Dance Party Massacre Winter 2009 Release

A couple of weeks ago, Dance Party Massacre gave us a sneak peek of their upcoming 2009 winter line. Well, if those tees peeked your interest then you’ll be happy to know that the winter line is now on sale for purchase! You can get them now at Dance Party Massacre’s online shop. What’s even better is that they’re now offering free shipping for all domestic orders and have a sale going on for their ladies tees!

Dance Party Massacre Winter 2009

DPM also went out of their way to produce a little short to promote their new line. Alex Dakoulas, of DPM, hooked up with Ryan Gibeau of Rock*It Films, who helped him to produce the short. It’s definitely worth a watch if you’re a horror fan. It looks like they had a great time making the video and it is such a breathe of fresh air to see brands try different things to promote their goods. 

If you want even more Dance Party Massacre, then be sure to check out Indie Tee Spotlight #9, I got to interview Alex about DPM – it’s a good read!

Something's After Us

Eyeconic

Mask and Wolves

Indie Tee Spotlight #16: Found Item Clothing

Welcome to this weeks Indie Tee Spotlight! This week I highlight Found Item Clothing, a brand that specializes in taking fictional tees from your favorite movies and turning them into actual t-shirts that you can wear too. If this all sounds too familiar then that means you read this blog often and know that I featured Found Item Clothing in this weeks tee review video!

I had the opportunity to talk to Travis Greenwood, marketing manager over at Found Item Clothing, about the brand and the nuances that go into creating tees from existing, albeit fictional, shirts. He also hints at some new things happening at Found Item Clothing in 2009!

Travis Greenwod

Coty: You started Found Item Clothing because during a viewing of Real Genius – you decided you wanted an I Love Toxic Waste tee. To your disappointment, you could not find an online seller so you decided to print your own. How did you go from wanting a one off tee to deciding to start your own niche brand?

Travis: 1. It was an organic process that evolved over time. The initial goal was simply to keep a few tees for ourselves, friends and family and recoup our investment from the trial batch of 25. In time, we came to understand that other movie fans wanted these shirts as well. It was pretty quiet for the first six months, but we sold enough shirts to make our money back and fund the next round of designs. And then people started requesting shirts from other movies, and we started watching films with the expressed goal of finding new shirts to reproduce. The rest, as they say, is history…

Coty: Many of your tees focus on films from the 80′s and early 90′s. What about this time period has intrigued you and will you be doing tees based on more recent films? If so, which films do you have in mind?

Travis: That’s a good question. There’s no real formula or specific criteria here, but generally each shirt should be something that (a) we think is inventive, humorous or unique (and hence, won’t lose its appeal over time) and (b) something that we ourselves would wear out in public.

I will say that these are the films that we grew up on, bonded over and have watched throughout our lives, especially fine flicks like Spinal Tap, Caddyshack, Real Genius and The Big Lebowski. Our shirts reflect, in some small way, the strong connection people have with moving pictures, the lengths they will go to get a little slice of that movie magic for themselves. If you examine our roster of shirts closely, you’ll see that most of them come from funny comedies and/or cult films that may have failed at the box office (or enjoyed modest success), but have since acquired devoted, even nerdish, followings.

I should add that 2009 will mark a FIC first: new, original designs are in the works. They should be available for sale sometime in the next few months.

Spinal Tap

Coty: Explain a bit about how you go about reproducing these tees that are sometimes on the screen for just a few seconds. What has been the most difficult tee to replicate?

Travis: I can’t really speak to this process because it’s not my area of expertise, but in general, when we’ve decided to green-light a design, we do numerous and detailed screen captures for the movie, and also try to find any other source material for the design that might be out there, and from there we let our talented designers have at it with illustrating software. There’s also usually a lot of back and forth about the particulars of the design, and what is truest to the original. We strive to reproduce the smallest aspects – font, color, placement, shirt style – as best we can and this can be a time-consuming process. It sounds easy, but I assure you, it’s not always so. Off the top of my head, some of the more difficult tees to replicate have included Summer Games, Karou Betto and the Green Skeleton, because the images on front (and occasionally, back) are somewhat complicated and finely-detailed.

Axel Foley

Coty: The Caduceus tee from Ferris Bueler’s Day Off is my favorite tee from your collection. I would predict that I Love Toxic Waste is your favorite tee. Which tee thus far has been your best seller?

Travis: Judging anecdotally by the orders I process, I’d say the most popular shirts include Green Skeleton, Fu Manchu, Guns Don’t Kill People, Caddyshack CC and pretty much all of the shirts from Real Genius. Personally, my favorite shirts from the FIC collection are Dicknose, Cutters and the Death Before Disco sweatshirt. I’m a sucker for slogan tees that grab people’s attention.

Coty: I bet you get many requests from your customers to print tees from particular movies. What are some of the tees that people have requested? Have you ever had a request that you later did print?

Travis: Sure, we get a fair amount of suggestions and always welcome more. A lot of the times the requests are pretty obscure, but there have been few designs that were made as a result of customer requests. The Karoru Betto and Gun’s Don’t Kill People shirts were both customer requests. If we do make shirts from a request, we’ll send that person a couple shirts of their choice, so if anyone’s got any shirts, they’d like to see made, please send along those requests!

I Heart Toxic Waste

Thanks again to Travis of Found Item Clothing for chatting with me! In case you missed it, watch a video tee review that I did of Found Item Clothing’s Caduceus tee from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

New Jon Wye Shirt Designs

Remember our friend Jon Wye? Sure you do, we featured him in Indie Tee Spotlight #14 and we did a video review of his Homemaker leather belt. Well, Jon Wye is back, this time with a ton of new tee designs! 

He has got 6 new designs, in both men and women’s tees. Included in his most recent release is a tee that he is calling the “the FIRST stylish Washington, DC.” Here’s what he had to say about the appropriately named Washington D.C. tee:

Most DC shirts come from the National Mall right next to the Hot Dog vendors, and don’t really reflect the city!

This new DC shirt hits the mark. The rigid letters spelling out “Washington” represent the more, well, rigid elements of the city… business… POLITICS! And “DC” along with the outside of the whole graphic are coated in a goo. The GOO is the rest of us, the underbelly, the coating which makes DC fun.

Washington DC

To go along with the DC tee, Jon also released a couple of other fun and neat designs. I especially like that Fighting Rooster and Richie Rich  tee! You can buy these tees here. Remember, Jon Wye is part of our Attack of the Coupons promotion so be sure to use the coupon code “5up” to take $5 off your purchase!

Richie Rich and Fighting Rooster

Love Birds and Owl

iSteamPhone

I’m a big fan of Leonardo da Vinci and I cannot live without my iPhone. So when I first saw this tee on Gizmodo my jaws dropped, it’s so cool! This tee, aptly titled iSteamPhone, was created by Artist Kevin Tong, who “captures the invention of da Vinci, the imagination of H.G. Wells, and the brilliance of Jonathan Ive in this Exploded iPhone drawing.” 

You might remember, the Exploded Phone tee that made the blog rounds a few weeks back – well, I have to say that this tee might have that one topped! The tee is available now for $20 and is printed on American Apparel shirts. 

iSteamPhone

[Read more...]

5 Things We Can Learn From The Seibei Story

The first two 5 Things We Can Learn From… posts featuring Threadless and Johnny Cupcakes proved to be quite popular. This time around I dissect Seibei. Seibei is a one-man brand that was conceptualized and developed by David Murray. Murray is a 26 year old college graduate who majored in Japanese Literature. Lucky for us, he decided to focus on making cool art instead. 

With such popularity and a cult following, Seibei must have done something right. Here I look at 5 things that we can learn from the Seibei story.

1. Your Website Should Be An Extension of Your Products. You don’t even need to click on the store, or see any of David tees or other products, and you already know what his style and what his goods will look like. His website is an extension of his products. He showcases many of the monsters that he prints on his tees throughout his site. And why not? The colors that he uses on his site reflects the colors often seen on his tees. Why would you have a sophisticated, modern and simplistic site design when your products are all about fun, humor, vibrant colors and monsters! Extend your products through your website design. 

Seibei

2. Take “Advantage” of Your Fanbase. In a good way, of course! David takes “advantage” of his fanbase through his Seibei Nation promotion. The Seibei Nation is his version of a street team. A lot of people consider word of mouth the purest form of marketing. Word of mouth is what a street team and esssentially the Seibei Nation is all about. And of course, remember that if they rub your back be sure to return the favor. Every time a Seibei Nation member brings in ten $10 or more sales they get a free Seibei T-Shirt. People LOVE free things so why not take advantage of that. BTW, use coupon code COTY for 10% off your next Seibei order!

USE COUPON CODE COTY FOR 10% OFF!

3. Be As Transparent As Possible. If your company is a one-man show, and even if it’s not, it may pay off to be as transparent to your audience or customers as possible. David is as transparent as can be on his blog, often posting about things not related to tees but that show off the fun side of his life. David loves to make posts about food, by doing this, maybe he’ll appeal to other food lovers who will then be interested in his tacos and sandwich tees. By being transparent, you make yourself the face of your company. You are living proof that your company exists because of you and your hard work. People are able to relate with you much more when they see a face. When people can relate, they often are more prone to opening their wallets and spending their hard earned cash. 

Seibei

4. Make Art and Craft Shows Your Friend. David hits craft and art shows pretty hard. A quick glance at his blog shows that he’s attended a ton of these, including: Craftacular, Boston Bazaar, Renegade, and Stitch Austin. What’s so important about attending craft and art shows? Well, it helps to give you brand exposure in the offline world. Sure you have an online store, but when you attend a craft show, people can actually see your goods, they can touch it and purchase it right then and there. Secondly, attending a craft show will help you to actually see what demographics are interested in and are purchasing your products. This should give you an idea of what you should maybe do for future product releases – build on popular products, build on what your target demographic is interested in. 

Seibei

5. Trust Your Gut. When David submitted his Give Us A Kiss design to the Cornelius Hearts Threadless contest, he had high hopes and was quite excited about it. Things didn’t turn out so well for the design. Voters were quick to give it low scores and the submission was prematurely dumped from the voting process. Understandably, David was miffed about this – mainly because he was so enthusiastic about the design. He decided to go with his gut and have the design printed despite it not being seen favorably in the eyes of the tee loving community, Threadless. The shirt that Threadless once abandoned is now a staple of his online store and I don’t doubt that it is one of his top sellers. The ultimate vindication came when Jake Nickell, one of the founders of Threadless, stopped by Seibei’s booth at Renegade Chicago. Nickell loved Give Us A Kiss and even purchased one. Trust your gut. 95% of the time your gut is right, which is totally worth the 5% of the time it is not. 

Seibei

Wheww, those are my thought about Seibei – what are yours? Leave them in the comments section!

WatchTeeV Launched

WatchTeeV is the newest site by the same guy that brought us The Art of Apparel. This brand new site is dedicated to collecting and posting videos that are all about the T-Shirt. Topics range from professionalism, to screen printing to preparing designs. It’s a great place to find videos focused on the tee industry. Although the selection is a bit sparse at the moment, we can expect to see the number of videos rise as the site takes off.

The idea is the brainchild of the members at the tee forum, Emptees, who discussed such a site during an online chat session. Hillman also known as MadeByMas on Emptees, took the idea and ran with it and was was able to do a great job on the new site. Although still in beta mode, users can submit video links that the admin can review and then post on the site. Hopefully I can add some of my videos on there in the future! Check out WatchTeeV! 

watch-tee-v

Color Separations Tutorial by Jimmy Heartcore

Here’s a great little video tutorial on how to prep your images for screen printing – the essential art of color separation. And of course, whenever a video is narrated by Jimmy Heartcore, you know that it’ll be good! For those of you unfamiliar with Jimmy, he is one of the premier indie tee screen printers, and he also runs his own clothing brand on the side – Heartcore Clothing.


Spot Color Separations In Photoshop from Jimmy Heartcore on Vimeo.

Adios Mother …

Have you ever had an AMF? OK, you might be a bit confused as to what an AMF is so let me explain. An AMF, short for Adios Mother Fucker, is a tasty little mixed alcoholic beverage. I myself tend to steer away from mixed drinks as I am a straight up shot guy myself with a preference toward Tequila, especially Patron. Here’s the recipe for those of you curious enough to try an AMF:

1/2 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Rum
1/2 oz Tequila
1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Blue Curacao
2 oz Sour mix
2 oz 7-Up 

Pour all ingredients except the 7-Up into a chilled glass filled with ice cubes. Top with 7-Up and stir gently. 

And that leads me to this tee, from Fanatic Brand | Risk Styles Company. It’s called Goodtimes, though, I think it should be named exactly is the shirt says, AMF. The tee itself is available for presale a $15. If you decide to buy a tee, tell him that Coty sent you – his name is Shane, he’s part owner and an old friend of mine from my elementary school days (which was a very long time ago). 

Gootimes AMF

New Fuzzy Ink Tee: Identity Crisis

I’m not sure how long Fuzzy Ink has had this tee available for pre-sale, but I have to admit that it’s a brilliant one! As always, the Fuzzy Ink team sticks with the mustache theme, I don’t think that will be changing anytime soon. The new tee, Identity Crises, was designed by Josh Stomberg, who is also known in creative circles as Sitting Duck. The tee can be purchased now at the pre-sale price of $15.99 ($2 cheaper than regular prices) and are expected to ship out by February 9. Also remember that Fuzzy Ink is a part of the Attack of the Coupons promotion here and as such YOU can get an additional 10% off with the coupon code “Hawaii”. And if you’re wondering, yes, I do live in Hawaii!

Identity Crisis

Identity Crisis

Glorious Nonsensities 2×04: Spoilt, Found Item Clothing and Ferris Bueller

In this episode I wear Spoilt by Olly Moss and review a tee that I received from Found Item Clothing, a brand that specializes in taking fictional tees from your favorite movies and making them into an actual living, breathing and wearable t-shirt! As always, enjoy with tea and a comfy tee!

You can also watch this episode on Viddler, Vimeo, or on blip.tv.

Coty’s Thoughts:

Cameron’s Caduceus Shirt designed by Found Item Clothing. Good: Comes in very professional sealed plastic bag, American Apparel fitting, design is replicated with great detail, perfect for any fan of the 80′s. Bad: A bit pricey for a single color design.  

Cameron's Caduceus Shirt by Found Item Clothing

Spoilt by Olly Moss. This week’s starter shirt is available from Threadless as a reprint. There isn’t an Olly Moss tee that I don’t like!

Spoilt by Olly Moss

If you want to sent me a product to review, please feel free to do so. You can find my information in the contact menu above. Thanks!