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it began just because

I wonder why it is that what appears to be a relatively simple design is so appealing, it’s just the same image repeated over and over after all.

Costiness=£12 Buy it at Sheol Clothing [via Buy Tees]

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The Ugmonk Lookbook

by Andy on October 21, 2010

ugmonk lookbook

Normally, I wouldn’t mention a lookbook, but this one from HYA-faves Ugmonk is just too damned gorgeous not to share.

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Fuck BP T-shirt

by Andy on June 13, 2010

fuck BP green t-shirt

For someone that actually sympathises with BP a teensy weensy bit, I sure do post a lot of tees against them. No idea where you can buy this.

Tfail Flickr Page [via Seizer One (who I found on]


HYA Tours the Spreadshirt HQ in Leipzig

by Andy on June 30, 2009


Whilst I was in Berlin for T-Shirt Day it seemed like a great idea to hop on the ICE train (which isn’t as cool as it sounds) and head 100 miles south of the capital to the city of Leipzig to check out Spreadshirt’s much-larger-than-I-expected HQ and production facility. If any of you are wondering, “who the devil are these Spreadshirt folks?” Well, they’re the largest (I think) print-on-demand supplier in Europe, and they also have offices and production in America, meaning that whichever side of the Atlantic you’re on you can get a high-quality customised tee pretty darn quick. I actually have a tee from 2004 that I bought from Spreadshirt (yeah, I was all about the tees even before I started HYA!) that’s still going strong, so they really do know how to make tees, and presumably they’re even better quality now.

Upon getting off the train in Leipzig’s beautiful station I was met by Adam from Tee Junction who was going to act as my tour guide to the city, and I don’t think he’d actually had a tour of the new Spreadshirt facility as he had left the company before they moved in, so the day wasn’t a waste for him, hopefully. I always say that the best way to get a feel for a city is to walk through it, you don’t see much when you take public transport (especially if it’s underground, obviously), so we walked from the station to Spreadshirt through the lovely old centre of the city and the huge park to the more industrial side of the city. One strange thing about Leipzig is that there are a lot of abandoned buildings in the city because of vast numbers of people (around 500,000 people in a city of 1 million) leaving the city after the collapse of the wall and re-unification of Germany, many of those people never returned, meaning that there is lots of unoccupied space. Even just across the road from Spreadshirt’s freshly-renovated building there was a really nice building that had clearly received no love for many years and sat empty. According to Adam this situation means that rents in the city a very low not only for housing but for business as well, so people will set up businesses as a hobby that are only open for a few days a month, it’s a strange concept to me, but I like it.

As you can see from the picture at the top of the post, it’s pretty easy to spot the Spreadshirt building because it’s covered in everyone’s favourite item of clothing. Apparently you don’t need to give taxi drivers the address to Spreadshirt because they all know about “the building with the t-shirts on it.” It’s pretty hard to miss as well, seeing as it takes up a whole block.


Eike (seen here on the right at T-Shirt Day Berlin) decided we should start our tour on the top roof deck of the building, giving us a good view over the city. The weather hasn’t treated them too well so far this year so the roof decks haven’t seen much use, but they hope to use them for events when it starts to heat up. I might be wrong in remembering this, but I’m pretty sure that the roof deck spaces (there’s more than one) if combined would actually be larger than their old offices, which shows how much of a step up the move was for them.


We then moved down to a meeting room/kitchen/break room, passing a couple of guys playing table tennis on the way, from the looks of the league on the wall next to the table these guys get pretty serious about the table tennis competitions. Can you believe that the kitchen above is in a t-shirt companies offices? It looks like it should be in a showroom!


What self-respecting internet company could have offices and not have a foosball table?


This meeting space shows how light and airy the building is, I think that they might have more room than they know what to do with!


This picture obviously doesn’t illustrate it particularly well, but in one of the receptions they have a life-size model of Batman, Eike didn’t seem to really know why it was there, but I’m sure that it’s an important addition to every office.


I remember Adam being pretty excited about the addition of Fatboy chairs/bean bags to the office, and wondered why they weren’t there back in his day.


In one of the larger offices, because the ceilings are so high they were having problems with noise and echoes, the innovative solution to this problem was right under their nose, t-shirts! They hung a load of t-shirts up and now they help to stop the noise bouncing around the room.


These pieces of wall art are made of t-shirts they printed in the factory and stretched around frames, which I thought was a really cool idea. Some of you may recognise the broken up image as one of the finalists for the Open Logo Competition that Spreadshirt held to find their new logo.


This is the returns room. You’re probably quite alarmed by the amount of items in there, but I couldn’t actually see anything technically wrong with the couple of items I picked up. I get the feeling that a lot of people just return items when they receive them because the message that they thought would be funny on a tee really isn’t, or they made an error when picking the fonts and colourway. I get that feeling because most of the returns I picked up were really badly designed.


This returned tee that Adam found made me a bit sad, because why would return a tee that says “I [heart] my boyfriend” when there’s nothing wrong with the tee. A lot of the returned tees get given away to charity, and staff are regularly allowed to rummage around and take them too, so presumably most of the people at Spreadshirt have really weird t-shirt collections.


Along this corridor only about half of the office spaces were occupied because they still haven’t worked out what to do with the rooms, I think some of the ideas thrown around included a studio for recording video (there was already a photo studio along the corridor) and maybe even a room just for playing Wii in. It must be cool having all this space that they have to think up cool stuff to do with rather than having cool ideas with nowhere to implement them.


A lot of the offices and rooms in the building have been given names, sometimes the names have a purpose, and sometimes they make no sense at all. I was disappointed to hear that this room doesn’t glow in the dark…


And here she is, the production floor. As you can see, it is a large space, filled with lots of Germans working in a stereotypically efficient and hard-working manner.


I think that these guys might have even more tees than I do!


This machine is one of about six (I can’t remember how many) that print/cut the designs on the various vinyls and foils that Spreadshirt offer, each machine has been given a name (this one is called ‘John’), presumably just to cut down on confusion between machines rather than just being cute.


These are the people that remove the ‘scrap’ vinyl from each sheet leaving just the bits of vinyl that are to be pressed onto the shirt. The rate at which they worked was really impressive, I’m sure if I were to do it there would be an awful lot of prints being thrown into the rejects bin.


These people check over every item before it leaves the factory to ensure it meets quality control standards.


Whilst it isn’t a large part of their business, Spreadshirt do have a DTG (direct-to-garment) printing machine, and it was really cool to see it in action as I’ve never witness it before. It’s basically a really big inkjet printer, which you think actually makes the process less interesting since I’d presume most of you are reading this post with a printer a couple of feet away from you, but it was fascinating watching a design appear on a t-shirt with each pass of the print head. The printed t-shirt then goes through a large dryer (to the left, out of shot), which I think can best be described as a jumbo-sized version of one of those toasters that you only ever see in hotels where you put your bread on to a conveyor belt and the toast comes out the other end.


As we were leaving the production facility Eike pointed out the test lab where they put every item in the store through it’s paces. The rather bedraggled tee you can see above is the cheapest t-shirt they sell, and it has been put through 100 wash and dry cycles, so it’s hardly a surprise that it’s not looking too good, though the print seems to have held up fairly well.


I’ve missed out on some of the office space, partially because I don’t like taking pictures of random people (even though Eike told me it was okay) and partly because a lot of the pictures I took came out pretty poorly, so if you were thinking that it didn’t seem as big as I was describing it, there’s quite a lot more offices, and a lot more people, than you can see in the photos. After the tour Adam and I caught a tram back into the centre of the city (unfortunately it wasn’t one of the Cold War era relics that I’d seen rolling around, but trams are always fun) and went for ice cream…


… and beer. You know how when you go into a restaurant in America you automatically get given water? They have the same kind of thing in Germany except you get beer. Okay, that isn’t strictly true, but it sure does feel like it. We were later joined by Evan Eggers (who, if you remember, I’d met the day before at T-Shirt Day) for another beer before I headed back to Berlin on the train. Good times!


Thanks to Adam and Eike for guiding me around the city and the Spreadshirt HQ (aka ‘T-Shirt Geek Disneyland’)!

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T-Shirt Day 2009 in Berlin

by Andy on June 26, 2009


This past weekend I went to Berlin to take part in the International T-Shirt Day celebrations being hosted by Spreadshirt in the city. I realise exactly how crazy that sounds, but let’s be honest, if you have a good excuse to go to Berlin, you’re going to go to Berlin, right?


I’ll spare you the holiday snaps I took of the many, many, incredible architectural and historical sites (walk in any direction in Berlin and you’ll find something interesting, it’s a great city), and we’ll focus on what I was actually there to do, report on T-Shirt Day celebrations… and be a model on the Open Runway. Oh yes my friends, on June 21st I became the world’s least professional and most clueless model.


The event was held at the Kaiserstein bar and restaurant in the Kreuzberg area of Berlin, and there was a decent-sized turnout for the event, with lots of teeple meeting and mingling, I must admit that other than Spreadshirt & laFraise (the event hosts) the only brand I recognised was Silberfischer, though the quality of tees being exhibited by the other brands was impressive. Speaking of teeple that you guys will recognise, I met Adam from Tee Junction, who had done a lot of good work promoting the lead up to t-shirt day by organising lots of competitions and getting lots of companies to have special one day coupons on T-Shirt Day. I also met Spreadshirt CEO Jana Eggers (and her husband Evan, who isn’t in the tee business, but was a great guy so he deserves a mention), who chastised me for having the audacity to wear a Design By Humans tee to the event, but I must say was very nice, how on earth she manages to be CEO and have the energy to participate in triathlons I have no idea, but then again I did consider the walk from the U-Bahn station to the event as my day’s exercise, so I’m probably not the best person to judge.


After some chatter it was time for the main event, the open runway. Despite all 60 spots for the runway being claimed on the T-Shirt Day website, there were actually 34 brands/groups represented, but with some brands showing off multiple tees with multiple models, the show was probably as long as it needed to be to ensure that people didn’t lose interest. With me going 8th people were still happy to clap, and there may have even been a small cheer when I took off my jacket and threw it over my shoulder as if we’d time-warped back to the 80s, but I would imagine that by brand 50 people would have been a bit bored even if the models were covered in fireworks. I can’t really remember that many of the brand names that were involved, so my apologies for the lack of detail to go with the captions of these photos.

These two totally worked the runway, they both started out wearing tees and stripped down to the vests, hot stuff!

These two totally worked the runway, they both started out wearing tees and stripped down to the vests, hot stuff!

You can't really see the tee, but this is one of my favourite photos from the day.

You can't really see the tee, but this is one of my favourite photos from the day.

That's me! Click on the picture to see more pictures of the event taken by stylespion

That's me! Click on the picture to see more pictures of the event taken by stylespion

You probably recognise this model from LaFraise... she's cute.

You probably recognise this model from LaFraise... she's cute.

You probably recognise this guy from LaFraise shoots as well.

You probably recognise this guy from LaFraise shoots as well.

Jana, Evan, and Eike hit the runway together

Jana, Evan, and Eike hit the runway together

I really like this picture, great tee too, if only I knew where it came from

I really like this picture, great tee too, if only I knew where it came from

Doesn't matter what you're wearing, you'll get a good reaction with a baby.

Doesn't matter what you're wearing, you'll get a good reaction with a baby.

As you can probably see from a lot of the photos, there were a lot of photographers and some video/TV people at the end of the runway, which made me feel rather more like a model than just some guy walking on a carpet whilst people looked at him. In short, despite having no clue what I was doing, it was damn fun. I got the feeling that everyone else had a good time too, which is exactly how it should be at an event like this, you don’t need people pulling Blue Steel at the end of the runway, or models that believe smiling and currywurst are crimes, you just need people to have fun, and I think that Spreadshirt did a good job of making sure that happened.

After the runway there was further mingling and chat, and yes, some more beer (I do have a rockstar blogger image to maintain). There were also a couple of racks of LaFraise and Spreadshirt tees up for grabs. Adam and I decided that if you were giving away free t-shirts in England that the ensuing scrum for freebies would result in arguments, fights and probably some guys turning up with a van and just taking the whole rack, but apparently things happen differently in Germany, because people actually looked over the merchandise properly before taking it, and there were even some shirts left at the end of the event… perhaps the public hadn’t quite grasped the concept of ‘free’. I had a thoroughly excellent time at T-Shirt Day ’09 in Berlin, so big thanks to the Spreadshirt and LaFraise teams for putting the whole event together and doing such a good job, specifically to Ami at Spreadshirt for helping to organise getting me there, and to Adam for saying “hey Andy, you should come to Berlin for T-Shirt Day.”

LOTS more photos in the gallery.
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Usually, when I see a photo tee on the internet, it’s pretty good, but when I see them out on the street, they suck, so the more people out there that are selling photo tees that are ‘done right’ the better, perhaps together we can redress the ‘sucking:not sucking’ balance.

The Oh Snap Project comes from No Star Clothing, who obviously felt that photo tees wouldn’t sit particularly well next to their inventory of funny tees, and created this new site for their photo tee design contest. Yep, that’s right, it is a design contest, with the not-astoundingly impressive prize of $100 per photo (and 4 free tees) that ends up being used on their next round of tees. Submissions are via Flickr, by adding your chosen photo (or photos) to the Oh, Snap! Vol.2 Group.

I’m a fan of photo tees, I don’t get sent many, but I think that they can look really good as part of an outfit, although considering how much I enjoy taking photos it’s probably hardly a surprise that I like photo tees, when they’re ‘done right’, of course.


Cordial Robots [Flickr Finds]

by Andy on September 26, 2008

I don’t know if any of you have actually read the ridiculously out-of-date ‘About‘ page (untouched since 2006!), but it used to have a joke in it that I would write about onesies. Well, just two and a half years after I wrote that, its come back to bite me in the ass, and with added robot power too!

I can’t promise that I’ll run more baby clothes in the future (actually, I can promise quite the opposite), but I thought that those two robots were way to cute to pass up.

The onesie is available from Botodesigns Etsy store, and if you are aged about 6 months its also available as a t-shirt.

Photo credit: botodesigns


Hand Drawn Map Tee [Flickr Finds]

by Andy on September 16, 2008

Superlocal must be one of the best people on Flickr for finding great tees in public, Singapore must be filled with awesome t-shirt shops.

Photocredit: Superlocal


It’s winter already? Are you… Ceer!us?

by Andy on August 28, 2008

Wow, I mean really, wow, it takes a special kind of person (me!) to write a post title that bad.

Ceer!us Apparel’s winter line has been made available, and to be completely honest I’m not all that excited by it (although this, this, and this are pretty cool… huh, I guess I do like it!), but I really love the photoshoot that they’ve done to promote the new range.

Ceer!us Apparel

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410BC know how to take a picture

by Andy on July 18, 2008

One of the things I like about 410BC (and there are many things), is that they really know what they’re doing when it comes to taking product pictures. One of my number one gripes with clothing companies is a lack of decent descriptions and pictures to go with t-shirts, so I thought that when a company did it right that I should give them props where they’re due. They’ve managed to get a great a mix between art and info, you know what’s on the tee (with the exception of the top pic, but can you really blame me for posting that?) but you actually like looking at the picture as well. Check out their Flickr account and their lookbook for plenty of pictorial goodness.

Click through for a gallery (its the first gallery I’ve attempted, so who knows if it’ll work).


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Concrete Hermit: HYA visits the Gallery

by Andy on April 22, 2008

Concrete Hermit Gallery Frontage Sign

When I went down to London in February to attend Margin I decided I was going to make a bit of a pilgrimage to Concrete Hermit, and since they were located pretty near to The Park and To Be Confirmed shows that I was going to attend I decided I’d be stupid not visit them after writing about Concrete Hermit so much in the past.

In hindsight, the gallery is actually quite easy to find, but because I had a lame printout from Google Maps to guide me it took about 30 minutes walking and stopping several people (most of whom seemed as lost as me) to find them when they’re only about 10 minutes brisk walk from Liverpool Street Station. Located on a fairly quiet street not far from the hustle and bustle of Brick Lane, a street that is famous for curry, art, clothes and graffiti, pretty much in that order. The Concrete Hermit gallery has the appearance of a regular shop, except with a lot less stuff in it. This is a conscious decision that has been made to separate the exhibition space from the sales area, which I think helps them to maintain the ambiance of a gallery in the front of the space when you walk in, you aren’t immediately confronted with items that you can buy, I think that’s important and helps you understand what the CH team want their gallery to be like.

Of course, you can buy things in the gallery as well. Almost everything that is available in their online shop is available in the gallery, and if it isn’t out I suspect that they’d be able to get it for you since, if I remember correctly, their storage space is either located in the basement of the gallery or somewhere very nearby. It was good to get hands on with their t-shirt offerings after recommending them so many time, and I wasn’t disappointed with the quality of their high-end tee offerings, soft tees and soft, vibrant prints are to be found in abundance on their racks, so I’m happy to keep recommending them. Whilst I don’t think it is possible to buy the original works that are on show in the exhibition space, it is usually possible to buy a print or poster from the same artist, and also a t-shirt which has been designed by the artist exclusively for their exhibition at the gallery.

Concrete Hermit

2425542042_a7dcfeba76.jpg PICT7823 PICT7821 PICT7818 PICT7815


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