Is Glow-in-the-Dark cool again?

As a child of the 80’s, I had plenty of things that glowed in the dark. Everything from sneakers to sunglasses to stars for your ceiling and Nerf games seemed to be incorporating this new fad. Glow in the dark technology has other uses outside of the fashion and toy world (who knew!?), but if you ask me, nothing beats playing football in the dark with a ball that glows. It was fun, and cool, and all the rage. But Glow-in-the-Dark as a fad started to fade as the 90’s progressed.

Our first use of Glow ink

A few years ago, our friends at the NJ Lighthouse Society approached us about incorporating Glow in the Dark ink into one of their shirts. They had seen the ink color on when I showed them our ink color swatches, though I had never really noticed it before. I was hesitant – I didn’t know if it would work, and all I could picture were those hideous “wolf pack” T-shirts. We ran with it and it came out great. The shirts looked great in the day, and when the sun set, they glowed for a while. I’m still kicking myself for not getting any photos. It was cool the way the top of the lighthouse glowed like a real lighthouse would have.

This is the front of the shirt – Hover to see it Glow!

We’ve since done Glow ink on other shirts; the best example being the Churchkey Run Club shirts from a few months ago…and I was able to get some great photos of the shirt this time. Applying Glow ink to a shirt is surprisingly easy. It takes two coats of ink – a white or flourescent green ink that serves as as underlayment, followed by an application of the clear Glow ink. In the light, the Glow ink looks the color of the underlayment, but in the dark it glows that familiar green light. Take a look at the pictures to see what I mean.

Anyway, I ran across a Mental Floss article this morning about how Glow-in-the-Dark items work that I found interesting, so I thought I’d pass it on. The author also remembers all the fun we had with Glow-in-the-Dark items of the 80’s and 90’s, and I still have the Glow-in-the-Dark Football.  In the end the Glow ink is still a gimmick, but if it’s applied correctly it can be a fun addition to your custom shirts.

About john

John is the Graphic design engine at WhizBang Concepts. He lives in North Wilmington, DE with his wife Lisa, and their daughter Tessa and works full-time in Philadelphia as a Marine Engineer. John is a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy reserve and enjoys following the NY Yankees and NY Giants.

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