Never Date An Astronaut

I’m not sure why, but whenever I need to spell the word “astronaut” I always initially want to spell it “astronaught.” Maybe I eat too much doughnuts? Wait, it’s donut. Shit. Anyway, this awesome tee by Katie Campbell is the perfect shirt for anyone with aspirations of exploring space or maybe just need, well, more space.

Never Date an Astronaut is available now from Threadless for $20.

SuperMad Men: Can Superman Save Don Draper?

I’ve always been a fan of the opening credits for AMC’s Mad Men. What’s not to love about falling silhouettes? In the latest BustedTees tee, Superman saves Don Draper from a bad day. Now, THAT might make for a pretty interesting crossover episode. How do you think Lois Lane wold cope as a belittled copywriter?

Supermad Men is available now from BustedTees for $20.

Wear This T-shirt. Send a Black Fax.

It’s not just a black rectangle. No. It’s an homage to the Black Fax. Confused? Here you go, courtesy of Wikipedia.

“The term black fax refers to a prank fax transmission, consisting of one or more pages entirely filled with a uniform black tone. The sender’s intention is typically to consume as much of the recipient’s fax ink, toner or thermal paper or disk space as possible, thus costing the recipient money and/or denying the recipient the use of their machine (this is similar to computer-based denial of service attacks). This is made easier because the fax transmission protocols compress the solid black image very well, so a very short fax call can produce many pages.

Black faxes have been used to harass large institutions or government departments, to retaliate against the senders of junk faxes, or merely as simple pranks.

The basic principle of a black fax can be extended to form a black fax attack. In this case, one or more sheets are fed halfway through the sender’s fax machine and taped end to end, forming an endless loop that cycles through the machine. Not only can solid black be used, but also images which will repeat endlessly on the receiver’s machine until his or her toner runs out.”

Black Fax is available now from Cool Try for $20.

Labyrinth Subtleties Backpack

This is cool. A few days ago I mention Labyrinth’s Key To Life T-Shirt. Now, I stumbled upon their Subleties Backpack. It’s simple and modern. Best of all, it will not cost you an arm and a leg. The backpack is priced at $24.99, which is very reasonable. It also features a custom leather patch debossed with the Labyrinth logo and custom Labyrinth zippers. Only 20 of these limited edition backpacks were made so be sure to pick one up now if you’re interested.

The Labyrinth Subleties Backpack is available now from Labyrinth Clothing for $24.99.

Nothing Better Than Young Lovers

There’s nothing better than young lovers. Then again, young lovers turned old lovers over time is pretty awesome as well. Having said that, both of these T-Shirts from Young Lovers are made with the finest premium ultra-soft combed ringspun 100% cotton. Even better, only 100 of each T-Shirt design from Young Lovers is ever made so each shirt is a limited print.

Two particular Young Lovers T-Shirts caught my eye, Dylan X Beethoven and Anonymous Mona. First, what a fucking brilliant move to mash-up two of the greatest musicians of all time into one epic silhouette. Second, I’m not sure what’s more haunting, Mona Lisa with her ambiguous face or Mona Lisa without her ambiguous face.

Both T-Shirts are available now from Young Lovers for $48.

Peace Is Simple

Cool shirt. I think that the product description sums up this shirt perfectly. There really isn’t much more for me to say about it. It’s simple and it’s beautiful.

The shapes are simple. The concept is simple. Peace is a simple concept; yet the world has struggled to comprehend it’s meaning and how to attain it. Robert Fulghum captured this idea when he said “Peace is not something you wish for; it’s something you make…” If we all tried to make peace, even if just for one day, imagine the profound impact that would have globally!

Peace Is Simple is available now from Random Objects for $23, but you can score 10% off your entire order by using the coupon code RANDOMOBJ at checkout!

Anything Goes When Everything’s Gone

I have no idea where the quote on this shirt is from, nor do I have a clue whose head that is plastered on the middle of this T-Shirt. What I do know is that Anything Goes When Everything’s Gone is one badass tee from Sheol Clothing. I love the tone of the shirt, which to me is very deep and melodic. There’s something very contemplative about this T-Shirt, and I dig it.

“Sheol Clothing is a grassroots clothing label based in Leeds, United Kingdom. Launched in early 2011, Sheol is a label with a twist. Dedicated to creating clothing which is striking, both visually and conceptually, we aim to give you that bit more. Unique clothing, with a unique message. Sheol is the ‘grave’, ‘pit’ or ‘abyss’, as a concept it predates the Christian and Muslim ideas of judgement after death and differs from Heaven and Hell. Dichotomous and ambiguous, Sheol opens the possibility of interpretation; it allows space for free will. You can push and pull the concept and find your own boundaries. It’s not simply a dogmatic black cloud or even a blissful white haven. It is everything that you want it to be because you have the power to decide.”

Anything Goes When Everything’s Gone is available now from Sheol Clothing for £12.

Introducing Colus Havenga

Designer and animator, Colus Havenga, recently launched his latest project, Colus. The designs are quite interesting in that only the colors black and white are used. The designs are quite minimal and look as if they could have come straight out of Havenga’s sketchbook (and that’s not a bad thing). Bold lines are intertwined with sketch like imagery. I can imagine that these designer T-Shirts would look great, either stand alone, or even under a sporty black blazer. Even Kings Fail (last design seen below), is my favorite design from the bunch.

“Black and white. No convention. No visual trickery. This is colus. Crafted without trend, colour or design stunts to hide behind, this collection tries to stay in its humblest form of design where negative space is as important as the art itself. Colus explores themes of morality through to mortality with symbolic, bold, contrast rich works with an underground tone leaving questions unanswered.”

All Colus shirts are printed on white American Apparel tees are are available now at the Colus online shop for $30 a piece. Tip: If you sign up for the Colus newsletter, you can score a 15% off coupon code. You might want to act on this because i’m not sure how long this offer will last).

Nocturnal Naptime

It’s been a while since I’ve featured a T-Shirt from our friends over at Omunky. Part of the reason why this is the case is because Omunky took a little break from printing new T-Shirts. However, the eco-friendly brand is back and stronger than ever. The new tee is called Nocturnal Naptime and I think it’s their best T-Shirt to date. It’s simple and yet it’s hilarious. I just love how the tinge of yellow pops from the black T-Shirt.

Considering that most owls are nocturnal and hunt during the night, one must wonder why the owl in this particular shirt is dozing off. There can only be one explanation. The owls featured must be either burrowing owls (Speotyto cunicularia) or short-eared owls (Asio flammeus). These types of owls are active during the day and therefore can afford to be lazy at night. There is an explanation for everything!

Nocturnal Naptime is available now from Omunky for $22 but you can score 15% off your entire order by using the coupon code COTY at checkout!

Interview With 2010 DBH 10K Winner Yonil

I had a chance to chat with the big winner of the Design By Humans 2010 $10,000 design contest, Jonathan Lax (who is better known in the design circles as YONIL). YONIL talks about the stress of competing, the inspiration behind We Did This To Ourselves, and what he’ll be doing with his big cash prize!

Coty: Yonil, congratulations on winning the Design By Humans $10,000 contest! What has the last few weeks been like having to wait to find out whether you had won?

Yonil: Thanx a lot man! I’ve been saying this to anyone who would listen from competition-day one: This was the most intense and challenging competition I have ever took part in.

A true mind and emotion rollercoaster. From the second you submit your designs up until the final stages there are almost two months of promoting & introducing your designs to friends, family and even strangers.

Then there’s the anticipation for every phase of the competition, seeing if you got up a stage or not. The last couple of weeks were really really hard to handle – no jokes – I personally, never actually thought I would win. fantasized, yes, but at the same time tried avoiding the thoughts about the whole thing. Winning was an absolute shocker for me.

Coty: You pretty much dominated the 10K contest having had 2 designs voted into the final top 8. What was your reaction like when Design By Humans announced you as the 10K winner?

Yonil: I wouldn’t say I dominated anything. Yes, I did have 2 designs up there in the final 8, but if you ask me if it made me feel any safer than all the others then the answer is one definite “No way”. After two failed attempts (in 2009 and 2008) to make it through the first elimination round at the DBH 10K, I was so happy to find two of my designs in the final 24 – you can’t imagine how happy. Then the final-8 day arrived and I had good faith that one of my designs will make it through. I wake up to see both made it through.

How do I handle this? What do I do next? Obviously I didn’t have such great promotional skills like others in the competition had, so I just went with spreading the word in any way I know of possible.

When they announced my design as the winner I was kind of shocked. My reaction was opening up a beer bottle (it was 9am here), sitting back on my sofa at home, letting all the stress wash away and simply enjoying the feeling. Good moment.

Coty: What was your inspiration for your winning design, We Did This To Ourselves?

Yonil: “We did this to ourselves” is a statement about what we do to earth. Us humans have to start realizing what is happening and face the facts that none are responsible but us and that is also why we’re the ones who must fix it. One plastic bag at a time.

Instead, it seems like we’re only getting more and more tangled in our problems for all the wrong reasons, rather than changing our ways.

Coty: The last two DBH 10K winners came from the Philippines. Are you happy to bring the prize home to Israel?

Yonil: I guess it’s nice and all, but it doesn’t work that way for me really. I judge a designer by her/his ability to create something I can relate to, appreciate and that changes my state of mind or emotion.

The country we live in isn’t really a factor you know…

Coty: Both Zerobriant and Christian San Jose/Archan Nair did an amazing job at promoting their designs. But at the end of the day, they didn’t win and you did. What did you do to promote We Did This To Ourselves?

Yonil: Can’t say I did something completely new here but here’s the list of my exact actions:

  1. I obviously emailed every single person I know about the competition asking them to vote for the design and comment. Some friends and family members helped by spreading the emails around to their circles of friends.
  2. After making it to the final-24 I designed a minisite so that people would know exactly what I’m talking about when asking for their vote and so that they could find instructions on how to register to DBH easily. This is the address: http://yonilatdbh.weebly.com/
  3. Posted pics on my website (www.yonil.com), on Flickr, Emptees and Deviantart requesting people’s help if they like the designs.
  4. Using facebook in every way possible, posting the links to the minisite and directly to the design at DBH, opening events for every round of the competition and posting pictures of the designs everywhere I could.
  5. Also on Facebook I uploaded a picture of the designs asking people to tag themselves in it so that as many people as possible would see it and read the info. I promised to have a raffle for all the people tagged and give out a free shirt to five people in case I got 1st place, and so I did.
  6. I printed out little business cards about myself in the competition and handed them out at the local Pecha-Kucha night in Tel-Aviv.
  7. Friends obviously helped a lot posting the links on their facebook walls and promoting my designs on their blogs.

Coty: Some critics say that contests like these are more so a popularity contest than about the art. That is, the most and original and unique pieces do not always win. What would you say to these critics?

Yonil: I don’t really like competitions based on popularity only where “most votes=win”.

If you go by votes, my designs in this competition were far from first place – I’m 110% certain of that – so I wasn’t the most “popular”.

I think that DesignByHumans have found themselves a very good formula for picking out their winners. Yes, one of the elements for judging a design is the number of times it’s been voted for, I think that’s mainly what makes this website a community alongside it being an online store, but the votes are merely one factor in the whole formula, and if you ask me, far from being the most important one.

I’ve seen designs with as much as 30 votes get printed and vice versa, designs with tons of votes that didn’t print. I’ve seen designs that I like get printed and designs that I don’t. What’s important is that the DBH staff get the final say – and this is exactly how I believe it should be – it is their business, it is their store and the public opinion is important, but it’s only an indicator for finding out where the wind blows.

Coty: Of course, people want to know what you plan to do with the big $10,000 prize. Do you have anything crazy planned for the cash?

Yonil: I just got engaged last week. So most of the prize money will probably go into the whole “getting our life started thing” I dunno – Ikea furniture maybe? How whack is that??? heh…

The one thing I do know I will be getting for myself is a Wacom Cintiq LCD screen/tablet. Been fantasizing about this one for too long.