Beethoven design, Part III

Adding "Linty Fresh" is a decision that's come after much deliberation. On the one hand, I've got this idealist side of me that wants to keep the company name off of the shirts. See, part of the reason I started this whole thing was because I was tired of wearing the usual brands that you see everyone else with. I wanted to do something unique. But the thing is, being too different is probably going to have the opposite effect on LF. There's got to be something there to tie the shirts together, to make them somewhat of a cohesive set. And it isn't going to be the style, because my goal in all of this is to work in a new style with each design. So it's gotta be the brand. Thing is, I don't have to do it as blatantly as I have with this design. More often than not, it'll probably be more like UPC, where "Linty Fresh" is hidden somewhere in the design, encouraging the viewer to take a closer look. It could be, like, the "Where's Waldo?" of aparrel...

But I digress...The Beethovan design still needs work. I'm not 100% on that pattern in his face and there's a few other things bugging me.


posted by Mr. Linty @ 10:11 PM, ,

Beethoven design, Part II

Ok, so here's the second phase of the new Beethoven design.

Like I said earlier, I did end up changing to a mostly blue color sheme with white and pink/magenta accents. I also changed the positions of some stuff, like the speakers at the bottom. Also flipped the microphone for a little better balance. Added a second equalizer thing and made it into a crown too.

Looking at this now I realize that those dark blue speaker-swirls behind the crown are awkward looking, so that'll get deleted with this next revision. And I think the first equalizer is unnecessary... I'd like to put something behind/in his head to really bring that to the forefront, too. Right now those speakers are taking center stage with the white/dark blue contrast.

So I guess I'm still not totally satisfied, but I've got some more ideas...


posted by Mr. Linty @ 5:33 PM, ,

Beethoven design, Part I

Lately I've been a little drained in terms of inspiration. The trouble with it all is my job. I work at a small shop near Atlanta that specializes in designing and printing signs for big businesses. Actually, calling what I do "design" is arguable. It basically boils down to kerning and leading and making sure these rectangles are the right distance from those rectangles and matching the colors approved by the Almighty Corporation.

Not that I'm complaining! Work is work and I'm fortunate enough to do something that actually relates to my desired field. But all that shifting, spacing, and dragging quickly gets me to the point of not wanting to touch anything related to digital design, even if it's something cool and artsy. And so my twenty or so unfinished tshirt designs sit stagnant in a file on my home computer. Needless to say, when I do get a bit of motivation, I seize it and ride the wave for however long it lasts.

For awhile now I've been wanting to do a music-related design. As the only designer for Linty Fresh, the shirts have naturally become a reflection of me: my interests, my concerns, my musings, my humor. I guess that sounds a little narcissistic, but it's really not meant to be... Honest. Anyhow, I wanted to do a shirt themed around music because, well, duh, I like music a lot.

So here's the first stage of the design. The colors are most certainly going to change (what, you don't like neon-green and banana?), but this gives you a [very!] rough idea of where I'm headed. Sort of neo-noveau meets street art (which I'm incidentally REALLY into at the moment). Plus it's got Beethoven, so that's gotta account for something, right?

I'll update with new images as this progresses...


posted by Mr. Linty @ 9:28 PM, ,

Overflux commission

Hellooo there.

So there's this "hot-off-the-press-trepidity" phenomenon that I've been experiencing for awhile now. It's the strangest thing: new tshirt designs always sell slow until the next design comes out. It's like people are wary of the shirts being... I dunno, poisonous or something. Very odd. Any ideas?

The traffic always picks up for the new shirts, though, so that's fun to observe. A good percent of that traffic comes from blog sites like this one that will review and feature tees that are sent to them for free. It's a rather clever business model. Virtually no overhead and they get free merchandise. Plus they've got ads, so that's probably generating some income. I've thought of putting ads on my site, but I doubt I'll ever do it. It might make a little extra cash, but even with targeted advertising like Google Adsense, it just looks like clutter to me. Of course, maybe I'll regret it when I'm on the street in the dead of winter trying to peddle my shirts from a carboard box shelter.

I guess I shouldn't be so much of an idealist.

In addition to shipping shirts out, I occasionally recieve shirts. A couple of days ago I got this one in the mail from a southeast-based parkour site, Overflux. Although I'm not as avid a practicioner of the sport as in times past, I try to keep active as a designer in the parkour world, doing illustrations, graphics, animations, and, obviously, tshirts. Anyhow, several months ago I was commissioned to do this one. I would've liked to have been a little more daring with the art and the colors, but so it goes with clients.


posted by Mr. Linty @ 9:57 PM, ,

By the way...

Oh hey, I totally forgot to mention something earlier about the new shirt. I actually did some research on barcodes before doing the design and learned that there are lots of different kinds of barcodes these days, including ones that use circles, dots, and stars. But in the more classic, UPC (universal product code) style, there are two sets of five numbers beaneath the barcode split by a space where some of the bars stretch to the bottom. This is the style that I used for the shirt (hence the name!), specifically because of the amount of numbers in each set. Indeed, the numbers have significance...

Hint: predictive text, my friends!

Ah, and while we're on the subject of barcodes and their visceral coolness, check out this site.

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posted by Mr. Linty @ 10:47 PM, ,

"UPC" Photoshoot!

First off, I just have to say that we went to Alabama. It was totally unintentional and lasted for only seven minutes or so, but still! I'd never been there before, so it was kind of a big deal for me. I'm one of those people that will buy a burger at an airport McDonalds on a one-hour layover just because I'm in Austin and I want a receipt to prove it. It's silly that something dictated by invisible lines in the dirt should have such a profound effect of me, but it does. So that's why I got this shot of a sticker shaped like Alabama on a gas station pump. Incidentally, the gas station was on the same lot as a fireworks shop. Uh, alrighty.

Well as I mentioned, our quick visit to Alabama was totally unplanned. I accidentally missed the turn-off to highway 185 from 85, slipping right accross the state line. Sadly, that wasn't the only mistake of the day. Somehow I actually managed to forget the shirts and had to turn back. Next, I forgot the directions, but fortunately we were able to get them at Nico's place (the hoodie-d one). Still, apparently it wasn't enough.

Anyhow, I lost all kinds of valuable time being forgetful and as a result we completely missed going on the actual safari, which was really BAD NEWS after driving 97.05 miles. But no padlocks were going to stop us at this point, so we piled out in our matching zebra shirts and pleaded with the few remaining employees to let us in.

The conversation when a little like this:
Employee: Sorry guys, park closed at 4:30, you're too late.
Brandon: But we came all the way from Georgia!
Employee: This is Georgia...
Brandon: Barely!
Employee: I'm sorry, the gates are locked.
Brandon: Don't you all have keys?
Employee: No. The monkeys... stole them. Go home guys. I'm sorry, but I can't let you in.
Brandon: Now wait a minute sir, let me explain: see our shirts? Well, we are (suddenly erupting into song) ZEBRA FREEEEAKS. We love zebras. Love em! Everything we own pretty much is only black and white.
Employee: Uh...
Brandon: You see your little fleet of vans? Pathetic! The rainbow brigade!
Employee: Ok, what is it that you want? An application?
Brandon: No. We want to buy a zebra.
Employee: We don't deal animals! This isn't a PET SHOP. And you drove here in a Camry...
Brandon: I could ride it back, you know, break it in and all.
Employee: Absolutely not!
Brandon: Well ok. Can we just see some though?
Employee: ...
Brandon: C'mon man...from one Georgian to another...
Employee: But-
Brandon: Look, let's put our differences aside for a moment. So we like zebras, you probably don't-I see you're wearing many colors. But we've been traveling for... days, I think. We got lost in Alabama, even. Can you imagine filling up with unleaded on the same grounds as untold amounts of gunpowder? Please realize that the path to this point has been treacherous and awful, and this cruel penalty for our tardiness is only compounding the tragic pain of our crushed dreams.

Yeah, there was some minor dramatization in there, but I'm standing behind the "crushed dreams" part as being the kicker for us finally seeing some zebra action. Although they wouldn't fetch the key, they agreed to dispatch a park attendant that stood with us at the main entrance "WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP"ing. In just minutes there were a flood of creatures washing over the hills at us, including half a dozen zebras!

So in the end it turned out ok. Sure, it wasn't the image I had in my head of us riding the backs of majestic zebras through a bamboo jungle with barcode scanners in our hands, but the vans sufficed. And hey, we didn't pay a dime for admission and probably saw more than any other visitors that day.

Now doesn't all that effort just build your appreciation for this shirt to the point of making a purchase?


posted by Mr. Linty @ 11:10 PM, ,

Ooooh man, I'm beat

I've driven about 250 miles today on an adventure that involved two separate southern states and wild animals. Nevertheless, I mustered the last bits of energy to photoshop the needed pics for the new shirt, UPC.

So it's up. Oh, and I did a few hoodies and girly tees, so let your cold/female friends know what's up. Ok, so I'm going to have to do the whole safari write up tomorrow, becuase I'm nodding off as I typppee....

posted by Mr. Linty @ 12:36 AM, ,

Trebek says hi

Last week I said that I would have the shirts up by Friday of this week (Dec 15), but I'm going to try my best to release it on Thursday evening (Dec 14). I'm thinking that the photoshoot really shouldn't take all that long, maybe till 5:30 or so, and by the time I get home all I've got left to do is get the pictures loaded and open the product page. Usually I get the page all set up and ready to go a week before I actually get the shirts. I get the shirt-design image placed perfectly, I make up the various thumbnails, and do the little write up. It's actually a really fun process for me. I guess I'm kind of a dork that way. I dunno, something about having it all set up on the backend of the site, ready to go, and then hitting that "Activate" button. It makes me feel powerful.

So you're probably wondering what the deal is with the image of Alex Trebek. Well, it has to do with a coupon that I've just set up on Linty Fresh. See, you have to figure out a puzzle in order to use the coupon. And the puzzle has to do with the new shirt coming out. The puzzle is:

In the method of scientific classification used by biologists to name species of organisms, what order does the zebra belong to?

One word, no caps. If you get it, you'll get three bucks off your order. And you'll feel a little smarter, probably. Mr. Trebek would be proud.


posted by Mr. Linty @ 1:51 PM, ,

Shout out to Customink

I'd like to take a brief moment to show some appreciation for Customink, whom I currently use to print my shirts. They're a giant printery of miscellaneous items based in Kentucky. I've never known anyone in Kentucky, but based on this company's merits alone, I'm going to set a goal to start forming friendships with people in that area, because I bet they'd be cool. So far, 5 of the 6 runs I've done for Linty Fresh has been through Customink, with the exception of Nuclear Moonlight. For this shirt, I decided to experiment with another printery, which was a good deal cheaper. Well, they say that you get what you pay for, and that was most definitely the case with this. Instead of being professional about the process and getting my approval along the way, they made a lot of assumptions about how I wanted things done.

For example, placement.

To date I've been somewhat coservative with the placement of my designs. Of course, as I get a little more daring and restless, this'll probably change, but as it stands I feel that going standard is a good choice. This is what I had in mind for Nuclear Moonlight. But when the shirts arrived at my doorstep I was appalled to find that the printers had gotten it completely wrong. The design was 5 inches too low! Instead of an intriguing desert scene encased in dead trees, it looked more like an Xray of my bowels.

Minutes later I was on the phone with an apologetic sales rep, who assured me that they'd fix it immediately. This was good, I guess, but his remarks preceding this promise made me want to shoot lasers from my eyes:
"Yeah, you know man, I remember these shirts coming off the line and I had, like, seen the original design file, and I was all like, 'woah, they're way too low,' but I didn't really say anything or anything."
Suddenly I was back in first grade, but instead of being one of the students I was the frazzled teacher with the eye-twitch, scrambling to make sense of the firecrackers going off in the hamster cage, but every kid I looked to for answers was busy eating play-doh.

He went on to rationalize the decision behind the placement, explaining that the guys who actually do the printing are taught to align the screens to a certain point-the top corner of the design. Well shoot, that doesn't work for Nuclear Moonlight, does it? The top corner is the tip of a giant branch, so if you start with that, the rest of the design is going to sit on your intestinal track. As if further explanation would convince me that everything was ok, he had me put my right hand on my heart and explained that wherever the tip of my pinky was, that's where they put the top corner of the design, and the rest of it is just "whatever". I felt like countering by telling him to put his right hand in front of his head, curl it to a fist, and then lunge at it with his face, and however he felt afterwards, well, whatever.

Weeks later I got the replacement batch, and now the colors had somehow gotten messed up. Oh, and the "small" shirts were a different brand from the rest. (?!?) Seriously guys, just start making tacos or something, because this whole shirt thing really isn't your game. In any case, at this point it had been three months since I'd come out with a shirt, and I was beyond caring, really. And they weren't that bad, just not what I wanted. Anyhow, after that little escapade I returned, tail between my legs, to Customink. The print quality, customer service, and turnaround time are all excellent. The pricing is a little higher than I'd like, but again, you get what you pay for.

Oh yeah, and the whole reason I wrote this was because the new shirts (+ more!) have arrived 5 days ahead of schedule! Woo!

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posted by Mr. Linty @ 9:42 AM, ,

John Henry and his white tee

For awhile I'd been mulling over the idea of writing an article on "The History of The Tshirt" for the site. The more I thought about it, though, the more daunting the task seemed of doing the actual research involved. My next idea was to just make up all the facts in the article, a strategy I often revert to in these types of situations. But then it occurred to me to just check Wikkipedia under "tshirt". Well today I finally did that.

The most surprising thing I found was how specific it was on tracing back the lineage of the modern tee. According to the article, they've only been popular in the US since their import from Western Europe in the early part of the 20th century. I say "only" because tees seem to be such a basic garment compared to their buckled, buttoned, collared counterparts. In my mind, it's like people inventing castles before inventing bricks. Doesn't it just make sense that some American (a lumberjack in the Ozarks, say) circa mid-1800s would have gotten sick of the protrusions from his shirt neck and inadvertently come up with the idea of the tshirt? What about John Henry? I mean, I know it's folk story and all, but isn't he usually pictured wearing a tshirt? At least that's the way he's portrayed in this comic I found. And we all know that comics are the final authority on most things, especially fashion.

Anyhow, my favorite part of the article was the mention of Matt McCallister, who currently holds the world record for number of tshirts worn (121). (I think that's more shirts than I currently have in stock.) My second favorite part of the article was the completely non-objective statement, "The T-shirt became cool when James Dean wore it in the film Rebel Without a Cause."

Not that I disagree, it's just funny.

Oh, and you can read the full article here.


posted by Mr. Linty @ 3:55 PM, ,


So I'm sure there's a lot of skeptics thinking that this blog will fade into oblivion just as various features of Linty Fresh have, but I'm telling you, this thing is gonna be current. Like, almost clairvoyant current. I mean, you're going to be so much cooler having read this blog. You will know what's up before it's even up. Like, most websites run on html, right, and that stands for hypertext markup language (I think), but with this blog, it'll stand for "has tricked-out my life" because it really will. So you want some proof, right?

Well, put on your safety helmet and buckle up, because you're about to do some crazy head-whipping happy dances... Ready?

New shirts are coming in next week Wednesday, December 13th! Oh, and the awesome doesn't end there, boys and girls, because for the first time ever I'm also printing on American Apparel Girlie Tees and HOODIES! Woah there now! Your skull guts can't take that kind of jostling!

So yeah. But I'm not releasing them in the store until Friday the 15th because I need to get the photoshoot done for the shirts first. And those photos involve a safari. In Atlanta. In December. And they have, among other freezing mammals, a Liger. Woah, they are real.

But what, exactly, would I need to go to a safari for in order to get a product shot? Well go do some beard-stroking over that one, because my lips are sealed.


posted by Mr. Linty @ 5:46 PM, ,


Welcome to the latest from Linty Fresh - the LF blog! Why?

Because some things just fit best in a blog. There's always something happening relating to the site, but I hate to clutter the front page with it. On the other hand, the articles section seems too formal and its format doesn't work for what I'm after. (As a matter of fact, that thing's gone now.) So for the time being, this blog will serve my needs perfectly, providing behind-the-scenes info regarding Linty Fresh including the progression of shirt designs and other projects, write-ups on the adventures behind product shoots, and other interesting little factoids. Best of all, the blog will allow you guys to give me feedback about all this stuff!

Anyhow, welcome and enjoy!

-Eric Terry,
LF owner/manager/designer/shipping director/bladda blah

posted by Mr. Linty @ 4:35 PM, ,