Random Artistic Design or RadIsRad

It’s not every day that I get T-Shirt blog posting material from YouTube. In fact, this might be a first! I spotted this RadIsRad (short for Random Artistic Design) tee on one of Chris Cendana’s YouTube music videos. He posted a video of himself singing a cover of The Fray’s Never Say Never and at the beginning of the video he gives a shout out to RadIsRad while he sings the song in the RadIsRad Elliot shirt. Neato! Too bad I have absolutely zero singing ability or else I’d do the same. You can pick up Elliot from RadIsRad for $19.95.

If you  haven’t heard of Chris Cendana be sure to check out his YouTube profile. He’s a filipino singer/songwriter and is one of those people that have become semi-famous via YouTube. He even released an album of original songs titled Waiting, that is available now on iTunes!



$10 Sale at ShirtFight + Bonus

Our good friends over at ShirtFight is having an epic $10 sale! From now until next week Thursday you can choose from over 20 different ShirtFight tees, all marked down to an amazing 10 buckaroos – a steal for you T-Shirt fanatics. Oh, and one more thing. Score 10% off your entire ShirtFight order by using the coupon code “cotygonzales” at checkout. That $10 sale instantly became a $9 sale thanks to yours truly! Now go buy some shirts!

Angry Fishman Will Eat Your Face

Please Sir, Play Me The Blues

Death of a Sailor

Mos Def Album To Be Released As T-Shirt

As a fan of both T-Shirts and music, this latest story has got me excited. According to Paste Magazine, artist Mos Def is set to release his latest album, The Ecstatic, on a T-Shirt. The album artwork will be the front of the T-Shirt, the track listings will be on the back and the music itself? Well, you’ll find a special code on the hangtag that you can use to download the album straight to your computer. This is an interesting move by Most Def and I’m interested to see how other artists will be innovating in this age of digital music distribution.

Mos Def The Ecstatic

Indie Tee Spotlight #26: i/denti/tee

i/denti/tee is a brand based out of New York that I stumbled upon while working on the Tee-Junction Teedirectory and I was instantly intrigued by their very unique product. If you enjoy T-Shirts and are a music lover (like myself) then you owe it to yourself to check out i/denti/tee. They pay special attention to the details, from packaging (each shirt comes in a vintage vinyl sleeve) to the tags (each i/denti/tee t-shirt has a “copyright” patch sewn onto the back, to showcase its authenticity). And just in case you’re wondering, every lyric they print is licensed for use. 

The i/denti/tee brand was founded by Carl Johnson, Michael Guido, Dave Quirke, and Evan Vogel out of their passion for music. I had the awesome opportunity to chat with i/denti/tee brand director Hugo Murray who was intimately involved in the development and launch of the brand. 

Hugo Murray

Coty: I’ve covered a lot of niche T-Shirt brands, but, I have to admit that i/denti/tee is one of the most well executed. How did the idea for i/denti/tee come about?

Hugo: The idea came from our love for music that has turned innocent comments into full-on debates around all things music. Dave Quirke, one of the founding partners, was debating music with a friend of his over a few pints of Guinness in a Dublin bar. Who is the greatest music artist of all time? Stones or the Beatles? What is the greatest album of all time? Zeppelin IV or OK Computer? What is the greatest song of all time? 99 Problems or Hotel California? After another 4 or 5 pints, they debated “the best lyrics of all time”. Months later in New York, Dave was reminded of this debate as he overheard two young guys in a bar debating who is the best urban artist of all time… Biggie or Tupac? Although Dave doesn’t even listen to Hip-Hop, he realized that all music lovers debate music. So many music tees feature band logo’s or artist photos – but it’s the lyrics that are at the heart of music.


Coty: While many indie tee brands have adopted American Apparel as the shirt blank of choice, i/denti/tee uses EDUN LIVE blanks. What was the deciding factor when choosing the EDUN LIVE blanks over other brands?

Hugo: We admire the work that Edun Live do. Each one is ‘grow-to-sew’ African – from the cotton they source, through the spinning and knitting stages, all the way to the final logo print on the inside of every music tee – the benefit of each goes back to the people working on the product in sub-Saharan Africa. So when Dave Quirke came up with the idea for i/denti/tee – he immediately asked his good friend Bono and wife, Ali Hewson, if they wanted to be involved and they jumped at the chance to get on board as a strategic partner and supplier.


Coty: Explain a little why all of the lyrics seen on the i/denti/tee shirts begin with the letter “I”. Will future i/denti/tee shirts continue this with this trend?

Hugo: The reason why all our lyrics begin with the letter ‘i’ is that these are the most expressive kind – so it makes a statement about the wearer… “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”, “I wanna dance with somebody”, “I love rock n roll” etc. Self-expression is at the heart of our brand, so we will always print lyrics that begin with ‘i’.



Above: Franke Rodriguez (i/denti/tee brand director) being honored at the PIFF Awards last Thursday. i/denti/tee was honored with the “Pay it Fashion Forward” award from Fashion Delivers for being a cause-driven t-shirt company.

Coty: i/denti/tee shirts are all packaged in a vintage vinyl style sleeve. With the ever growing popularity and proliferation of digital music, do you still purchase and listen to vinyl records?

Hugo: We certainly blow a lot of money buying music on iTunes, but a few of our team still buy vinyl too. Whether people still buy vinyl or not these days – the sight of a 12″ record sleeve brings up feelings of nostalgia in any music lover – that’s why we package our tees in them.


Coty: And finally, I’ve got to ask you, what are your 5 favorite songs of all time? How about your de facto favorite album?

Hugo: My personal top 5 songs?!?! Wow, I could spend hours on that one… (1) “15 Step” by Radiohead (2) “Over the hills and far away” by Led Zepplin (3) “Holy roller Novocaine” by The Kings of Leon (4) “Lady don’t tek no” by Latyrx (5) “Close to me” by The Cure. Favorite de facto album: Vampire Weekend (self titled) – life is always better listening to those guys – it should be prescribed listening for people with depression.

Coty: Just in case you guys are wondering about my favorite album of all time, I’d have to say it’s The Beach Boys’ 1967 release, Pet Sounds. I can listen to that album endlessly on any given day. 


i/denti/tee will be giving away 500 downloads from the iTunes Music Store  and all you need to do to enter the drawing is either follow them on Twitter, be their fan on Facebook or register on the i/denti/tee website. They will be announcing the winner of the 500 iTunes downloads on July 3 so be sure to get in on that. They will be having more giveaways in July, including: concert tickets, tees autographed by the artist, etc. so be sure to be on the lookout for that! Finally, thanks to Hugo for taking the time to chat with me! Now everyone: go listen to some awesome music!

Indie Tee Spotlight #25: Dale Edwin Murray

It was my pleasure to interview Dale Edwin Murray for this weeks Indie Tee Spotlight. He has definitely made a name for himself in the crazy world of T-Shirt design and has been very successful in submitting designs and winning at some of the top T-Shirt contest sites around, like, Threadless, A Better Tomorrow and Shirt.Woot. Dale shares a little bit about how he got his start, what you can do to improve your chances of submitting a winning design and why he doesn’t wear his own shirts!

Dale Edwin Murray

Coty: How did you get started in the T-Shirt design business?

Dale: I help start an online t-shirt store about 5 years ago. I was initially involved in content management and marketing and somehow ended up designing all of their own brand tees. I went freelance about 3 years ago and have been doing t-shirt design ever since.

Coty: What was your first experience in submitting to a T-Shirt design contest? What did you learn from that initial experience?

Dale: My first experience of a t-shirt contest was subbing something to threadless. It was a long time ago and looking back on it the design was pretty awful. It scored pretty badly and got hardly any love from the crowd over there. I learned a number of things from that experience – firstly that t-shirt design is not as easy as it might first appear. There is definitely an art to it and just because you are a good designer doesn’t necessarily mean that you can do commercially appealing tees. It also became apparent just how much competition there is out there. Subbing to threadless was definitely a useful way to get unbiased feedback on those initial designs. It told me that I needed to go back to the drawing board and come up with something better and better each time.

Get Awesome

Coty: You’ve submitted to and won at Threadless with the designs Squeeze Me and Music Business Remastered. With Threadless receiving over 2000 submissions a week, how difficult is it to get noticed and printed at Threadless? What tips do you have for those trying to get printed by Threadless?

Dale: There is a lot of competition at threadless. There are a plenty of very talented designers over there and they get a ton of submissions. So yeah it’s tough to get printed. I thought it was never going to happen! And I’m finding it just as tough to get printed for a third time! I guess the advice I would give would be to take your time with getting your design just right before you submit it. Try and get something perfect and resist the urge to get it subbed quickly. I think it is also important to try and get involved in the community over there, to participate in the blogs and critique/score/comment on other people’s designs. Try and get yourself known and as silly as it sounds, get a good, easily recognisable avatar.

Squeeze by Dale Edwin Murray

Coty: Which of your designs is your favorite to date? Why?

Dale: I guess it would have to be Music Business Remastered. It is my highest scored design on threadless and went down pretty well there in terms of sales as well. I guess that’s what I’m always striving for, a design that looks great but also sells well. Funnily enough on my way to the gym the afternoon I actually saw a guy wearing the hoodie version – that made my work-out much easier!

Music Business Remastered by Dale Edwin Murray

Coty: Aside from submitting to contest sites I am sure that you do freelance work outside of T-Shirt design. What, if any, type of graphic design work do you do outside of designing awesome T-Shirt designs?

Dale: I’m lucky enough to have enough t-shirt design work to not have to diversify at the moment. I say luckily because I really love doing tee design. But in the future I would also love to move into other areas – editorial illustrations, album and book covers – that kind of stuff would be cool. But at the moment I am all about tees!


Coty: Digit Duel is the “sequel” to your first Threadless design, Squeeze Me. I’ve got to ask, what’s the story behind these squeeze characters? How’d you come up with the concept of colorful beans on oversized hands? And secondly, are those the hands of Dale Edwin Murray!

Dale: I have absolutely no idea how that idea popped into my mind! I was just doodling these little bean characters and wanted a way of making them look really small in relation to something else. I thought it would be cool if they were interacting with something rendered in a photo-realistic kind of way – a mixture of fantasy and reality if you like. So it sprang from there I guess. So I took a photo of my own hand squeezing a grape to get the perfect pose. Yep, those are my hands – complete with freckles!


Coty: With a growing collection of Dale Edwin Murray designed tees circling the Internet, I wonder, does Dale wear his own tees?

Dale: I have to admit that I don’t wear graphic tees at all – my own or anyone else’s. I only wear plain tees. I used to wear a ton and still have them all in my wardrobe but I don’t feel right wearing them anymore. That’s what happens when you hit 30!!!!

When Chameleons Go Wrong

Thanks to Dale Edwin Murray for taking the time out from creating wonderful tees to chat with me! Be sure to stay up-to-date with Dale’s latest designs by visiting his online portfolio.

Music Mountain by Lyndsey Lesh

Former Beautiful/Decay intern, Lyndsey Lesh created this stunning design, titled Music Mountain. It’s actually the June T-Shirt of the Month over at the Beautiful/Decay online shop. I’m definitely digging this design and I absolutely love the colorway. Pick up this shirt if you’re  fan of music and wonderful art! Now, if only I knew how to spin records.

As with all Beautiful/Decay Shirt of the Months, this tees will be offered as a unique colorway and will be limited to a run of 300 shirts. The tee is available now for just 20 bucks, which is 33% off the retail price. Essentially, you’re getting a limited run Beautiful/Decay tee before it’s available anywhere else! And even when it is available at retail outlets, this colorway will be no more! So buy it if you like it, now. 

Music Mountain

Music Mountain

What Do You Got, B****?

When I first saw this tee at TeeFury I knew exactly who I was looking at! For those of you squinting your eyes and shaking your head in bewilderment, let me inform you of who this wonderful celebrity is. It’s Joaquin Phoenix’s alter ego, crazy (or uber cool) Joaquin Phoenix!

Tee Fury

I love this design by Athadi, who was inspired Phoenix’s recent performance in Miami so much so that he created this lovely vector based graphic. 

And if you’re interested in what the actor turned rapper’s music is like then check out this video of Phoenix live at the previously mentioned Miami concert.

Old School Dance

This is an interesting promotion from the guys over at Uneetee. They are offering a two for one special on their latest design, Old School Dance by fistofartist. Right now, when you purchase Old School Dance you will be sent two shirts in different colorways (gray and red) for just $17. That’s pretty rad. You can keep one for yourself and give the other away or, even better, keep both of them for yourself! But remember, sharing is caring. If you’d like to mix the size or gender then you need to contact the people at Uneetee when you place your order.

Thye’ve also got a few more promotions going on. You can save off your order by using the coupon codes UGRAD10 or DAD10 at checkout. But, if you want to save even more then use the coupon code SUMMERTEE for a whopping 15% off your order. Awesome.

Old School Dance

Design By Humans Announces Lil Wayne Winners

The winners of the Lil Wayne design contest at Design By Humans were announced today. After the less than exciting results of the Kings of Leon contest I was a little hesitant to see what the winning design would look like. This time, however, I think both Design By Humans and Lil Wayne got it right and chose an awesome design as the winner. 

bartondamer’s Boombox Starship is a nice mix of classic rock and hip hop. I love that type treatment and the use of the retro boombox. This could easily be the keyart for Lil Wayne’s next album. Unstoppable Beast by Iconblast took 2nd place, while Young Money by burnoneLTD and Wayne in the Membrane by discodean took 3rd and 4th places, respectively. 

Boombox Starship by bartondamer


Young Money by burnoneLTD

Wayne in the membrane by discodean

Meet The Glamour Kills Crew

Are you a Glamour Kills fan? If so then check out this recent Glamour Kills video that basically interviews the staff over at Glamour Kills about what they do as well as their thoughts about their coworkers. I can imagine it be quite fun to work there! And, check out their newest tee, Punk Goes Pop 2, it’s available for presale at $24.99 and also comes with a free CD of the same name. I’ve included a tracklist for the CD below. 

Punk Goes Pop

Punk Goes Pop 2 Track Listing
1. Alesana – What Goes Around… by Justin Timberlake
2. Silverstein – Apologize by One Republic
3. August Burns Red – Baby One More Time- Britney Spears
4. Mayday Parade – When I Grow Up by Pussycat Dolls
5. A Day to Remember – Over My Head by The Fray
6. Escape the Fate – Smooth by Santana feat. Rob Thomas
7. There For Tomorrow – Ice Box by Omarion
8. Chiodos – Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger
9. Bayside – Beautiful Girls by Sean Kingston
10. Breathe Carolina – See You Again by Miley Cyrus
11. The Cab – Disturbia by Rihanna
12. A Static Lullaby – Toxic by Britney Spears
13. Four Year Strong – Love Song by Sara Bareilles
14. Attack Attack! – I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry