Things are going well behind the lines at Gluekit Central (aka Part of It headquarters). As part of our on-going efforts to highlight some of the amazing pieces created for Part of It, Gluekit would like to draw your attention to this handsome “It’s Just You and Me” t-shirt, designed by Mr. Michael Perry (aka Midwestisbest) and featuring some of his hand drawn type and imagery. Perry’s work might seem hauntingly familiar– especially to readers who frequent Urban Outfitters stores or have an eye open to their whimsical type; he’s the man behind some of the more evocative type imagery the big UO has to offer. (And of course, he also just edited a very nice tome on hand type called Hand Job: A Catalog of Type.)
Perry designated that a portion of the profits from this shirt would benefit NARSAD, the Mental Health Research Association. In the 1980s, a number of mental health organizations and foundations got together and merged, creating NARSAD– it’s now the United States’ most prominent mental health research institution, awarding numerous research grants to scientists. NARSAD seeks to prevent, cure, and treat a host of mental illnesses, ranging from schizophrenia to autism, depression, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Perry’s shirt suggests the isolation and melancholy that can afflict those suffering from mental illness, but his shirt also seems to highlight the modern condition, and the strange equilibrium of happiness and sadness that can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere. It’s a beautiful shirt, for an important cause.
Gluekit likes supporting great artists and great causes.
Gluekit loves bricks. Blank walls too.
In the spirit of our Ping Pong tee, here’s a proposal for another Gluekit shirt we hope to make some day soon. There’s just something about simple lines and spare design that makes us woozy. Bricks and stones may dress our bones, and new designs always make us chuckle.
Last week Gluekit (and Martha Plimpton, apparently, who was sitting three rows in front of us and totally bobbing out) were fortunate to catch the wonderful Montreal indie pop band Stars. Oh, the melodrama– and the rose-throwing– and the catchy sing-alongs! [There's a nice review here that captures the taste, the drama, and the fury.]
Inspired by the bright lights of the big city and the possibility of casting shadows, we hit upon this type idea: stars on the carpet, not up in the sky. Though there are lightning bolts in them there letter forms.
Gluekit likes brilliant shiny things, fingers in photographs, and starry starry eyes.
Gluekit was doing our product shoot for Part of It over the weekend, and we took a few snapshots in between, to mark the occasion. Given the great popularity that the Library shirt has had so far– in part thanks to the very kind word-of-mouth from Jessamyn– it seemed fitting that we post a quickie-pic showing the actual shirt being set up. [And we can verify, wearing this shirt makes you feel like an open book-- and that's a good thing!]
Gluekit likes the soft feel of real t-shirts in hand, blurry motion photographs, and scary black hoodies. Mmm!
The day is here, friends! Part of It is now up and running, and ready to take your orders.
The idea behind Part of It is simple, really.
We asked a number of artists– mainly graphic designers– to create designs that spoke to issues they felt strongly about. We also asked them to identify an organization that would benefit from the sale of products using their design. In this way, we hoped to create an avenue for artists to contribute concretely to organizations they felt were doing worthy work, while providing them with a platform to create a message or graphic that raised awareness about “their” cause.
But the idea goes a little further, and that’s where the name comes in. Consumers have opportunities too, to purchase things that focus attention on issues, to fund organizations they believe in. But they (you?) enter into the discourse as well, becoming a part of the message. [Gluekit can't count the number of times that we've been asked about t-shirts we're wearing; these occasions are opportunities to talk about the cause that the shirt has been designed to bring attention to.]
And so, Part of It is really about ripple effects. It’s about participation. It’s about caring. It’s about artists and consumers making a difference. Perhaps a small one, but a difference all the same.
Gluekit hopes you’ll become a Part of It too.
Gluekit saw Lifetime in New York City last week. They were an opener, which suited us just fine, as that meant we were able to dance in closer proximity than we usually do at their shows. Gluekit has learned our lesson well: headwalkers and stage-jumpers = not so fun dancing and multiple injuries! Fantastically enough, Lifetime is soon due to tour Japan and Australia! We think maybe we should catch them there– it’d be surreal (and fun!).
Gluekit’s been a big fan of Lifetime for a long time, as our friends know. And since their reunion tour and their subsequent re-banding, we’ve been able to catch them all over again– here and here and here. And we still get giddy and hand-clappy at their shows.
The illustration above uses type we threw together that pulls a choice line from Lifetime’s Records at Nite song. We love the big hardcore breakdown and chorus, because– c’mon!– who doesn’t love playing records at night? We really wish they’d play the song out live, though, and while we’re requesting additions to the playlist, would also love to hear “Yeem’s Song for Nothing“, and LTime’s cover of Billy Bragg’s “New England.” [We made a shirt related to that last request we'll have to post sometime.]
Gluekit adores Lifetime and wishes them all the luck in the world as they tour the globe and set out on international adventures!
Last April, Gluekit was strolling around Manhattan, fresh from seeing the Family Pictures exhibition at the Guggenheim. We were drinking in the air and people-watching when we spotted an intriguing poster on what appeared to be some kind of embassy on Fifth Avenue. [We really weren't paying the best attention to where we were.] We daringly pushed the dark grated doors, stepped inside the building (we weren’t exactly sure we were in a public space at first) and found ourselves inside the Cultural Services of the French Embassy– elaborate and rich surroundings — taking in some amazing Jean-Michel Basquiat works. Gluekit’s a– ‘ow do you say?– big fan of Basquiat? We were hopping up and down on the bottom level… and then discovered a staircase and another level of rooms filled with even more Basquiat. It was Basquiat heaven! A completely unexpected encounter, the show was the highlight of our day. And the juxtaposition of Basquiat’s work– which smacks of childish delight, street culture and graffiti– amidst the grandeur and pomp of the Embassy’s spaces was wildy exhilarating. Inspiring, too. It’s the unexpected that makes life memorable.
Gluekit loves unexpected treasures, happening upon art and beauty, and great art hung on white brick walls.
In our spare time– oh, train rides and car trips and waiting in line– Gluekit likes to think of t-shirt proposals. Often, these do eventually pop out the production side. To be truthful, many Gluekit items are simply things that make us laugh, or that we’d like to wear around the house. What’s nice is when other people feel the same way!
Anyways, we thought it might be nice to log some of our tee ideas here, as a way of keeping stock of them and sharing potential wardrobe options with others. If you spot a favorite, give a hollar, because that just might urge us to move this into the “Made” category.
This particular shirt is envisioned as coming along with a medium-sized white button that can be moved around as the wearer likes. The Gluekit team was very busy playing ping-pong this summer, and inspiration struck while the paddle was hot. What’s not to like about a very simple minimalist design like this?
Gluekit likes bouncing white balls and simple geometric concepts!
Gluekit was super excited when our Fragments Bag was featured in Print and How magazines. It’s one of our favorite pieces. [We also made a super specialized edition of the bag with the hearts embroidered in red.] Anyways, we’ve still got a few left in stock for a very reasonable $18.00 + s/h. They are very handy for library visits, for toting groceries, and for hauling around the fragments of a modern life.
Gluekit likes tote bags and making up for lost time!
Third time’s the charm! Gluekit kept trying to make Voxtrot shows over the last couple of months, but for various reasons, we couldn’t get our ducks lined up to make it to a show. [Those ducks just keep scattering!] Finally, last weekend, we had the opportunity to catch the young Austin band. As avid collectors of their EPs, it was a joy to finally see them jangle through their hits and play their hearts out– plus the lead singer, Ramesh Srivastava, was just recovering from surgery and still managed to put on an amazing show!
Gluekit likes lucky patterns, bright colors, and singing along to Voxtrot lyrics.
Gluekit still loves the spreads we did for the now defunct magazine The Drama. These photo-pictorials are some of the most challenging, and most rewarding, projects we’ve done. Honestly, we’d love more chances to costume ourselves and play with language in a physical space.
We’re completely stoked that spreads from the Beating a Dead Horse project are published under Gluekit’s profile in Contemporary Graphic Design, just out on Taschen. It’s truly an honor to be included in the book.
Gluekit likes cavorting in big open white spaces!
Besides our Reimagined Books series, which allows us to redesign covers for books we’ve read, Gluekit’s also been experimenting with completely imagined books. Penguin covers are a great inspiration. So are sociological texts from the 1980s, like the 1985 Routledge edition cover of Readings from Emile Durkheim. Pure inspirational goodness, right there.
Andrew Thomas is a nod to Gluekit history.
Gluekit loves book covers!
We’re floating out another Part of It design as we work on getting ready for the Part of It launch. Profits from this shirt, created by Daniel Eatock, will benefit the International Dyslexia Association, an international non-profit that focuses its efforts on helping individuals with dyslexia, their families, and communities, as well as promoting research and knowledge about dyslexia and other language-based learning differences.
Update (2007 Oct 22): Alphabet tees and tote bags are now available!
Gluekit loves typographic t-shirts and Akzidenz Grotesk.
Over the weekend, Gluekit had the great fortune to see a favorite band of ours, Man Man, up close and personal. This was our fourth time seeing the glorious men in white perform. On our way back from the show (which was at a terrific all-ages venue, hurrah!), we hit upon the idea of illustrating the show– or at least, our experience. We were really smitten with the green duct tape lettering at the merch table, so fixated on that as our centerpiece for this piece, and worked in some type from our beach jaunt this summer.
Gluekit loves Man Man’s delicious cover of Etta James’s “I’d Rather Go Blind.”
Another band that Gluekit’s been luvin’ lately is Oh No! Oh My!
In tribute, we designed this limited edition (of one) shirt. The design’s super abstract and we’re missing the exclamation points and some key words, yes, but our hearts were dancing along with the poppy Whirlitzer goodness of ON!OM!’s 2006 self-titled album when we made this, and its blue softliness captures the bright blue purity of their melodies– so we’d like to think.
The band’s on tour right now, making some beautiful folk-pop. We hope they’ll come back to New England after their CMJ stint this October. We could to with some earnest beauty in our neck of the woods.
Gluekit hearts sweet songs and hand-claps in between.
Gluekit’s proud to present a mock-up of another of our
forthcoming Part of It shirts. Designed by the talented Mr. Ryan Waller, this shirt is destined to warm the hearts of thousands of librarians (and fellow hipsters) across the globe. As the New York Times knows, librarians and friends are the vanguard of cool.
Update (2007 Oct 21): Library tees and tote bags are now available!
Profits from Mr. Waller’s design are destined to benefit the New York Public Library, a massive institution that serves as a locus for intellectual activity in New York City, and empowers citizens by providing access to knowledge in all kinds of formats (and forums). With over 86 branch libraries serving communities throughout New York City, there’s a lot of good going on. NYPL brings it!
Gluekit loves literacy, knowledge building, and the smell of library stacks.
Gluekit had this idea over the summer, being that we’re big fans of new music and the different services, blogs, and media outlets that help tune us into new things. Funny as it sounds, we’ve found a couple of keepers on Spin’s Artist of the Day series. We started thinking how it might be fun to design one-off shirts that feature our favorite bands– participating in art-based fan culture, and spreading knowledge of the music we love. Proceeds could benefit Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts or Americans for the Arts or [fill in the blank for some good-doing non-profit]. Something that sustains a civic culture the supports or aids artists. [This is all still something we're rolling around in our heads.] We dubbed the nascent project “Positive Spin.”
Incidentally, we also thought making band-inspired shirt would be a great way to play with quick’n'dirty clothing production and try to bring in some play with textiles and form. So– without further adieu– here’s our first shirt, for a band that’s just so awesome: BOAT. We’re keeping this one– and probably won’t be launching “Positive Spin” anytime soon. But for the time being, we’ll continue experimenting within the sketchy lines we’ve set up.
Gluekit really hopes BOAT plays the East Coast someday soon!
Harmony, Nature, Future is one our very first PART OF IT shirts, designed by the talented Geneviéve Gauckler. Profits from Harmony, Nature, Future will go to supporting the WWF (formerly the World Wildlife Fund), one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations. Here’s one of our digital mock-ups of the design, to whet your appetite as the launch date nears.
Gluekit loves Part of It and hopes you will too.
While Gluekit was dreaming the other night, a lot of orange and black and white figures crept into our room and inserted themselves into our nightmares. The result were two new Gluekit Editions for recent novels that we’ve consumed– voraciously in one case; rather slowly and in slow chews in the other.
We can’t say Sean Wilsey’s Oh, The Glory of It All was exactly what we wanted it to be. Skateboarding descriptions aside, this book groveled a bit too hard and too deeply in the poor little rich boy vein for us to enjoy. Memoirs are like that, though. We tried to tease out a bit of the messy overbearing emotion on our cover. The blobby mommy-concept cometh!
Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude pulled together a lot of different strands in a much more satisfying way. Gluekit, as will become apparent, has a thing for coming-of-age stories, teenage angst, and colorful narratives that look at ethnicity, race, and identity. [Don't say we're totally superficial!] This novel plunged into graffiti culture too, and dealt with the ever-changing culture of NYC’s burroughs. Our cover tried to get at the gritty urban landscape that dominated much of the book, highlight the graffiti edge, and use one of our favorite patterns. Click, click– and the tiles fell into place.
Gluekit loves it when a book (or a plan) comes together!