|HIDE YOUR ARMS
August 2, 2006
Secret Handshake (SH) get a lot of love from people, like I first put up their little advertising box someone actually e-mailed me to say how good they thought SH was. So I was pretty excited to get a package from them yesterday morning. I was the happy recipient of the Sun-Ra shirt by Tim Kerr. I must admit that I did have to make a trip to Wikipedia to find out just who this Sun Ra dude was, so if I don’t quite ‘get’ it, my excuse is that I was 9 when this guy died (or ‘left the earth’s plane’, as one Wikipedian thought Sun Ra might describe it as), and wasn’t listening to much jazz at that time.
I like the idea of putting sketches onto a t-shirt, it seems to convey a sense of energy and give soul to an image, I don’t think that this facial expression could have been captured as well using vector imagery. The use of handwriting is also pretty nice, both in the history part (lyrics perhaps, in which case handwriting is a must! It sets my emo phasers to stun), and with the bigger text that says Sun Ra. I might be analysing too much here, but it could be that Tim Kerr designed the image in such a way to reflect how Sun Ra was in control of his own recording process, as I can’t see an artist having much more control with a pen/pencil and a piece of paper. Yeah, that last sentence probably did push it a bit far!
The printing itself seems good quality, not too think and heavy, which is quite surprising considering there is a pretty hefty block of colour in there. The tee is printed on American Apparel, so you know what you’re getting (I do like that a lot of small stores use the same stock tees, becuase I always know what size to order), and I would describe SH’s prices as average, which isn’t exactly exciting vocabulary, but they charge a fair price for a quality product.
February 19, 2006
Purely original design and illustration on very comfortable cotton
will make you stand out, look cool and feel fine. About ten illustrative
artists contribute to making this fine source of apparel called
Secret Handshake -one of the nicest out there.
Secret Handshake was featured in issue #16 of the German online
magazine, Encore, in a feature they called "We Love T-Shirts.
September 22, 2005
Tired of the
same old stuff everybody seems to hawking these days? Looking
for something fresh and unique? Well, Joe Malone (the
guy who gets the shit done) and Greg Shirilla (the guy who makes
things look good) have been filling that void from their Chicago
based Secret Handshake Designs, with cool designs from a select
group of multi-talented artists.
After talking with Joe, I found out that SH is more about why
they're doing it, than just selling cool looking shirts.
So I asked Joe, "How did the company start?"
Greg and I started the company over a few beers at the bar
one night. He wanted to get his work out and together we decided
to form Secret Handshake to help promote our friends who had been
pumping out killer work over the years.
Since then we've been collaborating with some amazing artists
while hopefully showing people that we're in this for the right
reasons--to give back to the "scene". I hate using
the word scene, but I guess it fits.
There's a story behind every company...and sometimes... it's pretty
cool to find out that it's not only bout the "greens".
and "What's up with the name?"
The name Secret Handshake comes from my childhood. My
sister and I used to visit our cousins across town and we would
all sit around creating this elaborate secret handshake that we
would add to every time we were around each other.
It was really long and we still know most of it today. It
was laced with a ton of pop culture references from the 80's .
Beyond that, the name just makes me smile.
Yeah....a pretty unique name and these guys are showcasing some
original designs that are totally fresh from what's out there
Take Sun Ra...a design by Tim Kerr, the musician, surfer, artist
and skate boarder...not necessarily in that order...was one design
that I thought was totally cool. If you don't know who Sun Ra
is then go here. Though I've featured just the design from Kerr,
SH has a collection from a small stable of talented artists that's
definitely worth a look.
To give you a heads up, SH will be featuring a new design from
eThos, and also hoping to do some long sleeve T's and maybe some
shirts for kids, heading into fall and winter.
Yo! Joe.....I'm "all in" on SH!
Shut It (blurb on Jeremiah
Alright. So I know I promised a while back to start posting more
girlie tees. While this one comes in both unisex and girlie tee
styles, I’d say it’s definitely a girl’s shirt.
So if you’ve been looking for a cutesy little shut the fuck
up tee, but aren’t into the little bunny “you make
me throw up a little” thing, maybe this one from Secret
Handshake is for you…
July 21, 2005
New Chicago imprint Secret Handshake unites a stable of artists
and designers under one freaky banner. These T-shirts make killer
gifts for Tim Burton fans and your friends who still own bongs.
June 28, 2005
Designer t-shirts: Everybody’s doin’ it, but who’s
doin’ it well?
These days, you’ve got to be a little discriminating with
your hard-earned cash. Thankfully, Secret Handshake is there to
save you from the glut of samey-lookin’ designs that have
flooded the market as of late. Drawing from a pool of diverse
artists and designers, they crank out small batches of really
beautiful tees, guaranteed to put something fresh on your chest.
Take a browse to see what they’ve got cookin’, and
you’ll soon notice what makes Secret Handshake something
special. Like the hunk of steak hanging from a fish hook on Greg
Shirilla’s design. That piece of meat is so well screened
to the fabric it looks like it’s about to jump off your
gut and right onto the grill. While you’re peeking around,
take a gander at Tim Kerr’s tribute to Sun Ra, or Brett
Superstar’s giggle-inducing image of a big-nosed guy in
a tie, both pieces rich with embellishment and detail.
Abby Friedman and Jeremiah Ketner err on the side of the cute
with their contributions; Friedman’s piece bears a very
cool cut-paper-on-doodle-background feel, while Ketner’s
design looks pulled straight from one of his paintings, replete
with adorably sour catchphrase. There’s also a new design
from Nevada Hill, all tentacly with skulls and laser-beams, that’s
sure to tickle your tee-spot. Or you can just grab a classic Secret
Handshake logo shirt, featuring the image you see attached to
It’s nice to see this crew mixing it up with some truly
original material and a nice wide range of styles, especially
since they’ve just really been under way since March. They
may be The New Kids On The Block, but with designs this solid,
I guarantee they’ll be Hangin’ Tough for some time
April 20, 2005
Secret Handshake has a small collection of "Artist Design
T- Shirts." They say they're here to "save you from
the milk and water threads that have become the standard in the
T-shirt industry". What's great is it's independent. All
the artists are selected by them, and they have an online gallery
full of their artists work. Everything is limited edition (to
keep things fresh), and they're all printed on beefy american