Over the past year, I’ve become a huge fan of a particular item of clothing: namely, the obscure reference t-shirt. You might not know an obscure reference when you see it – that is, after all, kinda the point – but I’m sure you’ve seen a few in the wild.
I have a number in my collection, mostly purchased via very well-targeted (i.e. I’m a sucker) Facebook ads which appear in my feed. I’ve got a Flight of the Conchords t-shirt, a Hot Fuzz/Shaun of the Dead t-shirt, a few Marvel ones. My most obscure reference to date is a lyric from a “Bad Lip Reading” YouTube video that my kids love, the inspiration for which you can enjoy below:
So when the folks from YourDesign got in touch and asked if I wanted to test out their service – a site which allows you to (amongst other things) create customised clothing – I naturally jumped at the chance to make a shirt of my own!
They offered me a number of items to choose from (indeed their site has a whole wealth of things you can customise, from hoodies to hi-vis jackets!!) but I opted for the following:
The YourDesign site is incredibly easy to use (believe me: I’ve tried quite a few) and my favourite feature is that it actually shows you what your design will look like on the finished product. I’m happy to report that all my items arrived looking exactly as they had on the site, which is a big relief.
For the mug, I went UBER obscure and created a piece of merchandise for a fictional YouTube channel that a colleague and I often joke about being members of – the “Dad Ladz“. It’s quite a well-worn joke in our office, so I decided that I’d create a mug to celebrate it, and stick it into circulation in the office. You can see the design-process above.
For the hoodie, I downloaded some images from the TV show Futurama (a topic I’ve often considered for an obscure shirt) and made a front-and-back printed design
Finally, for the polo shirt I decided to test our my obscure reference credentials with a t-shirt design I have joked about a number of times, most recently on holiday with my friend Dean. If you’ve ever seen the TV show ‘Flight of the Conchords’, you might have seen the song “Business Time”. If not, I’ve handily embedded a video of it below:
In the song, Jemaine references a t-shirt labelled “Team building exercise ’99” – the ultimate obscure reference. So naturally I chose to make a polo shirt containing this EPIC reference, which you can see below:
Once I’d created my three items, I placed the order and waited patiently for them to arrive – though I wasn’t waiting long, as they took less than a week to arrive.
I’m pleased to report that all three items were excellent quality and exactly as I designed them. The polo shirt is a little tight for me, though that’s probably more a symptom of my growing-girth than anything else.
I could tell you I’d use them again, but a better recommendation is probably this: I’ve already used them again, and have plans for more purchases in the near future!