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Moonshiner 28 (update)

UPDATED August 14, 2013

Here is our latest design for Moonshiner 28, entitled “Skullcrackers.” Based on a concept brought in by the customer, and digitally painted in Photoshop by in-house graphic designer Brent Baldwin. For the original Moonshiner design, scroll down. For more information about Moonshiner 28, click here.



Our good friends Ron and Nancy from Tail of the Dragon (who we profiled on our site last year as well) are embarking on a new project, promoting a 103-mile stretch of Highway 28 that runs between Deals Gap, North Carolina and Walhalla, SC. They’re calling this road the Moonshiner, and are giving the road the full “Tail of the Dragon” treatment, offering visitors maps, lodging information, commemorative collectables, and more.

Here’s a description, from their website:

Once one of the major runs for moonshiners with revenuers hot on their bumper, the road today boasts some great twisties, wide sweepers and unsurpassed scenery. Mountain vistas, waterfalls and secluded lakes appear around nearly every corner. You can find good food, accommodations of every type and unique shops with unusual antiques and crafts created by mountain artisans.

Here is the design for the very first Moonshiner 28 shirt, designed in-house at Image 420.

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Our Online Store!

Last year, as some of you might know, we took part in the annual Big Love Festival, a local showcase of WNC artisans and crafters. We had such a good time that when the opportunity to do it again this year came around, we jumped at. We designed and printed a giant batch of unique shirts, boxed them up, and waited for the big day. Which unfortunately, never came. Torrential rain and wind forced the organizers of the event to cancel.

Plans are in the works to reschedule the event for a later date. But, in the meantime, we’re left with a bunch of shirts, and we’re itching to get them out, into the world. So, we’ve finally made the leap into online commerce! Check out our online store:

There, you will find…


•A Special Edition version of our infamous “Cesspool of Sin” shirt, available for purchase online for the first time.



•An ode to our neighborhood (also a multi-color “Special Edition” print).



•A classic rock/classic movie monsters mashup.



•A loving tribute to our home state, at the expense of the states that surround it.


•And, a joke at the expense of “Beer City, USA” itself.

And if you find yourself in our neighborhood, drop by the shop! The shirts are available for purchase at Image 420, as well.


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Mt. Mitchell Challenge (UPDATED)

UPDATED March 22, 2013

The 2013 Mount Mitchell Challenge design, by in-house designer Ike Wheeless.


mt mitchell challenge pic13


It’s that time of year. The good people with the Mount Mitchell Challenge came to us again for a design/print for the very tough marathon that happens in February every year. We make it our own little challenge to incorporate the famous mountain tops and flying ravens into the design. We kept it simple and went with a 2-color design but incorporated some halftones to add a little depth.

Check out this video link, shot by a participant, to see if you’re up for the challenge next year. You’ll get a sweet t-shirt if you make it!

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Our Ever-Expanding Portfolio

As we’re kicking off 2013, we thought we’d take a moment to highlight a few of the designs that flew a little under the radar, and never received an individual blog post.


Back in August, some of the musicians in the shop decided to bring their various bands together, and put on a show at the Lexington Avenue Brewery. We dubbed the event “The Image 420 Talent Show,” and we had a blast.

We printed some commemorative giveaway shirts for the event, and they had an extremely goofy design, with a bear in Elton John glasses and a captain’s hat, playing a Flying V. We gave all of the shirts away at the show, and made tentative plans to make more at a later date, for those who missed out.

But instead of letting the bear fly solo on the shirt, we decided to design a band for him…

420 Animal Band

As for what this band would sound like, you’re guess is as good as ours. If you’re interested in getting one of these shirts, we have plenty of them available at the shop.

And speaking of music, let’s talk about our friends at Asheville Free Media. This past year, they moved into a new headquarters on Haywood Road. And to commemorate their next phase, they commissioned us to design a new logo:


We also created a logo for Blue Rage of Asheville, a very unique downtown art shop that opened this past year. From their website:

Offering unique vintage and antique items alongside today’s creators and artists celebrates Asheville’s rich history with it’s vibrant community today and promoting tomorrow’s talent.

They asked for a design with an Art Deco feel, to reflect the architecture of downton Asheville. Here’s the design that we came up with for them:


And finally, we come to the Reynolds Middle School Band. As we’ve mentioned before, this is one of our Art Department’s favorite annual projects. The kids present us with a classic rock album cover that they like, and we do a tribute design that includes astronauts and other space program-related ideas, to reflect their school’s mascot (they’re “the Rockets”).

This year, they chose No, by They Might Be Giants:

tmbg no

And here’s the tribute design that we created for them:


As you can see, we do a wide variety of design projects, here at Image 420. And we couldn’t be happier. You can see these designs and more, in our online design portfolio. 


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A.C. Reynolds Middle School Band (UPDATED)

For the fifth year in a row, we’ve designed and printed shirts for the A.C. Reynolds Middle School band. From the start, this project has been surprisingly unique, and has turned into a great shared tradition between us and the band. Every year, we get to do a memorable and unique design for these kids, and it’s a really fun design project for our Art Department.

From the start, the idea began with the band’s director, Greg Love. He wanted themes from classic rock album covers, mashed up with their school’s mascot, the Rockets. He gave our Art Department complete creative license (which we love, obviously). From that great starting point, we decided to use Astronauts as the theme, since we would be able to use them in place of the people on various classic rock album covers.

UPDATED January 24, 2013: The design for the 2012-2013 school year has been added. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more.

For the first year’s design, former Image 420 graphic designer Jeremy Boger chose The Who. After looking through his personal record collection, he chose this album cover as the basis for his design:

the who max rnb

Here is what Jeremy came up with:

And here’s the shirt, modeled by the band:

A simple, direct, and effective design. It was also a huge hit with the kids, so we got the call again the next year. For this design Jeremy started with perhaps the most classic of all classic album covers:

And here is the epic result:

For the third year, the kids became a little more involved in the process of selecting a theme. That was great, because it really let us know that they were into it, and were enjoying their shirts. They gave us a list of potential candidates, and from that list, we chose a slightly more modern classic:

Here’s the result, by graphic designer Israel Hill:

Which brings us to this year. The kids are now “all-in” on the design selection process. They sent one idea, and it was a great idea. The design was to be based around this classic rock poster, for The Grateful Dead:

The kids chose well! In the fourth year of this project, their selections perfectly match the theme, and the things that make it work: a classic design, with a central human figure that can be swapped out with an astronaut. Here’s the result, by designer Brent Baldwin:

UPDATE!  For the 2012-2013 school year, the kids chose No, by They Might Be Giants. Here is the original cover:

tmbg no

And here is the tribute design, by Brent Baldwin:


So, once again, we’d like to thank the kids of the A.C. Reynolds Middle School Band, and their director, Greg Love, for letting us make these shirts for them every year. As designers, and lovers of classic design, it’s so much fun to work on designs like this. And it’s great to be have the creative flexibility and trust that we’ve been given by these kids. We hope to do many more of these fantastic shirts in the future.

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November Already?

2012 has really flown by at Image 420. It’s only now, as the the year is slowing down, that we realize just how busy this year has been for us. Naturally, in our rush to design and print shirts, we’ve neglected to update our website, and our Facebook profile, and so on. Don’t get us wrong, being too busy to post status updates is a good kind of problem. But now,  with Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to update this blog.

And hey, speaking of Thanksgiving, check out these Turkey Trot shirts we just printed for our good friends and longtime clients at Jus’ Running



The Turkey Trot design is by local designer Christina Papandrea.

Here’s another recent print, for Smoky Mountain Steel Horses, based out of Waynesville, NC. Original designer unknown.


And finally, we’re currently working on a long overdue update to our online portfolio. That should do it for now. Thanks for stopping by!

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Best Of WNC 2012

UPDATE: The official list is up on the Xpress website. You can check it out here.

As many of you already know, the Mountain Xpress (our local alt-weekly newspaper) conducts a reader poll every year, to determine the local businesses, bands, and people that will make up their annual “Best of WNC” list. Up until this year, there was no category for Image 420 to win. But this year, the Mountain Xpress added a “Best Print Shop” category. And we tied for first place!

Unfortunately, the list has yet to make it onto their website. But it is currently on newsstands in WNC. For those of you who live too far away to pick up a copy of the Xpress, here are the official rankings:

First Place (tied): Henco Reprographics and Image 420 Screen Printing

Second Place: Printville

Third Place (tied): Graphics Four and Allegra Asheville

And here’s the blurb they wrote about us, which encapsulate the philosophy of our business pretty well, we think:

The online portfolio for Image 420 Screenprinting, a pioneering Haywood Road business, reads like a survey of area culture. The graphics firm has produced posters, t-shirts and other promotional materials for bands, festival, bike and road races and even Mission Hospitals. According to its website, Image 420 is “based around the belief that screenprinting can be an art form, an advertising media and a vehicle for the growth of any business.”

And to that, we plan on holding true, no matter where we land in next year’s poll. Thank you to all of you who voted for us, and to all of our fantastic customers. We’re proud of our small victory, but are far more proud of the sentiment behind your votes.


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Brewgrass 2012

Once again, summer has begun it’s slow transition into fall, and for us, that means one thing: it’s time to print Brewgrass shirts. And glasses. And stickers. And so on.

For the 16th year of this venerable Asheville festival, we created a very flexible and textured design, so that with one simple ink change, looks completely different on the four available shirt colors.

We’re extremely proud to be the people responsible for the design and the printing of these shirts since 2001.

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The Image 420 Talent Show!

The people that work at Image 420 have always been a multitalented bunch. Many types of artists, visual, musical and otherwise, spend their days here, making t-shirts for the good people of Western North Carolina. And this Saturday, some of us are banding together, to bring you one of the craziest live music shows you’ll ever see.

The show will be at the Lexington Avenue Brewery. The doors open at nine, and the music starts at 9:30. There will be bluegrass, courtesy of screen printer Josh Holton. There will be Hip Hop, from local legend MC Huggs. There will be experimental surf rock, with the first show by Nick Marshall’s new band Ouroboros Boys. There will be indie rock, courtesy of graphic designer Brent Baldwin, and his band Albatross Party. And there will be the whiskey-marinated, dirty rock and roll of Gutterhound, featuring the guitar stylings of Joey Cain.

There will also be t-shirt giveaways (naturally), and more surprises as well. So come on out to the show! We’d love to see you there.

Click here to feed our egos, by joining our Facebook event page. 

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Lusty Monk!

There’s an excellent article in the Asheville Citizen Times about one of our favorite customers, Kelly Davis, of Lusty Monk Mustard.

We’ve been printing Lusty Monk shirts, aprons and thongs (!!!) for a few years now, and we’re always delighted when Kelly drops by the shop to pick up her orders. In part, it’s because there’s always a chance that she might leave us with a few jars of her delicious mustard. But also, she has a sparkling demeanor, and it’s always nice to have a chance to talk to her.

You can check out the article here. And if you’ve never had any Lusty Monk mustard, order a jar for yourself, and you’ll find out what all the fuss is about.