As a designer I know that design is much too important to be left in the hands of designers.

 

If in older times your tie would tell people who you are, what you do for a living, what is your upbringing and what school you went to, today it is the t-shirt that gives information about  you, you own private billboard.

 

 

You cant sell news stories that have data and cautious predictions. Where is the panic? Where is the impending doom? C'mon people , give me something to work with here…

    Opinions / Science / Theory of Relative Ignorance  

T-Shirts - The word on the street


The phenomenon of the t-shirt is one of the most simple yet genial signs of democracy. If in older times your tie would tell people who you are, what you do for a living, what is your upbringing and what school you went to, today it is the t-shirt that gives information about  you, you own private billboard.

As I have already used the word 'billboard' I will handle that aspect of t-shirts first. Just for the record, I do not mind wearing a t-shirt with somebody's logo on it, as long as they pay me to do so, but to be a free billboard? Why? Well, actually the why is very simple, people who wear t-shirts with company logo's on them want to belong to a group. They are the drones who make religion and politics work. By choosing a logo they place themselves in a specific target group of like-minded idiots.

A tshirt with a pitch&abrecombie logo will place you in a certain point of the spectrum, a tshirt with a nike logo in another. And it's easy, you don’t have to , god forbid, think or make decisions, you follow the crowd. Personally I have yet to meet a person who has a logo on his tshirt without immediately loosing respect to that person.

The only exception is when it is ironic, or a company that doesn’t exist anymore. Actually  it is not the logo that annoys me so but the choice of who you endorse. (if you got a free tshirt in some marketing scheme, they can be used for workout, when cleaning the house or moving apartment.)

Basically a t-shirt is a visual comment that you are forced to see. Here lies the rub but here we also move to the more entertaining and acceptable aspects of tshirts.

Other then idiots who make free promotion for companies, there are two other endorsements that work as 'this is who I am', and these are cinema and music t-shirts. Sometimes it seems to me as if t-shirts were the base for what we know as our face book page these days, a short and concise message of intent, of what my taste is in music or cinema. I will try not to be elitist in my examples, but I am still having my morning coffee now so I promise nothing.

Let say there are two people in the room, both wearing the uniform of blue jeans and a black t-shirt. One has a vintage ACDC concert tour t-shirt, the other a Michael Jackson memorial t-shirt. I know exactly which one of them I want to talk to.

Let say there are two people in the room, one is wearing a clockwork orange t-shirt and the other is wearing a twilight t-shirt. I know exactly which one of them I want to talk to.

Ah, and here is a tricky one, let's say one is wearing a clockwork orange movie t-shirt and the other is wearing a clockwork orange Anthony burgess original paperback cover tshirt… see how the communication through your wardrobe can be subtle and meaningful?

The third case is the witty ones. And here the jury is still out, as I do like to read something witty once in a while, some snappy remark that will make me smile in the middle of a street, but just like in tweets, facebook status etc, there is a thin line between 'look, I am smart and witty and I have the tshirt to prove it, and 'look I know how to do copy and paste'.  If you are not sure which group you belong to, may I recommend a clean tshirt with nothing on it.

Yes. a clean colored t-shirt. It's always a classic. And as the man said – it is better to be silent and be considered an idiot , then to open your mouth and prove it is so.