Planet Money Makes a T-shirt

NPR Planet Money T-Shirt

NPR’s Planet Money is tracing the manufacturing process of a t-shirt from the very beginning.

It all started with a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $half million.

They met garment workers, sea captains, customs officials and cotton farmers along the way.

Check out video from their journey, listen to the podcast and watch Alex Blumberg (whose voice This American Life listeners will recognize) on Colbert.

Beyond the merits of the story itself, this is a great case study for story-telling across media, and the power of a story to sell a product. I’m not particularly keen on the design, but the more I follow their journey, the more I want it.

Behind “Bikes are Bisexual”

The idea for my newest tee design came to me right after a bike ride. It just kind of spilled out. I said the phrase out loud, chuckled, paused, pondered and laughed again.

I’m still not sure what it means, but I like that the two words share the “bi.” And if bicycles could develop sexual preferences, I like to think they would be all inclusive.

To actually construct the design, I first cut out the letters with black paper and scissors. I laid them all out on the floor, picked the good ones and swapped out the weird ones:

Next, I scanned in all the letters and played around with different layouts in Photoshop…

I wanted the final design to look transparent, so I added a bunch of white dots to the letters using Photoshop’s pointillize filter….

The black and white image above is inverted on the actual screen: the white in the photo below allows ink to pass through; the gray part is the emulsion which holds back the ink when pulled.

Here’s a closeup of a portion of the design printed on an actual tee-shirt. Notice how you can actually see the tee-shirt through the red ink. With each pull, the dots will “hit or miss” in a completely different way. Sometimes you’ll be able to see more shirt, through the letters, sometimes less. That’s what makes it unique!

And here’s the final product!

Bikes are Bisexual on {etsy}

Bikes are Bisexual

Fleshing out a new design… what do you think?

Which do you like the best?


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