Category archives: Thoughtful T-Shirts

For The Troops – T-Shirts and Stories from is a collaboration of artists and veterans to provide T-Shirts inspired by stories of real people fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. 20% of the profits from the T-shirts are being donated to the USO and the Wounded Warriors project.

Let me also add if you want to another route to support the troops I’d also recommend putting your support behind the new proposed GI Bill (which the administration and McCain are both opposed to arguing that it would effect retention and soldiers would leave the army to go to college). The new GI Bill wants to give the same benefits for college that World War II veterans got, ie. to pay for their education at the state college of their choice.

Also here’s the full story behind the T-Shirt design called “A Boy, A Bear, and A Soldier”

In 2005, when he was 20-years-old, Mike’s life, and the life of every member of his squad, was saved by a young Iraqi child. At the time, Mike was serving his first tour in Iraq, running combat patrols in Tikrit. A day after handing out stuffed animals to Iraqi children gathered in front of his base, Mike was traveling down a nearby highway when he noticed one of the young boys from the previous day standing with his hand raised in the middle of the road directly ahead of his Humvee convoy. Mike’s squad leader decided to pull over and dismount to investigate. The young boy grabbed the squad leader’s hand, walked him down to a spot in the road where they had been about to drive and dusted off a 155mm roadside bomb buried in the sand. It turned out to be one of three IEDs that were daisy-chained together at the distance that their Humvees traveled apart. As Mike watched the bombs being safely detonated from the side of the road, he reflected on how this little boy who he tossed a stuffed animal to just a day earlier had saved the life of every member of his squad.

A boy, a bear & a soldier was designed by a phenomenally talented young illustrator named Aya Kakeda who has done projects for Nike, The New York Times & Nickelodeon. It is available in men’s and women’s sizes for $25 exclusively at

TakePride is a grassroots effort started by young artists and former members of the military to re-define what it means to support the troops by using art, style and the stories of real-life Americans at war. Their line of contemporary t-shirts has received more nationwide media attention and motivated more young Americans to be involved in this cause than any other symbol of support. TakePride donates a minimum of 20 percent of its profits to the Wounded Warrior Project.

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 :-)

Too Soon? Smokey the Bear from LuckyThreadz

smokey the bear

I have mixed feelings about this design, what do you think?

Vote On 756*

What would you do if you had the actual ball that Barry Bonds cracked out of the park to win his much maligned record? Well the new owner of the ball is putting it to a vote at, where you can vote on three fates for the ball. The most interesting IMHO is the option to have the ball branded with an asterisk, just like the t-shirt, and then sent to Cooperstown. All I can say is I’m absolutely hooked and this question is almost as tantalizing as “who shot JR” or who is lonelygirl15 :-)

Just Remember You Are Unique, Just like Everyone Else – From Turtle Head


When a company gets in touch with me and tells me they’re called “Turtle Head” and their tag line is “touching cloth since 2006″ my expectations for awesomeness are set pretty high. I can’t say they dissapoint, the t-shirt “Just Remember Your Unique, Just like Everyone Else” is inspired.

I wonder if they got the idea from John S. Hall (lead singer for King Missile), from his poem called “saturday“…

I want to be different, like everybody else I want to be like
I want to be just like all the different people
I have no further interest in being the same,
because I have seen difference all around,
and now I know that that’s what I want

read the rest of the poem…

hiroshima T-Shirt

hiroshima T-Shirt
Originally uploaded by karllong.

This is a freaking sweet T-Shirt that my friend Scott had worn to to work. It’s a T-Shirt to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Bombing of Hiroshima, the cool thing is he bought it in Hiroshima. It’s a great design and has some really nice details on it which is why I got him to pose in it. Notice the cool Shinobi game we have in the office :-) You can play it online here if you want to reminisce about Ninja games. Anyway, this gets filed in the Best T-Shirt Ever category along with the other best T-shirts Ever :-)

hiroshima T-Shirt

hiroshima T-Shirt

(all pictures taken on a Nokia N80 :-)

RTFM people


This is genius, I love this shirt, it is so clever. From, looks like their in europe, but the shipping is pretty reasonable and they seem to have their shit together.

On a related note the Communist Party Shirt I blogged about a while ago has been one of the most popular posts on the site, go revisit some classic tcritic :-)

BTW Kathy Sierrra has been writing some great stuff on her blog “creating passionate users” about how companies should approach creating manuals.



The Hung Consumer

Those amazing folks at teetonic are “best t-shirt company ever” this week :-) These shirts came all the way from the UK and they are super sweet and very unique. I am particularly keen on the Hung Consumer graphic, being a product of consumer culture. We have over the years tried to make meaning through what we consume. With increasing access to creative tools though I feel we are on the cusp of a consumer revolution where we will make meaning through what we make and create.





I want to thank everyone who’s been emailing me pics of t-shirts, I’m getting to see some great t’s that I might not find tooling around on my own.

This one is from Christian at Alive Shirts, he is an illustrator/designer who sells t-shirts with his illustrations of endangered species on them, and gives 10% of the profits to the WWF (no not the wrestling, the World Wildlife Fund :-)

Not only is it a good cause, they are really great designs.

This one’s on the red panda .

The red panda resembles a raccoon in size and appearance. It lives in mountain forests with a bamboo understory. Red pandas almost exclusively eat bamboo. The red panda is found in a mountainous band from Nepal through northeastern India and Bhutan and into China, Laos and northern Myanmar. It is rare and continues to decline.The major threats to red pandas are loss and fragmentation of habitat due to deforestation and poaching for the pet and fur trades.

red panda T

Thanks Christian,



Grief In T-Shirt Form


This was actually the phrase that inspired me to do a t-shirt blog. It was based upon a daily show skit after the bombing in london exactly one year ago. The daily show correspondent said (i’m paraphrasing)

“I don’t know what’s wrong with the brits here, no bumper stickers, no t-shirts, they just seem to be carrying themselves with quiet dignity and strength. Personally John, I like my grief in T-shirt form”.

So anyway, I made this shirt at Goodstorm is a very interesting company that allows you to design your own t-shirts and sell them online. They’re rates are super fair, and the tools to create shirts are pretty good. It’s a great place to create a t-shirt shop without losing your shirt, so to speak :-)



Teetonic Sending Me A Shirt

Well contacted me yesterday and offered me a free T-Shirt, well what can I say, i’m a t-shirt whore and totally swayed by schwag, these guys are the total shiznit :-)

I actually really like this one, as someone who has grown up in what is increasingly a consumer culture, I often wonder how else we make meaning in our lives. That’s why i like blogging, it’s not consumption, it’s creative, and subversive. The revolution will not be televised it will be blogged.

Anyway, go buy there stuff, it will fill that little t-shirt sized void inside of you.


love hate tee

Genius t-shirt from MadeInDesign online store. Go spend some Euros, you’ll love me for it…. or maybe you wont :-)

Love Hate Tee from Made In Design Store

Flowers in the Attic from Threadless

Flowers in the Attic, by jbyron
Originally uploaded by mrkook.

Beautiful T-Shirt from Threadless. Works on so many levels, and certainly pushes the envelope of art on T-Shirts.

Check out the artists web site here: