The 6 Things To Include On Your Company T-shirt

Company t-shirts

Company t-shirts may seem like they’re all fun and games, but with the right strategic design, they can also work as an extremely effective marketing medium. Whether you get employees or customers to wear them, they create an opportunity for advocates to start a dialogue about your company anywhere they go. A t-shirt can be a great conversation starter, but it must have the right elements to be effective.

With that in mind, here are 6 things to include on your company t-shirt:

Logo

Apple logo t-shirt
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At its most basic use, a logo is a branding tool. The goal is to continuously expose people to it so that you’re top of mind for when they need your products or services. Apple’s logo is a perfect example–no matter where you see it you know it’s Apple. Any marketing materials are just not as effective without it, t-shirts included.

Image

Piggly Wiggly T-shirt
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A logo is slightly different than a specific image. You can decide to use your logo as the only image, or you can supplement it with an additional image that adds something extra to the other elements of your shirt. Test a few different versions–try it with and without another image to see what works best.

Website URL

Builders t-shirt
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If you can pique someone’s interest with what’s on your t-shirt, you also have to make it easy for t-shirt viewers to then find out more information. Make sure that your company’s website URL is big enough to be seen without squinting (nobody likes being gaped at), and is in an obvious place (not in someone’s armpit). Finally, do everyone a favor and don’t add a QR code link.

Fun or interesting message

You read my t-shirt
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What is the voice of your company? Whether you’re traditional or silly, you should use this voice to craft a compelling message that goes with the other elements of your company t-shirt. Ultimately, it’s a combination of the text and graphics on a t-shirt that draw the most attention, or at least get people to stop what they’re doing to consider what it says. You don’t have to be goofy to get attention, just interesting! Keep in mind that not everyone is a target customer, and that’s okay. Create a message that focuses on the people who are, so they’ll be interested when they see it.

Options

T-shirt Colors
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Basic t-shirts will get the job done, but employees and customers are much more likely to wear them if they look good and fit well. If you have budget to devote to flattering slim-fit or woman-specific styles, use it! People will be more likely to wear the t-shirts, which means more impressions for your company’s message. Don’t give away a t-shirt that will be used in a messy home project and promptly discarded!

Besides fit, another option your company may want to consider is offering the shirt in various colors. People love choices, and giving people the option to pick their favorite color may make them more invested in wearing the t-shirt. Again, you want to give people as many reasons as possible to help promote the company.

Call to action

time for action
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Finally, like any good marketing message, there must be a call to action. It may be as simple as “Visit our website,” or more industry-specific like “Get a free quote.” Make sure that whatever the message, it’s clear what someone should do next.

What would you include on your company t-shirt? If you’ve made one before, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

2016 Election Shirts that are Okay to Wear in Public

election t-shirts

In case you haven’t heard, 2016 is an election year, and this one is kind of a big deal.  In fact, in about five months, voters will be electing the next President of the United States.   Also in case you haven’t heard, this has been one of the most controversial elections that the country has ever seen, and could very well soon result in (for the first time) a woman running against (also for the first time) a millionaire businessman with no background in politics. 

On paper it looks like this is a great step forward for America–we are shattering glass ceilings and challenging the Establishment at every turn.  Unfortunately, this race has written more headlines related to name-calling, slander, and insults rather than actual politics. 

If you’re feeling particularly American this year and are searching for a way to show you care without starting a brawl or getting locked into a debate of circular logic wherever you go, we’re here to help.  We’ve pulled together a ballot of qualified tees that’ll let you show your passion for politics, but won’t incite an angry mob.

VOTE

VOTE t-shirt
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Admittedly, this may be the most basic and obvious shirt in the world when it comes to promoting trips to the polls.  However, that type of simplicity is what is sometimes needed to get the message across.  After all, it requires a great deal of skill to twist or misconstrue one single word.  Plus, this logo looks like Pepsi may have branded it, so anyone who gazes upon it will get a subliminal shot of sweet caffeine. 

Vote or Die

Vote or Die T-shirt
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This phrase was coined by the first person everyone thinks of when they think politics: P Diddy. The rapper/voters’ advocate has a surprising number of theories to explain the meaning behind “Vote or Die.”  Whatever the hidden truth may be, it undoubtably carries the positive message that any person submitting a ballot has the chance to change the course of his or her life.  And whether it was intentional or not, we appreciate the patriotic throwback to Ben Franklin’s “Join or Die” cartoon he used to help unite the colonies that eventually became the U.S. of A.

Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam Vote T-shirt
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Uncle Sam and his pointed finger create perhaps the most influential persona that has every graced a poster (or a t-shirt).  Who can say no to that stern gaze without being overwhelmed by the guilt of letting down an entire country?  Just do like Uncle Sam says and vote.

Everyone’s Voice Counts

Every Voice Counts T-shirt
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Did you not listen to Uncle Sam a second ago?  Yes, everyone can and should vote!  Okay, okay – maybe there would be an issue or two if you showed up to your local polling place with a cat ready to pick our country’s next leader, but after you proudly voice your opinion via ballot, you can certainly go home to celebrate with your furry friend.

Reasons to Vote

Voting Checklist T-shirt
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This list may make light of the necessity for every citizen to vote, but, nevertheless, it makes some valid points.  Everyone has a different opinion about how this country should be governed, but the only way you can “save America” according to the values you maintain is to get out and vote.  Plus, there is no other way to get your hands on the first socially acceptable sticker to wear in public since elementary school.

Rock the Vote

Rock The Vote T-shirt
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Rock the Vote may be the name of an organization committed to empowering the country’s youth and getting them out to the polls, but it also serves as a valuable message that everyone should heed.  After all, who wants to end up in a little town like the one from Footloose where no one is even allowed to dance?  Rock your vote–make sure you always have the right to play your music loud and shake it like a Polaroid picture.

Pizza Party

TMNT Vote T-shirt
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Speaking of things that cater to the country’s younger crowd…a cheesy, fresh-baked pizza may seem like a welcomed alternate to one of the major political parties our country has to offer, but thanks to the civil liberties of the United States, you don’t have to choose a pizza over a candidate.  Taste the freedom that comes with being able to have your pie and eat it too when you discover a candidate whose values align with yours that you want to support this November.

So many t-shirt designs are out there to display your commitment to our political process. Unlike those ambitious people running in 2016’s race, however, you do not have to select only one to show how much you care.

Bonnaroo 2016: 5 T-Shirts that Radiate Positivity

Bonnaroo T-Shirts

June is the junction of spring and summer. It brings the joyous occasion of students jolting out of school along with the simmering, sweltering heat. But June also brings something else, something a bit more special than all of that. Each year since 2002, some 90,000 odd freaks, fools, and fans from all over the world make the pilgrimage to the tiny Tennessee town of Manchester for one of the biggest and best weekends in music and art: Bonnaroo.

Happy ‘Roo! As they say down on the farm. I’ll high five to that!

Bonnaroo is one of the most unique experiences in the country. Talk all you want about the “music festival bubble” that’s growing in the U.S., but Bonnaroo continues to set the standard for what a music festival is all about. What sets the fest apart from all the rest is the unique sense of creativity, expression, and community that permeates through the festival the way that delightful smell of Tennessee barbecue might (if it weren’t for all those porta potties!). People come from all over the country to experience this beautiful, isolated setting for four days of music and entertainment.

We had the chance to go to Bonnaroo this year for the festival’s 15th anniversary, which featured headlining sets by LCD Soundsystem, Pearl Jam, and the Dead & Co. with John Mayer. Keeping in line with the creative energy and spirit of ‘Roo, we thought it would be cool to showcase some of the most creative and expressive shirts, and talk to folks about why Bonnaroo is such an accepting place and has become an incredible haven for self-expression and creativity. Without further ado, here are some of the best shirts we witnessed at Bonnaroo 2016.

Drew

Bonnaroo 2016 t-shirt

There are so many awesome shirts at Bonnaroo–so many that it’s hard to pick out the shirts that the festival actually sells unless you go to the merch tent. We happened to run into Drew and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to include an official Bonnaroo shirt. A true veteran, this year was Drew’s sixth ‘Roo. He reminded us how open-minded everyone at the festival is and how accepting the community is for people who are just being themselves. No judgment at Bonnaroo–we’re radiating positivity.

Alaina

Bonnaroo style

Alaina’s shirt immediately caught our eyes weaving through the crowd from set to set. When we asked her about her shirt, she told us she painted it herself! It was her first time down on the Farm and her coolest experience was seeing how individuality is valued at Bonnaroo. While it’s not in the Bonnaroovian code, it might as well be!

Dana

Bonnaroo tent

If you’ve ever been to a music festival, you know there are a lot of “happy accidents.” This was a happy accident, for sure. We ran into Dana outside of This Tent and couldn’t help but notice the slogan on her shirt, “Good Vibes.” Good vibes are what Bonnaroo is all about. It also just so happened that she was attending the festival with her non-profit group Beneath The Waves, who also just so happen to be customers of ours! A happy accident indeed!

Brian

Bonnaroo artist 2016

We never thought we would ever run into this guy. A Bonnarovian of three years now, Brian’s been featured on the festival’s Instagram for the incredible drawings he does during the weekend as @upperhandart. His shirt caught our eye for the tie-dye and the shoutouts to Hey Arnold! and Bart Simpson, but it’s also a piece of merch from the band Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt. Brian told us that Bonnaroo is a perfect storm of not only witnessing, but also drawing people’s creativity. Check out more of his work here!

NA$A

Bonnaroo style

Speaking of Bart Simpson, how could we resist this shirt? A hippie Bart Simpson? D’oh! NA$A is a musician, so he’s no stranger to expressing himself. What has always impressed him about the Farm is the way that everyone shows their real expressions in their costumes, and how they approach each other. Bonnaroo to NA$A is much more open to art and expression, rather than just focusing solely on the music. We’re inclined to agree.

The through-line in all of our conversations at Bonnaroo was the way the community works together to turn four sweltering days on a giant farm in Tennessee into a transformative and touching experience for those that attend. Four days in the middle of nowhere surrounded by lovers and friends, some of the best music on the planet, and the freedom to live as you’d like without judgment, ‘Roo is a sublime experience. You might be a recluse back home. You might be a jock, an artist, an engineer, a parent, a hippie, a teacher–whatever! It doesn’t matter for four days in Tennessee. You can give off good vibes, or go home. We love seeing the ways in which the world expresses ourselves. Bonnaroo, we’ll be back!

Radio 104.5’s 9th Annual Birthday Party

Rush Order Tees Team at 104.5

Hey Philly! Our friends over at Radio 104.5 are celebrating their ninth birthday this week, and we’re proud to be a part of the action. We’re not the type to humble brag, but you may have seen the Rush Order Tees team out in full force this past weekend hanging out, having fun, and celebrating one of the best radio stations in Philly!

We Had A Blast–Literally

When we say we had a good time at the show, we mean we had a gooooooood time. The sun was shining, the bands were playing, and the BB&T Pavilion was absolutely packed to the gills with screaming fans and people having fun. To us, that sounds like summer in the city–our favorite time of year!

The Rush Order Tees crew spent a lot of time walking around, handing out beer koozies (because few things on Earth are more gross than a sun-baked beverage), and dusting the cobwebs off our t-shirt cannons.

Wait, what?

Did Somebody Say “T-Shirt Cannons”

T-Shirt Cannon!Oh, we sure did. When we weren’t walking around, shaking hands and making friends, we were hard at work blasting dozens upon dozens of shirts out of our trusty t-shirt cannons and into the open arms of fans and party-goers all over the pavilion.

In fact, we’d like to take a moment to say something:

We’re not sure how many of you who were at the show this past weekend will read this, but on the chance you do, we really want to thank you for all the love and support. From the very bottom of our hearts, thank you. Being able to hop on stage in between some of our favorite bands (The Front Bottoms, MUTEMATH, we’re looking at you, guys!), and pump the crowd up was a surreal experience.

You all showed us so much love and support, and the energy in the room was nothing short of palpable. It was an experience we won’t soon forget, and we’re really excited to come back again this Friday for Day 2.

Info For This Friday

Owen Tossing Koozies

We’ll be back again this coming Friday for round two of Radio 104.5’s birthday celebration! We’ll be walking around helping you keep your drinks cold with koozies, and giving away all types of fun swag (including an iPad Pro!). We may even have a trick or two up our sleeves…

Look for us on stage in between bands or out in the crowd (we’ll be the friendly people with the bright orange tent and t-shirts). Definitely don’t be too shy to come up and say hi!

For more information on tickets, the lineup, and set times, head on over to the Radio 104.5 birthday page.

We’ll see you out there!

 

 

8 Father’s Day Shirts Your Dad Would Love

Father's Day T-shirts

It’s almost Father’s Day, which means it’s time for dad to relax and enjoy while everyone else is expected to cater to his every wish. It’s also time to get serious about gift-giving if you haven’t come up with a winning idea yet.

In our experience, the best gifts are those that come from the heart, and no one appreciates a gift with some serious thought behind it like good ol’ dad.

With that as a guiding principle, we’ve put together some ideas for t-shirts to make your dad for Father’s Day–all easily customizable for your dad’s specific interests!

World’s Greatest Dad

World's Greatest Dad T-shirt
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Sure, everyone claims that their dad is the best, but you know the truth. The world’s best dad lives under your roof. Show how much you care with this somewhat typical, but totally adorable present.

Top Dad

Top Dad T-shirt
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What dad isn’t obsessed with the movie Top Gun? We’re sure that your dad won’t be able to control his excitement if you got him a t-shirt that reeks the cool factor like this. Feel free to take this idea and apply it to his other favorite movies, too!

World’s Greatest Farter Father

World's Greatest Farter T-shirt
Via.

Okay, smarty pants. Your pops tells plenty of dad jokes, and you’re starting to follow along in his path. We bet your dad will get a chuckle out of this “World’s Greatest Farter” t-shirt. Oops, did we say farter? We meant Father. Sometimes, the best humor can be found in the most simple things.

Nice one Dad is a website that curates an exquisite collection of dad jokes if you’re looking for more silly t-shirt slogan inspiration.

Property of (My Kids)

Funny Father's Day T-shirt
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This t-shirt is just begging to be customized with your dad’s name for Father’s Day. It’s a silly reminder that your needs should always be his priority.

Daddy, since….

Father's Day T-shirt
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If your dad ever has issues remembering your birthday, this Father’s Day t-shirt will serve as a friendly reminder that will at least help him remember how old you are. Hey, forgetfulness happens–especially at dad’s age.

I am your father

Star Wars Father T-shirt
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It’s hard to find a situation where a Star Wars reference isn’t relevant, especially as family (specifically fatherhood) factors into the storyline. Whether your dad is a huge Star Wars nerd or not, we’re sure he can appreciate the sentiment behind this t-shirt.

World’s Greatest Dad Bod

Dad Bod T-shirt
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Would you describe your dad’s body type as “more to love?” If he’s perfectly happy with his physique, you may as well make him a funny t-shirt to wear proudly and get some belly laughs.

I make adorable babies

Funny Dad T-shirt
Via.

Obviously your dad makes adorable babies–you’re here, after all! Give him a shirt that’s really a dual compliment for the both of you. Everybody wins in this situation!

Best Dad, hands down

Cute dad T-shirt
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This shirt is part graphic design, part DIY craft. Start with a playful font to write “Best Dad, Hands Down,” then customize it with your handprints with paint that works on fabric. It’s a keepsake that will be appreciated forever.

Which of these do you think are the best t-shirts to make your dad for Father’s Day? Do you have any other fun ideas? We’d love your feedback in the comments!

Retail Spaces That Are Blowing Our Minds

Cool Retail Spaces

Maintaining a strong brick and mortar presence in the age of e-commerce is much easier said than done–just ask Sports Authority, Borders, and K-Mart. While some national chains are struggling to compete with online retailers like Amazon.com, a new breed of boutique retail spaces has risen. Their strategy? In addition to providing quality products at competitive prices, retailers at the forefront of capturing customer appeal cater to consumers’ desire for an ambiance, an experience, and the “cool” factor.

Opening a retail location in 2016 is definitely not for everyone, but with the right vision and execution, a simple sneaker store or video game shop can become a destination shopping experience that will attract a loyal following.  Let’s take a look at a few unique retail spaces that are blowing our minds with their creativity:

Bodega

Boston, MA

Bodega outside vs inside
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One of Boston’s premier sneaker boutiques Bodega looks more like a place to get an empanada and a Coke than it looks like the spot to get the latest New Balance collaboration or limited edition Air Jordan. From the outside, that is. 

Upon entrance, Bodega looks like any other convenience store. Shoppers can actually buy snacks, sodas and other bodega fare in the front section of the store. Experienced shoppers, however, know to stand by the soda machine in the back until it slides open to reveal one of the best sneaker and streetwear retailers on the East Coast. Once shoppers walk through the “secret entrance” they are immediately greeted with hardwood floors, racks of the latest streetwear, and a seemingly endless supply of limited edition kicks.  The store has established its’ reputation over time with a steady stream of collaborations with the top sneaker and clothing brands, and by aggressively marketing its status as a much cooler alternative to mainstream sneaker chains. 

Clear Port

Jersey City, NJ

Clearport Store
Via.

The newest addition to this list opened in the Spring of 2016, and definitely raised the bar for clothing stores in Jersey City. Clear Port is named after the private airport in Teeterboro, NJ that is frequented by NYC’s high rollers, like rapper Jay-Z. When customers enter the store, which is set up like an actual airport, they are asked to place personal belongings (backpacks, purses, etc.) into security screening trays and are directed to the correct “terminal,” or department. There, it becomes abundantly clear they have picked the best place to “Get Fly” outside of New York City. 

The store carries several of the most sought-after brands in high-end streetwear, and caters to young customers looking to push the style envelope. It’s one of the few stores in New Jersey that carries start-up lines like Rothco, Black Pyramid, and Rustic Dime alongside established brands, like Pharrell’s Billionaire Boys Club. 

Digital Press Videogames 

Clifton, NJ

Digital Press Videogames
Via.

Since 2005, Digital Press Videogames has been equal parts video game store, retro gaming museum, arcade, art gallery, and eSports hub.  The store is the unofficial headquarters for North Jersey’s gaming community, and is one of the few spaces where the newest PS4 and XBox One games are stacked right up next to the Atari 2600, Super Nintendo, and Sega Dreamcast classics.  

More than a mere retail space, the store is a true gathering place for gamers of all ages and ability levels. Digital Press even hosts weekly events, ranging from competitive first-person shooter tournaments to vintage gaming marathons.  Additionally, the location functions as a museum of video game history, featuring original games/systems and modern artists’ interpretations of old school games like Pong. Whether you’re looking for a hard-to-find game from back in the day, an eSports tournament, or a place to relive the countless hours you spent with a controller in hand, Digital Press is worth the trip.  

Gallery 1988

Los Angeles, CA

Gallery 1988
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For the last decade, LA’s Gallery 1988 has been ground zero for the mixing of high and low brow visual artistry that began with Andy Warhol’s introduction of “Pop Art” in the 60s. The store features a constantly changing array of artists, and displays pop culture-based artwork at affordable prices. Past exhibits have featured artwork based on Ghostbusters, The Goonies, and various video game characters, among much more.

Due to its success, Gallery 1988 has also compiled several books based on “Crazy 4 Cult,” an annual exhibit which features art inspired by cult movies. In addition to two retail locations in L.A., the brand has also opened pop-up shops in New York City to satisfy its’ growing East Coast fan base.  

Kith 

Brooklyn, NY

Kith Brooklyn Store
Via.

We might still feature Kith on this list if it only had its one Manhattan location that featured premium sneakers located in the heart of SOHO. 

We’d probably still feature Kith on  the list if there was only Kith Women, featuring some of the best clothing and footwear lines for females.

But the location that makes Kith a surefire pick for our list of cool retail locations has to be the one on Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn retailer features clean lines, glass shelving, and stark white walls that make it look as much like a museum as a store. But Kith wasn’t content with just providing NYC’s discerning consumers with some of the most exclusive clothing and footwear choices–aside from the crisp look and feel, the Brooklyn location stands out from the competition with the inclusion of Kith Treats.

Connected to the flagship Brooklyn store, Kith Treats provides an expansive cereal bar as a place for customers to take a break from the Brooklyn hustle. And it doesn’t stop with simple corn flakes and skim milk–the menu features mixtures of cereals and condiments selected by Kith’s famous clientele, including professional athletes, rappers, Internet personalities, and graffiti artists. Selling limited edition sneakers and cereal under the same roof is definitely a novel concept, but it is definitely one visitors will not soon forget. 

Tees from Summer Solstice Traditions from Around the World

Summer Solstice

We live in a solar system, where everything is drawn toward and swirling around the sun.  It’s no wonder we’ve been celebrating the sun, and our longest day of its warming light—the summer solstice—since we could…well, celebrate.  Although stateside we usually mark the start of summer with Memorial Day Weekend, the official, astrological, and cultural start to summer is during the Summer Solstice.  Unfortunately, this is not true for our friends in the southern hemisphere where it is the winter solstice, but they still may enjoy this article down under. 

The summer solstice is when the sun’s zenith is farthest from the equator and the North Pole tilts toward the sun at just over 23 degrees.  Basically, we receive the longest hours of daylight on this day (again, just us folks in the northern hemisphere). 

We aren’t astronomers or scientists, so we won’t get into the nitty-gritty of the solstice, but we will showcase five ways we’ve seen people around the world celebrate it.

Stonehenge: Megalithic Curiosities

Stonehenge Festival T-shirt
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Although its purpose and origin are clouded in conspiracy theories, the prehistoric stone circle in England does have a stone—Heel Stone—that aligns with the summer solstice sunrise.  Thousands still gather on the Salisbury Plain to ring in the solstice.  Despite there being no written record from the BC builders (the first round of a 1500 year construction process beginning in 3000 BC), and other than its alignment with the Heel Stone, the site still draws New Age, Neopagan, and just plain curious gatherers each year on the summer solstice. 

Modern preservation attempts have limited access to Stonehenge, so solstice parties like the Stonehenge Free Festival are no more, but the stones aren’t going anywhere, and neither is our curiosity about this ancient and ambiguous rite of summer.

Sweden: May I have this Pole Dance?

Sweden Maypole T-shirt
Via.

Maypoles of course!  During Midsommar, as our Swede siblings say, the locals escape the deep, dark doldrums of winter and celebrate the summer solstice on a national level.  Midsommar is a national holiday in Sweden.  The meaning of the celebration’s staple symbol, the maypole, is a debated. Perhaps it represents the world axis of the celestial pole, as some believe. Either way, the maypole dance is a fun way to spin and swirl into summer. 

Just how, you ask?  Set up a pole (decorated with flowers and branches), attach ribbons, and divide the dancers into two groups.  As one group dances their ribbons around the pole clockwise, the other moves counterclockwise. Be sure to develop an over-under pattern to avoid getting tied to the pole!

Native Americans: Wheel in the Sky

Native American Solstice T-shirt
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The Native Americans also had sun celebrations during the summer solstice that revolved around dance.  Tribes like the Sioux cut down and erected trees as links between the heavens and Earth. Red and yellow were traditional seasonal colors representing sunrise, light, birth, and new beginnings.  Even the medicine wheel, like the one that sits atop the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming, is thought to have been used in solstice rituals.

Alaska: Land of the Midnight Sun

Alaska Midnight Sun T-shirt
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This is the only day of the year when all locations inside and just south of the Arctic Circle receive 24 hours of daylight. Places as far “south” as Fairbanks receive 22 hours of daylight at the June solstice.  Alaska does this long day right. Music festivals range from Anchorage to Fairbanks to Soldovia, and Alaska rocks the sun across the horizon with beer, food, and any activity that harnesses the beauty of the state’s scenery. When you’re celebrating this summer in the land of the midnight sun, don’t forget that the bottom of the globe is getting a 24 hour polar night! 

Iceland: I Wear my Sunglasses at Night

Secret Solstice T-shirt
Via.

Our seaworthy Nordic friends, the Vikings, celebrated the summer solstice with huge bonfires and by seeking out wells believed to have healing powers.  Why seek out healing powers at a time of abundant light and a celebration of power?  Well, perhaps the Viking’s were a bit “glass-half-empty”, because they also recognized that after the longest day of the year, the days get shorter. 

It isn’t all doom and gloom in Iceland, however, and some of the Viking customs are carried on. From traditional Viking festivals featuring storytelling and Viking games like axe throwing and archery, to modern music festivals, like the Secret Solstice Festival featuring bands like Radiohead and Deftones, the Icelandic people know how to embrace the long day’s journey into…day.

So on June 20, keep in mind that you don’t need to climb 9,600 feet into the Big Horn Mountains or endure an arctic winter to appreciate the summer solstice—although, it would be pretty cool to check out Iceland’s Akureyri Golf Club for a midnight round. If there’s one thing these traditions have in common, it’s friends, family, music, dancing, and…well, the sun.  No matter where you’re from or what you believe, you can find those ingredients just about anywhere.  Happy summer solstice, everyone. 

Tees from the Best U.S. Vacation Destinations of 2016

U.S. Destination T-shirts

If you’re anything like us, you could’ve sworn that just last week there was a massive snowstorm and you couldn’t wash your long johns nearly as fast as you needed them ready.  Alas, somehow it seems that warmer weather snuck up on us, and the sun peering through your office windows is a constant reminder that you forgot to plan your big summer vacation for 2016.  How are you going to get that well-deserved tan now, and what’s the point of having extra hours of sunlight without any new and exciting excursions marked on your calendar? 

If the thought of skimming through a newsfeed filled with everyone else’s perfectly filtered vacation pictures is just too much to take, read on. We have crafted a list of the best places in the U.S. for a summer trip that you can book now without having to worry about getting your passport renewed, and of course, we included all the t-shirts you can bring back with you.

The Finger Lakes, New York

Finger Lakes Shirt
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Does the idea of hiking your days away with gorgeous views of forests and waterfalls sound appealing to you?  Or would you rather meander through countless museums and spend your days learning about everything from Susan B. Anthony to the Erie Canal?  If so, then the Finger Lakes region of New York is the perfect vacation spot for you.  Oh, and did we mention the wine?  In addition to the markets, parks, and museums, the Finger Lakes have an abundance of wineries and vineyards.  It is without a doubt one of the most picturesque places in the U.S. to sip a glass of wine, and a must-see for your summer 2016.

San Juan Islands, Washington

San Juan Islands T-shirt
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Washington holds the jackpot destination for anyone who would prefer to travel by bike rather than car.  Spend your days cycling through the beautiful landscapes of the San Juan Islands, which can be as flat or as mountainous as you’d prefer. Or, if you’d rather have a motor power you around, consider a boat trip out on the water for some of the best whale-watching our country has to offer.

Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville T-shirt
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Almost everyone you know has rocked out at a country bar in Nashville–but how many of your friends have gotten lost in local markets filled with art installations and fountains, or have witnessed the largest Labor Day fireworks show in the nation? Spend some time this summer exploring Knoxville, a city brimming with attractions, including sites like multiple historic military forts and the 1982 World’s Fair gold globe. Knoxville has something for everyone, whether a nature lover or a Shakespeare aficionado.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ann Arbor T-shirt
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A trip to one of America’s happiest towns certainly sounds like a good idea for a domestic getaway, and Ann Arbor offers all sorts of activities no matter what you’re looking for. Ann Arbor’s attractions include parks for outdoor hiking, countless theaters and performance centers, and adorable neighborhoods like Kerrytown that are brimming with shops and restaurants. This all makes Ann Arbor a city definitely worth discovering.

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Lancaster County T-shirt
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Many people may have heard of Lancaster County before, even if they don’t realize it. With aliases like Pennsylvania Dutch Country or Amish Country, it’s obvious that the area offers some cultural history. Learn all about Mennonite or Amish life and enjoy a shoo-fly pie; get transported hundreds of years in the past at the Renaissance Fair; even take a ride in a horse and buggy! But if you get the hankering to come back to 2016, enjoy plenty of outlet shops, local breweries, and exploring the quaint small towns by ATV, motorcycle, or moped.

Big Sur, California

Big Sur California T-shirt
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For anyone craving a view of the California coast without braving the typical California crowds, Big Sur is for you. It is notably tougher to actually get to, which cuts down on the amount of tourists you will find in the area, but it is home to several beautiful parks where you can see beautiful sights like waves crashing on cliffs, white waterfalls, and the infamous Redwoods.  While in Big Sur, you’ll definitely want to spend some time visiting local galleries and gardens, and you may even get lucky enough to spot a Blue Whale passing by.

San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio Alamo T-shirt
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This Texas town is complete with all sorts of modern-day attractions and theme parks, but its biggest draws are all of the historical sites you can find littered throughout the city.  San Antonio is home to the beautifully historic Mission San Jose, as well as several churches and cathedrals built hundreds of years ago. Of course, you can’t forget the Alamo, which is also just steps away from a beautiful stretch of shops and restaurants all along the water called the River Walk. The River walk sits at a lower level than the rest of the city, making it quite cool and comfortable during the summer months.

Rehoboth, Delaware

Rehoboth Beach T-shirt
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A lesser-known East Coast destination, Rehoboth Beach is an excellent getaway for anyone who wants to visit the beach but still have all of the best amenities close by.  Equipped with a beach patrol, Rehoboth is a safe place to go swimming with your whole family, and offers excellent shops and outlets for rainy days.  The food options also are abundant, with plenty of delicious seafood offered right on the boardwalk for dining with a view.

Boulder, Colorado

Boulder Colorado T-shirt
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Boulder is truly an outdoor-lover’s dream.  If you desire a vacation filled with hiking and biking, open air performances, and even a hot air balloon ride or two, this is definitely the place for you.  However, don’t be quick to write the city off as a place only for the rugged–Boulder also boasts its own ballet and philharmonic for nights when you want to kick off your hiking shoes and get dressed to the nines.

Cape May, New Jersey

Cape May T-shirt
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The shore towns of New Jersey may have been stereotypically profiled in recent years, but what millions of people were mesmerized by on television was only a small snapshot of what there really is to experience. Cape May somehow manages to have the best of the best all in one little Victorian town.  After a day of sunbathing, enjoy anything from a brewery or vineyard tour, to a whale-watching expedition, or a trip to visit some friendly alpacas.  Cape May is packed full of classic beach town sites landmarks, like the quintessential lighthouse and a local boardwalk to keep you busy during your stay.

No matter how delayed you might be in planning the perfect summer getaway, rest assured that there is plenty to do in your own backyard.  All you have to do is book your stay!

How To Use Your Email List to Amplify Your Spread Spirit Campaign

Emails and Fundraising

Once you’ve set up your Spread Spirit campaign, the challenging part can be figuring out how to promote it to the right people and make the campaign a success. Since the campaign lives online, using your digital tools is the best way to get the word out there, and there are many valuable methods of doing so. Perhaps your most valuable of these tools is going to be your email list.

Even if your Spread Spirit campaign is unrelated to your business or nonprofit, we’re going to assume that you have a pretty hefty list of personal email contacts you’ve built over the years. You’ve likely exchanged email addresses with friends, family, co-workers, and anyone else in your business or social network. Since these are all people that know you either personally or professionally, your email list is your golden resource for reaching almost everyone in your network.

Here are some tips for using your email list to amplify your Spread Spirit campaign and enhance its success:

Make the initial email personal

Your initial email is where you’re first going to explain what your fundraiser’s all about. This is where the storytelling aspect will strongly come into play, communicating what the cause is, what you’re asking them to do, and who or what is going to benefit from their contribution. However, just like you wouldn’t send your cousin the same letter you would send an ex-coworker you haven’t talked to in a few years, you shouldn’t send them all a generalized email, either.

If you’re emailing a combination of friends, family, co-workers, and other members of your community, you should break it up into the groups that make sense. Then, write a few different variations of the email to send each group separately.

The second email

Campaign Progress
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Following up with a second email shortly after you send the first one is important. About a quarter to half way through your campaign, send out a second email letting everyone on your list know about your campaign’s progress so far. It serves as a reminder to the people who may have opened and forgotten about your first email. They’ll appreciate your excitement about their contribution, and it will also act as a friendly update to the people who already ordered their t-shirts about the cause they contributed to.

Share your other efforts

Silent Auction fundraiser
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If you’re raising money for a charitable cause that’s close to home, use your email list to let people know about any other events or fundraising tactics you’re planning along with the Spread Spirit campaign. For example, if you’re having an event such as a 5k or an auction, invite them to participate or donate something to the event. This is your perfect way to rally up as much support as possible. Also, once people see that you’re going all in on your fundraising efforts, they’ll be more inclined to contribute in at least one way, and hopefully will buy your t-shirt at the very least.

One last reminder email

Home Stretch sign
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About three quarters through your campaign, send out one last reminder email letting everyone know that the campaign will be ending soon. Since the last one was just an update, you can use this one to give a definitive push for people to take action. Remind them what your cause is all about, provide another update on the campaign’s success so far, and let them know what their support will contribute to. 

Follow up with the results

Thank You Banner
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The people who donated to your cause are going to be waiting to hear what the final results of your campaign were. Send an email after the campaign ends to thank everyone and let them know about the the campaign’s success. People love to see numbers, so share the total amount you were able to raise! You can also include info about exactly what the proceeds will be used for. Getting a campaign follow up will make them feel more connected to your cause and to their own contribution, increasing the likelihood that they’ll help you out again in the future. 

By capitalizing on your email list, your Spread Spirit campaign should be able to cruise straight down the road to success. Your email contacts are your most valuable contacts, as you have direct contact with each person’s inbox, and you’ve probably met each of these people face-to-face at one point or another. When properly communicated with, these are the folks who can play a great role in helping you achieve your campaign goals.

5 Tees for the Die-hard Kevin Smith Fan

Kevin Smith T-shirts

Ever since he first splashed on to the indie film scene with the critically acclaimed cult comedy Clerks, writer/director Kevin Smith has become one of the most recognizable names in pop culture. Over the years, the New Jersey native has directed films such as Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and many more. All of these films take place in the “View Askewniverse,” feature the characters Jay and Silent Bob, and reference events and characters from previous installments.

When he’s not making movies, Smith is recording multiple podcasts under his SModcast Network and producing hit television shows such as Comic Book Men on AMC. Smith has also written for both Marvel and DC Comics, and is a New York Times best-selling writer. Most recently, Smith directed an episode of The Flash on The CW, and is getting ready to release his latest film, Yoga HosersTo top it all off, he also has his own comic book store located in Red Bank, New Jersey called Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. It’s not only the one-stop-shop for all Kevin Smith merchandise, but it’s also where Comic Book Men is filmed.

Whether you’re a fan of his films or love listening to his podcasts, these are the tees any Kevin Smith fan would love:

1. Clerks Logo

Clerks Jay and Silent Bob shirt
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Clerks is the film that kick-started Kevin Smith’s career and changed the convenience store clerk into a Hollywood director. The black and white indie film was created with under $28,000, but soon went on to be a critical and award-winning success.

This minimalist shirt is based off the title card from the opening credits of Clerks. It’s a must-have for fans of the hilarious 1994 film.

2. Mallrats 20th Anniversary

Mallrats T-shirt
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Smith’s follow up to Clerks was not the critical and commercial success that everyone thought it would be. 1995’s Mallrats was an overall disappointment for Universal Pictures, but the film did eventually find its audience in the home video market, which garnered the film’s cult status. The film features Jason Lee, Ben Affleck, and Joey Lauren Adams, all of whom would later star in other Smith films like Chasing Amy, Dogma, and Jersey Girl.

This tee was released to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Mallrats and features all the main characters, along with memorable quotes from the film.

3. Jay’s Berserker Tee

 

Jay's Berkserker T-shirt
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Way before Community and How I Met Your Mother made meta jokes and call-backs an integral part of their shows, Smith was filling his View Askewniverse with references to past films and some of his favorite aspects of pop culture, including Star Wars, Jaws, and Hockey. During one of the memorable Jay and Silent Bob scenes in Clerks, the audience is introduced to Silent Bob’s Russian cousin, an aspiring metal singer. Jay uses him to try to hit on some girls in front of the Quick Stop convince store and sings a song called “Berserker” (which is an actual song by the band Love Among Freaks), containing some rather strange and inappropriate lyrics.

Jay sports this exact shirt depicting the scene in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and it is one of countless references to the View Askewniverse in the film.

4. Got Christ?

Got Christ T-shirt
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This is another shirt that was used as a reference to an older film in the View Askewniverse. Jay wears the “Got Christ” tank in Clerks 2, but the shirt itself was inspired by the “Buddy Christ” statue from the 1999 film, Dogma.

In the film, a Catholic priest in Red Bank, New Jersey decides to rebrand his church during the year of its rededication. One of the ideas is to get rid of the symbol of Jesus lying dead on the cross. The iconic symbol is replaced by the “Buddy Christ,” which pictures Jesus alive, standing, and winking while sporting a thumbs up. It’s a clever reference to Smith’s most controversial film and perfectly fits the newly reformed Jay and Silent Bob portrayed in Clerks 2.

5. Fatman On Batman

 

Fat Man Batman T-shirt
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Smith was one of the early pioneers of the podcasting medium. He and his longtime friend and producer, Scott Mosier started SModcast, which now houses a host of hilarious podcasts, videos, and live shows created by the duo and their friends, like Tell Em Steve-Dave and FeAB. Smith hosts multiple shows on the SModcast network himself, including Edumacation, Hollywood Babble-On, and Fatman on Batman.

Fatman on Batman started out as a podcast dedicated to The Caped Crusader, and focused on interviewing writers, actors, artists, producers and anyone else affiliated with The Dark KnightIt has since evolved into a comic book news podcast, with writer Marc Bernardin as the official co-host. The show is also the first of Smith’s podcasts to be turned into a weekly series on his YouTube channel, as well as touring as a live podcast. This shirt features the original Fatman on Batman logo, and is a great shirt to grab now before they eventually discontinue the design for the updated podcast logo.