Merry Christmas! Sh#@%er Was Full! – Every time December comes around, I feel the need to watch a number of movies. Probably the top 3 are, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” and “A Christmas Story.”
These movies aren’t especially good, but for some reason they have lodged themselves permanently into pop culture to the point that someone may accuse you of being Al-Qaeda if you hate them.
A Charlie Brown Christmas has a nice “anti-commercial” message, but the irony is that every 3 minutes the movie is interrupted by commercials. (Did you know the original version included product placement by Coca-Cola? After the opening title, Linus originally crashed into a sign for Coca-Cola after being thrown by Snoopy)
I bet 99 out of 100 people who lived through the 80’s can tell you what movie cousin Eddie’s famous lines like, “Merry Christmas, shitter was full!” came from. (But, unlike actual images from the movie it’s not copyrighted, so you can incorporate it into a t-shirt design) A number of online t-shirt stores, including 80s Tees have these, and I’m sure they sell a lot this time of year.
Anyway, whether they are great movies or not, they spark nostalgia in a many of us, enough to the point that we might even buy a t-shirt for a friend or family member to remind them of some laughs we shared years ago. Next time you watch a well known pop culture classic movie, think whether there is t-shirt design material in any of the famous lines! (you serious, Clark?)
more christmas commercialism: harry & david busted tees wolferman’s
Sweet Retro Philly Sports T-Shirts – So, if you didn’t grow up within a 30 mile radius of Philadelphia, I guess you won’t really get it. Actually though, if you are a t-shirt designer, you can still be inspired by these retro philly sports t-shirts:
How is that, you ask? Well, unless you are going to invest the time and money to get permission to use a sport’s team’s name or other trademarks, you’re going to have to be creative in reaching their fans. Enter designs like above. “The Vet“ (Veteran’s Stadium) is the old Philly sports stadium where the Phillies & Eagles used to play, and “The Broad Street Bullies” was the nickname given to the 1970’s team with Bobby Clarke who won the Stanley Cup.
Veteran’s Stadium / Broad Street Bullies t-shirts
Both designs are instantly recognizable by Philly fans, even though the actual team names aren’t used. I, like thousands of others, have tons of nostalgia for The Vet, (even though it’s notoriously poor turf ruined many players’ careers) and even had the rehearsal dinner for my wedding there.
Not only do these designs not blatantly infringe on heavily guarded team trademarks, but they are actually something cool & different from what you’ll find at your local Dick’s Sporting Goods. Plus, I guarantee you’ll get more attention over at Chickie & Pete’s. (If you don’t know, don’t ask)
Retro Veteran’s Stadium T-Shirt – Retro Broad Street Bullies T-Shirt
Ultra Trash t-shirts
double feature t-shirt
Ultra Trash Clothing is a small clothing / t-shirt brand founded in Germany by two graphic designers Florian Baier and Stefan Huebsch. Initially nspired by the American Gindhouse movies, they started designing fake movie shirts and posters. (cool idea!)
These “fake movie poster” designs are inspired by old biker movies, slasher movies, road movies & erotic films of 1960s and ’70s, they also offer the “Ultra Trash Shirts,” which combine two shirts in one — (a classic double feature!)
killing killing killing
Aside from the obvious influences listed above, these vintage-looking designs even remind me a little of the old Russian Constructivist movie posters. (like the stenberg brothers) The interesting quality about those posters was that they were intended for an audience that was often illiterate, so they relied on attention-grabbing images, typography, and design more than just the meaning of words.
Sweet t-shirts. Anyway, check out their site, ultratrashclothing.com, as it looks like they sell out of new designs quickly.
two stubborn sideburn t-shirts: "Stereo", & "Sumo"
Some cool designs from Stubborn Sideburn, designed by talented Japanese artist Junichi Tsuneoka, who describes his style as, “California Roll,” combining Japanese pop culture and American urban culture together into something very unique and eye-catching. (mmm… California roll)
All of STBN SDBN tees are hand crafted, and are printed in ultra-limited numbers of less than 24 per design (only 24 of each!?) adding that, “It’s more of my design output purpose. I would rather design more than produce same thing over and over.”
He also showcases some slick sticker and print designs from his store at stbnsdbn.com. I look forward to seeing more designs from the very talented Mr. Tsuneoka, as he is off to a great start!
Check out some of the stickers; these designs would also look great on some t-shirts:
stbn sdbn stickers
battle of the beards
Chuck Norris Beard
Battle of the Beards T-Shirt – While a lot of people have wondered who would win in a fight of, oh, let’s say Godzilla fought King Kong, Clack Industries (who only does one t-shirt design a year) has proposed a deadly face off between Chuck Norris and The World’s Most Interesting Man in a Battle of the Beards.
Let’s not forget the influence that beards have had in modern popular culture. Whether it be San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson, or Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke (can you imagine the global economic meltdown if he shaved his beard!?) beards have made a stunning comeback in recent years.
Although the outcome isnt clear, whoever wins this epic battle will surely have to contend with the formidable challenger Kenny Rogers. View / buy this t-shirt
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Big Robot T-Shirt
112 anime retro cartoon characters on one t-shirt!
Cool Ghostbusters T-shirt - Who You Gonna Call?
1980s Pop Culture T-shirt - ¿Quien es malo?
Mister Black Tee
I love finding out about great t-shirt shops online that I’ve never heard of. Spanish t-shirt shop Mister Black Tee is just that. Above are a few of there newer designs with some cool American pop culture references like Ghost Busters. (how many 80s characters do you recognize in the shirt above?)
For someone like myself who grew up watching these 80s movies, it’s really cool to see them reinterpreted in these creative t-shirt designs. (Would these designs be even cooler to me if the text was en Espanol?) There is even a design on the site featuring famous movie directors and one with little anime drawings of retro cartoons. (112 personajes de dibujos animados – desde 1962 hasta 1997)
I’m not an expert on copyright law, but I’d say that they have done a great job with the retro-looking illustrations; alluding to the characters in these movies without getting in trouble for using actual movie names or pictures of actors.
They also have some great paper toys under their “Goodies” section.” Check out their shop at Mbtee.com
Beast Wreck Shirts – Jared from Beast Wreck has made my day with these kick ass t-shirt designs. He describes the style as “A mad-scientist’s concoction of equal parts pop, pulp, rock, and retro…”
ZOMBAMA'S REVENGE - obama zombie t-shirt
Obama Zombie – So, takeoffs on the original Obama “HOPE” posters are everwhere. This has to be about the coolest parody I’ve seen though. When asked what the political statement here was, Jared responed, “I’m trying to say is that I have fun with ridiculous parodies of self-important ‘street artists.’ That’s all.” buy it
KROOL AID - Kool Aid Man Wrecking Sh*t
Friendly mascot for a sugary drink? Hell no! Krool aid is angry, and wielding a bat. Maybe he’s upset at being used as a corporate pawn for so long. (was he laid off in the recent economic downturn?) check it out
BOUNTY HUNTER t-shirt
What happens when you cross the galaxy’s baddest bounty hunter and Speed Racer? Something like this bad-ass BOUNTY HUNTER t-shirt
Give him a thumbs-up below, and check out all his awesome t-shirt designs at the beastwreck store!
inkefx t-shirt - 1981
inkefx t-shirt - "Burst"
Inkefx is a newly launched t-shirt brand, offering shirts printed on American Apparel with custom hem tags.
There is something sublimely attractive to me about these designs. Hmmm… I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe Dr. Freud could help?
a view from the rectory
Jake from Inkefx notes that these designs were inspired by police badges, so maybe my mind is just in the gutter, and there is nothing vaginal about them at all. (I can’t even look at a church entrance without becoming aroused.)
In any event, Inkfx is off to a good start, offering these cool, organic-looking, bold designs for a fair price of $20.
Coupon code: Use coupon code POPCULTURE for an extra discount at inkefx.com!
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