I have a logo of a man's face with the double exposure effect, it will be printed on a t-shirt. I applied the effect in illustrator using clipping mask. I used a night illustration. The effect works on white background as in the left part of the image, but when I change the background to black the man's face doesn't appear anymore as in the right part of the image


Large image on white background

Large image on black background

My question is what can I do to make the logo successful on any t-shirt color?

  • ".. what can I do to make the logo successful on any t-shirt color" ... Realistically, you cannot do anything about that.
    – Jongware
    Oct 10 '18 at 15:18
  • 5
    A "face" doesn't seem to appear on white either. I'm merely not seeing any "man's face" anywhere.
    – Scott
    Oct 10 '18 at 18:05

I'll try to give a solution.

The first point is not an answer, but a question: where's the man face? I read your question several times thinking that I did not understand it well, looking for the head of a man, but I still find it difficult to recognize it. Is this one?

man head

Figure–ground organization is a type of perceptual grouping which is a vital necessity for recognizing objects through vision. In Gestalt psychology it is known as identifying a figure from the background.

Ok, if this is quite difficult to see it, used as a frame for an illustration, it will be totally imperceptible. You are trying a double reading that doesn't work. In your case the ground is above the frame, in both versions, positive and negative. And the single image in negative doesn't work at all.

I think you should work on the profile of the image to reduce the noise and transform it in an frame. At the point where it is now, used as a frame, it is just that, noise around the illustration.

enter image description here

Printing over a color t-shirt is different than over a paper, you need another ink, the white. To obtain the image of your illustration on a black textile, first there must be a white ink layer. Knowing this, a recurring solution is to make the white layer exceed the illustration by forming a second frame outside the image:

white border

  • 3
    I, too, do not see a human face. I can see what might be a beard and what might be a knit skullcap, but only because the OP said it was a face.
    – Yorik
    Oct 10 '18 at 16:46
  • Sidenote: "Printing over a color t-shirt is different than over a paper, you need another ink, the white." I agree that adding a background with an outline can solve the figure-ground problem, especially when it comes to depicting human faces (in my experience this is even more striking when eye pupils are involved). But I find that sentence misleading on a technical level. I can see how a white "flood" would be necessary for printing, say, on a DVD, screenprinting typcally involves opaque inks so I don't think that would be absolutely necessary.
    – curious
    Oct 10 '18 at 17:54
  • The OP does not specify if the printing is flat ink colors or halftones. I took the assumption that the printing is in CMYK four-color to obtain halftones, hence the fifth ink.
    – user120647
    Oct 10 '18 at 18:08
  • yes @Danielillo, it's the man's face you just made above. But I really don't know how to reduce the noise and transform in a frame. I get you well but it's really hard to work on that logo in a double exposure effect, because as you mentioned "it will be totally imperceptible"
    – N.E
    Oct 10 '18 at 21:27
  • @N.E It's a question of work and observation. According to what I suppose is a wool cap, a man profile and a beard. Perhaps it is a good start to formally study each thing separately seeing how they really are and try to abstract them graphically. As an example, the part of the beard that touches the cheek is only carried in that way by a homeless, that can be quite abstracted in just one curved line.
    – user120647
    Oct 10 '18 at 23:37

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