One Brand’s Trash, Another Brand’s Treasure

One Brand’s Trash, Another Brand’s Treasure is a guest post written by Blake from You Design It where they offer custom t-shirt printing. He’s a t-shirt fanatic that wants to rid the world of suits, one tee at a time.

How many of you out there have a pulse on your brand?. You know what I’m talking about, you eat, sleep and breathe your brand. If you’re talking, chances are…you’re talking about your apparel line. You know as good as anybody that you have to hustle hard day and night to succeed. T-shirt lines are a dime a dozen and only the cream rises to the top.

In the early stages of your t-shirt line, there is going to be a lot of noise you’ll have to filter through. You’ll have your lovers and haters, your friends and enemies, and plenty of know-it-alls along the way. You’ll be inspired by other brands and repulsed by others. These are all very normal situations and just a standard part of the process.

The next best thing to learning from your OWN mistakes when trying to mature as a brand, is to learn from OTHER’S mistakes before you. With the transparency that the internet now provides, you can follow the successes and failures of the brands you’re trying to emulate. But beware, because it’s a very fine line you’ll have to walk.

Let’s take this full circle and go back to the beginning. Remember the pulse question? This was where we established that you and only you know your brand the best. What works for one brand may not work for another and vice versa. Let me give you an example.

It’s safe to say that both The Hundreds and Johnny Cupcakes have seen enormous success for being different than the norm. They have both danced by the beat of their own drum by maintaining styles that are unlike any other in the retail markets. And although they are extremely different, I stumbled across an instance where they were very much alike.

There was a recent post on The Hundreds blog showing some of the samples that they tried but never put into production. The one that stood out to me the most was the Cobra Kai spoof called “Cool Guys”.

The Hundreds

It immediately reminded me of a recent release by Johnny Cupcakes with their own reference to Karate Kid’s Cobra Kai. In the post by The Hundreds, they made it clear that the samples would never go into production. Yet Johnny Cupcakes, no doubt, is reaping big sales with their version of the artwork.

Johnny Cupcakes

The take-home moral of the story is that one brand’s trash may be another brand’s treasure. The Hundreds knew it wasn’t for them, and Johnny Cupcakes felt it fit like a glove (or maybe I should say oven mitt).

You just have to cut through the noise and go with your gut. At the end of the day, your brand is an extension of you.

Zombama Brains: A First For TeeFury

Might this be the passing of the daily tee torch? For the first time ever, TeeFury sold more tees in a single day than its counterpart, Shirt.Woot. The two sub $10 24 hour only tee sites battled it out yesterday (like they do everyday) and TeeFury landed the knockout punch with a zombified presidential design. 

Shirt.Woot’s ChlorofloroHypnoHype sold 1216 tees while TeeFury’s much hyped Zombama Brains by Pop-Monkey sold 1327 in 24 hours. The controversial design sparked praise, criticism and debate all day long and because of this they sold a ton of tees! Here are a few comments people made about Zombama Brains:

AWESOME!!!! Great work Pop-Monkey!!!! I HOPE it causes people to think a little more!!! Doesn’t seem like many people are these days. I’m going to max out my credit card on this one and HOPE for a bail-out!!!!! My Favorite Teefury yet!!! HOPE it doesn’t make anyone FURYous!!!! HOPE this is the best seller ever!!!! Zombama Brains Rules!!! -Ando138

Honestly I agree with lilstephy, it’s appropriately hilarious for Bush but considering Obama made me respect democracy again it just doesn’t make the joke. And why would anyone interpret this as racist? Also what missteps? Obama was given a sh*t filled mess that the reckless spending and mindless complete disregard for human life that is George Bush Administration and you call in his first two months in office, missteps? So, yea, if this was Bush it’d put more food on your family. -Arrow

I’m not easily offended, but as someone who voted for Obama, I find this shirt disappointing, somewhat offensive, and just all-out in bad taste. IMO, only NObama-ians would buy this shirt. I am proud of our President and would rather show my support for him than advocate any disapproval as this shirt portrays. -KittyKatty

I just wanted to say that I’m an Obama supporter/Shepard Fairey fan/horror fan and I just fell absolutely in love with the shirt! I get why you made this shirt and that’s the reason why I had to buy it. Congrats on making a fun shirt that is well done artistically! -Amazonagent

Below you can see some of the numbers from Shirt.Woot and TeeFury’s Monday sales. 

Zobama Brains

Zobama Brains


da Vinci’s Mario by Kevin Tong

Kevin Tong delivers again! You might remember the iSteamPhone that I featured this past January on the site, well, Kevin is back with his da Vinci inspired style to bring us DaVinci’s Mario! He’s definitely found an interesting niche style and I am looking forward to future da Vinci inspired designs – such amazing detail! And like the iSteamPhone, this design is available in poster form (18 inches x 24 inches) for you to frame and hang next to your old school NES or new school Wii.

This three color design is printed on American Apparel blanks and are available for $20. 

da Vinci's Mario

da Vinci's Mario

And in case you’re wondering, this design is based on Leonardo da Vinci’s Views on the Fetus in the Womb. 

da Vinci’s Views of the Foetus in the Womb

Invisible by Reece Ward

Here’s a geeky tee that any Photoshop guru could appreciate. It’s called Invisible and perfectly so, since it’ll seem as if you’re slowing erasing yourself whenever you use this tee. 

You can pick up this tee from RedBubble for $24.00 in multiple styles and colors. 



Lowdtown: From Concept To T-Shirt

Ray Masaki of Lowdtown Friends & Freaks made a great post on his blog showing the design process of his latest tee. Public Radio is a collaboration between Masaki and illustrator/motion graphics artist, Nathaniel Milburn. In the post, Masaki shows how they went from brainstorming, to refining the art, and of course to the final design. I’ve included a few pictures here but be sure to check out the blog post at Lowdtown to see the entire 7-step process. 

Public Radio will be released on April 1st so be on a look for it! And remember, you can save 10% off your next purchase at Lowdtown with the coupon code “COTY”. 





Haymaker by Sharpshirter

Here’s a great tee that I stumbled upon on Rumplo. It’s called Haymaker and it’s from our friends at Sharp Shirter. It’s an interesting piece of imagery to say the least. What looks like a Paul Bunyan type dude is knocking the teeth out of a very big and quite scary bear. Dwight Schrute from The Office might be a little offended, but I dig it. 

It’s available now from Sharp Shirter for $22. The tee is printed on an American Apparel blank. 



Official Vimeo Tees Released

Vimeo just released 4 new tees and I’m pretty excited about these especially since I love to use Vimeo as the main player for Co-Tee TV! The tees are available in Mens and Womens sizes and are printed on American Apparel blanks. They cost 20 bucks each, but, it’s totally worth it if you’re one of those people that swear by Vimeo and curse every time you see a YouTube video. The Vimeo Logo Tee (the last one below) also comes in a baby blue option if you prefer to go that route! 


Pick up the Vimeo: Flagtee for $20 from Busted Tees!


Pick up the Vimeo: Word Bubble tee for $20 from Busted Tees!


Pick up the Vimeo: Logo Asphalt tee from Busted Tees for $20 from Busted Tees!

Threadless Alumni Coloring Book

This comes straight from the desk of Threadless regular, Torakamikaze. It’s a coloring book! But it’s not just any coloring book, it is comprised of illustrations from some of the extremely talented artists at Threadless. In fact, only members of the Threadless Alumni are featured in Activity: A Coloring & Activity Book. In all, 42 different Threadless Alumni participated. 

The book is 56 pages of pure awesomeness and is available now from Lulu for just 10 bucks. Below is a list of all the participating Threadless Alumni members. 

colt83, Monkey III,gumbolimbo, wotto, sonmi, 0Jim0, zipperking, Leroy_Hornblower, jstumpenhorst, Chengui, lizz, WanderingBert, White Rabbit, Torakamikaze, pilihp, David T, nonolarson, wullaguru, BaronVonMonkey, alexmdc, kooky love, tracerbullet, thatwheel, mezo, whirzle1, roadkill3d, kennybanzai, starr226, jimmytan, adamwhite, NomadSlim, ISABOA, ginetteginette, Raid71, andyg, Tonteau, le hell, herky, jrmasm, DaniellesGarden, thunderpeel, & ivejustquitsmoking

Threadless Alumni Coloring Book

Indie Tee Spotlight #20: Glenn Jones of Glennz Tees

I’ve been a fan of Glenn Jones, or Glennz as he is known on Threadless, long before this blog was born and I became consumed with indie T-Shirt culture. I’ve always been impressed by the wit of his designs. Glennz art always make me smile! What Would MacGyver Do is one of my most used Threadless tees – I love the confused looks that come about whenever I wear that wonderful shirt. 

This is the 20th Indie Tee Spotlight and to celebrate, I’m featuring one of my Top 5 favorite tee designers – Glenn Jones of Glennz Tees. We talked a bit about why he stopped submitting designs to Threadless and what it has been like running his own line. And I of course, I got the scoop on what’s up with all of the Darth Vader themed tees. Is Glenn a big Star Wars fan? You’ll need to read on to find out!

Coty: Glenn, you’re one of the top printed artists at Threadless. What made you move away from submitting to Threadless? Any plans to maybe submit to the site again?

Glenn: After doing a bit of work with the guys from, we just started talking about a possible partnership as an independent project. They have a lot of experience with production and fulfillment so we were able to combine our strengths and idea of having my own range of tees was something I had thought about for a while. I’m just really enjoying growing my own range of designs at the moment, but I might submit to Threadless again in the future.

Biblical Disaster by Glenn Jones

Coty: Dark Side of the Garden is one of the classic and iconic Threadless tees. Since then you’ve done Self Maintenance and have previewed the concept tee, The Lords Breakfast. Is it an understatement to say that you’re a huge Star Wars/Darth Vader fan? Of the 6 films, which is your favorite episode?

I wouldnt say I’m a huge Stars Wars fan, but I just find parodying Vader really funny, I’m always having ideas based around that, I just can’t seem to get it out of my system! I think Return of the Jedi would be my pick.

Dark Side of the Garden by Glenn Jones

Self Maintenance

Coty: Do you focus 100% of your time on Glennz Tees or do you have a day job?

Glenn: No, it would be great if that one day became the case, but at the moment I do freelance work as well. I left fulltime employment just over a year ago because at the time the t-shirts were something I was just fitting in when I could. I knew if I wanted to give Glennz Tees a good go I needed to have some more time to focus on that, so freelancing allows me to spend time everyday so it has worked really well.

Coty: You’ve built up a pretty large catalog of tees at Glennz. Which is your favorite design and why? Which Glennz tee has been your best seller?

Glenn: It’s really hard to say, I like them all but I’m a bit biased!

Scrap Metal

Coty: Your designs show that you have a love for comics. Who are 5 of your favorite superheroes?

Glenn: Yes, you’d probably think that, but actually I’ve never been into comics – I just find the parody of heroes and villains amusing.

Slowing Down

Coty: Do you ever miss simply submitting a design and having someone else worry about printing and promoting it? Do you enjoy running your own business?

Glenn: That’s how it has worked really well with the Guys in Austin, I concentrate on the shirt designing and leave the printing expertise to them. Obviously I’m a bit more involved in the process but it’s working really well!

Go For Launch

Coty: Many brands like to keep new designs “secret” up until the big release. You, however, showed off a bunch of concept designs on your Behance page that later made its way to the Glennz site. People can now vote for the next Glennz tee. What made you go this route? What has the response been like from Glennz regulars?

Glenn: I thought about this for awhile, because yes we are showing our hand a bit, but I’m always designing new tees and I find it really hard to decide which ones to print first. Rather than just having them sitting in a folder we thought involving our customer in the process would help and it has. We’ve had a great response from people visiting the site.

Fast Funeral by Glenn Jones

Coty: What are three things that you’ve learned about the tee industry or business in general since starting Glennz Tees?

Glenn: I’ve learned lots of things, and I’m alway learning more which is great, a few things would be:

  1. Patience is important, you can’t expect things to happen over night.
  2. Be open to changing your way of thinking as we go. We’re always learning and tweaking stuff on the site, which I think is great because it’s all about evolving and trying to make things better all the time.
  3. It’s not just about the design on the shirt, its the whole package – shipping, customer service are just as important and we’re always trying to improve what we do.

Thank you to Glenn for taking the time to chat a bit! I look forward to covering Glennz Tees in the future and I wish you a gazillion T-Shirt sales! 

Cut Your Own Hair Starting Now!

Dirt Salad is a great little blog by Glenn Mcelhose of Diggnation fame. Glenn aka by Diggnation fans as Hippie Glenn started Dirt Salad this past January and it’s a place for Random video blogs by Glenn. In his newest video, he shares tips on how YOU can cut your own hair – what?! That’s right folks, save money in these hard economic times by trimming your own locks.

And just in case you do decide to take the plunge and trim your own hair (good luck) I’ve got your torso covered with some tees that shout – I Cut My Own Hair! I actually think I’ll try this….

I Cut My Own Hair

Eat, Sleep, Cut Hair

I Wish My Hair Was Emo