Monthly Archives: October 2008

I Beat Up Ashley Todd (A dishonest t-shirt)

Ashley Todd T-Shirt

A part of me believes that anyone who triviliazes the sacred institution of democracy by making a political t-shirt that satirizes, idolizes or takes advantage of a presidential candidacy is going straight to hell. So if I’m going to make one now, it might as well be the douchiest most offensive thing possible, right?

In case you aren’t aware, Ashley Todd filed a false police report claiming to have been a victim of a racially and politically motivated attack.

Obama T-Shirt Roundup

With almost two weeks to go before the election, it’s about time for me to do a full roundup of campaign t-shirts for each candidate. I will start with Obama, given the overwhelming amount of e-mail and comments I have received. Every day people are buying Obama shirts, desiging them, getting suspended from school because of them, and even getting shot with BB guns for wearing them. Before I begin, I’ll make a brief disclaimer that this round-up isn’t comprehensive, and there are thousands of shirts that didn’t make this list, in fact some really good ones. I also want to thank everyone who’s emailed me with their submissions.The Best

Obama Superman T-Shirt
Yes We Can Obama T-Shirt
    • An inspired and inspirational design, Audacity from Enstru-Mental relates another one of Obama’s campaign slogans.
Yes We Can Obama T-Shirt
    • There is no doubt this election has been closely watched from all corners of the globe, and Yes We Can attempts to translate Obama’s message into at least thirteen languages. Knowing how diverse this blog’s readership is, I think that many of you will find these shirts interesting.
Yes We Can Obama T-Shirt
Obama Hope T-Shirt
    • I would be hard pressed not to include the iconic Hope by Shepard Fairey, even though I am not sure if you can still buy an official version. You can try finding one on Ebay, or here.
Bros Before Hoes T-Shirt
    • Like it or not, “Bros Before Hoes captures one of the more significant aspects of the 2008 election.
Yes We Can Obama T-Shirt
  • “Obama is my Homeboy” was one of the earliest Obama t-shirts. They also had one for Hillary and just about anyone else you could think of.

Honorable Mentions

  • Obamarad – This only goes to show that three young, politically minded individuals can do it all themselves, whilke supporting their candidate of choice in the process.
  • Y Label Clothing has several artsy Obama designs for sale.
  • Do You Smell What Barack Is Cooking? There have been many puns made on Barack Obama’s name, and this is as good as any of them.
  • Prez Dispencer is a foray into t-shirt design by fellow blogger Karl Long of tcritic. He has also started compiling a list of his favorite Obama shirts which has little overlap with mine, so be sure check it out for even more Obama designs.
  • Gobama shows that In the age of Cafepress, all you need to start selling t-shirts online is a decent idea and some rudimentary design skills.
  • Obama Speech Shirt by LA Pop Art. The makers of this shirt specialize in similar designs which utilize text to create shape and value changes, like this Scarface tee.

The Head Scratchers

Some of the more entertaining t-shirts are often those you would never be caught dead wearing. With that in mind, here are some tees that either went too far, or didn’t go far enough.

  • Regulate the Banks – Whenever anyone makes a concerted effort to create something, I believe it to be a positive, even if the end result falls short of success. This is why I never like to rag on someone else’s t-shirt making attempts (anything that involves Mike Hunt notwithstanding). Ultimately, this shirt is underdesigned, and it conveys a muddied message by virtue of combining two disparate issues.
  • Obama Ride – This is definitely a headscratcher in the purest sense of the term. It is a strange caricature of Mr. McCain carrying a hot-dog wielding Mr. Obama on his shoulders, presumably to the White House. The only possible explanation is that this shirt is made by an artist commune, which I think is pretty much the case.
  • SuperBadTees – Dare I say… underdesigned? (NSFW)
  • Pop Goes Obama – I happen to think that copying the whole Marilyn Monroe “pop art” motif just doesn’t make any sense nowadays. Not only because it’s formulaic, but because Warhol’s ideas lose their value without their context. Besides, the colors used are just hideous.

Anti-Obama

  • Obama Antichrist – Coming from T-Shirt Hell, this shirt is pretty much an endorsement, although for some religious fundamentalists it may represent a very real fear. For what it’s worth, “Half Honkey, All Donkey” is now gone from T-Shirt Hell.
  • Nobama (keep the change) – “Nobama” has been one of the most common campaign slogans on the McCain trail. This one does it with a clever twist.
  • The Man, The Myth, The Legend. I’ve written about ThoseShirts in the past, and while I don’t agree with some of their heavy-handed slogans, I do suspect that plenty of conservatives find their shirts spot on.
  • I wrote about the Obama/Curious George tee in an earlier post.
  • Jews Against Obama. Ok, so the wheels are really starting to come off the wagon. If you are interesting in knowing more about this $200 shirt go here and here, but don’t read into things too much.

That’s it for Obama. Stay tuned for Palin and McCain t-shirts soon, which should be a lot easier since there won’t be nearly as many shirts to sift through. If you’d like to receive e-mail updates every time I make a new post you can subscribe by email. As always, feel free to add to this list in the comments.

Lick Bush in '88

Lick Bush in '88 T-Shirt

One of the favorite images on my computer is this outdated campaign t-shirt, referencing the 1988 presidential election. I grabbed it from an eBay auction years ago, and now I wish I had grabbed the shirt. It’s something I like to call a political anachronism, taking a shirt with long lost political meaning, and re-purposing it for it’s inherent irony and quaint nostalgia.

One t-shirt site that seems to share my affinity for the past is Retro Campaigns.  You won’t find any Obama or Palin there just yet, but can you really go wrong with someone like J.F.K.?  Heck, they might even let you wear it to the polls.

Foreign Tees, Engrish Edition

Play Back That T-Shirt
Swimming To You

First off, I’d like to apologize to anyone who might find the title offensive. What really interests me about this topic is how t-shirts designs can be different, or stay the same as you look at different countries. For every This Is How I Roll, there is Play Back That and Swimming To You. Clearly, there’s a lot of attention and creativity applied to these shirts, as Wikipedia explains:

For the same reasons that a Chinese character or a Japanese Kanji tattoo seems “exotic” to many in the West, Asians may appreciate English words or gibberish for its aesthetic appeal alone; straight lines, frequent symmetry, and the unembellished curves of Latinate letters may all appeal to Asian senses of aesthetics and balance.

With this in mind, I’m wondering where some of you are from. I’ve checked last month’s logs, and I’m seeing a bunch of visitors from Sweden, Australia, and Ukraine (which is where I was born). Of course the majority of my visitors I believe are from the United States, which is where this blog is based.