality, and environmental and health benefits are worth the extra effort during printing. We know you’ll love it as well!

Our company name comes from a book called The Friendly Arctic by the explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, about an Arctic voyage that took place nearly 100 years ago from 1913 to 1918. Aboard the Karluk, Vilhjalmur explored and persevered through the most inhospitable conditions, built igloos, and broke through the ice. When starting this company, Andy felt like he was going off into uncharted territory, but never gave up. Now almost 10 years, a few shops, and a fleet of satisfied customers later we have grown into Nashville’s premier contract printing shop!

We understand that our customers brands, whether well-established or brand new, are valuable and important to represent well. We exist to provide our customers guidance and expert advice through the unnecessarily daunting task of buying, printing, and designing apparel or posters. It doesn’t have to be scary to buy custom merchandise, in fact it should be exciting to promote your brand! You’ll love the finished product, and you’ll be proud to show it off! Come by the shop to check out some samples, we’d love to meet you! Click here or call us at 615-357-0158 to get started on a quote!

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