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30 January, 2009

Helvetica + Robots = Helbotica

This one goes in the category, 'Things I Wish I Thought of, Oh Wait I Did But Never Finished it': Helbotica t-shirt by Jonathan Yule at ChopShop:

Helbotica = Helvetica + Robots t-shirt picture

14 January, 2009

Mac vs. PC...Transformers-style!

Sure the Windows girl is as super-annoying as most 'dedicated'(read=clueless) PC-users, and they make the Mac guy into a pansy, but this is stinking awesome, regardless: Mac vs. PC, with a Transformers twist!

12 January, 2009

Top 10 Countries by Robot Density

That's it, we're moving to Japan!

Top 10 Countries by Robot Density picture
(via the mahvelous swissmiss)

...really, you have no idea how sad it makes me the we are so far down on that list. How will there be able to be a robot uprising if we don't ever have enough robots?! C'mon, people! Get with the AI program!

4 January, 2009

Sleeveface = Record Sleeve Face + Some Dude's Body

sleeveface picture record sleeve face

"Sleeveface: one or more persons obscuring or augmenting any part of their body or bodies with record sleeve(s) causing an illusion."

"Head" over to Sleeveface.com and check out the hilarious collection of obfuscated images they have, combing some classic record album covers and some, uh, less than classic bods, appropriately cast to look like the floating album head is all part of the original scene.

My favorite is...could it possibly be?! THE FONZ!!!

2 January, 2009

Robot Kid T-shirt...Made by Me!

Kid's Robot t-shirt picture
(psssst! If you click on the above picture, a higher-res version will pop-up!)

I am a t-shirt fiend. Really, I think I may have a problem. I can't wear t-shirts to work, but I still have a closet and drawers-full of t-shirts, from Threadless to Oddica, to my favorite band(s), to the random robot shirt from wheresizit. This creates envy at our house sometimes, cos the Bubby pretty much ONLY wears t-shirts, and while Threadless and Oddica both sell kid versions of several of their shirts, they always seem to be out of the groovy ones we like which he also would like, and there's only so many Paul Frank/Small Paul kid's shirts he can wear. And so the Bubby complains (understandably), wondering why he doesn't have cool t-shirts like Daddy?

...so I decided to make him one.

I've been wanting to submit something to the Threadless t-shirt competition for a long time, but generally doubt my illustration/design skills and have been meaning to do a couple of 'warm-up' tees just to get used to the idea of drawing something that will be printed on a shirt. So, with my main Bubby in mind, I set out in early December to make him a robot t-shirt of his very own, in time for Christmas. My first step was to use a pencil to sketch the robot, and then ink it in on the paper. My concept was that just like Bubby wanting his Daddy's t-shirt collection, even robots start small:

robot kid sketch picture

Next up was converting it to a format I could sent to the printer. So I scanned the picture, and then tweaked it quickly in Adobe Photoshop CS3 to isolate the white and black colors (using a combo adjustment Layers and Threshold). Then I imported the flattened image into Adobe Illustrator CS3. For those of you familiar with Illustrator, you know they have the 'Live Trace' option, which you can use to have it (attempt to) convert an image like a photograph/scan into a vector image, with anchor points, fill colors, etc. Basically, it's a help in digitizing hand-drawn illustrations.

Adobe Illustrator screen shot picture
(psssst! If you click on the above picture, a higher-res version will pop-up!)

Live Trace is a help, and they certainly have made it more useful in the last couple of versions of Creative Suite, but it still requires work, and I've found it's got a bit of a learning curve. So after importing and tracing in Illustrator, I then cleaned up the drawing itself, rounding off rough-edges, but still trying to keep it looking like something that was done with a regular pen, not an auto-shape hose from Illustrator.

There are many options for self-printing your own art online. Probably the oldest is Cafe Press, but being the oldest, it's mostly crowded with caca, and I don't like the interface so much. Awhile back, I received a beta invitation to do testing with a company called Spreadshirt, which is a print-on-demand site where you can upload your own art and print it on a variety of items. (In fact, at that point, their domain was www.spreadshirt.net. They have since obtained the highly desireable .com extension.) I like the Spreadshirt interface, and at the time I received my invite, obtained a domain prefix I like: KillerRobot.spreadshirt.com. For these and a few other reasons, I decided to go with Spreadshirt for my own on-demand print need. They printed the shirt within 24 hours and shipped it immediately (and then, UPS screwed it up by taking 11 days to ship a 3-Day Select package).

So the day after Christmas, Bubby's very own special robot kid t-shirt, drawn just for him, arrived:

Close-up of robot kid shirt printed by Spreadshirt picture
(psssst! If you click on the above picture, a higher-res version will pop-up!)

The Bubby loves it, and wore it for about 3 straight days, before we finally had to make him change and give it it's first wash. Jenni kept insisting she wanted one, too, and then it occurred to me that maybe I wanted one, too, after all the time I put into it. Well, the good news is, YOU can get one, too, if you like:

Get a robot shirt from killerrobot.spreadshirt.com

Visit KillerRobot.spreadshirt.com, where I currently have up mens, womens, and a couple of children's versions of the robot kid t-shirt, which first and foremost was for the Bubby. The whole driving force was that kids should have cool tees, too, so if your little robot likes robots as much as ours does, this may be a great, super-late Christmas present (or New Year's present?). And to help you with your own fashion bailout plan, I am happy to pass along a Spreadshirt coupon code for a 20.09% discount off your order (until January 16th). Simply type in the code NEW29 when you check out. (Minimum order of $20, and does not count against shipping).

Either way, that's one of the many things I've been up to lately. Hope you like the shirt, and happy new year!