Tuesday, 17 February 2009


I was bored today, so I decided to throw some t-shirt designs together, just for fun :)

I set up a bigcartel store so that I could upload the designs. You can check them out by clicking the link under the screenshot below if you're interested:


I should mention that the 2 dinosaur illustrations were done by vee, not me, but all the t-shirt designs themselves I did ^_^

Hope vee doesn't mind me using her illustrations.. I assume it'll be ok seeing i'm not actually selling them, or making any money off them. xD

You obviously can't buy any of the tees because they're just designs, and I have no way of actually printing them. I suppose it would be easy enough to upload some designs to a site like cafepress or skreened, but those companies take such a huge cut of the profits, that it's just not worth it.

For a long time now, I've been really interested in setting up my own t-shirt "business"... where I would actually buy the screen-printing equipment and all the materials needed etc, and sell t-shirts independantly, rather than using one of the aforementioned sites that sell your designs for you.

I'm not really that artistic, so I probably wouldn't be able to come up with any great designs.. but the thing I think I would be good at is promoting and marketing the t-shirts if I ever were to set up a business. I've got lots of ideas of how to make a clothing line popular and successful. They're not even groundbreaking ideas; simple things like giving free tees to popular bands, and getting them to wear them for photoshoots and live gigs. Kids see their favourite rockstars wearing a cool tee, and want one for themselves...

So yeah.. I've got lots of ideas like that of how to make a t-shirt business successful, so part of me really wants to follow this dream.

Things holding me back from actually doing something about it though are...

- I'd probably need to work with someone who's good with graphic design/photoshop so they could bring my ideas to life and help design some great tees.
- I'd need to buy the screen printing equipment to actually print the designs on to blank tees which I could buy in bulk from american apparel or gildan or such. But screen-printing equipment isn't cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Also, it's quite a skilled process to actually use the equipment, so I'd either need to hire someone to do it... or take workshop classes to learn for myself.
- I have no money to do any of this.
- There are countless other things holding me back, some of which I probably haven't even considered yet.

Gah, if only someone said "Here, take this £10,000 to follow your dream and set up your t-shirt business. Pay me back if it becomes successful, but if you spend all the money on it, and it completely falls on it's face, then don't worry about it."

Hah.. anyone reading this have a lot of money to spare? No? Didn't think so :P

I know this blog post probably makes me sound like I've got my head in the clouds, or that i'm dreaming unrealistically. I probably sound like a kid who gets asked what they want to be when they grow up, and they say they want to be an astronaught. Then again, some kids DO grow up to be astronaughts.. so I guess there's no harm in having a dream, even if it is a bit far-fetched. And I'm sure there was a time when people like Johnny Earle and Paul Griffiths had a similar far-fetched dream... and look at them now.

If you have any opinions on the designs I've put up on johnnydurham.bigcartel.com, or if you have any thoughts on anything else I talked about in this blog post, feel free to leave them in the comments. It'd be cool to hear what people have to say :)

Much love <3


Hatti Rex said...

T-shirts with dinosaurs!?

Piano Filled With Flames said...

That "Hi there good day!" shirt is adorable, I would've bought it if it was real.
oh, perhaps one day you will be able to Johnny :) and when that happens, I shall own a shirt!

Anonymous said...

I would buy several of these. They're all very cute.

If you were to actually come up with shirts, would you have them available outside of the UK?

Robynne said...

I would totally buy the Giraffe one. <3

slowtrain said...

These are all adorable :)
When I read the words on the tshirts, I hear them in your voice, it makes it so much better

If you ever get your dreams off the ground and you need someone to do designs for you, look me up xD

Luke Beaumont's Design for Digital Media Blog said...

Johnny your t-shirts are beautiful :)

I am good with Photoshop (good ... but not amazing) I really want a t-shirt business too!

Prehaps we should talk? Get in contact with me if you fancy discussing this more, I really don't think anything will come of this but I think it would be interesting to chat more about this :)

Rachel said...

I know how to print on tees for veryy inexpensive. [and it's super easy]

A friend told me how.
If you're interested in learning, email me.


Reno said...

The dinosaurs are so cute! I would buy one :)

veebeeseesyou said...

I don't mind you using my dinosaurs at all! ^^
And I'm pretty good at photoshop...
as you've seen ;)

-vee xx

Rebeca said...

I ADORE both of the dinosaur ones and the giraffe one. I would buy all three of them.

Emily said...

First off, this is definitely not a ridiculous idea. If you had your head in the clouds, you wouldn't be thinking about owning a business and coming up with tshirt designs. From what I've seen, your tshirt ideas are really awesome and I would definitely be interested in buying them. At my university, I'm constantly saying "oh but its just my ridiculous dream" or "but there's no way I can do that" and my spanish teacher that I confide in asks me why my ideas are so ridiculous. So I'm going to give you the same advice that she gave me. If they're your dreams you can definitely make them happen. They're only "ridiculous" because you are letting yourself believe that. If it's what you want then you have to go out and try and get it. Yeah you have to take risks in business, but there is also the possibility for success. Ok, enough of that rant.

Second off, I think that you should use your youtube status to your advantage. I'm pretty sure your youtube friends, subscribers, etc. would definitely be interested in buying a shirt. Just gotta take that risk :)

I'm sorry this was overly cliche and lame but I thought I'd lend some encouraging words. I need them from time to time and I thought I'd try and help.


Nina said...

I think I'm in love with the "I like giraffes" t-shirt, lol

And Johnny, if I had a TON of money I would definitely give you some to start that business, lol


Shelby said...

LOL Aw these are beautiful. I especially love the "has anyone seen my dinosaur!" Wish I had the money to give you, but sadly I don't. Good luck with your dream tho. :)

gaby said...

I like your designs. And I don't think it's a ridiculous idea, I too have been wanting to start a t-shirt business. I'm just saving some money to get started.

But who knows, I might spend most of it soon on a trip to London. Another dream of mine. :)

Good luck with yours!

Adi said...

I don't know about the UK, but in America we have government programs designed to help people like you with big dreams and small bank accounts (i.e. government grants that you don't have to pay back in order to encourage new business). So if you're interested, you might want to see if the UK has something similar. I hope there is, so that I may someday own an "I like giraffes" tee.

citrusbust said...

I love your dinosaur tshirt, the one with you hugging the dinosaur. Perhaps on the back it should have that classic "johnny durham" letters on the back. That would be rad.

If you're not selling it then why does it say 14 pounds?

Emo-x-Tastic said...

I've always loved the cartoon of you and the dinosaur, it's just too cute.

That's kinda freaky, just yesterday I was feeling pretty nostalgic and watching some 5AG videos, including the one where you're asking about t-shirt companies. =)


Elizabeth... said...

Your designs are lovely.
I hope someday you get to follow your dream of breaking into the t-shirt business!


Anonymous said...

it's a good idea! realistic and achievable. i would buy several of those if they were real. don't give up just because of trivial reasons like money. :)

doug said...

Sound's interesting. Don't be afraid to be entrepeurial some day! Starting a business is always risky. Maybe you could start using a 3rd party company to print, then if it became sucessful and you'd made enough money and still enjoyed it you could become independant. That way you'd start from your bedroom and not have to spend any money yourself; = no risk.

MikisthatChick said...

i love them!

and Johnny, you can do this shirt business if you like to! there are very easy and cheap ways of screen printing..maybe not the professional way you are thinking of, but if you want to start of slower, you can try the cheeper way and once you get going, just upgrade! thats how JohnnyCupcakes started...literally he was just modge-podging shirts in his basement and selling them out of the back of his car at concerts.

try ThreadBanger.com, they have some really rad tutorials on screen printing for like, under $20

Meg said...

I love the "Big Heart" design! i would defiantly buy it! Your dream sounds pretty amazing! I mean if you are really interested in learning how to screen print and such maybe you should look into getting a part time job at a small printing shop! I bet you would learn a lot about how it works and printing on a smaller level..which you could then apply to a larger audience! I mean I want to own an independent cafe/book store one day..but I plan to work as much as I can under business owners and such to get the hang of everything! I think it's pretty amazing you have a dream in mind for your future!

Graszood said...

I typed a huge comment but it failed to send. I'm too lazy to type it again and finish this sente

Mannyerism said...

Johnny, just read your post. If you ever do start selling shirts then hit me up. I would totally love to create a design or designs for you.


Berb said...

If you had some raspberries on a shirt I'd buy it in an instant. Oh and if you ever do this and run out of ideas you could always ask people what they want on a tee-shirt and...there you go. That way you'd always have something that sells because people would vote on what they want. Anyway, I'm sorta just rambling on. Good day. :)

CathyDirector said...

Write me how i can help you! Designs or a Video for Adds! :)

Marysenjo said...

i would have so bought the "shh i'm hiding" one. SO FREAKING ADORABLE!!! makes me feel all fuzzy inside :)

claire said...

would liketo have the hiding dinosaur please xD ha cute designs :( wish i had lots if money to give you, its rare people so actually dream past the age of 16

Anonymous said...

If I had 10 000 pounds to spare I would give it to you, Johnny. <3

isabella whitney said...

i used your picture on my blog and gave you credit. i am torn on if i should use etsy or bigcartel. your most recent shop looks so pro! do you know a lot of HTML?

Squeegees said...

Thank you for this site which I just found. It is very useful and informative.


Diaper Girl said...

The Giraffe t-shirt is really good, I like that one a lot. I hope you manage to folllow your dreams, good luck.