ABOUT US

For the past ten years, Famous 4 Colors has operated as Umbrella Shirts.

Being a vital partner for many Bay Area businesses. We’ve worked with a wide range of clients, undertaking rigorous market research, careful planning and strategic design methods to create products that are relevant and lasting.

we want to

We’re obsessed with the details. Our team is made up of top-rated developers and designers who don’t miss a thing. With surgical precision, we work tirelessly to make sure concept, graphic and product align perfectly, every time. We’re passionate about working closely with our clients, and we won’t quit until your product sings with a perfectly harmonized look, tone, and feel.

Millions of dollars are spent each year in an industry populated by cheap merchandising solutions, and a majority of products quickly become irrelevant. This, we believe, happens when the product is rushed through the creative process without strategic alignment. A great concept is lost without the right graphic; the right graphic is wasted on the wrong blank product. To make a relevant and emotionally impact-full product, all three must be in sync.

it is in our

history

More Than Just Shirts.

In the beginning, we were Umbrella. Conceived with the idea of protection in mind, we aimed to offer Bay Area artists and their brands a sense of security and support. From a garage in San Francisco, we started silk screening for local musicians and community members, and Umbrella Shirts was born.

As we gained momentum, we remained flexible and adaptable, and our services began to evolve. The genesis of an art gallery and the subsequent creative renaissance in Uptown Oakland kept us close to our roots, but we were ready to go further, beyond apparel. Thus began the shift to Famous 4 Colors.

In effort to clarify our abilities and broaden the conversation beyond shirts, we adopted the name Famous 4 Colors, a designation based on the four colors present in the CMYK Color Model (process color, four color).

If you can envision it, we can make it happen.

2007 – Umbrella Shirts is founded
San Francisco
With a screen printing press and a dream of supporting and promoting local artists, founder Reuben Ly starts a clothing line from within his San Francisco garage. As word spreads, he begins printing custom orders for friends’ organizations, bands, and brands
2009 – Relocation to West Oakland
West Oakland
A focus on customer care and high quality service causes our client base to grow, meaning additional space is required. Operations are moved into a studio across the bridge
2010 – Umbrella Shirts + People’s Choice
Uptown Oakland
We relocate again, this time into a shared space with People’s Choice Printing in a prime location, sharing overhead costs for two automatic screen printing presses capable of running one thousand shirts per hour. Taylor Drake joins the business as an equity partner, and several employees are hired to keep up with orders
2011 – Famous 4 Colors Art Gallery
Uptown Oakland
In keeping with our original artist-driven roots, a gallery is built in front of the print shops to showcase local artists, as well as provide them printed garments that align with their artwork. The gallery is a cornerstone of the creative renaissance of Uptown Oakland, and is still thriving under the name Athen B Gallery
2017 – F4C, More Than Shirts!
San Francisco
Our business expands beyond just apparel to a wide variety of promotional products. We adopt the Famous 4 Colors brand in place of Umbrella Shirts to better clarify this transition for our clients, and move HQ back to San Francisco to be in closer proximity to our primary client base. We continue work with dozens of factories across the Bay Area and across the world to source quality goods for our clients at a great price. Our focus continues to be on delivering the best customer care in the industry