A medium-sized screen printing shop next door to Philadelphia in Camden NJ, specializing in soft inks and quality customer service.
What started as a hobby turned into a nationally-recognized leader in discharge printing, with customers from Hawaii to Norway.
Vacord is a independent shop bringing jobs and hope to an underdeveloped city while producing quality custom apparel for your business or organization.
Adam runs the shop day to day, overseeing everything. As an expert in screen printing, he ensures every order is printed to the best possible degree of quality.
Also, he wishes he could wear his Umbros shorts daily.
Becky is who you will probably talk to the most during your order process, as she oversees all customer support.
She's sharp as a tack and sweet as sugar and will work with you to make sure your project turns out awesome.
Stuart started Vacord in 2006 in a laundry room in West Philadelphia, originally to make t-shirts for his band. Hailing from Tennessee, Stuart loves to travel, fly hot air balloons and eat cheeseburgers. Some would say Stuart likes to eat cheeseburgers more than Nick, though Nick would say pointedly that it is not so. Stuart now focuses on the overall growth of Vacord.
Nick has been working here for 4 years, in which time he has become not only an expert printer, but a brilliant graphic designer as well. He is also a photographer and musician, and plays in a band called CLERIC. He lives in South Philly, and has an unreasonable affinity for cats, of which he has three: Omar, Ichi, and Mama. Nick loves chili, cheeseburgers, chili cheeseburgers, and Japanese films.
Demitre is a North Philly kid and graduate of Parkway NW Highschool. He also works with Yes! And… Collaborative Arts in many of their programs, including Jr Staff where he has acted as a mentor to other kids. Demitre is 100% Rican.
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
In 2006, Stuart had a band, and he wanted shirts for it. He asked his friend Sharkey, who was a screen printer, how much it would be for shirts. "$7 a shirt for 100 shirts." Stuart thought that was too much money for too many shirts, and having always been curious about screen printing, he decided to just learn how to do it himself.
Armed with a cheap Speedball printing kit and some guidance from a friend, he made some crude shirts for his band. And he was hooked.
A hobby turned into a fledging business and he started printing shirts for hire. What started off in the laundry room of a West Philly row home expanded into the basement, then quickly into its own shop.
Vacord continued to grow, and in 2011 moved to Camden, New Jersey and grew to a larger shop with a staff of up to twelve people.
Stuart in the first Vacord shop in 2010 or so
Discharge ink removes and replaces the shirt's color, so you can see the weave of the fabric here
In 2007, discharge ink (a way to remove and replace the shirt's color, with the result being very soft printing) was at the beginning of its comeback, and Stuart got a free sample from his distributor. He did a simple print with it, saw the effect, and was hooked.
At that time, printers were pretty secretive with their knowledge of discharge ink and how to get the best results. But instead of hiding everything he figured out, Stuart did the opposite and published all of his discharge tips and techniques on a blog "Discharge Nation", which made him well known for discharge printing.
As a result, people from all of the globe would contact him for advice, and Fruit of the Loom even hired him to do test printing for them.
To this day, Vacord is known for discharge printing, and is a leader in high-quality discharge results.
Most printers care about their craft and their results. Most. Not all.
Some shops will send out subpar printing, with a "that's good enough" attitude. You may have received shirts like that before.
We even see shirts like that in department stores hanging on racks, printing quality that we wouldn't let leave our shop. It amazes us the low quality stuff that gets out there.
Vacord has always strived for the best results and the best methods. It's why we got into discharge ink initially, and why we've always stayed away from heavy-handed printing. We work with clients to make suggestions for their art of print options to try to always get them the best results.
While Vacord started off printing shirts for a band (and we still love printing for bands when we get the chance!), we focus now on B2B printing, and we're well set up for printing for businesses and events.
Need shirts prepped, sized and taped for your conference, so that they're easy to hand out? No problem, that's a service we can do for you!
Businesses make wonderful clients, but so do churches, non-profits, school and university groups, so we'd love to hear from you no matter what you need shirts for.
Vacord believes in equal opportunities and second chances.
Our staff has many LGBTQ members and is totally LGBTQ friendly, and has several people of color.
Vacord also believes that ex-convicts can be hard workers and wonderful staff members, so we hire people based on character and work ethic, even if they have gotten into trouble in the past.
We love coming to work, and our staff is a little family. On Fridays we have lunch together (often we pick up fried chicken) and crack open a beer at the end of the work week.
Camden sits right across the bridge from Philadelphia, separated by the Delaware River. If there were an "East Philadelphia", it would be Camden, as you can see one city from the other.
The city of Camden has fallen from its former glory, as many industrial towns have, as manufacturing and industry moved out. It's still a wonderful city, and we're proud to be providing jobs in an area that needs more hope, as it becomes a revitalized city.
Want to work with us? Awesome! Use the quote form here to start the conversation. You can get pricing for your project with no pressure (we understand if you're just shopping around) and we're happy to answer all your questions if that's all you have at this point.