From the monthly archives:

May 2007

The (not so) Secret Spreadshirt Beta

by Andy on May 31, 2007

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Big thanks to Adam from Spreadshirt for hooking me up with a “super limited edition” tee that they’re using to help promote the latest incarnation of their print-on-demand/webshop/marketplace service. I especially liked how there was a beta invitation code printed where the tag is usually printed/sewn in. Admittedly, it isn’t exactly hard to get a beta invitation code, but it was still a very cool touch.

Spreadshirt are probably my favourite of the print-on-demand services, largely because they’re the only company that I’ve actually dealt with on a personal level. I still wear a tee and hoodie that I had made up for my personal blog back in 2005 and I was really impressed by the quality, actually, pretty much everyone in my house at uni had something that we designed together and we really liked the idea of making up tees based upon the meta-jokes that we had going. Of course, with it being a shop that consisted of in-jokes, the only purchasers of our designs were people I lived with, but still I really enjoyed the process (we used to hook my laptop up to the big TV in the lounge and design tees when we should have probably been studying).

Okay, that paragraph was fairly off-topic, but aren’t you glad you know a little bit more about me now?

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My initial thoughts on the new beta are that I’m impressed. They’ve freshend up the design, and whilst it does contain a lot of the stereotypical web 2.0 attributes, those attributes look good, everything is very clear, and it just has an overall more ‘human’ feel to it. One feature that I’m really glad they’re introducing is the ability for shop owners to put pictures of their products into their shops. It frustrated me in the past how shops had the standard photoshop style promo pictures even after they’d sold one of that design, because I get the feeling that people are far more likely to buy a tee if they can see what it looks like on a real person. Perhaps with this new feature they will move towards dispelling the myth that print-on-demand services are lacking in terms of quality. Also, the pictures make blog writers more inclined to promote a shirt, I know that Karl from Tcritic has said in the past that a tee would have to be amazing for him to post it if there weren’t any real-life shots available.

I don’t know if the graphics that they have on the front page of the beta were done in-house or if they were outsourced, but I do really like them, its almost a pity that they won’t be in the finished version (as far as I know).

Oh, and the tee is pretty nice too.

Beta.Spreadshirt.net

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Fonzi tee by Chanoir @ Dadawan

by Andy on May 31, 2007

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I thought I’d keep up the mouse theme (I guess you could also call it the companies-that-bait-Disney theme) with this interesting design by a French artist that goes by the name Chanoir, I think that this might be his website, I can’t be entirely sure but since Dadawan is a French site and that Chanoir site is also French… (yeah, it doesn’t take Gil Grissom, does it?).

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I quite like one-colour sketch designs in this style, I think it really suits this image in particular, since it might have looked a bit cheesy if it was a really polished image, whereas this makes it look like someone just thought “hey, imagine if Fonzi and a cartoon mouse had kids…” and instead of drawing on a notebook they just drew on a tee.

It’s only available in size medium, so I’m going to guess that this is extremely limited edition (perhaps there’s only one?)

Costiness€29.00 URL

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Keith zip-up hoodie by X-Large

by Andy on May 31, 2007

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I don’t really understand why this hoodie is called ‘Keith’, perahps Keith is the name of the character that adorns the hoodie who for copyright reasons I’m sure is not modeled on a certain mouse that would be known formally as Michael. Not that the name particularly matters, I just thought it was weird.

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I really like the way that they’ve put the Keith pattern on the inside of the hood. It might have been cool if they had that pattern on all of the inside of the hoodie, and then it could have been reversible, although I’m not sure how well that pattern would work as an all-over.

Costiness=$58.43 URL

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Boombox tee by Johnny Cupcakes

by Andy on May 30, 2007

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It hit me just now that Johnny Cupcakes if one of the few ‘indie’ designers/labels that tee blogs feature who gets away with putting their name and logo on almost every design. Usually, I hear an argument that people don’t wear Nike, Adidas, etc. tees because they don’t want to be a walking billboard, but I get the feeling that that isn’t the case with Johnny Case, its more like people are proud to support the label, at least until they get too big and there’s a backlash (like with Threadless, not that it seems to have hurt them). Perhaps its also because the name and logo were built into the designs from day one, so it would actually be kind of weird if they didn’t have a name or logo plastered across each design.

Recently, JC released some new designs, and I’m pretty sure that this boombox tee is one of them. And even if it isn’t, that doesn’t really stop me liking it. At first I thought this tee was printed with gold foil, but on closer inspection I get the feeling its just gold ink, which is a little disappointing because with the subject being a boombox I felt as if it could really kick this design up a notch, but I guess I’ll just have to stick with Bean Dip for my gold foil boombox needs. and I was right, it is on fold foil, awesome!

The tee is also available for guys.

Costiness=$35.99 ($6 US Shipping, $20 Outside US) URL

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Quite a nice design this, nothing spectacular, but it does a lot of things right. I like the way that the floral pattern runs across the shoulder a bit, which kind of pulls the design away from the chest, and having the stars look like they’re cut from a pattern works well, far better than if they’d centred the skull and cross bones in each star. I’m not entirely sure why if the flowers on the left kangaroo pocket are entirely necessary, but without seeing the whole hoodie it would be harsh to say that they didn’t deserve to be there.

Note of interest to Threadless watchers: the FiveTone website was developed by skinnyCorp.

Costiness=$67.95 ($8 for shipping, free if you spend $75 or more) URL [via Stylehive]

*Someone in the comments has suggested that FiveTone may be a scam, and that they won’t send your goods, I don’t know how true it is, and the commenter left no real name (and probably a made up e-mail address) but I thought I’d better mention it*

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No Limits tee by Imaginary foundation

by Andy on May 29, 2007

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Eagle-eyed readers may well have noticed that I added an asterisk to the header graphic a few days ago. Even though technically summer doesn’t start until June 21st (although there are lots of different dates), things are definitely getting warmer, so there’s rather less hoodie wearing to be done, and it feels a bit silly to be recommending hoodies whilst the sun is beating down through the window. Long story short, I’m gonna start posting more tees, and the * stands for “…and other stuff I like.” This isn’t a permanent situation, but I think it makes sense at the moment.

I really love the colours in this tee from the constantly-wonderful Imaginary foundation. I’d love to see how this is in real-life, and also how well it stands up to wearing and washing because it is pretty detailed and I’d imagine that maintaining the brilliance of the colours is pretty key to making sure this design remains looking good. Also, I don’t know what the two guys are there for (perhaps just for retaining the sense of surrealism that often permeates through Imaginary Foundation’s designs), I had originally thought that maybe one of them made up the quote “there are no limits, there are only plateaus”, but it turns out Bruce Lee said that.

Costiness=$30 URL

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Smokers Lungs by Coley Clothing

by Andy on May 29, 2007

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I guess that I should have probably waited until July 1st to post this hoodie since that’s when the smoking ban comes into full effect in England (hurrah!), but I’m sure I’d forget so here it is.

Let’s blurb it out:
“Appliquéd and embroidered smokers lungs onto a black 100% cotton hoodie. Lungs appear in a lovely shade of brown jersey; with a withered appearance (artistic liberties have been taken since real smoker’s lungs are enlarged and pretty much black). Trachea and bronchial tubes are made from a light brown woven cotton. Maroon and black veins embroidered freehand onto lungs. Available in X-Small, Small, Medium, Large and X-Large. Please specify when ordering. (All sizes are unisex.)”

Its a nice twist on the usual skeleton style/semi-anatomically correct clothing that I usually see. I’d quite like to see a printed version of smokers lungs, since just looking at this hoodie I don’t immediately think of smokers lungs since the embroidery and applique make it a bit more abstract and it looks more like a representation of normal lungs rather than a shocking image of blackened lungs.

Costiness=$80 ($7 US Shipping)

URL

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Threadless $10 Sale

by Andy on May 28, 2007

Threadless‘ latest $10 sale is now on and running until June 3rd.

Their news post which has all the details (new designs every day and a couple of contests) is… here.

As ever, if you see something you want, buy it, because if you hold out it’ll probably be sold out by the time you look again.

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Soft Touch Reviews: MOMI TEeA PARTY

by Andy on May 25, 2007

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Subscription tee services always feel like quite an odd thing to review, because I’m not just looking at a tee, I’m looking at a service, and it feels like I have far more responsibility when I’m recommending a service than just a one-off purchase of a t-shirt. Frankly, it’s quite a lot of pressure. Then I remembered that this tee was from a company called MOMI TEeA PARTY, and even though they use capitals in their name (argh, shouting!) there’s no way that I could feel pressured by something that sounds very similar to the casual art of drinking tea and eating cake!

Basically, its two chairs, one seems to be floating on top of the other, I’m not going to claim to understand what it means but I will tell you that it is a very cool design, lines are crisp, and the colour palette works really well.

Since MTP is a subscription service I guess I should probably mention slightly less fun stuff like price and postage. Unless there was some unforseen hiccup in production, tees arrive on doorsteps on the 3rd or 4th week of the month, and come in a cool shiny-yet-slightly-see-through silver plastic envelope. My package came with a few postcards of the previous month’s designs, but I don’t know if they are standard with every package or if they were put in my envelope so that I could get a better feel for the brand. In terms of price, they aren’t the cheapest tees in the world at $30-40 a month, but you are getting a very high quality product, I think they’re using custom blank tees, fitted (though quite stretchy), and incredibly soft. There’s no tag on the interior of the shirt, just their name, the tee size and edition number, which have have been printed with a slightly faded vintage-look print.

Costiness=$120 for 3 months, $210 for 6 months, $360 for 12 months URL

Click through for more pictures and close ups.
[click to continue…]

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Cotton Filter: 250507

by Andy on May 25, 2007

Teetonic: Their Sixcities Design Festival competition has come to an end, and the heavyweight designers (including Wayne Hemingway and Peter Saville) have come up with some very nice designs. Well done TT (and yes, that is an Englishman congratulating a Scottish company, savour this moment guys!).

Monstar Clothing: MC are kicking off summer with a sale, personally I didn’t realise it was summer yet, but I guess with global warming we all have to shift our expectations a bit. the sale goes from today until the 28th (Monday), and from what I can tell, everything will be $10.

Brooklyn Industries: Live in Brooklyn? Think your dog is awesome? BI are holding casting calls for the ‘best’ dog in Brooklyn next month with the winner getting star treatment and lots of goodies (for the owner as well as the dog). Its a strange bit of marketing, but I do quite like it.

Jealous much?: I bought a touchscreen Prada phone, and I’ve been showing it off to everyone I meet, so why not mention it here (also, feel free to add me as a Flickr friend)?

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Undercooked hoodie by Hicalorie

by Andy on May 24, 2007

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I must be going soft, two hoodies for women this week and the most descriptive thing that I can think of when I look at either of them is “cuuuuuuuute!” I guess I’m just a sucker for this kind of design style. Hicalorie have got a really impressive lineup of goods available in the Karmaloop Kazbah, and whilst all their models are women, I think all their products are actually unisex, and the ladies just need to order a size down from usual. Also, the hoodie is california fleece cotton, made sweatshop free in downtown LA, which I think is thinly-veiled code for “hey, we print on American Apparel!”

Costiness=$68 URL

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Make music, not war by tee and toast

by Andy on May 23, 2007

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I can admit that its not exactly the worlds most original concept, although I guess it it more original that the time that someone at Urban Outfitters decided to drop some cupcakes out of an airplane… Also, I’m not entirely in love with the use of the rather clichéd font that’s being used for the text (well, what else would the font be used for?). I know I’m ragging on it, but I do like it, honestly.

Costiness=£42 (free p+p in the UK and Ireland) URL

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Floral tattoo hoodie by Apheele @ Etsy

by Andy on May 22, 2007

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I guess that technically this hoodie is actually “Japanese Kimono Vintage Floral tattoo Asian Art Hoodie” but that doesn’t really roll off the tongue very nicely, does it? So I cut things down to a bit more of a manageable size, that and I really don’t understand where the kimono reference comes into it.

I’m really starting to get into Etsy at the moment, maybe I’ll do an Etsy week at some point in the future.

I may rag on their product-naming skills, but they’ve put together a really nice hoodie here, I like the way that the different elements layer and flow, and I especially like the way that the design moves around to the back.

Costiness=$43 Shipping=$6.50 US, $15 Int’l URL

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Peaches by Tokidoki @ Karmaloop

by Andy on May 21, 2007

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Awww, look at ‘em, the prints, they’re just so ridiculously cute! Personally, I would have printed it on a baby blue hoodie, because I don’t really like the lack of contrast between colours of the peach and the fabric, and the pink does put it into that realm of girly girl rather than just a girls hoodie (not to stratify the gender), but…. its sooooo cute!

There’s some other cool stuff going on as well, like a rhinestone skull and crossbones on the hood, and a little image with tokodoki written underneath it on the back of one of the shoulders (possibly their logo?).

Costiness=$58 URL

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City hoodie by Arcus @ urban industry

by Andy on May 18, 2007

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Enlighten me, what’s this printing technique called? The reason why I like this hoodie is because of the way that the buildings in the cityscape aren’t printed, but for the life of me I simply cannot remember what the style is called, and I wouldn’t even know where to begin with keywords for it on google.

There’s also some interesting two tone printing on the inside of the hood (click through for a pic), I can’t decide if they’re anything more than just lines, but they do look like they might be tiny bits of text.

Costiness=£69.99 URL

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Cotton Filter: 180507

by Andy on May 18, 2007

Oddica: Happy 1st birthday to Oddica. I’m really glad that these guys have made it through their first year and are still impressing me as much as on day one.

Beautiful Decay: Sasha from B/D e-mailed me about their four latest designs (I must be moving up in the world if B/D are e-mailing me). Naturally, they’re all fantastic, but I think that ‘lung music‘ might be a particular favourite of mine.


Gen Art Pulse’s Free T-Shirt Tuesdays
: Cool little project these guys have got going on, I’ll let them explain: “we interview an emerging indie t-shirt designer and give away one of their tees to a reader.” Awesome!

Ironic Corporation: Have some blurb: “We’re a small business based in Boulder, Colorado and our company is the culmination of years of blood, sweat, and tears. I’m a writer and photographer and we put a lot of effort into the writing and images on our site and I think they turned out pretty cool. We have some unique product ideas and my favorite is what we call the “Freedom of Speech Bubble”: Essentially, it’s a shirt with an head of Bush, Cheney, Clinton, Tom Cruise, or Paris Hilton with a blank speech bubble where the customer can write their own saying with iron-on letters or erasable markers. We also have a pretty cool contest associated with the Freedom of Speech Bubble concept where people send us their ideas for shirts andwe mail our 3 favorite submissions a free shirt every week.” I really dig the speech bubble idea, I don’t know how original it is, but I can imagine it being pretty popular.


Glass Boutique: They’ve got some great designs from brands I’ve never seen before, and whilst the price range might be a bit high-end for most Americans, their special section is pretty affordable.

Akomplice: If any of you happen to be in Los Angeles on May 22nd head on down to Akomplice’s release party for their latest line. I’d be there, but the HYA jet is out of gas…

The deets:
“Free 21+ Akomplice Summer Release Party
Special performance by Talib Kweli.
THIS TUESDAY May 22nd at Club Element
(1642 N. Las Palmas, Los Angeles, CA 90028 |
www.elementhollywood.com)

1. Large media presence: MTV, E!, 944, Vapors,
Entertainment Weekly, Urb, etc.
2. Purple carpet with step and repeat.
3. Talib Kweli performance + surprise guest.
4. Fashion show with sexy girls only wearing t-shirts and
sneakers.
5. Free give-aways.
6. DJ Vice.
7. On the spot custom sneakers.”

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You must have known that the recent flurry of cheaper hoodies would come to an end at some point? I guess this isn’t too bad because its about $80 (£1 is still about $2, yeah?), and we all know I’ve featured stuff that makes that look cheap as beans (at least until the bean market picks up again). And anyway, it’s British, and everything in Britain seems to be more expensive than everywhere else in the world, $900 for a PS3 and one game, for example (and thus, I have an Xbox 360).

Its a pretty cool design, I feel that its pretty representative of the kind of cartoon style designs that have been coming out of the UK for a while now. Personally, I’d like to see it printed a bit bigger, but that kind of size and placement seems to be fairly prolific within the UK clothing industry, so maybe people are slightly afraid of breaking out of the invisible box.

Also, it would be nice if the drawstring wasn’t obscuring the print, since its the most important part of the photos.

Costiness=£40 URL

*Edited: I put the wrong product name in the title*

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I’m not really a fan of posting scandalous/funny/politically charged tees like this since that seems to be the domain of many other blogs, but I saw this and thought to myself:

1. Who would have the balls to wear this?

2. Who would want to wear this?

It leaves me feeling very old, because I keep getting reminded of the phrase “its not big, and its not clever.”

Costiness=$32 URL

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Denial hoodie by Rise Up

by Andy on May 15, 2007

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Its weird how I seem to end up inadvertently having themes running through posts. Yesterday’s recommended hoodie was related to charity, and so is todays (a portion of your purchase goes towards getting children out of poverty), but once again I had no idea about that aspect when I deemed the hoodie fit for HYA recommendation.

Big prints seem to be popular at the moment, that, or I like them and I’ve decided that everyone else does too, so this hoodie is right up my/everybody’s street. It isn’t exactly flashy, but its certainly a quality design, the style (and the content) reminds me of medieval drawings that depicted daily life that used to see in school. It’s pretty odd subject matter for a hoodie, but Rise Up have pulled it off with aplomb.

There’s also a similar print (same framing, different image) on the back, but you’ll have to click through to see that.

Costiness=$54 URL?rcode=AS7594

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Apparently, To Write Love On Her Arms is a “non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for those struggling with depression, addiction, cutting and suicide.” When I picked this hoodie to write a post about I had no idea about the ‘movement’ aspect, so it was a pleasant surprise when I found out that buying the hoodie might help people (clothing+charity FTW!).

Yeah, it is a pretty simple design, but I really like the simplicity of it, clean and bold, with a small star embellishment to give it a little extra interest. The little bit of blue writing does detract a bit from the cleanliness of the front, and pretty much undermines my whole argument for liking this hoodie, but the handwritten style of the blue text does add quite a nice contrast.

Printed on American Apparel.

Costiness=$38 URL

*THIS PRODUCT IS SOLD OUT, I DO NOT SELL IT, OR KNOW WHERE TO FIND IT ANYMORE, SORRY*

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