The maker movement is a trend that focuses on and celebrates the small creative businesses involved in the hand producing and manufacturing of products. In the printing industry this can mean a small screen printing house or embroidery company – growing and succeeding in a what was previously a shrinking area of business.
One brand who have used this trend to highlight the smaller printing houses and, more importantly, the people behind their designs is Levis. They have produced a number of videos under the title Go To Work in which they follow a day in the life of one if their printing partners or design houses.
The focus on the people and day to day life of the agencies is also the genius of the idea. It takes a huge brand like Levis and reduces it down to the people. Doing this with any company is a good strategy because it gives a personable brand image and somebody that the consumer can relate to.
Of course sometimes they can be negative press about the people behind a brand. Nike are still recovering from the collapse of the factory in Bangladesh in which some of their products were being produced. This is type of story provokes people to ask questions and enquire about where their products are coming from and conveying your production on a smaller scale, like Levis have done is a much more appealing image.
In the Levis video of the screen printing firm in America, the camera focuses on the people and dog who work in the machines exploring their personalities and creating a small town image. The art of screen printing is a really tactile process and a revealing experience for someone who has never seen it before.
It is surprisingly labour intensive, which again concentrates on the skill of the worker. In this way screen printing lends itself to this type of movement and with some creative knowledge any small printing house can create a similar promotional video showing the hands-on nature of screen printing and tap into the maker movement.