Posts Tagged ‘art’

Buying T-shirts online can be a tricky business sometimes. So many styles and designs, so many possibilities and prices. How to find that perfect shirt that not only looks cool, but will also be of highest quality and  – all in all – best value for money? Well, this article will not give you an answer to that. Instead, it will address few important things you need to have in mind when buying T-shirts online.

T-shirts are art

Rock Chick T-shirt by Unleash Studio

Rock Chick T-shirt by Unleash Studio

T-shirts are not only clothes, T-shirts are art. Hope you understand this fact. They express different standpoints, they feature specific design styles and they address various issues in unique, creative ways. T-shirt packaging – for instance – is an art for itself. So if you’re looking for another “I’m with stupid” slogan shirt – that’s fine, but here you’ll be given some facts about designer T-shirts in form of physical T-shirt review.

T-shirt sample

Recently I was offered to review Unleash Studio T-shirt of my choice by Melissa Rivera, the creative force behind this independent clothing company and designer studio from Honolulu, Hawaii. No ukulele, no lei this time. Melissa rather designs  her tees driven by the love for animals (not in some weird way, though – shame on you for thinking like that)! I chose “Rock Chick” T-shirt in green (it comes in grey, too). Two weeks later Unleash parcel found my doors.

  • Packaging – shirt was packed in plain envelope, but it had big Unlesah logo printed on it, which I find nice. Of course not all T-shirts you order  online need to have unique packaging, but adding such details says much about the professional approach of the company.
  • Overall impression upon unpacking shirt seemed very nice with dominating design and a lot of details, such as company tags and additional prints. It also appeared a bit longer than I expected, but I was warned about it before shirt was sent (later I’ll talk more about it).
  • T-shirt typedesign is printed on American Apparel T-shirt, a brand which is well-known for it’s outstanding quality. It’s a 100% combed cotton shirt which needs to be washed first in order to shrik (it’s not a preshrunk one) and it’s fitted athletic / slim. It’s also of medium thickness.

When worn shirt feels very comfortable, soft and light. You should always ask about those kind of things when you’re ordering T-shirts online because you simply don’t want to invest your bucks into something you wouldn’t feel comfortable in.

Rock Chick T-shirt by Unleash Studio

Rock Chick T-shirt by Unleash Studio - detail

T-shirt design

As I’ve stated before – this design is called “Rock Chick” and is just one of the designs from Unleash “animal series”, which also features “DJ Shark”, “Skateboarder Squirrel”, “Winged Elephant” and “Seahorse Knight” (plus some other combinations). It comes printed on green or grey shirts in both men and women styles (“Standard American” is American Apparel unisex line).

  • Creativity aspects – coming from a schooled and a very talented designer no wonder this design looks so great. Having an eye for a detail, Melissa Rivera adds some technology items to the body of this mohawked chick, which might address the latest (sad) human interventions into animal bodies. Chicken is standing on a guitar and it feels like it’s playing it using fingerpicking… umm, I meant – clawpicking style.  To spice it up a little Melissa colored  a mohawk into flaring green.
  • Details – having an eye for details is one thing, but applying that to your product is another. This T-shirt is filled with details, but luckily – not in a blatant way. There is a back print just above the lower edge of a tee, which features all the designs from Unleash “animal series”. There is also Unleash logo printed on the right sleeve, plus a sewn-in inwrought Unleash logo tag at the lower edge on front of a shirt. Since I’m a sucker for details I give this shirt the highest rating.
  • Print method – design is applied to the shirt using screen printing, which is  probably the most used method of  T-shirt printing. This  printing method – among other things – guarantees you longer durability of design / colors.

When buying a T-shirt you might want to think about what does the design says for itself. Is it perhaps representing your standpoint on something? Will  people react to the ironic approach of a design (I don’t mean iron-ed on / heat-transferred design)? Or you like it just because it looks great, so you hope you’ll look great in it? If so – keep on hoping!

Seriously – the design and the way it is done (both designed and printed / applied) is the crucial aspect of chosing your new T-shirt because of  both  uniqueness and persistence of colors.

Rock Chick T-shirt by Unleash Studio

Rock Chick T-shirt by Unleash Studio - back print

Other T-shirt facts

Here are some other facts about this T-shirt.

  • Sizing – this shirt is sized L and I usually wear M. I was warned I should order one size bigger because of the slim fit and because the shirt is not preshrunk. Pictures here are taken after I washed the shirt, so it shrunk a little.
  • Maintance – shirt should be machine washed cold and tumble dried low. This prevents the distortion of design / colors.
  • Additional items – there was Unleash cardboard tag attached to a neck tag. Shirt also came with a fyler which features all designs from Unleash “animal series” and states the importance of animals in our lives.
  • Price – This shirt is priced $20.00 (plus shipping), which is a middle-range price. It’s also very affordable if you know how well and detailed it is done, especially when some clothing companies charge double their uninventive designs.  Plus the shirt itself is of great quality. Sometimes you just want to pay a little extra in order to get the right quality and also something no one else has… well, at least not that many people.
Rock Chick T-shirt by Unleash Studio - sleeve and tag

Rock Chick T-shirt by Unleash Studio - sleeve and tag


Unleash Studio managed to create a great looking T-shirt with cool T-shirt design which is both funny and creative,  while addressing the important issue (human treatment of animals). Shirt feels very comfortable and soft, it’s easy to maintain and the price is affordable, having in mind creativity and execution aspects. You might wanna check for the right sizing because of the  slim fit, though.

Make sure you check Unleash Studio official website because it features Melissa Rivera’s wonderfuly designed useful items, such as skateboard shelves, dog-shaped night lamps and robot desktop helpers.

Like this shirt? Find this article useful? Think I missed something? Please take a sec and leave your comment below – I’d really love to hear your opinion!

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San Francisco based art apparel and accessories line Upper Playground is releasing a collection of four t-shirts designed by artist Alex Pardee, who worked for bands – among others – The Used and In-Flames .  Fresh off of opening a pop-up shop in San Francisco for his partner brand, Zerofriends, Alex has delivered four t-shirts – Hellraiser, Spider Ram, The Carpenters, and The Second Hugging –  exclusively to Upper Playground that all stay true to Alex’s twisted animation style.

Alongside the release of the tees, Upper Playground and Alex Pardee are offering an opportunity to snag some limited edition giclee prints – the first 15 purchases of each of the four t-shirts in the Upper Playground online store will receive a corresponding giclee print of the design starting on 10/7/10.  The giclee prints measure 5″ x 7″ and are printed with archival inks on velvet cotton rag paper – each print is extremely limited to a quantity of 15 and is hand-signed and numbered by Alex Pardee.  All four t-shirts are available exclusively at the Upper Playground webstore and at Upper Playground retail locations.

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A while ago, Richard of art & design community ArtyBuzz.com asked me if I would be interested in being a judge for their new T-shirt contest. I liked the idea right away, so I’m happy to inform you that the contest is up and running! As Richard says: “the contest is open to anyone, and there is both a cash prize and opportunities for getting some great exposure for the winner”! You can enter the contest and read the rules here.

Contest lasts until 1st of June, when I (khm, khm…) will choose a winner. So, if you wanna bride me – shoot me an email with your offer. Just kidding 😉 And to give you more info on ArtyBuzz.com – it’s an art & design community which allows you to sell your art (paintings, photograps, illustrations, even sculptures and digital art), buy canvas art prints and unique T-shirts, among other things. I browsed ArtyBuzz T-shirt section and I found some really nice tee designs:

ArtyBuzz only prints on fitted Fruit Of The Loom shirts, using a heat transfer printing method, which guarantees you great looking shirts with high quality, fade-resistand prints. So, all of you who are into creating cool designs which would look great on tees – go ahead and enter ArtyBuzz.com contest – this is your chance to shine, beautiful people!

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Being truly original and “on your own” among all those indie T-shirt / clothing labels out there may turn into a search of the Holy Grail for some. Fortunately, NY-based clothing line Nieuw Haarlem seem to found their own signature – so to say – creating dynamic, colorful and history / art inspired designs, which for sure puts them among one of the best young labels in that category (at least that’s my opinion).

Rather than creating tons of merchandise items destined to lay on their shelves, these two brothers and their sister – who make Nieuw Haarlem – decided to create universal designs which are suitable to wear almost everywhere. You can easily see that Nieuw Haarlem designs are based around symbols / icons, so I’m sure each one of them have it’s own story (some of their slogans  are “Every Man Must Act In The Rhythm Of His Time”, “Such Is Wisdom”, “The Ancient Proverb”). In spite of using a lot of colors, I especially like that they’ve decided not to go “flourescent”, like so many other tee labels nowadays, but rather use somewhat “washed” colors – at least their shirts don’t look like they’re going to eat you.

Among regular tees, guys at Nieuw Haarlem also create hooded sweatshirts, and hope to one day set up a women line. The good thing is – they now have a sale, so you can spare a few bucks on each item in their online shop.

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