Yay! August is here and I've got loads of new goodies to share!
Firstly, these tees come in the following colors for both guys and girls:
I had to go with black since it was just too classic and clean to pass up, but on the other hand, I've been wanting to do a purple tee for LF, so this seemed like a great design to use. Oh, and "Keith" is also available on black pullover AA hoodies:
I know it's probably still a little warm for most folks to be donning these things, but fall is just around the corner and instead of holding these back till then, I figured I might go for them early and let people pick them up now. That being the case, I've only got a dozen or so in each size, so grab em while they last!
Lastly, check out the new "Dotted" Hoodie!
As you can see, I'm having a bit of an obsession with the whole black & white thing, though I have made a few changes from the original. Most notably, I've stuck a giant pair of scissors on the front and moved the main print to the back. The cheesy puns, you might imagine, are endless with this thing (ie, "Hey, looking sharp!" "Don't run with those!" "Aren't you on the cutting edge?"), but I am confident that it's still cool enough to win a few purchases...
posted by Mr. Linty @ 11:01 PM, ,
This week's been crazy, and it's not even for the new releases coming out tomorrow night!
In typical fashion, I have my hands in like 5 bajillion things at a time, probably more than I really need to be dealing with right now. The biggest thing has to do with wholesaling. I finally released a catalog and order form to a handful of vendors in different countries who've asked about my products in the past. A few of them have replied with their order requests, so juggling all these numbers and working up a print schedule so they can have all their tees is NUTS. The good news is that for my customers this means that a bunch of things are going to be restocked soon, including some things that I didn't expect to be able to offer, like Epidemic and the original version of The Most Fantastic Things (on green!). So that's an upside.
Things are steadily growing, too. I've finally had to expand operations in the house to the garage for extra storage, in light of all the hoodies that have been arriving (oops, did I say too much? :D). But growth is good, just crazy, unpredictable, and a little scary.
Anyways, apart from all the wholesale business taking place, I've been concentrating a little more on this show I've got coming up in Chicago. It's only 5 weeks away and I still feel pretty ill-prepared for it. The good thing is that I've done it before and I've got most everything I need, except for a few display things to accommodate new products like the hoodies.
But another thing that I've been really stoked about getting done is this crazy display gimmick that I thought up a couple months back when I first heard about this next show. Basically I want to build a fake washing machine for the roof of my tent. It'll be printed on flat sheets of styrene plastic (done by my old boss) which I'll then screw together with angle brackets. I'm also working on stitching together these giant 13-foot long tentacles which will stick out of the sides (where the holes are).
Here's what it'll look like before assembled:
Anyways, I got a quote on it and hopefully I can get it printed and assembled next week or the week after. Pics will follow!
posted by Mr. Linty @ 11:56 PM, ,
Thoughts on branding
As I think I've mentioned on this blog before, what really got me into the tshirt scene was Threadless. I think I submitted somewhere between 20-25 shirts within a few months, and one of the reasons I was so drawn to the place was that it abandoned the "brand" mentality. I'd always hated shopping for tees and having nothing but logos and brand names to pick from. It seemed that not wanting to wear "NIKE" "ADIDAS" "QUIKSILVER" or "EZEKIEL" tees meant I was right out of luck when it came to tee shopping. And that was always a bummer, because I didn't really want to pay someone to advertise for them.
Threadless, on the other hand, offered a brand-less designing environment. There were no company names to be found in the designs, and on top of that the tees were very reasonably priced. So when I finally started Linty Fresh in 2006, I felt that sticking to this mentality was smart; I kept "Linty Fresh" off of the shirts' designs and focused on the graphics themselves. Besides, with LF I wanted to experiment a LOT stylistically, developing my design skills as I tried new things with each shirt. In short, I was trying to become a mini-Threadless.
The problem, of course, was that Threadless has hundreds (maybe thousands at this point) of designers working for them. This represents countless hours of experience in and exposure to styles I'd never even seen (let alone master). So I could only go so far. In the end, if my shirts were just about the designs, folks might as well go someplace else, because I simply couldn't compete with these huge teams of professional artists. So I decided to take another look at branding.
What makes a brand? It's not just a logo, or a typeface, or some catchy slogan. A brand is a style. It's little pieces that add up to create a look. And in order to do that, consistency is important. Every element must add up to strengthen the overall image of the brand. And the best brands (or at least the most noteworthy ones) are the those that create a unique look. The problem with the mega brands out there is that they can be lumped together in genres and their stuff looks the same. (ROXY, QUIKSILVER, BILLABONG, RIPCURL = surf, NIKE, REEBOK, ADIDAS = sport, etc) So if I were to go about creating my own brand, I'd have to figure out a niche I wanted to create, and really create a look for it.
Well, that was 8 months ago, and I've still got lots of work to do, but I do feel that it's given me important direction with Linty Fresh up to this point. And from time to time I get emails from people who are starting their own clothing lines, and I tell them the same thing: Create a brand. The trick, of course, is in how and when to brand. Branding does not mean slapping your logo some some different colored tees and jacking up prices. It takes a lot of thought and refining, and ultimately (as I said earlier), creating a look.
posted by Mr. Linty @ 9:11 AM, ,
Today Linty Fresh is being featured on shirt.woot.com's "side deal".
Check it out for a special 15% coupon!
posted by Mr. Linty @ 9:15 AM, ,
Pattern & mo'
New patterny loveliness and I am excited.
Excited because I chatted with one of my printers (the guy that's doing my mailers & boxes) and we talked about some new project ideas. For the longest time ever I've wanted to get wallets done, but the screenprinting thing just looked terrible to me, and when I contacted some people that do the kind of wallets I like, they never wrote back. So I started considering doing them from scratch. And that's where my printer came in. He's got a UVR printer and can print on banner vinyl. The vinyl can then be sent here, where I'll hire my mom and possibly a few other seamstresses to cut and sew the pieces together. The finished product should be pretty awesome looking.
Anyways, the pattern up top is for the inside of the wallet (he'll be printing both sides of the vinyl.
So yeah, I'm stoked. I'm also going to try to do some vinyl sketchbook/notebook covers. Should be great!
posted by Mr. Linty @ 12:12 AM, ,
Blue Skies Don't Mean Nothin'
I submitted this to Woot last night. They emailed me again this week about doing a design for them, so I thought I should probably get on it. This is the first design I've submitted for printing on any other site than my own since LF opened in February 06. I normally turn these kinds of requests down, but Woot has been awesome in featuring my work in the past, and they're a bunch of really awesome people! Plus, the cash will be nice if it gets accepted, and if not, it'd be a lovely tee addition to LF. Win-win!
A quick glance at the midday sky told the pilots everything they'd hoped; the breeze was gentle and the air clear. Had it not been for their roaring turbines charging for flight, they'd have even heard the song of a local flock of birds roosting in a tree just beyond the airstrip.
It was, according to all available indicators, a perfect day for flying.
Unfortunately, these indicators were not set to monitor the strange weather patterns brewing in Leesville, South Carolina, an hour west of the pilots' pleasant training spot. These anomalous conditions would eventually spawn a monstrous and deadly cyclone, which one local corn farmer would describe as doing more damage than "th' time ol' Manny McCann fell asleep on th'combine".
And actually, the corn farmers had it easy; only the tip of the devilish cyclone's tail ever touched ground, and sparingly at that.
The real damage was done thousands of feet into the sky, where the chaotic helix of writhing air devoured the crew of pilots, thrashing them in their cockpits before they could eject to safety.
And as the last pilot, Chuck Spear, felt the air escape from his lungs and watched his plane, Enora Ivy, peeled away like a banana skin, he thought to himself, "Well Ah'll be, blue skies don't mean nothin' no more..."
posted by Mr. Linty @ 8:43 AM, ,
I'm pleased to announce that Linty Fresh will be an official vendor at Renegade Chicago on September 13 & 14. I'm ultra excited about this one!
To be completely honest, I was feeling super nervous about the whole thing yesterday. It was July 11th, the last day of notifications from the staff of the show. I had a bad feeling that since it was down to the wire, there was a chance I would be getting turned down. Fortunately not! The email actually came in this morning, and I was dancing around my computer when I read it!
There's a few fun ideas that I'm throwing around for this show, too, that I think will make it uber special. Specifically (without being too specific), my tent display. One thing that I had really wanted to do for my show here in Atlanta last month was to go crazy with the actual tent top of my booth, painting it or stenciling it and making it really stand out from the rest. As it turned out, I ran out of time (and energy), and I opted for a simple banner instead. Actually, it's more than likely that my tent won't be getting any coats of paint for this Chicago show, but if I can swing it, I will be doing a crazy piece of "artistic decoration" for the booth. ... Stay tuned...
In other news [that I can't fully reveal, sorry], my custom packaging is currently in production in Philly, PA. I'm actually using a new printer for this, but so far he's been excellent in working out problems with me and has been very cooperative in entertaining my ideas. It's so important to have this kind of working relationship with folks, and I'm really privileged to be able to work with these guys. Best of all, they should go into production tomorrow or Monday, which means I'll get to see some photos pretty soon! I'll post em up here, too, if they don't give everything away... :D
posted by Mr. Linty @ 9:15 PM, ,
Well, this is turning out to be a lot tougher than I imagined.
And, as usual, I've got no one to blame but myself.
So it started off with this idea to do custom packaging. I've been using blank Tyvek mailers for the last 2 years, and although they're ideal for shipping (lightweight, strong, and cheap), I've begun to feel the itch to customize this step of the process (as I'm gradually doing with everything).
The first idea was simple - the LF logo stamped on the face of the package. Easy. Done. Practical, simple, and a good way to make the name a bit more prominent, but... Boring. And a little lame. My next idea was to do a pattern. Initially this was going to be the same pattern that I've got on the header for the store banner, but unfortunately I lost the high res version of this when my hard drive crashed a few months ago, and it'd be a super pain to redraw all the pieces...
And what about boxes? With more and more folks ordering more than just a single tee, it's become sensible to start shipping things off in something bigger. And boxes mean more sides to design/print on.
With this in mind, I set out to do a package design that'd make full use of the 3-dimensionality of a box. I'm gonna keep the actual designs veiled until the whole packaging line is released (probably September), but in the meantime, you can get a little hint from the pic.
posted by Mr. Linty @ 10:34 PM, ,