Think About It: Dress Royale

Think About It. That’s one of the first things that I thought about when I saw the goods over at Dress Royale. The designers really thought about their designs and how it relates to what is going on around the world. They thought about the messages that they wanted to convey and then they implemented it with art. Dress Royale is inspiring. I dig this brand.

The first shirt that caught my eye is called Sleep and it’s about the pharmaceutical industry. An industry that I feel is very corrupt. Sleep is available now for $18.

“For the first time ever, in 2006, global spending on prescription drugs topped $643 billion. The United States accounts for almost half of the global pharmaceutical market, with $289 billion in annual sales followed by the EU and Japan.”

I too can be guilty of succumbing to a marketing campaign. We all consume more than we should at times. Some of us take unnecessary consumption to a whole other level. Consume is available now for $18.

“Brainwashing refers to a systematic process in which manipulative methods are used to distort an individual’s sense of control over their own thinking, behavior, emotions or decision making.”

I am one that can actually appreciate a good ad. I really enjoy a great ad when I see one, which is rarely. Place Your Ad is available for $18.

“In 2010, spending on advertising was estimated at more than $300 billion in the United States and $500 billion worldwide.”

Hi-De-Ho Neighbor

Growing up in the 90’s, one of my favorite shows was Home Improvement. The draw for me was that I found Tim “The Toolman” Taylor to be quite hilarious and since his fictional kids were about the same age as me I could relate to them. One particular character that I always looked forward to when watching Home Improvement was Wilson. He was the Taylor’s genius neighbor, whose face was never shown. He always hid behind a picket face and all you would hear were his words of wisdom, mostly directed to Tim. Oh the intrigue of not being able to see a characters face over 8 seasons.

Naturally, I thought that it was pretty cool to see this Home Improvement inspired T-Shirt over at Busted Tees. And its even cooler considering that the show has been off the air for over a decade now. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can pick up this tee from Busted Tees now for $16.99.

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.

Yonil Announced as Design By Humans 2010 10K Winner

Big congratulations to the 2010 Design By Humans $10,000 contest winner, Jonathan Lax (affectionately known as Yonil in the T-Shirt community). Yonil was indeed one of the favorites in the competition, with TWO designs making it to the top 8 finale. I actually thought that having two designs in the final would have hurt Yonil (because it would force people to choose between his two designs, thereby splitting the amount of votes he would receive). Well, he sure did prove me wrong.

Lax edged out my selection to win it all (Zerobriant) and trumped the defending champion from 2009, Christian San Jose. There’s a new design powerhouse at Design by Humans, and for the first time in two years, that person is not from the Philippines (remember, AJ Dimarucot won the big prize back in 2008 while San Jose’s Filipino inspired Mecha-Labaw won it in 2009).

I know that you are all excited to pick up We Did This To Yourselves by Yonil and you can do so now at Design By Humans for just $24.

Congrats, Yonil!

Unique LA Spotlight: Pop Casualty

During the next few days I’ll be featuring the awesome clothing brands that will be setting up booths at Unique LA, an independent design and gift show that will take place on April 24th thru the 25th at the California Market Center.

Brad Lamers and Carlos Salcines turned unemployment into a positive thing in 2008 by starting Pop Casualty. Out of sheer boredom, Brad began painting … his buddy Carlos took notice and Pop Casualty was born! For more art by Brad Lamers, check out his personal website. I’m really drawn to Lamers art, it reminds me a bit of Warhol.

Pop Casualty tees are available for $24.99 (they have a logo tee available for $19.99), but if you stop by Unique LA you can pick up your favorite Pop Casualty tee minus shipping costs!

You can find Pop Casualty at Unique LA in Booth 123.

Fabulous

Etch

King

Fullbleed Series 10

Designer Rob Dobi just released Series 10 of his Fullbleed line and I have to admit that it doesn’t disappoint. Dobi has a specific style, he does not rely on other artist for his brand, instead he relies on his own imagination and design skills to bring his concepts to life on T-Shirts. Fullbleed, which originally started as a side project of Dobi’s, has now become his full-time job. It’s easy to see why.

Series 10 consists of 10 new tees, a new hoodie and three silk-screened prints. It looks like nearly half of the T-Shirt line consists of prints on American Apparel Tri-Blend shirts. I’m a huge Tri-Blend fan so this is a welcome inclusion. The shirts are priced from $18-$20, with the hoodie priced at $40, and the prints $18.

Fullbleed Series 10

Rob Dobi also had one of his design selected for print at the popular T-Shirt contest site, Design By Humans. Gateway is available now from Design By Humans for $19.

Gateway By Rob Dobi Design By Humans

A Little Bit Weird (And Now Available On Facebook)

Facebook has pretty much become ubiquitous with having any type of presence on the web. If you’re a brand, have a website or sell stuff on the web then you probably have a Facebook Fan Page. Indie brand A Little Bit Weird has decided to use their Facebook page as something more than a dumping spot for their media. They have opened up a storefront on the fan page to compliment their main online shop.

I really think this is a great idea. I don’t think that I’ve seen any other indie brands selling their tees directly from within Facebook so this is quite a refreshing move by A Little Bit Weird. Go ahead and check out their page, below you’ll see two of my favorites from their shop, Father Time and Guys Bear, both of which are available for $24.

A Little Bit Weird

A Little Bit Weird

A Little Bit Weird

A Little Bit Weird