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Graphic Design Festival Breda Blog #5: Staynice

Staynice is a young design bureau from Breda, working in the KOP building. For the Graphic Design Festival they organised Sweatshop, collecting an enormous collection of designer t-shirts. Sweatshop is both an exhibition and shop. Here's their weblog.

By No author /asdf 20-06-2008

Staynice is a young design bureau from Breda, working in the KOP building. For the Graphic Design Festival they organised Sweatshop, collecting an enormous collection of designer t-shirts. Sweatshop is both an exhibition and shop. Here's their weblog.

Last year we organised the Projector Spectre project as part of our graduation. This was an exhibition in the centre of Breda of projections made by illustrators and designers. Working in the public space appeals to us. This year we also got the opportunity to organise an exhibition, this time for the first Graphic Design Festival.

An accessible exhibition organised for a broad public about a theme we feel connected to led to 'Sweatshop', an exhibition about T-shirt prints. We thought it would be interesting to have an exhibition about something that probably most people have at home but never stop to think about where the print came from and why they choose to walk around wearing it. It makes people more aware of the presence of graphic design in their own environment. We looked for answers to the following questions; why do so many designers still make t-shirts? Is there a difference between 'designer tshirts' and shirts made by the fashion industry? Is a tshirt more than just a useful item?

With the arrival of the new Graphic Design Museum the discussion blazes on about whether graphic design belongs in a museum. We're not going to add to our comments to the mix. The same thing can be said about Sweatshop. My father doesn't get it, " What's the point, can't you see this in a shop?' That's what is interesting about the exhibition. One of the most everyday items displayed like paintings. Our aim was to collect as many tshirts as possible from designers which would make for a striking exhibition.Classification by typography, illustration, colour, form etc would arise automatically. If you take a walk around Sweatshop you'll see that the designers use the tshirt as a means to express themselves. Someone can use the t-shirt as a communication means for a personal statement. Think of the shirts of Man on the Moon for FreshCotton.

Others communicate a clear political message. Furthermore we can think of the show as a collection of hundreds of small canvasses serving as a visual outlet for the designers. Perhaps there isn't much of a difference between this and a 'normal' shop apart from the large quantity. It is also recognised that the fashion industry is greatly 'inspired' by tshirt designers and small clothing labels frequently hire guest designers.The average consumer will care about who made the print and for the designer it is simply nice to be able to make a design for such a popular item.

For more photos of the Sweatshop check this site.

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