I was fortunate to receive a copy of Tees: The Art of the T-Shirt by Maki from the publishers of the book. This is actually the first T-Shirt book I’ve received for review or even owned. Nonetheless, this book reinforces the fact that the T-Shirt is one of the most successful pop culture products ever. There literally is a T-Shirt for everything. But the T-Shirt isn’t all about showing off the latest cultural headline, but it is also wearable art. Every T-Shirt you wear reflects who you are and what you stand for. You can tell a lot about a person just from the T-Shirt that they are wearing.
Tees the book is an exploration of the artistic side of the T-Shirt. The author of the book, Maki Design, is actually a pair of T-Shirt designers, Kim Smits and Matthijs Maat. Their careers took off after they successfully won at the popular design contest site, Threadless. After a year and a half of blogging about T-Shirts I expected to recognize a few of the designs and designers in the book. And of course, I did. But I was even more surprised by the number of designers and brands that I had not heard of. The authors really delve deep into the indie T-Shirt culture.
The book is 333 pages long and features 82 design studios and artists. Each of the featured studios/designers provide short insight blurbs into their designs and inspirations. The book is filled with T-Shirts of different styles. If you’re looking for a T-Shirt bible, this is as close as you’ll get.
If you have any interest in T-Shirts (and I bet you do if you’re reading this blog) or just a general interest in graphic design then I highly recommend this book. You can pick up a copy now from Amazon9 for $19 (retail is $30).