Top 5 Fictional Workplaces and Their Logos

Fictional Workplaces banner

Television has produced a ton of shows set in workplaces that seem infinitely better than the places where most people actually spend their days making a living. From Ricky Ricardo working at The Copacabana night club in the 1950s, to Oliver Queen running Queen Consolidated today, TV shows have been responsible for some of the coolest companies of all time.

Let’s take a look at some of the best fictional businesses ever brought to the small screen:

5. Pawnee Parks Department (Parks & Recreation)

Parks and Rec Logo

Who would have ever thought the day-to-day life of local government employees could be so entertaining? When the team consists of Leslie Knope, Ron Swanson, and Tom Haverford, however, we’re lucky if we catch a break between laughs.

The Pawnee Parks and Recreation department employs an impressively diverse workforce, including a director who hates the very idea of government (Swanson), an employee who takes the job so seriously it becomes comical (Knope), and co-workers with every level of commitment in between. Parks and Recreation’s creators take it pretty seriously, too. The fictional City of Pawnee has it’s own website, as does the Parks and Recreation department.

The show’s writers did such a good job at creating the Parks and Recreation department from top to bottom, that without knowing the show, one might even think Pawnee, Indiana was a real city. In terms of fictional workplaces, the Pawnee Parks department ranks number five in our book.

4. STAR Labs (The Flash)

Star Laboratory Logo

There are a lot of superhero/comic book shows on the air right now, and while many of them feature cool companies, none seem quite as awesome as STAR Labs on the CW’s The Flash. Sure, it was the explosion of STAR Lab’s particle accelerator that caused the outbreak of meta-humans that populate Central City. And yes, employees are never sure if they can fully trust director Dr. Harrison Wells. But these are small prices to pay for the perks.

STAR Labs is responsible for a whole slew of deeds. First, we owe it to the company for developing The Flash’s superhuman capabilities and figuring out ways to stop meta-human threats on a weekly basis. Additionally, STAR is on the brink of discovering the secrets of time travel and possibly cracking the code of inter-dimensional travel. STAR Labs is also routinely responsible for saving Central City and the world at large. And that’s all just on the first floor! The laboratory sits on top of the only maximum security prison capable of restraining super-powered villains, like Captain Cold and King Shark.

If that doesn’t sound like the coolest 9-5 ever, we’re not you will ever find the perfect job. The STAR Labs brand is not one to mess with, and it’s butt-kicking logo has been printed on many t-shirts for lovers of the The Flash, ranking it number 4 on our list.

3. The Bluth Company (Arrested Development)

Bluth Company

Working for a family business can be an awkward situation in general. But working for Arrested Development’s Bluth family business was an exercise in non-stop buffoonery, and comprised one of the most beloved yet short-lived TV shows of all time.

Between a jailed patriarch, an alcoholic and comically callous matriarch, and a guy who just wanted to be in The Blue Man Group, the list of characters that the Bluth employees had to deal with was almost as long as the line at the family banana stand on a warm day.

The Bluth’s had a variety of businesses, all ranging from dangerous (The Corn Holer) to clearly illegal (Middle Eastern housing developments). While most of the family businesses were run into the ground by the incompetent offspring of Mr. and Mrs. Bluth, the family business’s name, along with its logo, were monumental.

Working there would have proved stressful for anyone, but there would have been some cool opportunities. Who wouldn’t want to serve as an assistant in Gob’s magic show, or drive the set of airplane stairs that served as the family vehicle. Plus, if the paychecks were ever late, there was always money in the banana stand. The fictional Bluth Company brand stands strong at number 3.

2. Central Perk (Friends)

The Central Perk Logo

A lot of shows from the 90s focused on places where the cast hung out, ate meals, and discussed the events of their lives. The most exemplary and perhaps enduring of these was the Central Perk. The Perk acted as the central meeting spot, and provided a cool vibe to watch your favorite characters discuss what they were going to do next. From dates, to job interviews, and everything in between, it all took place downstairs at the coffee shop.

Any way you look at it, it’s hard to argue that serving food and drink to Chandler Bing wouldn’t be an awesome way to earn some extra cash. While it would be nearly impossible to create a spot completely as pertinent in real life, the cafe’s name and logo are still widely famous in the non-fiction world, making it our second best fictional business.

1. Dunder Mifflin (The Office)

Dunder Mifflin Logo

In 2016, taking a job in the paper industry is questionable at best. But when that paper company is run by Michael Scott, its’ top salesmen are Jim Halpert and Dwight Schrute, and the warehouse is run by Daryl Philbin, taking that job becomes a no-brainer.

No company in history has made office supplies seem funnier, but the real secret of Dunder Mifflin’s work environment is that even amidst Jim’s pranks, Michael’s inappropriateness, and Ryan and Kelly’s office romance, it was always clear that the core characters on the show really cared about each other. Sure, selling paper could get boring and may be on the fast track to being completely obsolete, but there’s always the chance Jim will put your stapler in a Jell-O mold, or Michael will drop the perfect “That’s What She Said” joke, and it will all be worth it.

Dunder Mifflin, Inc. also has its own website, and is another fictional workplace you just might think was real without knowing The Office prior to encountering the brand, making it the top our list of television’s fictional workplaces.

10 Shirts for Wanderlusters

Wanderluster T-shirts banner

Do your dreams consist of rowing through the canals of Venice? Or perhaps hiking the Chilean Andes? Whether you’ve travel often, or just simply dream about traveling a lot, it’s safe to say that you’ve probably been bitten by the wanderlust bug at least once or twice. Travel is the gateway to the rest of the world and expanding your own mind. When you’re unable to just get up and leave, however, dreaming about traveling can be a great thing, too.

Here are 10 t-shirts that will speak to your wanderlusting mind–maybe you’ll even wear one on your next trip!

Boats, Trains, or Planes

Airplane T-shirt

What’s your favorite way to get to a new place? Is it a car, train, boat, or maybe something more exotic? Whatever your preferred method of transportation, nothing screams freedom and excitement like boarding a plane and flying overseas. This tee captures your need to get away, and that feeling you get when you look up at a plane and wonder where in the world it’s headed.

Adventure Awaits

Adventure Awaits t-shirt

Wanderlusters are always daydreaming about their next adventure, so it only makes sense to have a t-shirt that gives a nod to that favored activity. What travel destination is eating up your subconscious thoughts? You’re past due for your next adventure.

Explore More

Explore More T-shirt

A love of travel isn’t just about physically being somewhere else–it’s about intimately getting to know the new place you’re visiting. Take walking tours, grab a drink with a local, and get recommendations for where to experience the true character of a place. Don’t stop exploring until you’ve found something truly unique, then start the process anew!

Your Next Destination

Travel Signs T-shirt

Where have you been and where are you going next? Customize a t-shirt in the same style as these signs, using your favorite destinations and future travel plans. There are so many ways to make this style your own! What places will you include?

Stop Thinking, Start Traveling

Traveling T-shirt

Sometimes, it can be easy to get lost in your own head when planning the specifics of your next trip. This wanderlust t-shirt is perfect for those who need a little kick in the butt to plan it! Don’t let life pass you by. Stop daydreaming, start living.

Live. Travel. Love


Live Travel Love T-shirt

Let’s keep it simple, shall we? Live your life. Travel often. Love without abandon. Is there anything more important than these three things? Probably not for a true wanderluster.

Map It Out

Map T-shirt

Whether you opt for a world map, or a subsection with your favorite destination, this map t-shirt screams “wanderlust.” Customize it by highlighting the places you’ve been (and the places you still need to visit).

Mileholics Anonymous

Mileholics Anonymous Shirt

If you’re a frequent flyer, you’ve probably racked up enough miles for it to be classified as an addiction. But some addictions are better than others, and travel is the best addiction to have.

Travel As Therapy

Australia Travel T-shirt

Travel is therapy, as far as any wanderluster is concerned. What destination helps you relax and makes your problems seem minuscule? Sometimes, exploring a new place is all you need for that mental peace you’ve been seeking.

Wanderlust By Definition

Wanderlust T-shirt

We’ve shared many t-shirts for wanderlusters, but saved the most straightforward for last. For those who don’t know exactly what “wanderlust” means, this tee will make things clear, and saves you the trouble of explaining yourself when you get caught in a travel-fantasizing haze.

Are you ready to plan your next trip? Which one of these t-shirts for wanderlusters speaks most to you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

April Fools! 5 Tees to Play the Fool this Year

April Fools

There are many ways to play the fool this April Fool’s Day, and we’ve found a tee for each! Some aspects of the holiday trace back to Roman traditions, as well as medieval feasts celebrating the vernal equinox. The commemoration was even suggested in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, but the actual date of the celebration’s origin is debated—perhaps lost in translation. And maybe that is the ultimate April Fools!

The media sometimes releases April Fool’s news stories, but these tees are for real—no foolin’! Here are 5 tees to play the fool this year:

I Pity the Fool

Mr. T shirt

The most iconic pop culture mention of “the fool” was uttered by James “Clubber” Lang, AKA Mr. T in Rocky III. Now, this tagline is not really about pitying fools. It is more along the lines of taunting or contempt. I don’t think Mr. T had any actual pity. We do have a bit of pity for Mr. T though. In 2006, he turned his phrase into a reality show with the title—you guessed it—I Pity the Fool. Unfortunately for Mr. T, the TV Land show only lasted six episodes. This April Fool’s Day, don’t pity the fools–celebrate them!

Fools Rush In

Fools T-shirt

This tagline, a word of warning perhaps, has become the chorus of a classic song covered by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Etta James, and Elvis. It was even the title of a 1997 Matthew Perry film. But the phrase has its origins in a 1709 poem by Alexander Pope: “Nay, fly to Altars; there they’ll talk you dead; / For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.”

Regardless of your favorite manifestation of the phrase, it still makes a nice tee. ‘Fools rush in’ plays on the idea that haste makes waste, but what if you know what you want? What if some fools just sit around waiting? We’re not suggesting that you jump into something blindly, but indecision and regret–what a bummer.

“Lord, what fools these mortals be”

Shakespeare T-shirt

This line in A Midsummer’s Night Dream is said by Puck, a fairy meddling in the lives of Athenian lovers. Let’s call his antics an early version of April Fools.

The classic theatrical portrayal of the fool dates to Roman times, but the fool character we know and love was perfected in the Shakespearean world. From Falstaff in Henry IV, to Touchstone in As You Like It, and to The Fool in King Lear, the fool, despite his bumbling and jester-like qualities, is usually making the most wonderful and perceptive arguments that the other characters are incapable of making. Despite their overpowering silliness, don’t ever dismiss the fools. They may have the most insight of all.

The Gilded Fool

Gilded Fool Tshirt

FeS2 is its name, and fooling is its game. That’s right, we’re talking about iron sulfide, also known as iron pyrite, AKA fool’s gold. Let them know that you are discerning with this tee—you know that all that glitters is not gold. Although iron pyrite gets kind of a bad rep, it was used as an ignition source in 16th century firearms, as the cathode material in certain types of lithium batteries, and in different types of jewelry. It isn’t totally useless. But don’t mistake that flashing in your pan for gold and head out ‘Californy Way’ just yet! You’re no gilded fool!

The Tarot Fool

Tarot Fool T-shirt

Sometimes, the world of tarot cards sheds a more positive light on playing the fool. Depending on what world of tarot you’re in, or on your deck type and country of origin, the meaning also changes. But generally, it’s not all bad for the fool. The fool, or Jester, is one of the 78 cards in the tarot deck, and is usually considered a wild card—a card of possibility.

He is often portrayed as a wanderer or drifter, with all his possession slung over his shoulder in a sack. Free to roam and wander. He travels, but being the fool, he’s often on a fool’s journey. The Jester is full of wonder and excitement, and is so quizzical that he does not see his journey is leading him to the cliff’s edge. Can you relate? Will the fool learn to heed warnings before it’s too late? Learn from this tee–don’t ever give up wonder, but always watch your step!

So, let the jokesters and hoaxers have their day, but don’t forget the fool. Happy April Fool’s Day t-shirt lovers. Our love of tees is no joke.

T-Shirts Every Southerner Can Appreciate

T-Shirts for Southerners

One of the wonderful things about America is how diverse our country is. Every geographical area has its own unique culture, and the South is no exception. From football and sweet tea, to hunting and fishing, the South could culturally be considered its own country in comparison to the rest of The United States. Most of us who were fortunate to have grown up in The South are very protective and proud of our heritage, even if we no longer call the South home. Here are the t-shirts that any proud Southerner can appreciate!

For those who prefer Southern booze

Jack Daniels T-shirt

While every Southerner loves their sweet tea and moonshine, there’s something to be said for a Jack and Coke! Jack Daniels is, after all, the whiskey of choice amongst most Southerners, and for good reason–it’s distilled in Lynchburg, Tennessee.


For the hunting enthusiast

Camo T-shirt

If there’s one thing Southerners love, it’s hunting! As soon as the weather drops below 40 degrees, it’s time to bring out the camo jackets! But, of course during the long summer months, us Southerners still like to sport our camo-gear. Hence, our fond appreciation for short sleeve camo shirts!

For the New Orleans native

New Orleans T-shirt

Oh, New Orleans. The Crescent City. Home of beignets, crawfish, jazz music, and the Hand Grenade. New Orleans is arguably one of the most unique and exciting cities in America. Sure, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles have a lot to offer, but New Orleans boasts its own unique culture and lifestyle that is nearly impossible to find anywhere else!

For the Mardi-Gras Reveler

Mardi Gras T-shirt

What else is great about The South? Mardi Gras. It’s that lovely time of the year where cities like Mobile and New Orleans become home to some of the world’s greatest parties, parades, costumes, and balls. Once you cross the Mason Dixon line, it’s hard to find another city or state that can throw weeklong parties on such a grand scale. Laissez les bons temps rouler, my Southern friends!

6. For the Southern Belle

Southern Class T-shirt

Southern girls are proud of their heritage. They prefer bonfires and long talks on mama’s front porch to city nightlife. And, they also aren’t afraid to don t-shirts advertising their Southern upbringin’!

7. For the sunshine and sweet tea fan

Sweet Tea T-shirt

If there are two things every Southern person loves, they are sunshine and sweet tea. The South is hot for most of the year. While endless sunshine and summer weather may not be the idea of paradise to every American, for Southerners, it’s a way of life. And, how do we spend the long summers? Soakin’ in the sun and sippin’ homemade southern sweet tea of course!

8. For the regular

Waffle House T-shirt

The South is home to some of the best food in America. We have the freshest seafood and great barbecue. We also have the South’s most famous diner, Waffle House. You can’t pass through the Southern states without stopping by Waffle House. There is one on nearly every exit, and no drunken night out with your friends is ever complete without a Waffle House visit. Even if you grow up in the South and then move up North, you will never stop dreaming about the All Star Breakfast and eggs smothered and covered!

Forgotten 80s Cartoons for Your Next Tee

80 Cartoons banner

G.I. Joe, Transformers, He-Man & The Masters of the Universe, Voltron, Rainbow Bright, My Little Pony, She-Ra The Princess of Power, both versions of The Ghostbusters, the list of classic 80s cartoons goes on. The 80s was the first decade that animation companies partnered with toy companies and figured out that there was no better commercial for new toys than to incorporate an endless stream of new shows and new characters. This idea was eventually taken to an illogical extreme in the 90s, with shows like Pokemon that featured thousands of characters, but in the 80s this concept produced some of the best cartoons of all time.

As they approach their thirty year anniversary, let’s take a look at some 80s cartoons that got lost in the shuffle and deserve a second look.

Defenders of the Earth (86-87)

Defenders of the Earth

Even after his 1980 live-action movie was a critical and commercial flop, Flash Gordon remained a hot commodity well into the 80s. In 1986, he led the Defenders of the Earth for a few seasons of endless battles with his arch enemy, Ming The Merciless. Flash’s crew included Mandrake the Magician, The Phantom, and his own son, Rick Gordon.

The most enduring of these characters has turned out to be the purple-clad Phantom, who eventually went on to be played by Billy Zane in the ’96 Defenders of the Earth movie. The movie, however, was not much of a hit. Apparently, by the mid-90s, audiences were uninterested in a grown man in a purple leotard, riding a horse with the tag line “Slam Evil.” The failure for The Phantom movie to find an audience pretty much spelled the end for The Defenders of the Earth series.

Gilligan’s Planet (82-83)

Gilligan's Planet Cartoon

It all started with “A Three Hour Tour” and turned into one of the most beloved live-action television shows of the 1970s. Even if you are too young to remember the show’s original run, chances are you remember the reruns from sick days or breaks from school. The cast of the show was so popular that producers eventually decided to combine the characters with America’s new Star Wars-inspired fascination with space. They stranded Gilligan, The Skipper, a millionaire and his wife, a movie star, the professor and Mary Anne on a new planet instead of on an island.

The show was unabashedly goofy, and replaced the tropical island high jinx from the original show with updated plots about space travel, aliens, and monsters. While the cartoon never attained the same level of cultural impact as the live-action show, it was an entertaining diversion for a few years in the early 80s.

The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley (88-89)

Ed Grimley Cartoon

After attaining notoriety on both SCTV and Saturday Night Live, Martin Short brought the awkward, celebrity-obsessed, and undeniably entertaining Ed Grimley to the world of animation. The show was ahead of its time on two fronts. First, it was one of the initial cartoons intended to be funny for both adults and children, predating shows like Family Guy and Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim by over a decade. Secondly, it started the trend of giving comedians cartoons that had been dormant since Bill Cosby’s Fat Albert in the 70s, and was soon followed by John Candy’s Camp Candy and Howie Mandel’s Bobby’s World.

“Completely Mental” was a great way to describe Grimley’s misadventures, as each episode started pretty tame, but eventually spiraled out of control in increasingly absurd scenarios that were entertaining to both young kids and adult fans of Martin Short. The show had a very short run, but is still a cult favorite nonetheless, and talked about in comedy circles decades after the last episode aired.

Snorks (84-89)

Snorks Cartoon

Following the runaway success of The Smurfs, Hanna-Barbera was furiously looking for the next cast of adorable critters to spring on America’s youth. It turned out the best way to piggyback on the popularity of The Smurfs was to move the entire show under water and give the characters snorkels built into their heads. The Snorks were clearly influenced by their blue, forest-dwelling predecessors, but the characters were adorable and the stories were fairly entertaining.

Mr. T (83-86)

Mister T Cartoon

Leader of The A-Team. The man who beat up Rocky Balboa. Frequent talk show guest. Breakfast cereal inspiration. Professional wrestler. Guest star on Different Strokes. Few stars owned the 80s like…First name “Mister.” Middle name “Period.” Last name “T.”

Mr. T’s cultural domination of the 1980s was cemented with the debut of his own cartoon in 1983. The show featured live action segments of Mr. T, setting the scene for each episode and giving a moral-of-the-story at the conclusion of each episode. The animated segments consisted of a team of teenage gymnasts coached by the title character, and a dog with a mohawk solving mysteries and stopping crimes. Most of these missions involved feats of strength and/or agility in some capacity, and could only be performed by the team or Mr. T himself.

Mr. T is one of the most enduring symbols of the 1980s, and this cartoon is a great example of 80s cartoons and why this decade may have been the golden era for kids watching television on Saturday mornings.

10 Shirts for Wine Lovers

Wine Lovers

Are you the type of person who takes Wine Wednesday seriously, in an almost religious way? You’re definitely not alone, which is why we’ve found 10 t-shirts for people who love wine that you’re sure to love almost as much. Enjoy looking through these while sipping your favorite red or white, then customize your favorite in your own unique style!

We take no responsibility for what you do while under the influence.

Catalina Wine Mixer

Catalina Wine Mixer tee

Whether you’re a fan of wine or comedy (or both), you’ll get a couple of laughs and pats on the back when you wear a t-shirt that references the Catalina Wine Mixer from Step Brothers. Commence the endless movie quoting–we hope you’ve prepared yourself for this.

How do you enjoy wine?

Wine Glasses t-shirt

It really is a matter of preference, and your personal preference is important! Whether you’re a purist when it comes to pairing wine with its perfect suggested glass, or are quite content with a simple solo cup, you’ll find your perfect wine-drinking vessel match on this t-shirt!

My blood type is wine

Wine Blood Type t-shirt

Consider this: if vampires were real, could having a wine blood type protect you from them? Nobody can say for sure, but if you’re the type of person who enjoys a daily glass (or bottle), then it’s quite possible that your blood type may be closer to wine than blood.

You’ve really matured

Wine T-shirt

Mature or not, can we agree that this t-shirt is great? It’s important to have some humor about life, and it’s not too hard to be that way after a little wine consumption!

Wine workout

Wine Aerobics

If you’re a true wino, you may often feel the need to balance it out with a bit of exercise. It’s not as hard as it looks! And the end result is more wine. It’s the perfect workout.

I improve with wine

I Improve with Wine Shirt

It’s simple math, really. Wine + time = better wine. You + wine = better you. Any questions? Or just another glass?

Cooking with wine

Cooking with Wine T-shirt

…Sometimes I even add it to the food. Are you a fan of cooking? This t shirt is perfect for the cook who enjoys the process and wants to add a splash of fun (and wine) to any meal.

Hitting all the food groups

Wine T-shirt

If you’ve ever asked yourself the existential question, “Does wine count as a serving of fruit?” you’d probably rock this wine t-shirt. This tee is definitely a conversation piece when surrounded by other wine-obsessed people.

Wine Wednesday

Wine Wednesday T-shirt

What’s the most important day of the week? Wine Wednesday, of course! Whether you keep your wine consumption to one day of the week, or more likely not, this t-shirt is a staple for any true wine-lover.

Today’s forecast

Wine Forecast shirt

It’s impossible to predict if the weather will change suddenly. What’s not impossible to predict? The amount of wine you’ll be consuming tonight. At the very least, there’s a near-100% chance that it will be happening.

Have you found some new favorite wine sayings to make t-shirts for people who love wine? Even if you’re not a wino, we bet you know someone who’d appreciate this wine humor!

Is there a fun quote that would add to this list of t-shirts for people who love wine? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Designer’s Playlist V: Throwback Edition

Throwback playlist banner

Do you ever look back on a project you completed years ago and feel a slight sense of surprise that it actually came from you? Ever think, “those words aren’t even in my vocabulary now,” or, “those colors never show up in my palette anymore?” Time changes everything, including your own personal style, but that’s not always a bad thing. Change means you are progressing forward as an artist, and you are always shaped by the new experiences you encounter every day.

That being said, it’s important to remember that those earlier works were all stepping stones in getting you to where you are today. For better or for worse, they’re a part of your creative history. You may even experience a sort of déjà vu from time to time, when you look back at an old masterpiece and remember exactly what was going on in your life when you created it.

We embrace those occasional sensations, and love it when we are suddenly reminded of pleasant memories from the past. To celebrate the fleeting connections to yesteryear and our younger selves, we loaded this week’s playlist with throwbacks that always take us back to a very specific time and place in our creative endeavors.

Smile Like You Mean It – The Killers

The Killers’ first album packed a lot of synthesizers and a sound that hadn’t been around in the rock scene for quite a while. Filled with memorable hits, we appreciate “Smile Like You Mean It,” for reminding us to smile and trek on through any of our projects and challenges.

The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows – Brand New

Any album by Brand New was a staple in early 2000’s CD collections, especially if the person’s relationships were slowly fading away. The changing phases in anyone’s life can be a little difficult to take, and can also be great artistic motivation. Did you ever reach a point in your creative projects where the pieces you were producing were all decent and fairly well-received, but you didn’t like them at all? Sometimes you just have to switch gears and take your designs in a brand new direction.

Old Soul Song (for the New World Order) – Bright Eyes

Conor Oberst is a true master of bringing his emotions out in instrumentals and lyrics. Every Bright Eyes song we listen to seems like something so personal that we could have written it ourselves, and “Old Soul Song,” is no exception. The itch of longing for a sense of accomplishment amidst new beginnings is one that most people can relate to. You may be experiencing this if you’ve followed the gut feeling that Brand New induced and took your artwork down a different path.

Little Black Backpack – Stroke 9

Art has always been a great outlet for when you just don’t want to speak about something. Hey, you don’t have to. Maybe this song taught you a little something about that. Just get to work on that project, let your artwork speak for you, and take comfort in the fact that you’re not the only one who doesn’t want to talk about it.

Good Life – Weezer

Remember all those times you danced in front of the mirror singing into a hairbrush? Hopefully this was one of the tunes you were belting out. Let Weezer bring you back to a day when you were literally dancing like no one was watching. It’s perfectly okay to lose your inhibitions when you’re doing some creative work. In fact, it’s encouraged. Don’t let worrying over the opinions of others hold you back from what you really want.

Ukrainian Eggs: Shelling Out Artistry

Ukrainian Easter Eggs

We pride ourselves on employing some of the best graphic artists in the industry, and when one of our team members does something amazing, we have to brag about it. Recently we were blown away by the artistic talents of one member of our team, Elise Anzini.

Elise is one our vinyl wizards here at Rush Order Tees, but on the side, she creates her own incredible artwork…on eggshells! Elise took the time to give us a little inside scoop on a family tradition she takes part in every year around Easter–creating Ukrainian Eggs, otherwise known as pysanky.

The Pysanky Tradition

Ukrainian Pysanky

Pysanky, or Ukrainian Eggs, are a tradition that date back to Pagan times. In ancient, pre-Christian times, the eggs were used to worship the Slavic sun god, Dazhboh. Why eggs? Because birds were the sun god’s creatures, and the eggs were as close as the ancient Ukrainian people could get to them. Decorating the eggs with symbols of nature became custom in Slavic cultures, particularly in Ukraine because of their majestic nature.

At that time, eggs were deemed sacred, representing new birth and holding special powers. The decorated eggs were therefore symbolic of the coming forth of Spring and the ending of Winter. When Christianity was introduced in Ukraine, the tradition continued, and eventually the eggs became associated with Easter and the rebirth of man.

Creating The Designs

Ukrainian Pysanky

Elise has been creating these masterful designs for as long as she can remember–at age 3 she was already learning the family tradition from her mother. Elise explained that when she was a kid, she used stencils from Ukrainian Easter egg books, which you can find in Ukrainian stores and online. While she’s always enjoyed making pysanky as a craft, she got even more into creating to the designs as she got older, especially while studying Illustration at Moore College of Art.

Since the eggs have been a family tradition for as long as Elise knows, her family’s got a pretty technical process down, which she kindly took the time to share with us.

Elise starts with a carton (or several cartons) of eggs, which she recommends buying local, as the shells are normally less brittle. Next, using a tool called an egg blower, she gently drills holes into both ends of each egg, ‘blowing’ out the contents, so that she’s left with just the shell.

She then begins with her design. This is where Elise’s artistic capabilities exceed the norm–she comes up with all of these insanely intricate designs from scratch. Elise pencils her hand-drawn designs straight onto the eggshells. Luckily for us less artistically-inclined DIY-ers, we can still use the stencils found in the Ukrainian pysanky books.

Waxing and Dying

Ukrainian Pysanky

Here comes the complicated part–get ready! After her design is completely drawn on, Elise breaks out a fancy tool called a kitska, which is essentially a pen that heats and melts wax so that you can use it to draw fine lines. With a steady hand, Elise traces over only the parts of the design that she wants to remain white, covering them with the wax. The wax is dye-resistant, so it preserves whatever color is underneath. Then, using special dyes that are sold in Ukrainian stores, the dying process begins.

Logically, Elise starts with the lightest colors first, and works her way up to darker colors. She begins with yellow. After she’s dyed the egg yellow and patted it dry, she traces a bit more of the design, and moves on to the next color, orange. She repeats the process again and again, until she gets to the black dye.

When she’s done the dying, Elise places the eggs in the oven to melt off the wax and gently paper towels them to reveal her beautifully constructed designs. Finally, she finishes them off with a polyurethane varnish to make them shine.

The process can take some time, depending on how many eggs you create. This batch took Elise about 5 hours–but it was worth it! The eggs look like they were created by a machine, not drawn by hand. While they might not connect us to the sun god Dazhboh, they certainly look majestic!

Check out more of Elise’s crazy awesome pysanky designs on Etsy!

5 Essential Classic Rock Tees

Classic Rock Tees banner

There’s some music that will always stand the test of time. Even after the lights go out, the curtains close, and the band breaks up, great music will live on. Classic rock is the quintessential genre for celebrating the past and listening to the music that has inspired the present.

Now, these aren’t all of the classic rock tees you should own, but a select few that any rocker should be honored to wear. These five shirts are as essential as the albums and artists they derive from, and deserve to be displayed for everyone to see.

The Who–On Target

The Who Tee

Not many musicians can create songs as timeless as “My Generation,” “Baba O’Riley,” or “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” But for The Who, these are just some of the incredible tracks they have released throughout their long and successful career.

The Who are currently celebrating their 50th anniversary with “The Who Hits 50 Tour.” So what’s the perfect way for you to celebrate this grand occasion? There’s no other suitable candidate to show your love for Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, and the rest of The Who than with their classic target logo tee.

Rolling Stones–Classic Tongue

Classic Rolling Stones Tee

Depending on who you ask, The Rolling Stones are considered the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band of all-time. There’s no doubt that Mick Jagger and company are a centerpiece of rock music and pop culture. They are legends of the genre and have inspired generations of musicians. The craziest thing about The Rolling Stones is that they are still together after over fifty years.

The tongue logo first appeared on the 1971 album sleeve of Sticky Fingers, but quickly became the bands signature symbol. Like Dark Side of the Moon, the tongue logo is so recognizable that it doesn’t need to say The Rolling Stones anywhere on the shirt for people to identify it. It’s the perfect tee to show your love for the band, classic rock, and pop culture.

Boston–Classic Spaceship

Boston T-shirt

At the time of its release, Boston’s 1976 self-titled album was the fastest selling debut album by an American group, featuring three Top 40 hits, including “More Than a Feeling,” “Something About Your,” and “Foreplay/Long Time.” Another memorable aspect of the release was the incredible album artwork.

Featuring three guitar-shaped spaceships leaving an exploding planet, Boston’s debut album artwork is easily one of the most recognizable in classic rock. This year marks the 40th anniversary of its release, so now is the perfect time to pick up this classic tee.

Led Zeppelin Tour Tee

Led Zeppelin tee

Unlike most of the bands on this list, Led Zeppelin did not have a long career together, but they undoubtedly had a very successful and beloved one. When Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham formed Led Zeppelin in 1968, they had no idea how influential their music would become. During their twelve years together, Led Zeppelin made nine studio albums that sold hundreds of millions of copies, which has made them the second-best-selling band in the country.

The famous “Swan Song” symbol was used for the band’s record label, Swan Song Records, which they formed in 1973. This shirt is made to look like an original tour tee, which features the band’s name in their signature font, the Swan Song Records logo, and “United States of America 1977” at the bottom. Whether you’re listening to Physical Graffiti on vinyl, or seeing a Led Zeppelin tribute band, this tee is perfect for any occasion.

Pink Floyd–Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd Tee

Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is not only one of the most influential and beloved albums of all time, it also holds the record for most weeks spent on the Billboard 200. The album was on the charts for 741 weeks, or over 14 years! It is without question an iconic image that is still recognized by millions around the world, even over 40 years after its release.

Although Pink Floyd had a number of amazing album covers throughout their career, Dark Side of the Moon‘s prism artwork is easily their most well-known. It’s a simplistic design that is both modern and classic.

A Year in Tees: 1981

1981 T-shirts Banner

The year 1981 wasn’t just IBMs and “Endless Love” (although we thank you for that hit, Mr. Richie). The Pope and Reagan survived potential assassins. There was a recession with unemployment surpassing the 2.5 million mark. Paris Hilton was born! Both terrible and terrific things happened. But, just like any other moment in history, some light shined through and we captured it on tees.

Where Can I Find a Woman Like That?

Rick Springfield 1981 tour tee

We don’t know, Mr. Springfield. We don’t even know her name. You just keep calling her “Jessie’s Girl.” General Hospital-actor-turned-summer-anthem-hero, Rick Springfield and his unrequited love sure made for one heck of a song in 1981. It took the song 19 weeks after its release, but it eventually climbed to number 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in August of ’81.

Springfield stated that he was taking a stained-glass class when he began longing for his friend’s girlfriend. He, of course, changed the name of the friend to Jessie. Guess where the name came from? That’s right, a t-shirt. According to a 1999 Entertainment Weekly article, Springfield saw the name of Los Angeles Rams’ wide receiver, Ron Jessie, on one of his favorite t-shirts.

We owe a lot to t-shirts, too, Mr. Springfield.

Raiders of the Lost Ark: A tee so nice, you can’t look directly at it!

Indiana Jones

There’s a giant boulder chasing a renegade archeologist, peoples’ faces are melting off, Nazis are in pursuit of The Ark of the Covenant, and…there are snakes (“Why’d it have to be snakes?”). This movie has everything. It’s no wonder Raiders of the Lost Ark was nominated for 9 Academy Awards the following year, and grossed more than $240 million in North America.

No matter which Indiana Jones film is your favorite, 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark kicked off the franchise and set the ball rolling for future Indiana Jones movies. Just remember, when that ark is opened, don’t look directly at it!

“Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll.”

Retro MTV tee

Those were the first words spoken on-air on August 1, 1981 by one of MTV’s creators, John Lack. To promise rock and roll and then follow it up with The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” was a bit misleading, but hey, it forever changed the record industry and the way music reached the ears of America’s youth.

There are some of us who remember when music television was just that–music videos presented by VJs. Pre-Real World, Road Rules, and Beavis and Butthead, MTV only reached a few thousand people on a single cable system in northern New Jersey. Now, its impact and influence–for better or worse–is undeniable and, some might say, indispensable to modern music and pop culture around the globe.

PCs Worthy of Tees

Old School IBM tee

Just 20 years before International Business Machines (IBM) released their first line of Personal Computers, the 5150, IBM computers were nearly $9 million and took up a quarter-acre of space. They needed more than 50 people to operate, and required their own air conditioning. A computer, yes, but not too personal.

The IBM Personal Computer hit the market on August 12, 1981 with a price tag of $1,565. Affordable and able to fit in the home (the size of a portable typewriter), the new IBM PCs could hook up your TV, run complex games, and process text.

Additional bells and whistles (keep in mind, a monitor was considered a bell-and-whistle, and was not included in the $1,565 sticker price) could nearly double the cost. Throw in some color graphics and souped-up storage, and the price could easily quadruple.

Luckily, we’ve progressed in leaps and bounds over the past 35 years. Today, we can whip out our smart phones and order a t-shirt commemorating the IBM 5150 in a matter of seconds.

How sweet it is. But what is it?

Aspartame Tee

Aspartame: it’s not sugar, but it’s sweet. So, what is it? It’s a methyl ester of the aspartic acid/phenylalanine dipeptide. Duh!

The controversial additive was first developed in 1965, but the FDA didn’t approve it for use in food until 1981. Originally, the artificial sweetener, aspartame, was released as Nutrasweet. Today, aspartame, and artificial sweeteners like it, are found in everything from diet sodas and sugar-free chewing gum, to this pretty sweet tee.

All in all, some pretty rad things happened in 1981, and these tees document some of the best.