Have you ever noticed the hundreds of different t-shirt companies out there that have designs that look the same? You know the shirts with off center skulls and wings? Maybe with a banner and some grunge type? Some ink splats and revolvers? It was pretty neat the first couple of times I saw it, but now it is mundane and obnoxious. The saturation of these images in today’s market is insulting.

I attended Las Vegas’ Fashion and Apparel trade show known as MAGIC earlier this year and counted a couple dozen booths with disgustingly similar, clip art covered shirts. I never understood how one booth was supposed to convince a buyer that their skull design was better than the next guy’s (Yeah, yeah I know I posted a skull t-shirt design earlier, but was created for a purpose and statement. It was satirical numb nuts). In recent web expeditions I discovered a cornucopia of sites that offer clip art packages. They sell sets of the same skulls, wings and Victorian flourishes to every Tom, Dick and Asshole who insists on calling themselves a “designer.” Where the fuck is the creativity and originality‽

I never understood how one booth was supposed to convince a buyer that their skull design was better than the next guy’s… Color pallets, imagery and composition are separate parts of an image/design.

I do not believe that designers must also be illustrators, photographers and copywriters. Your work will stand out and you will be a greater asset if your versatile, but they are separate job titles for a reason. Just do us all a favor and don’t simply regurgitate the first shirt you see in Hot Topic. It usually takes me a good year or so to get tired of a look, but these days the teeny-boppers and their expendable income go through attention whore fashion trends in a matter of months. As soon as they see one shitty dresser on MTV they go and try their best to become a carbon copy. That is not being creative and “showing your true colors”; it is showing how well you can be a fucking tool.

I understand that it is our job to be on top of the latest trends, but that DOES NOT mean that we must copy them. Color pallets, imagery and composition are separate parts of an image/design. They can be manipulated to reflect the popular styles without being completely unoriginal. Your clients want you to recreate looks they have seen in other collections so that there product moves better. It is your job to keep from plagiarizing the competition still making sales. Do your best to create something with the same essence as the referenced product while keeping it as different as possible. If not for yourself and your portfolio, do it for me, the viewer. I am tired of seeing the same tired shit over and over again.

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