Category archives: t-shirt-biz

Sometimes I Buy T-Shirts – Ffee Clothing Package Design

Ffee Clothing Packaging

Hey all, I could not resist buying this T-Shirt from Ffee clothing the other day, and having purchased it for my own personal consumption I had not planned on reviewing it as I have a bunch of samples waiting for my attention. That being said, when I opened the package I was so impressed I had to take some snaps and post about it.

The T-shirt came in a really nice canvas bag, with a rough string tied in a bow, and once you opened the bag you found the T-shirt (obviously), a sticker, moo-card, and water pistol. Sure it doesn’t make the T-Shirt any better (although Ffee stuff is very nice, labeless, soft, an uses water based inks), but it made the experience that much more memorable. Talking about memorable two other companies that stood out when I got their packages were Johnny Cupcakes and Oddica, check them out. Any of you guys have any T-Shirt/clothing companies that stood out through their packaging?

Ffee Clothing Packaging

On a slightly different topic, I’m sorry i’ve been a bit MIA recently but things have been getting crazy busy this month. Just to give you a snippit, ‘m going to be teaching a course at the Academy of Art University in Social Media (so i’m putting the curriculum together), speaking at the Inverge Conference in Portland at the beginning of September (putting a presentation together), trying to get a line of T-shirts printed (talking to designers, artists, licensing, contracts etc.), trying to get a press pass for the Magic Conference in Las Vegas for August 25th to 27th, oh and I have a full time job, oh and how about trying to maintain a social life. Anyway, if you have emailed me, sent me samples, or invited me to your facebook group I may not have responded, so forgive me.

Avoiding Common Design Mistakes

I was reading HideYourArms the other day and came across this article where some brilliant designers have started putting together a list of 15 Awful Mistakes Made by Designers in the Music & Apparel Industry (here’s part 2 with the next 5). This is a must read for any T-Shirt designers, and IMHO anyone who is looking to hire designers. I’ve been working in and around the design industry for a long time and I can tell you that the points brought up in this article are right on. They’re not about style or technique, there about the business of design./


Designers who contributed to the article include:

Rob Dobi Dan Mumford Derek Deal Jimiyo Geoff May Justin Ryan Laurie Shipley AJ Dimarucot Jimmy Heartcore

On a lighter note, if you are a long time reader you may remember my post about the and their nice little design critique sticker set.

Designpolice 2

I think some T-Shirt designers could use some things like “Unoriginal idea” “Over use of beer pong” and “Remove arrow pointing at penis”.

Rumplo Nominated For Business Week’s Best Of The Web

Yummy from 410BC

The amazing t-shirt directory Rumplo has been nominated for the Best Of The Web by Bussiness Week, going up against such sites as Google, Netflix, and Flickr, so stiff competition, and against all odds they are currently in 3rd place as the voting stands. So I implore you, run, don’t walk, the the Business Week voting booth and vote for Rumplo as a site you love :-)

Lets rewrite this tee shirts history

Chillin’ Productions At 111 Minna This Saturday

Great clothing designers, t-shirts, screenprinting, great music, lots of drinks and beautiful people, it’s a lot of fun folks, I had a blast last time (see my write up and pics), and don’t forget to bring some clothing with your for the crazy guys from SAN FRANPSYCHO to screenprint for you live at the show. Bring t-shirts, booty shorts, or underwear (clean people) :-)


Chillin’ is going back where it all got started….
111 Minna Gallery!

When: Saturday June 7, 2008
Where: 111 Minna Gallery
$6 at the door
Must be 21+ ID

For more info go to:


Visuals by:
INSTA-Action (

Art exhibit by:
365 (14 of the country¹s most visionary, contemporary and abstract artists).

Live Music by
Little Yellow Perfect

DJ Tajh
DJ Russell Vargas
DJ Eddy Bauer (KALX)

LIVE screen-printing by SAN FRANPSYCHO, bring a shirt or booty-shorts

Chillin’ was featured in the SF Chronicle May 18, 2008, check it out

Threadless Founders Video by Tara Hunt

Interesting video/interview with the Threadless founders. Tara (blogger at HorsePigCow) put the video together and has written a book recently called the Whuffie Factor about businesses that are succeeding by leveraging web2.0/social media and of course the community. Threadless is probably one of the best examples of a community driven company.

The book that will catch the crest of Web 2.0 and show how any business can harness its power by increasing their Whuffie, the store of social capital that is the currency of the digital world.

Turn Signals In Your Hoodie

turn signals

Leah Buechley used the LilyPad wearable e-textile technology that she created to turn this jacket into an illuminated turn signal for cyclists, or pedestrians, or big wheelers, or even motorcyclists I guess.


You can buy all the Lily Pad series of wearable, sewable and believe it or not washable technology here. If anyone does anything cool with a t-shirt leave a comment and i’ll repost.

Found on Why Me, a very cool blog about design stuff.

Three T-Shirt Directories

Rumplo is a very nice community driven t-shirt collection with voting, profiles etc. Good filtering functionality by color, and nice combination of popular and upcoming on the front page. Sort of Digg for t-shirts

Duck With Glasses
Duck With Glasses is a collection of t-shirt links and images, mostly affiliate driven, with some search features. If you know about the big t-shirt companies there is not a lot of new stuff here.

Liquid Cotton
Another affiliate driven site with lots of t-shirts from the big companies, but with some community voting features. Not sure what was going on though as none of the outgoing links were working.

Both of the sites here that are primarily collections of affiliate links are ok, but if they wanted to be really successful I would suggest they build a widget that t-shirt bloggers could put in there side bar using their own affiliate codes, that way the blogger gets a bit of revenue and the directory can have an link built into the widget back to the main directory. Anyone trying to use affiliate links know what a frikin nightmare it is to try and build those links, and if you could automate the process (as they are already doing) I think bloggers would be all over it. In fact, build it to work for any affiliate products and millions of bloggers might take advantage, think about all those incoming links :-)



As Rangga from the I missed out which IMHO is certainly one of the strongest designs. Looks like the site was put together by Deft Creative out of the UK so kudos to them, not sure if they did it as an experiment, portfolio piece or for a client? I wonder if they could help me redesign and add some features tcritic :-)

Plug: if you haven’t checked it out come and join the T-Shirt Appreciation Society on facebook, yeah! Also Rethink clothing just posted a 10% off coupon there use “tenoff”.

Update: Springwise the trend portal just posted about Rumplo

Consume Everything from Origin68


I love the idea behind this Origin68 t-shirt, the irony of course that i’m promoting consumption of this thing while somehow looking down on the act of consumption. That being said the t-shirt industry has been one of the leading examples of the concept of consumer on it’s head, look at threadless, their doing more than 18M a year (and that’s an old figure) and their whole product development process is driven by their customers. Look at Cafepress, Zazzle, Spreadshirt, all putting the power of creativity in the hands of consumers. In many ways the internet kills the old concept of the passive consumer, that is a person that eats product and craps cash, and are now driving what is made for them, and using the web to wrestle power from corporations. Now we’re posting on blogs, commenting on forums, rating products, making companies transparent and rejecting shit. Anyway, I found this shirt from the T-Shirt Appreciation Society group that I started on Facebook (already 40 members), so check it out.

consumer close up

If you’re interested in how the internet is changing consumer culture you should check out the, the cluetrain manifesto, and this site trendwatching, i particularly recommend Transparency Tyranny, Crown Clout and Customer Made.

Hmm, end rant :-)

Threadshow SF – December 16th still taking exhibitors

Ok everyone, mark your calendars because Threadshow is back in SF on December 16th and at a new location, The Galleria, 101 Henry Adam’s Street, San Francisco, i’ve created an upcoming listing here. The last event was a blast and that was their first one in SF so I have even higher expectations for their next one. There will be DJ’s, a bar (possibly open, it was last time), and the live screen printing looks very interesting as well. I’ll also be on the look out for cool after parties as well.

target practice
Target Practice by Que Lastima Clothing

They are still taking exhibitor applications so if you are local and an indie clothing designer you should totally check it out.

THREAD returns to its new home in San Francisco to showcase 100 fresh emerging fashion designers and artists alongside some better known brands from San Francisco and the bay area.

THREAD San Francisco gives fashion adventurists the chance to pick up limited edition & hard to find pieces whilst snagging designer lines at discounted prices.

Featured Brands Include:


complete list here

sneaker bar
Limited Edition Kicks for fall brought to you by Shoe Biz & Addidas

denim lab
50% off all top name denim for men and women from Villains

art show
Live screen printing, live art and merchandise presented by the wickedly edgy SPRFKR

ABSOLUT 100 hosted bar
The Black Cocktail Lounge served to you by Absolut 100 Black Vodka.

I’ll be there so drop me a note if your going, K.

Oh, and yes SPRFKR is wickedly edgy, I met the man behind that last time, although he was a little camera shy

He’s got very scary t-shirts :-)

Win Big With Costumecon – Hand Made Halloween Costume Contest With Etsy


Here’s a great little contest put on by Etsy to design the best hand made haloween costume. I’m thrilled to say i’ve been asked to help judge the T-shirt category along with Threadless and Etsy and I am really stoked. Needless to say the winners will get featured here as well as part of their prize :-) The other categories are Green, Pet, Sci-Fi, Kid/Baby, and General Awesomeness.

Oh yes, my crafty ghosts and goblins, we’re holding the ultimate handmade costume contest, and awarding eighteen winners with over $2,000 worth of goods and prizes. Three winners will be selected in each of the following six categories: Pet, Kid & Baby, T-Shirt Costume, Sci-Fi, Green, and General Awesomeness!

Judges from,,,,,, and are helping us pick the winners and donating cool prizes. 

Threadless $25 Gift Certificates For T-Shirt Related News and Posts

So I have a total of $2000 in gift certificates to give away, read on if you want to figure out how to win some. I had written a while ago that I was going to send out free t-shirts to people that sent me new tips that I published, but as it turns out packing up and shipping t-shirts is a pain in my ass and i’m just not organized enough to do it. But then I discovered I can cash in my Threadless Streetteam points for gift certificates and I can just email them out to people, now even I can manage that.


So here’s the deal email me at t-shirt related news, new cool companies and designs etc. in the form of 100 words and a photo and if I publish it you will get a $25 threadless gift certificate via email and a link back to your site or blog as the news source. If you want a blurb about you as well, add a couple of lines at the end.

Couple of caveats, if it is your design, or your company, or you work for the company I may well post it, but I will not be sending a gift certificate to you.

Try and find stuff that hasn’t been written about on every t-shirt blog out there, I like new and unique stuff.


Karma Loop $3000 T-Shirt Design Contest

Karmaloop is running a t-shirt contest, go here to sign up, here are the deets:

Karmaloop has brought back their T-Shirt design contest, and this time the winner will truly cake. The grand prize winner gets $3000! 5 Runners-up will receive $500 in gift certificates for us at, all winning designs will be printed and sold on Karmaloop and the designer will get promoted to millions of streetwear fanatics around the globe!

Here are a few of the submissions so far:
karma loop submissions

T-Shirt Cannon – The Sabre Semi Automatic Bleacher Reacher

bleacher reacher

OMG, I can’t look at this thing without thinking of the Simpsons episode where Maude Flanders is killed by a t-shirt cannon, I wonder if it was this model?

Conclusive proof that on the internet you can’t be too niche check out

T-Shirt Party In Vegas November 3rd – RSVP In Comments

UPDATE: Hey everyone, i’ve had a lot of interest and a lot of comments from folks about the Vegas party, and even some offers of sponsorship from a few companies including Seibei, Design By Humans, 2Smart Monkeys, t-shirt forums, and Gunslinger design plus a couple of others via email. Well I think i’ve got to scale back my ambitions a little bit as work is totally overwhelming me right now (yes I have a full time job), and i think a month was too short a time to try and organize this in a remote city. That being said i am planning on being in Vegas on November 3rd, and plan on being at the Mix Lounge in the Mandalay Bay between 8 and 10 on saturday night so if you swing by and introduce your self I will certainly buy you a couple of drinks, hows that sound :-) Lets call it a t-shirt happy hour (although Mix says no “sleeveless shirts” so no wife beaters).


Mix Lounge
3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89119

NOTE: to RSVP leave a comment and include your real name if you want the threadless certificate, they will be handed out at the door, and if you’re really into it Digg the story.
UPDATE: Moved the date to November 3rd due to Halloween conflicts

Offers of sponsorship so far: Seibei, Design By Humans, 2Smart Monkeys

So here’s the idea guys, i’m planning a trip to vegas to celebrate my birthday on Saturday November 3rd October 27th and it struck me that I might be able to organize a bigger party in Vegas related to T-shirts.

Reverse psychology doesn’t work – by Vintage Vantage

Here’s what I will throw into the pot i’ll put $1200 from tcritics ad revenue that I will contribute to the bar of where ever we end up going. I will also give a threadless gift certificate to at least the first 40 RSVP’s buy the first 100 people to RSVP their choice of threadless t-shirt with my streetteam points (gift cert will be between $25 and $50). What i’m looking for is a few companies to sponsor the party and help me organize it in return they will get some exclusive advertising on my site, and will of course be heavily featured in the various blogging about how this event develops. I’m thinking the party could include a t-shirt fashion show, some give aways, some competitions etc.

Here’s my target market for this party:
target market

I was thinking about staying in the Luxor as it seems to have some great rates that weekend, and it’s a pretty cool place. As for where the party should actually be, open to suggestions.

So what can you do? If you’re free that weekend and you want to hobnob in Vegas with people obsessed with t-shirts just RSVP by leaving a comment (make sure you fill in the email address field with a real email so I can keep you updated and add you to the evite and you’re real name which willl be on the list), and let me know what threadless shirt you would like and what size (i’ve got to buy them all in one go so pick one that will be in stock, otherwise i’ll get the size in another shirt). I plan to hand them out at the party.


What do you guys think, leave a comment if you think this is too crazy to work, or just crazy enough it might work. Obviously leave a comment if you want to talk about sponsorship as well, cheers.

Vegas baby :-)

Threadless Store Open Today In Chicago


Well threadless opened the doors to their brick and morter store today in Chicago and it looks like they did an amazing job. It looks like the equivalent of the Apple store for t-shirts, great design and layout, and some really innovative technology features. When you check out you can take a picture of yourself and become a virtual model on their “guest cam”.

You can read more about the store on threadless here where they also mention a opening party event on September 14th.


Hearty congratulations Threadless and looks like you did a great job on the store, wish i could go to the party :-(

Hat tip to Threadspot
, great pictures.