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CustomInk, the “design online” custom t-shirt company, today announced the launch of its “Be Good to Each Other” campaign. Coinciding with the back-to-school season and October’s National Bullying Prevention Awareness month, the campaign encourages student groups and others to take a stand against bullying by designing and wearing their own a anti-bullying t-shirts. All profits from these sales will benefit non-profit partner STOMP Out Bullying™, a leading national anti-bullying program. The “Be Good to Each Other” campaign is an effort of the CustomInk Three Hearts Initiative, the company’s new charitable giving and public service arm, which strives to use the power of custom t-shirts to do good.

“CustomInk strives to live by the Golden Rule. It’s how we treat our customers and our teammates, and we want to encourage students to be good to each other as well,” commented CustomInk Co-founder and President Marc Katz. “We believe in the power of t-shirts to bring people together, and hope that by supporting kids who take a stand for kindness and tolerance, we can help make a difference in preventing bullying.”
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Last weekend my fellow Inker Ben and I traveled to Chicago for the HOW Design Live Conference. Thousands of designers, freelancers, and in-house managers came together to learn and be inspired — by each other and the many speakers working in the design industry. There were sessions about technique, new technology, brainstorming, staying creative, and how to make your in-house design more desirable. After four days you leave feeling energized, full of ideas, and ready to create!

We got the inside scoop on Martha Stewart Living’s ipad apps and digital magazine, which made me want to run out and buy an ipad just to use them! We learned creative ideas for brainstorming from the folks at Disney. We heard about various exercises to get the creative juices flowing for yourself or your design team. We learned the difference between Lettering and Type design from Jessica Hische (check out her wonderful blog the Daily Drop Cap). And finally, we got to see products and work from loads of vendors including stock photography, paper samples, t-shirt designers, t-shirt printers, and letterpress studios. Even Adobe was there showing off their new suite of software.

As you can see from the collection of swag above, French Paper was there, generously giving away examples of their lovely paper. The line for their booth was humongous, and the guys were feverishly running around trying to keep up with the demand. They ran out of stuff before lunch on the second day, and there is good reason too. Check out the Sample Room, a blog displaying various artists’ work using French Paper. With their long history of eco friendly paper making and wonderful color selection, I definitely know what I am using for my next non-tshirt project.

When we weren’t in sessions, Ben and I were sharing all our experiences over delicious lunches around town. Chicago continues to creep-up my favorite cities list by offering so many delicious food options. My new favorite is Chicago style hotdogs… if only I could get them at east coast ballparks! I will be dreaming of those dogs, as I create new artwork and design templates for you this fall. In the meantime, share some of your inspiring blogs, artists, and design with us in the comments!

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May Artist of the Month

This month’s artist spotlight is on our own Jack-of-All-Trades, Jeff. He is literally on every team here at CustomInk. Whenever a team has more projects than manpower they call on Jeff. When there is something that needs taking care of around the office, Jeff to the rescue!

Jeff was into everything in college as well, where he concentrated in photography but had just as many credits in metals, jewelry, painting and drawing. He has trained his eye pretty well over the years doing photography, and so each project starts with him stumbling across a strong composition.

The compositions are one of the elements I enjoy most about Jeff’s work. The juxtaposition of straight lines and curves, diagonal shadows bisecting the frame, and the close crop forcing the viewer to see the rusty details. Each piece gives the subject a mammoth feel, heavy and immovable, with no more relevance to the outside world.

When I asked Jeff about his work, he said he is drawn to things that appear to have a forgotten history, especially industrial sites and equipment; objects that are rusting away in crumbling towns that time has left behind. They are a reminder of where we have been and how our priorities change with each new generation. Imposing structures that spark growth and create cities, yet fall into disrepair.

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Oprah T-Shirts Outside Harpo Studios

As you know, in the wake of family reunion t-shirt season, we commissioned a family reunion survey of 1,000 Americans to ask all kinds of related questions. The majority of survey participants chose Oprah as the celebrity who would most fit in at their family reunion. And it’s certainly timely since her last show aired this week. We have a die-hard Oprah fan on our team, Lori M., who got to attend this last show, and she wanted to share her story with you: Read more –>

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Floral Print T-Shirt Designs

Retro infused floral is this spring’s major trend, mixing 90s grunge with 70s chic. Everything from floral plates to floral shades are bursting onto the shelves. If floral is typically not your fashion flavor, that’s all about to change this spring because there’s something for everyone!

The flower patterns, color pairings, and flower types are in great variety this season. (90s childhood icon Blossom would be in heaven.)  As a self-proclaimed fashionista, I picked a few favorites to share…

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