Trends in Custom Hats: Past and Present

Custom Hat Trends

Headwear is it’s own form of clothing–regardless of the trends of the time, the staples never go out of style. While your hat can define your outfit, the type of hat you wear and when you wear it will determine a lot. Over time, different hats styles have fallen into different genres. So how do you know how to pick the right one when it comes to getting one customized?

Let’s take a look at the different trends in headwear over time, and where each falls today.

Visor

Visors Bradley Cooper & Runway
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Visors are controversial as a fashion statement–some might say there’s nothing cool about them whatsoever, while some might say they’re the best headwear ever invented (although we’ve never met one of these people).

While we’re not sure exactly when visors had their time in the fashion scene, tabloids have been claiming they’d make a comeback for a few years now. We have yet to see it happen, although Bradley Cooper didn’t hesitate to try it out once in 2014, and he’s probably the only one. Regardless of their fashionability (or lack thereof), they have always been around the sports scene, serving their due purpose in tennis, golf, volleyball and more.

Due to the varying opinions on the topless hat, we’ll just stick to the facts. Visors are a nice and very useful form of athletic-wear. And while effectively serving the purpose of blocking the sun from your eyes, they also allow your hair to blow freely in the wind, or sprout wildly in any direction. For better or for worse? We’ll let you decide.

Baseball cap

Baseball Caps Mark Wahlberg
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Ah, the good ol’ baseball cap. The wardrobe staple began in Brooklyn in 1860 as the uniform for the Brooklyn Excelsiors. By 1900, the hats became a key trend that would never go out of style. Today, almost like the sport of baseball itself, they’re an American classic. They can be worn on any day and any time of the year–to the beach, the gym, or the game. Whether it’s just a part of your look, or it’s serving an effective purpose to block the sun and keep the hair out of the way, the baseball cap is headwear that doesn’t need a “trendy season.”

Within this category also lies the snapback, which despite their stigma, are very popular and important to note. Although GQ told us just last year that they were over, they’ve been around the scene for quite some time, from the sports landscape to the hip hop scene. It’s hard to actually predict them going anywhere, and we’ll support them for their stylistic prominence. All we ask is that you take the sticker off.

Beanie

8 Mile Eminem Beanie
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Beanies have made their way in and out of the mainstream for the past few decades. In the 90s, they were heavily a part of the grunge scene. In the early 2000’s, they were part of the pop, skater, and rapper scenes, and now they’re back strong in today’s hipster/chic/punk era. Despite the fact it was originally created as cold-weather gear for men who worked outdoors, the general population has been all about the beanie for quite some time, despite the temperature. While the headwear has become more about making a fashion statement, they are versatile and simple, and they’ll always remain a hat we can appreciate.  

Bandana

Tupac's bandana
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Originally known as a kerchief, the bandana has been a headwear staple since the beginning of its time. The colored paisley cloths were used for gang association by California’s Bloods and Crips gangs back in the 1960s and 70s. They upheld popularity through the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and still hold a place in culture today.

High school kids, hard rockers, and motorcycle clubs alike have a strong affinity for sporting bandanas, and basically everyone can pull them off. Even in extreme sports culture, particularly snowboarding, bandanas have long held their place as one of the best forms of headwear. We’ll stand by it– bandanas always have been and always will be cool, whether worn as a hat, headband, or face mask. If you’re feeling like it, definitely go for the bandana!

Bucket hat

Bucket Hat kids
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In history, it has gone by several names–session hat, fisherman’s hat, Irish Country hat–but today, the trend is best known as the bucket hat. If they trigger an image similar to Florida beach-dwelling grandmothers and grandfathers, it’s probably because they first became popular in the 1960’s. They made their way from the heads of 60’s band members, to 80’s rappers, and eventually to street fashion of the 90s.

For the past few summers, we have seen bucket hats make their comeback on skaters and frat boys alike, and they are a highly notable form festival gear. We’d venture to say that the hats became a headwear staple for celebrities like Rihanna, Justin Beiber, and even Jay-Z. Although we’re not sure how much longer they’ll be around, bucket hats are ultimately up there on the list the latest and most popular trend in headwear. Love it or hate it.

Trucker hats

Kylie Jenner Von Dutch Hat
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Interestingly enough, the trucker hat originated as a marketing giveaway. Back at their creation, the baseball hat cousins were given away for free as promotional gear from companies that supplied feed and farming supplies to farmers, truck drivers, and other rural workers. Imagine that! A simple form of branded merchandise went mainstream, with celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Justin Timberlake bringing them to the ‘trendy’ scene in the early 2000s.

It seems like the old hat might just be making second rounds. Cringe-worthy? Maybe. But since Kylie Jenner’s Von Dutch Instagram selfie, rumors have been circulating about the early 2000’s trend making a comeback. Many other trends from the early 2000s have already made their way back, and as it seems to go, once a Kardashian does it, it’s a thing. If this is true, trucker hats might just be the next new trend to look out for. Hey, that’s fine, let’s just keep the Juicy Couture velour sweat suits locked away in the early 2000s forever.

Avoid Failing Your City With These Arrow Tees

Arrow T-shirts

“My name is Oliver Queen. After five years in hell, I have come home with only one goal–to save my city. But my old approach wasn’t enough. I had to become someone else. I had to become something else. I had to become the Green Arrow.”

These are the words spoken by Oliver Queen at the beginning of each episode of Arrow. Since debuting in 2012 on The CW,  Arrow has become one of the network’s most popular shows, spawning a huge fan social media presence, die-hard fan base, and two successful spin-offs. Based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow, Arrow is at the same time faithful to the source material and highly original. With it’s fantastic cast, talented writing staff, and incredible stunt work, Arrow is easily one of the most entertaining series on television.

The Vigilante/Arrow/Green Arrow is known for saying the phrase, “You have failed this city,” before either eliminating or putting down his enemies, but you will honor yours with these Arrow-inspired tees. You will be someone else. You will become something else.

The Archer’s Origin

Archer's Origin T-shirt
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Oliver Queen’s journey from spoiled rich kid to bow-wielding vigilante begins and ends on the island that he was stranded on for five years, Lian Yu. While on trapped on the island, Oliver meets Slade Wilson. Slade befriends Oliver and helps train him to survive on the island. They eventually have a falling out and become enemies. Oliver kills Slade only to find out years later that he had survived and is now going by the name of Deathstroke.

This tee features Green Arrow in the woods of Lian Yu and it’s shaped as half of Deathstroke’s mask. It’s an ingenious design that honors the show’s past, and Oliver and Slade’s unforgettable feud.

Big Belly Burger

Big Belly Burger T-shirt
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Who needs Five Guys, Shake Shack, or In-N-Out when you can have a Big Belly Burger instead? Unfortunately, Big Belly Burger is only available in the fictional cities that populate the DC Universe, but it can’t hurt to imagine what one of their burgers tastes like. After all, it was recently revealed in an episode of The Flash that Big Belly Burger exists on Earth-1 and Earth-2.

Vigilante Training Camp

Vigilante Training Camp T-shirt
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Oliver spent five years stranded on a hellish island with one goal–to survive. While on Lian Yu, he was trained by Slade Wilson who would go on to become one of his deadliest enemies, Deathstroke. This tee shows off the fictional vigilante training camp offered on Lian Yu Island.

The one-eyed Deathstroke is featured watching over the island as the future Emerald Archer is shooting an arrow in the distance. Underneath the logo is the famous slogan, 5 Yr Program, Become Someone Else, Become Something Else.

Vote Queen

Vote Queen Arrow T-shirt
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In season 4, Oliver Queen decided that just being the Green Arrow was not enough to save Star City. He had to become something else (again), so he decided to take after his mother and run for Mayor.

Although “Do Not Fail This City” was not Oliver’s official campaign slogan, it probably should have been.

Better Call Laurel

Better Call Laurel T-shirt
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Is your company currently involved in a hostile takeover? Better Call Laurel! Has an evil villain caused a catastrophic event in your city? Better Call Laurel! This is perhaps the most ingenious Arrow mash-up tee ever. It combines the superhero series with the best drama on television, Better Call Saul. It also shines a light on one character that rarely gets any attention, Laurel Lance.

Laurel is the Assistant District Attorney of Star City by day, and a vigilante known as the Black Canary by night. The tee makes multiple references to events that have transpired over the last few seasons of Arrow. There’s a spilled bottle that says “D.U.I.”, which is a callback to Laurel’s struggle with alcoholism in season 2. The image of Oliver in the top corner is the sketch of The Vigilante/Hood that was first seen in season 1. If you’re a fan of Laurel and/or Better Call Saul, then don’t fail your city and pick up this tee.

Using the Art Nouveau Style in Design

Art Nouveau

What is Art Noveau?

Encyclopædia Britannica describes Art Noveau as being an ornamental style of art that flourished between 1890 and 1910 in Europe and the United States. You’ll find elements of this style across many different mediums in architecture, interior design, jewelry design, posters, and more. It was deliberately created to be different from existing art styles of the time.

Art Noveau curves
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History of Art Noveau

Art Noveau only lasted about 20 years, depending on who’s timeline you’re going off of. It certainly wasn’t an artistic movement that lasted a long time in the grand scheme of things, but it’s influence on other artistic movements is hard to deny, especially to Art Deco, Bauhaus, and modernism. Art Nouveau was inspired by past artistic movements, including the Arts and Crafts movement, Aestheticism, and Japanese art (like wood-block prints).

Art Noveau Waves
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Art Noveau has been known by many names in different countries, including:

Jugendstil (Germany)

Sezessionstil (Austria)

Stile Floreale (Italy)

Modernismo (Spain)

Each country contributes its own unique take on the style.

Inspired in part by the Industrial Revolution, this multi-disciplinary approach to the Art Nouveau aimed to revive good workmanship. At the time, it was argued that decorative arts were made as poor interpretations of past styles. Craftsmen and artisans of Art Nouveau didn’t believe in being frivolous. Instead, they thought that the function of an object should dictate it’s final form.

Important Elements of Art Noveau

The following are some elements to look for when trying to spot a work of Art Nouveau:

  • Organic, flowing lines; asymmetry
  • Forms resembling stems and blossoms of plants
  • Geometric forms, like squares and rectangles
  • Unruly aspects of nature
  • Handcraftsmanship
  • Quality
  • Traditional techniques
  • Functionality
  • Insect wings
  • Distinctive typography

Major Art Nouveau Artists

Draw inspiration from these notable Art Nouveau artists:

Alphonse Mucha

Alphonse Mucha was a Czech artist who used the Art Nouveau style to design commissioned pieces that doubled as ads. Some of his famous customers include Job cigarette papers and several notable theatrical productions. His commissioned works are as beautiful as his decorative paintings–it’s hard to tell that they’re actually marketing mediums!

Alphonse Mucha Job Cigarettes
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Hector Guimard

Many argue that France was the birthplace of (or at least an extremely influential country for) the Art Nouveau movement. It makes sense, then, to recognize a prominent French artist who helped to define and expand the movement. Hector Guimard is most well-known for his Paris subway designs, which serve as a perfect example of Art Nouveau in architecture.

Subway Gate Noveau
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Antonio Gaudi

Antonio Gaudi was a Spanish-Catalan architect who was the inventive creator of several decadent structures in Catalonia, including the famous Sagrada Familia Basilica. The influence he took from nature is apparent in everything he does, including the organic shapes he uses in the buildings he designed.

Sagrada Familia
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Incorporating Art Nouveau into Design

There are couple easy ways to get in touch with your inner Art Nouveau artist:

  • Spend the day outside. Bring your sketchbook and take in your surroundings! Nothing is more inspiring to an Art Nouveau artist than the great outdoors and the beautiful plants, animals and insects that make it up.
  • Look through a book of Art Nouveau art distraction-free. As with drawing inspiration for any type of art form, it helps to expose yourself to the work of the masters. It also helps if you can get away from your computer and other daily distractions to get the most out of your time with these masterpieces.
  • Create something useful. Does your design have a use besides just pure entertainment and visual stimulation? Art Nouveau artists sought to be functional in some manner.
  • Add in some flowers. If all else fails, start drawing pretty outlines of flowers. They make a nice foundation for a beautiful Art Nouveau design!

How will you add an element of Art Nouveau into your next t shirt design project? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Fundraising Ideas for Small Businesses

Small Business Fundraiser

As a small business owner, fundraisers are a great way to help you get your company off the ground, build your customer base, and start growing. As a small business owner, however, taking the time to sit down and brainstorm fundraising ideas is probably one of the last things you have time for at the end of entering payroll, answering a million customer questions, and making your list of things to do for tomorrow. Don’t stress over it, here are some good, simple fundraising ideas for your small business, use one or all as you please!

Organize a Bingo Night

Bingo Night
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The anticipation, the adrenaline, the rush–B4?! BINGO! While the game may often be associated with retirement homes and Kindergarten, we can’t write off the sheer pleasure that accompanies a winning Bingo board. There’s just something about the genuine burst of excitement that brings out the kid in everyone.

If you forgot how fun it was, try it again for yourself. Bingo makes for a great fundraiser. Have people pay a $25 entry free, and pay $5 for additional cards. As prizes, you can accept donation baskets, or hand out coupons for the winners to use at your business. Invite people to bring their own food and drinks, provide some music along with an entertaining announcer, and bingo–you’ve got yourself a fundraiser.

Comedy Cabaret

Comedy Show
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If you could argue that sharing a good laugh with friends wasn’t a fun way to spend a night, we’d be skeptical of you as a person, and we’d also suggest you find new friends. But assuming you’re a normal person, we highly doubt you’d deny that a night of comedy is a night well-spent. Laughing is everyone’s favorite thing to do (if it’s not yours, we don’t want to hear it).

So here’s a groundbreaking fundraiser idea–sell tickets to a comedy show. Local venues are always open to setting up shows as a fundraiser, and it will help you get your current customers together, as well as potential new customers. Most comedy venues will serve drinks and food, so it would be perfect if you have a large over-21 crowd. You might even be able to arrange a portion of the drink sales to go towards your fundraiser. 

Sell your branded apparel

Equinox apparel
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Can you say “Two birds, one stone?” Selling your branded apparel as a fundraiser does way more than help you raise money–it also helps you raise awareness for your brand. 

It’s perfect as a quick, simple, and effective fundraising idea, especially if you are a business like a coffee shop or pizza shop, where you’re constantly in contact with your customers.  Sometimes all it takes is asking. Simply have your merchandise at the counter, and ask each customer if they’d like to include an item of apparel with their purchase to donate to your fundraiser. Not only can it raise a good amount of money, as t-shirts and other merchandise can be purchased relatively cheap in bulk, but it also works as a marketing tactic, as the people who buy your merchandise are then walking advertisements for your brand. Order and sell them straight out of your store, or set up a Spread Spirit site where your customers can go online and place orders themselves.

Family Movie Night

Outdoor Movie Night
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Remember when you were a kid and the best thing to do on a Friday night was to watch a good movie? Remember when going out on a Friday night was a HUGE deal? And remember when going out on a Friday night to watch a movie was the best night ever?!!

A family movie night is a great way to bring together potential customers, particularly if your business involves children. If you don’t have an actual screen to bring, project the film onto a sheet, have people bring their own blankets and snacks, and throw the whole shebang knowing that you have made these kids’ YEAR (and that is no dramatic exaggeration).

Host a concert

Live Show

After laughter, another one of everyone’s favorite pastimes has got to be music. Music brings people together in a joyous way. Think about it–weddings, churches, camps, music festivals. People. Love. Music. Especially when it’s live and local.

Whether you personally know or are just familiar with a local band, communities love gathering to listen to some good music. Host a concert at a small, local venue and sell tickets through your business. It’s a win for everyone–the band, your guests, and your business.

Did we miss any? Let us know your fundraising ideas for small businesses in the comments!

Guerrilla Marketing: Where Creativity Trumps Budget

Guerrilla Marketing

You don’t need choreographed dancers or hired actors to be an effective guerrilla marketer–big creativity, high energy, and willingness to take a few risks can compensate for a small marketing budget when it comes to promoting your business. Sometimes these techniques even trump traditional marketing. 

Guerrilla marketing works so well that even companies with the deepest pockets, like Sony and Coca-Cola, have successfully used guerrilla marketing techniques. And despite the name, you don’t need a gorilla to be a guerrilla marketer—maybe just some squirrels (more about that in a second). 

What is guerrilla marketing?

Coca Cola Marketing
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Simply put, guerrilla marketing is marketing outside the box. Or, in the case of Coca-Cola’s “Happiness Machine,” outside of the bottle. In their clever campaign, the brand installed machines around the world that delivered more than just a Coke. The vending machines patrons were surprised to receive flowers, pizza, and even calls to loved ones.

Maybe you don’t have Coke’s budget for guerrilla marketing, but a stunt like this can be pulled off on a small budget. Coke only set up their actual “Happiness Machine” antics a few times, captured them on film, and released the videos on platforms like YouTube and Twitter.  Now, their guerrilla marketing technique has amplified the value of their traditional marketing techniques—in this case, millions of views online. 

For the smaller business, know that guerrilla marketing goes beyond the half-page blurb in the local paper and the ad banner on the side of a webpage. This tactic actively goes out and demands your attention, in today’s world where people are paying less and less attention to the traditional forms of advertising. So, while your small marketing budget may seem like a limiting factor at first, if you’re willing to take a few risks, you may even find yourself at an advantage.

Yeah, we mentioned squirrels earlier—here are the squirrels

SXSW Marketing
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Just your average day at 2015 SXSW, right? A few squirrels reading books—no big deal.

It’s a common misconception to think that all guerrilla marketing campaigns consist of flash mobs, rebel graffiti artists, or acrobats juggling your product in the park. Those things might not hurt, but they are pretty drastic. Take this campaign as an example: here are a few squirrels reading books at 2015’s SXSW music festival. Why? They are promoting Squirl, an app that uses your location to suggest books based on your proximity. If a scene in a classic book happened near you, the location-based book discovery app lets you know.

This company took advantage of two types of guerrilla marketing—ambush marketing and street marketing. It would be easy to hand out t-shirts on a busy street, but this company took advantage of an ongoing event and rode it’s coattails of attraction. Thus, “ambushing” the event, as it was not affiliated with their company, Squirl used an eye-catching scenario on the street to capture the attention of their audience. The only telling sign of their company was the brightly colored, branded t-shirts with their URL on the front. Brilliant!

Form, function, and a message

Guerrilla Marketing
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Ambient marketing can be another useful tool in the guerrilla marketer’s arsenal. Companies have used the environments of bus stops, landscaping, light posts, even the hand dryers in public restrooms as creative billboards. But when you adapt those environments to not only fit your product promotion, but also your message, you create prime guerrilla marketing!

What do you do, however, if you don’t have access environment-adapting resources?

Ambient marketing adapted to your swag

Urban Guerrilla Marketing
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This diet pill manufacturer adapted their drawstring tote bag’s form to fit the message of their product. Cinch the bag, cinch your waist—it’s that easy. Do the same with your company’s swag.  Sometimes, putting your logo or brand on your swag isn’t enough. A burst of inspiration can sometimes strike, and suddenly your business card, bumper stickers, or t-shirts become more than just a promo tool.

Working guerrilla marketing into your swag

Wearable Marketing
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For something as simple as a t-shirt, good timing and a good idea can couple into a moment of brilliance. The t-shirt shown above is from Evian’s “Live Young” campaign.  It’s simple, attention-grabbing, and gets the point across in a unique and clever way.

You don’t always need squirrels, but the end goal of guerrilla marketing is the same as in any other form of marketing–an increased awareness of your product or service, ultimately leading to a purchase. Here are a few tips to take your shirt from swag to a tool in the guerrilla arsenal:

  • Does the T of the t-shirt fit your brand name? What about the scoop of the neck? Could that play into your product’s purpose or logo?
  • Will splitting the message between the front and back of your t-shirt make passersby curious? Leave them hanging with mystery—get them to pursue that URL.
  • Are your colors bright and bold enough? Is the font large enough? You want the wearers to be so content with fit, style, and comfort that they forget they are walking billboards. So, if your image, logo, or message isn’t large enough, you might miss your chance to grab their attention. Think Oscar Meyer’s Wienermobile, or the Goodyear blimp—these things work because of high visibility.

Remember, your greatest asset is someone’s attention. Whether you have them captive for a meeting in a board room, or in the two seconds it takes to pass your table at a trade show, attention is the commodity and your creativity is the currency. So how much are you worth?

8 T-Shirts for Coffee Enthusiasts

T-Shirts for Coffee Lovers

If you’re like us and most Americans, it’s safe to assume that you need at least one cup of coffee to get you through your day. Coffee is more than a casual beverage–it’s a lifestyle. And as you probably know, coffee-lovers are very particular. Black, milk and sugar, skim milk, espresso, macchiato, lattes, cappuccinos…the list goes on! There’s a coffee beverage out there for everyone. The following are t-shirts that all of the coffee-lovers in your life will relate to.

The True Caffeine Addict

 

Coffee Blood type Shirt
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This is the ideal shirt for those who welcome the shakes and heart palpitations that come with excessive caffeine intake. For those with a coffee blood type, these sensations accompany an average day, and that’s just the way they prefer.

Barista Appreciation

Coffee Superhero shirt
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Baristas can be very under-appreciated. Many coffee consumers don’t realize that a barista can determine whether or not you’re late for work, and if you’re nice to them, they may throw an extra shot of espresso into your bone-dry cappuccino. On the other hand, rumors spin that baristas will give you decaf if you’re rude or impatient. Bottom line, baristas are like superheroes. They are on this Earth to defend the common good–that being the perfect latte for your morning commute.

The Night Owl

But First, Coffee T-shirt
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If you’re like most, you’re either a morning person or a night owl. If you’re a night owl, mornings are not your friend. That’s where coffee comes in. Coffee helps even the most anti-morning person greet their day with enthusiasm. But, roommates and loved ones beware–a night owl does not want to have a conversation until they have had a full cup of coffee. Or three. Night owls, this one’s for you.

The Happy Hour Enthusiast 

Coffee Till Cocktails T-shirt
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Serious coffee lovers will find any excuse to drink coffee, whether it’s 6 a.m. or 6 p.m. For those who enjoy coffee, but also appreciate a quality cocktail, this shirt says it all!

The Caffeine-Addicted, Animal Loving, Intellect 

Coffee, Books, Dogs T-shirt
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This shirt is the perfect gift for anyone who enjoys curling up with a good book, accompanied by their furry friend and a cup of joe. It’s simple, to the point, and a perfect gift for any coffee enthusiast/introvert.

The Hipster 

Coffee is My Spirit Animal
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We all have that one friend who collects records, rocks Chaco sandals all year round, and has a long list of eccentric pastimes. This shirt is a little eccentric, but not all coffee lovers are alike. Just like how not all coffee beans are alike.

The Starbucks-Lover

Starbucks T-shirt
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Now, many coffee lovers have very firm opinions about the famous coffee chains. Many swear it’s the best coffee on Earth, while many others prefer mom and pop coffee joints. Regardless, Starbucks is a coffee shop staple much like McDonald’s is the fast food restaurant of choice for many Americans. This shirt is perfect for the Starbucks enthusiast in your life.

For Those Who Live on Coffee 

Sleep is for the Weak T-shirt
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This shirt is catered towards the sleep deprived college student, or anyone who works around the clock. As some hard working soul once said, “You can sleep when you’re dead.” Fortunately we now have coffee, so whenever you’re feeling tired, just go ahead and order that second espresso shot. Be strong!

12 Tees That’ll Hype You For Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War

The hype for Captain America: Civil War is through the roof. The movie, in theaters May 6th, is both a sequel to Captain America: Winter Soldier, and the first movie that isn’t titled The Avengers to utilize a majority of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes not unified, per usual.

The film is based loosely on a comic by Mark Millar, where Captain America and Iron Man have a disagreement over a Superhero Registration Act that would require the costumed and caped crew to sign documents for the government to list their powers. Cap is against it, but Iron Man is for the cause, and due to the opposing sides, lines are drawn and teams are formed.

Each team has a roster of heroes that individually have a plethora of t-shirts for fans to show off which side they have chosen. Allow us to break it down, piece by piece, showcasing the best shirts for each member of the team you support!

TEAM CAP

Captain America

Captain America Tee
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The patriotic figure head of The Avengers, Cap is still trying to get in touch with the modern world, and the registration act seems to be something Steve Rogers won’t stand for. His view of freedom, plus the fact that the Avengers saved the world so many times, shouldn’t mean signing papers. Fans can rally behind Mr. Rogers with this sleek design of Cap in a watercolor style, standing tall and proud.

Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier

Funko Winter Soldier T-shirt
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Bucky is the prime reason for the Superhero Registration Act, since he’s been brainwashed for decades and committing serious crimes. However, once clear of any mind control, Bucky vows to stay straight, and Steve has his back despite everything that could happen.

Falcon

Falcon T-shirt
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The high-flying pilot has been by Cap’s side for a few movies, so he chooses to be on his team despite still having reservations. Still, Steve is going to need some people with aerial talents to fend off anything Iron Man has, and Falcon fits that category perfectly. There aren’t many shirts featuring the movie version of Sam Wilson as Falcon, but there’s nothing wrong with picking up a wardrobe piece showcasing the comic book interpretation of the winged warrior.

Ant-Man

Ant Man T-shirt
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Scott Lang’s Ant-Man knows his mentor and friend Hank Pym was not a fan of Tony Stark’s father, so by default he’s Team Cap. Whether normal size or of shrunk stature, Lang will help out as best he can in a fight of armored men and super soldiers. Fans of the man who hangs with ants should definitely be at home in a ‘60s style vintage Ant-Man tee, with colorful letters and sweet artwork.

Hawkeye

Hawkeye T-shirt
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The man who brings a bow and arrow to every fight, Clint Barton knows he’s out of his league when it comes to these battles, but he doesn’t seem to hesitate to throw himself into the most dangerous scenarios. Hawkeye has gained a lot of traction as of late with his recent comic book series written by Matt Fraction, and he’s become a fan favorite thanks to the Avengers films. So what t-shirt is best when it comes to showing off Hawkeye? The minimalist approach seems to do the best job, especially with that big purple “A” behind Barton. It looks good. Really good.

Scarlet Witch

Scarlet Witch T-shirt
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Wanda Maximoff sided with the Avengers at the end of Age of Ultron, but she still has negative feelings towards Iron Man because of his war crimes in the past. Due to that, she aligns her team choice with Cap, and is probably the only individual with supreme superpowers on the team. Those bewitched by the Witch need to check out this beautifully designed t-shirt, featuring Maximoff in her comic book costume in front a captivating backdrop. Simply stunning.

Now, in the other corner…

TEAM IRON MAN



Iron Man

Iron Man T-shirt
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Tony Stark, billionaire weapons designer, has tried to do well by The Avengers, but his creation of Ultron left some of his friends in a sour mood. Plus, now his pro-registration feelings are also pushing his closest allies away. Still, those in favor of his recent acts should get their hands on a vintage-style Iron Man tee, showcasing Stark in all his retro glory.

War Machine

War Machine T-shirt
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Just like Cap and Bucky, Tony has had a long-time pal in James “Rhodey” Rhodes. Rhodey has always had Tony’s back no matter what, and in the fight against Cap, that factor still stays true. Anyway, War Machine wardrobe is pretty far and wide, but the “fade to blueprint” design is too cool to pass up.

Black Widow

Black Widow T-shirt
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Despite being buds with Hawkeye for several years and having her doubts, Black Widow agrees to signing with the government. A stealthy assassin, Natasha Romanoff is going to be a good addition to Iron Man’s team, and also a good addition to your closet in a very cool, throwback t-shirt, with the Black Widow sneakily making her way over skyscrapers.

Black Panther

Black Panther T-shirt
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Being introduced for the first time to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther is from the country of Wakanda, and is a descendent of royalty. He seeks to bring Bucky to justice, so aligning with Iron Man makes perfect sense. While Black Panther isn’t the most well-known Marvel Comics character, he still has a ton of tees out there, and the ideal choice to show fandom for T’Challa is the Black Panther symbol/logo.

Vision

Vision T-shirt
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Just like Black Panther, the Vision isn’t very well known as a mainstream comic book character, but thanks to his appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron, everyone was rooting for him to help take down the titular bad guy. His choice of team is not one that comes easy, as he prefers peace over all else. But since his creator was Stark, he aligns with Team Iron Man. Due to the fact that Vision doesn’t have a fan base like the majority of the Avengers, he doesn’t have a lot of t-shirts to his name. However, what is out there is pretty awesome looking, including this “shadowed” Vision comic book cover design.

Spider-Man

Spider-Man T-shirt
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The friendly neighborhood wall-crawler makes his long awaited debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the events of Civil War unfold. This is a huge step for both the character and his fans, as Spidey being alongside the Avengers is a dream come true for many. Anyway, the web-head has chosen to be with Team Iron Man, but there’s not a ton of information as to why. Still, the web-slinger is finally home where he belongs, so there’s no better tee to represent that fully than Spider-Man hanging from the Marvel Comics logo.

Don’t forget to choose a side and check out Captain America: Civil War in theaters on May 6th, 2016!

C.D.O.T.W: Texas A&M Viz-a-GoGo 23

Viz-A-GoGo design of the week

What in the world is a Viz-a-GoGo? That’s what we thought when we received the order for Texas A&M College of Architecture’s Viz-a-GoGo 23, The Vizzening. The Viz-a-GoGo is an annual showcase of the work that the M.S. in Visualization students complete during the course of the program. This year’s theme? The Vizzening!

If the word sounds a little spooky–it’s intentional. The Vizzening was named after the dark, “cult-like” studios of the school’s Viz Lab, where the Viz students are said to spend most hours of the day. The event will screen the digital masters’ projects that they worked so hard on, including digital video segments, still work, interactive games, and more. Graduates of the program go on to work in creative fields including animation, software design, visual effects, electronic gaming, and all of the other cool things that make our lives fun. To top off the entire showcase are the amazing t-shirts that will accompany the event.

Our panel of judges was blown away by the design, and choosing it as this week’s Customer Design of the Week. Let’s hear from our experts about the artwork:

Viz-A-GoGo 23

Imri: This is a fantastic image that was originally hand-painted by the customer, a student who helps run the computer graphics department at Texas A&M. It has a unique look that is at once striking and mysterious. If I saw someone wearing this shirt I’d have to stop and ask what it’s about.

The pink and light blue really pop against the backdrop of darker, muted colors, and help give the image depth. The separation was especially tricky because there were originally many more colors than what you see here. Working for a client who is also the artist of the design can be a challenge, because he is intimately familiar with his artwork, but this customer was really easy to work with and understood the color limitations of screen printing. The final product came out great–I wish I had ordered one for myself!

Texas A&M The Vizzening

Mike: One of the things we harp on here in the art department is the use of a great color palette. This week’s design is another example of unique but delightful color selection that really sets this design apart. The bright pinks and blues really jump out at you when set them against the middle grays and dark blues in the background, which draws the eye to the peak of the illustration.

The painting itself is energetic–even chaotic–but also makes use of a well-constructed figure, which maintains believability whilst not derailing the surrealism of the piece. All of these elements tie into a very engaging t-shirt design.

Viz-A-GoGo Texas A&M

Joe: The colors used on this weeks design are super vibrant, causing the image to practically soar off the shirt. The design itself emanates power and energy, while the font choice is solid and clear, all without distracting from or overpowering the image. The shirts are for the computer graphics department at Texas A&M, and the monitor used in place of a head is a great representation of this. Taking a hand-painted image and translating it for screen print could not have been easy, but from the looks of the final print, our in-house halftone hero Imri nailed it!

To find out more about The Vizzening, read this feature from the Texas A&M College of Architecture news, or check out the event’s Facebook page!

Earth Day Tees That Remind Us How to Love Our Planet

Earth Day T-shirts

What started as a protest of 20 million environmentalists in 1970, has since become a global movement that calls us to recognize our dire need to take care of our planet’s health. Earth Day is celebrating its 46th anniversary this year as the largest secular observance in the world. Whether you plan on participating in Earth Day community service, are a year-round environmentalist, or forgot today even was Earth Day, it’s important to remember the reasons why the international day came to be.

The first Earth Day came about during the height of air and water pollution, when no one was fully aware of the consequences pollution could have on public health and environmental stability. While we’ve taken major steps as a planet towards a cleaner Earth, it’s still up to each person to choose to contribute to a cleaner planet.

Here are some t-shirts that serve as reminders of our impact on the planet Earth, and some tips to go along with them:

Don’t Be Trashy

Recycle T-shirt
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In a world of constant consumption, the least we could do for our dearest planet is to not turn our consumption into garbage. Don’t be trashy–use recyclable containers, washable utensils, and reusable dishes. They all seem like small, simple things, but they add up to make a HUGE difference.

Save the Planet

Save the Planet t-shirt
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It doesn’t need to be Earth Day for this tee. Not only do we love this design, but we love how the message is simple and to-the-point. Trees make the Earth go round. Plant trees, be conservative, and save the planet.

Good Planets Are Hard to Find

Earth Day T-shirt
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Cute shirt, serious message. When you put it this way, it’s scarily eye-opening. Most people don’t think about the entire planet as a non-renewable resource, but it undeniably is. This shirt can serve as a wake up call to people who want to ignore the impact that human actions can have on the planet. Do you know of another planet that the entire human species could migrate to, in the case that Earth could no longer support us? We don’t either. Let’s not blow it.

Earth Day Every Day

Earth Day T-shirt
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It’s easy to feel really concerned about the planet on Earth Day, but what are you doing every other day of the year to protect the environment? This tee reminds us that the Earth is here every day, whether we’re aware of its well-being or not, and we should always keep that in mind.

Keep It Low Carbon

Earth Day T-shirt
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A cute little play on words here reminds us that our footprints do matter. The theory of global warming proposes that the carbon in the atmosphere is causing heat to get trapped, and causing the temperature of Earth to get warmer and warmer. Look at that Earth–he’s sweating! Keep him cool, burn less carbon fuels. Perhaps substitute for something more eco-friendly?

Re-cycle

Recycle T-shirt
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It’s easy to say we want to reduce our carbon footprint, but this tee offers us a few strategies to do so. First, recycle your recyclable goods. (How many times will we say it?!) Second, lower your carbon footprint by substituting your morning drive with a nice, fresh bike ride. Riding a bike is not just a great way to reduce your carbon footprint–you’ll also get some exercise while you’re at it. It’s like two locks with one key.

Peace, Love, Recycle

Peace Love Recycle T-shirt
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We’ll tie it all together with a classic. Promote peace, show the Earth some love, and recycle! Yes, we said it again. Recycling is the smallest and simplest thing you can do every single day to contribute to a healthier, cleaner, and longer-lasting planet. There is no excuse not to do it.

Show the Earth some love in honor of Earth Day 2016. The Earth Day Network has events open for the public all over the globe. Go here to find an event you can volunteer and help us get to a healthier planet.

Year In Tees: 1982

Year in Tees 1982

1982 was quite a year to remember. First, we saw a rare April blizzard dump more than a foot of snow across the northeast United States. Despite the cold, we could easily warm up with Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 single “Physical” that was still heating up the charts. The year also brought us Strawberry Shortcake, Smurfs, and My Little Pony. If you’re not grinning with nostalgia yet, these tees will surely get you there.

Here are the most notable, t-shirt worthy moments from 1982:

Colon-Hyphen-Parentheses

Emoji T-shirt

Back when the Internet was a wee little baby, Scott Fahlman, a professor at Carnegie Mellon, noticed that inflection and tone was lost in the world of online communication. The biggest problem? What may be a joke to the sender could be perceived as an insult to the receiver. Perhaps there was solution to help end the fighting among the nerds on early online forums? Enter the birth of the emoticon.

It has since taken on a life of its own and evolved into its own universe of expression, with the invention of emojis and personalized bitmojis. We give this tee a colon-hyphen-closed parenthesis and honor our ability to now say a lot without saying anything at all. So what are you today: open or closed parenthesis?

‘Cause this is thriller

Thriller T-shirt
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“Starlight?” No. “Midnight Man?” No. “Thriller?” Yes! Those were two other titles considered by Rod Temperton, composer of Michael Jackson’s 1982 epic song on his album, “Thriller.” “Starlight” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it? People, this is the best-selling album of all time, with figures estimated at $65 million!

Although the album was released in November of 1982, the 13-minute music video was not brought to life until 1983. But hey, 1982 brought us the best-selling album ever—we think that deserves a tee. Don’t be scared folks, even if “Your body starts to shiver / For no mere mortal can resist / The evil of the thriller,” just dance away those ghouls.

A biography of discography

Compact Disk T-shirt
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Speaking of great albums, how are you going to play them? On your CDP-101 of course. Actually, that is a bit misleading. When Sony released the first compact disc players in Japan in 1982, there were just over a hundred albums available on CD.

But hey, for a sticker price equivalent today of nearly $1500 (and roughly $40 per disc), the “sleek” 14 x 5 x 12.5-inch player paved the way for advances in how we listen to and view media.

Goodbye Captain Ahab

Save the Whales T-shirt
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Even in 1982, environmental protection was making a splash. The International Whaling Commission put a moratorium on commercial whaling this year, setting catch limits at zero, and seemingly just in time. In 1970, it is estimated that there were less than 6,000 blue whales left on the planet.

Not all countries adhered to the legislation. The fight against commercial whaling is still alive and well today—seven seasons of Whale Wars on Animal Planet can attest to that. Regardless, 1982 was the year the world took action, so here’s to the power of tees in contributing to environmental awareness.

“No Shirt, No Shoes, No Dice.”

Fast Times T-shirt
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Those are the rules at All-American Burger. While Brad is working hard to pay off his Buick La Sabre, Spicoli is—well, he’s just on the lookout for “tasty waves” and a “cool buzz.” And Mr. Hand is bound tightly in his strictness and crusade against truancy. Yeah, we’re talking about Ridgemont High—Fast Times at Ridgemont High. The film follows several students throughout the school year, but Spicoli (Sean Penn) is by far the most remembered and parodied character.

Despite Roger Ebert calling it a “scuz-pit of a movie,” it did pretty well at the box office, earning $27 million. Sure, 1982’s other films like E.T. blew it out of the water, but Fast Times taught us many lessons, like always knock first.

With fast times and thrillers, 1982 seemed to have it all. So, we’ll put the “T” in “thanks,” 1982, for bringing environmental awareness, advancements in music, and ancestral emojis. Where would we be without you?