We were sent two t-shirts from Vespertine Machine recently. Both American Apparel one color designs. Soft black print on light color t-shirts. They are both one color prints with very clean vector like images.
One of the t-shirts shows what I think is a raccoon smoking. The artwork is perfect and it somehow looks natural. I don’t really get it though. Why is the racoon smoking? Is smoking cool again?
Both t-shirts have the Vespertine Machine logo with text printed on the back just below the neck. It has become very popular to do that recently. It doesn’t look so bad and I guess it is a way to get their name out. Their tee designs seem original and I think some people might Google them if they see the logo. I’m not a big fan of this though. If I pay for your product I shouldn’t need to advertise your brand. (That said, my car has a big Honda logo on it and I paid a lot more for that.)
The second tee is light aqua in color and features what I assume is a political message about global warming and the rising sea levels. It shows a man sitting on top of a skyscraper fishing. In the water we can see some small fish and much larger killer whales swimming around the building.
The lines are thin and not much ink is used but it is a good large print and works well. Underneath the text VESPERTINE MACHINES you can see the text NEW YORK 2021. I guess this is when they think New York will be underwater. It is clearly an exaggeration but the message is clear. If we don’t do something about climate change we are in for a hell of a time.
I don’t think the Vespertine Machine text takes away from the shirt. In fact the name is quite interesting and sounds like it could be a part of some secret organization or conspiracy theory.
The website is very clean and showcases the t-shirts and the artwork very clearly. I do find the contrast between the colorful product shots and the black and white designs a little disconcerting. If it were my website I would focus on the model shots like they do in the Women’s section.
I think that because the website is black and white when the black and white design images are used as well it looks almost like a work-in-progress or perhaps a coloring book.
There are only seven mens t-shirts in the store, not including the tank tops and while there is an item in the women’s tees category I’m not sure I would call it a t-shirt. The range may be small but it is original and if you love raccoons you’ll be delighted.
It is a great start to a t-shirt company and there is clearly some talent. With such a small selection though I think they will have to hustle to make sales. Without any pop culture references or licenses it really is a struggle to sell t-shirts. It won’t really matter how good your website is or how cool your tees are if nobody sees them. And then when you do get people to see them you’ll need to make them choose your tee over the billions of others on the internet or IRL.
They do seem to have some connections to music and film people so perhaps by word of mouth they can expand.