Le Creatif is not really a t-shirt store. Not yet anyway. Mike wrote his about page in the 3rd person so we don’t have to. Thanks!
Le Creatif (french for “The Creative”) is a graphic design site built to house the ideas of Mike Monahan. Based in Pittsburgh, Mike spends his time designing everything from guitars to branding identities, and finds time to squeeze in some hand screened posters, amongst other things.
Le Creatif T-Shirt Review
Sorry the shirt is a bit crumpled. It was crumpled when I got it and believe it or not I even gave it a quick iron before throwing it on my torso. Anyway all cotton shirts get wrinkles so don’t let that put you off.
The shirt is a 100% cotton medium tog white t-shirt with a one color print. It’s an Anvil with the original tag still attached. I can’t complain about the fabric or the fit. It’s a nice but ordinary tee.
The print is not so soft so I guess it is a plastisol-based ink rather than water-based. Still, apart from that dude from Milli Vanilli‘s hair the ink is sparse enough for it not to matter. What I mean is that it doesn’t feel like there is a big patch of paper/card stuck to the front of your shirt.
The content of the design is kind of funny. With that dude from Milli Vanilli sandwiched between too respected hip-hop heavyweights, Tupac and Biggie Smalls. I think that it might have been funnier if, instead of using the name FAB, they had just said that dude from Milli Vanilli. Of course that would have caused some serious design issues.
I’m not all that impressed with the design work. It’s not bad but basically it looks like something that you could do with Live Trace in a few minutes. Perhaps with a touch-up here and there. And then the thick lines of the text don’t really gel with the thin lines of the portraits.
I won’t even get into the probable copyright and trademark infringements.
There is zero branding on the shirt. Apart from the Anvil tag that is. And I am OK with that. The plain white mailer had a printed logo and the cover letter and details page included with tee also contained the logo. I like the logo.
There were no stickers, buttons or anything with this tee. I think that is fine because really, most of those are junk anyway and it’s just something that gets chucked in the bin or keeps up space in a drawer if it is particularly nice. New brands should concentrate on producing a nice tee rather than being overly concerned about extras.
This is a tough one to call. There are basically three websites: lecreatif.com, Big Cartel and Etsy. Lecreatif.com is a clean and simple website with lot of white space and easy to navigate. Easy to navigate, that is unless you are looking for the on-line store.
The t-shirt can be bought from either the Le Creatif Big Cartel store or Etsy but first lets talk about the Big Cartel option first. I guess they are utilizing the Big Cartel free option and that is why only one image of the t-shirt is being shown and it’s a very poor mock-up. (Perhaps he should try Storenvy.) Strangely enough I don’t find the deep orange background and text at all offensive. It works but the cyan backgrounds for the thumbnails could cause migraines. Etsy is fine but doesn’t allow much for branding.
$19.99 is not bad for a t-shirt. You can get better tees with better designs for less but of course you are more likely to see your friends wearing the same t-shirt when you’re hanging out at the mall/park/street corners…
No matter how good a t-shirt is, it’s not going to be all that easy to market and sell if you only have one tee in the store but I guess you have to start small sometimes. While the content has a built audience I think the artwork lets it down. Despite the experience listed in his introduction, the website and this design seem to be telling me that this is a designer starting out so hopefully things will get better from here.