Limited-edition & misprint shirts

I’ve done one single run of my popular “Steam Powered Heart” design on black shirts! These are American Apparel BB401 (men’s/unisex poly/cotton) for an extremely soft, comfortable fit. Modeled above by my friend Phill. (Check out his dancepop group, The Vice Junkies.) This is a one-run-only shirt, so supplies are limited to stock on hand. Available now!

(Of course the regular [brown] edition of Steam Powered Heart is still available right here at TopatoCo.)

ALSO: I have come into possession of a number of misprinted “Engineering: It’s Like Math, But Louder” shirts. UPDATE: These are all sold out! But you can still look at them, below.

The regular, perfect versions are here at TopatoCo, but right now in my office I have shirts that exhibit the following problems, which are a more-or-less comprehensive inventory of things that can go wrong with a shirt. (Click for closer views)

The ink is scratched. Pulled off the press too soon? Wrinkle? Something on the printing screen? Don’t know, don’t care.

This one is way over-inked. Maybe it got printed twice? Three times? Possibly up to a hundred times.

This one has some stray ink on it. The ink has wandered away from home in hopes of finding a more loving family. Will it learn its lesson? No, because it was then cooked in (the wrong) place.

There are two like this, in which the background explosion became a little TOO excited and spattered into the foreground. But NO that is BAD that is INCORRECT.

This shirt was printed off-register. The colors don’t quite match up properly. It’s got that “hip” “vintage” “messed-up” “done incorrectly” look.

The shoulders of this shirt are very slightly bleached orange. How did this happen? Does the factory keep bleach-soaked hangers on standby, and then once a day choose to put a shirt on one of them?

This one has what looks like the residue of a marker on it? It’s hard to make out, but the marks are there — no ink, just lines. Maybe someone tried to write on this shirt with a Sharpie that had run out of ink, and just the alcohol solvent came out? “Hmm,” they thought, “that didn’t work the way I expected. Better ship this shirt to an unsuspecting customer.”

I’m not quite sure what’s going on here, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be this way.

I think it’s incredibly progressive and inclusive of the American Apparel factory to hire sewing workers with debilitating neurological disorders.

There’s one with a hole in it too, but I’m keeping it for church.

If your desire for SAVINGS outweighs your desire for PRODUCT INTEGRITY, these problem children are for sale for $13 right here.


  • Jude

    I suspect the one you say has too much ink on it either was overheated during printing, or there was insufficient ink in the printer and had to be replenished, judging by the texture. As for the one where the explosion spilled out, it looks like someone tried to clean the bottom of the orange screen but did a BAD JOB and had to do it again after that shirt.

  • Jenn

    Have you seen these? http://www.signals.com/signals/Item_Engineering-T-Shirt_HL2331T.html – noticed them when my mother passed me the catalog and wondered why they tried making something awesome ugly.

  • Jude

    After printing (and messing up) a shirt today, I realized my error. They probably tried to print before the colors were dry, which would explain both the texture and why they had to wipe the screen clean.