When I look at the wide range of Triton’s Realm designs, it’s gratifying because it reflects dive sites we’ve seen ourselves, up close. The shirt creation process begins while we’re exploring under water. We take our cameras with us and capture whatever is there: sea life, coral, man-made objects that have been placed to form a reef. Each and every dive site has at least one unique feature, so that’s what we focus on. That unique feature is most likely what made other divers want to explore that site, too, so we want to capture it.
Next we’ll go through the images we collected under water and bounce ideas around with our designers. The design might be inspired by the photography, or it could be a rendering of something we saw under water. Some dive sites lend themselves to designs that tell good stories or play off the name. The Swirling Reef of Death on St. Croix’s West End is one example…contrary to its name, it’s one of the most tranquil places ever!
After the idea-generating sessions we’ll end up with a few iterations of a design. Often we’ll present our design concept to a dive shop owner to get their feedback, especially when it’s a design that only they will carry. From there, the design that we ultimately choose for a site has to be something that we all agree on. We’ve been to the dive sites so we know personally which design best represents the area.
Our UPF 50+solar performance shirts are printed using a process called dye sublimation. The benefit of dye sublimation is that the design becomes part of the fabric, as opposed to the old-style decals that are placed on top of the fabric. The dye sublimination printing process is ideal for warm weather shirts because they keep you cool; the sun isn’t heating up a decal on your back. In addition, the inks used in the printing process are water-based, phthalate-free, environmentally friendly inks. These inks don’t create chemicals that come off in the wash, so your shirt will look new even after many wearings.
Most of all, we can attest to the fact that our performance shirts stand up in the most intense conditions. We sweat in them, we swim in them, we wear them under our wet suits and while we're out doing errands. The material doesn't stretch, and it won't fade from exposure to the sun. While we have dozens of designs, men's and women's cuts, short-sleeved, long-sleeved and hooded long-sleeved shirts, it's easy to recognize a Triton's Realm shirt by its unique design, the quality of the material and its consistent look and feel.
Our design creation process moves at a quick pace as we average about 3 new designs per week. While our performance shirts are available in dive shops in North America and the Caribbean, our online store is packed full of lightweight cotton t-shirts that feature our signature dive site inspired designs. Next, we plan to develop a line of hats that feature our underwater photography. We're proud of the fact that our shirts are printed in the U.S., and the designs are unique to each dive site.
We're always adding new designs, and we look forward to continuing to expand Triton's Realm designs to new dive sites – the sky is the limit!
-- Jeff, Sara, and Evan