T-Shirts. There is a real art to it. With the rise of the preppy look based on faux internet weirdo vintage hype in the last years the art of the T-Shirt took a back seat, especially the art of the great Logo T-Shirt. In a way, I actually cannot blame the rise of the above trend for the decline in the great Logo T-Shirt at all. The last “sub” cultural movement in graphic orientated design, aka streetwear, never really managed, with a few exceptions, to step up to the legacy left to them.
The appreciation of the Logo T-Shirt has little, if anything to do with the actual T-Shirt itself. Which, is precisely why I still positively enjoy hunting them down. The appreciation for Logo T’s is more about the actual design, the personal associations with the logo, and hence the brand that the logo stands for. Essentially, Logo T’s are walking advertisements and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really want to be a walking, talking endorsement for anyone. There are exceptions, however. Sometimes, a brand transcends the bland and obvious message through a logo that is either so damn well done, or/and causes a positive personal psychological association with events around the brand that you become proud to wear said T-Shirt. Pre-Internet days, you wore a Logo T-Shirt as a means of identification with certain groups. Obviously, that’s no longer the point, so mostly, the hunt for the greats has become more of a hunter/gatherer type of situation.
Fact is though, I love my Logo T’s and I am not alone in the matter. What we did here is that we gathered a group of friends and regular contributors to The Reference Council and started emailing about this. What were their favourite Logo T-Shirts and why. Things soon became “lively” and it’s one of the reasons this feature is only now going online and not 4 weeks ago.
These people are: Brian Awitan and Jeremy Dean of House Ind., Alyasha Owerka-Moore, Erik Brunetti of FUCT, Arturo Carrero of Levi’s XX, Kenta Goto of Reigning Champ, Eugene Khan of Hypebeast and myself obviously.
Rather than giving each one of these cats a page to discuss their 20 or so favourite Logo T-Shirts I ended up combining them all to form a representative list that we could agree on, mostly. There is no particular order to this list, except for the top spot, which I’ll get to at the end of this feature.
What is most surprising about the outcome is that a lot of the Logo’s we all chose come from music, and not clothing companies. There are only 2-3 of those included in this list, which was surprising. Aside from band logos, and /or logo’s associated with music, motorcycle, eateries, and other random shit came up a lot. I am not entirely sure what that is supposed to mean, especially since all of us are involved in the clothing industry. My only conclusion is, that, and rightly so, we all agree that clothing isn’t manifestly as influential and deep as music, at least to us. Which is a good thing. But I’ll leave any conclusion to you-
So what follows is a cumulation of what we all as a group thought of as the best 20 Logo T-Shirts in our lives, right now.