Several years ago, John Bond and Brandon Hagan sat in a dorm room at Western Kentucky University and kicked around the idea of launching their own design company. Post-graduation plans guided them in separate directions, but fast-forward to 2010 and the pair discovered they’d predicted their own future in those optimistic undergrad days.
Twine Graphics opened two years ago, offering Franklin-and-beyond residents a full-service graphic design operation that includes screen-printing, logo design and branding services.
“We’re both dreamers. It’s always been appealing to us to be our own boss, and to be in creative control of our art work,” said Bond, co-owner and founder of Twine Graphics. “We’re also young, eager and creative with a passion for design. This was a natural partnership for us.”
Bond and Hagan have coupled a fresh eye for the textile industry and a broad design background, a combination that’s quickly lead to a loyal client base and booming business over the past 24 months—and an operation that’s grown from $130 of seed money to tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment, solid revenue and a studio off of Columbia Avenue.
“We’ve been fortunate to have great clients who’ve helped us grow and trusted us to bring another dimension of design to their businesses,” Hagan said. “You give us an idea and we give you an awesome concept. We let our work speak for itself.”
To get things rolling, the two first began producing material at a small screen-printing shop after it shut down for the night, working into the early morning hours on projects. And until recently, the business partners held day jobs to keep operations afloat—all things that are indicative of the owners’ commitment to their craft.
“This wasn’t handed to us,” Bond laughed. “We’ve put our blood, sweat and tears into this over the past two years, and operated 24 hours a day to make this grow.”
The creative spark in both Bond and Hagan is evident in the material they produce, where purposeful design meets carefully honed skills—like one Twine Graphic created T-shirt that used vintage type and an antique photo to better underscore the Southern Shine clothing brand. The company has also produced material for local businesses like Kimbro’s Pickin’ Parlor, Bink’s Outfitters and Gallery 202 in downtown Franklin.
“Screen printing is such a cool medium, but it’s not just T-shirt design,” Hagan said. “It’s fine art, which is also something we hope to get into. We’ve been able to do things that we didn’t intend, like basically building a full clothing line and designing custom wedding posters.”
“But that’s exactly what we want to do. We don’t want to just be known as a mom-and-pop screen print shop,” Bond added. “We really are a full-service creative company. If you have a need in the creative industry, we will either personally meet it or direct you to where your needs can be met.”
That includes marketing materials, signage, promotional items and more, and all with deliberate, thoughtful elements—something that is showcased in the business name: “Twine” is an acronym for “The world is not enough,” Bond’s family crest motto.
“Growing up, that phrase has always spoken to me,” Bond said. “We’ve made it our mantra.”
Bond and Hagan said that they both plan to stay in Franklin, a town they say is an interesting—and important—mix of old and new.
“We love to play off of Franklin’s heritage and modern day culture,” Hagan said. “The arts are appreciated here, and that’s something great about this area.”