Karim Hamidou
The Internet is amazing! — 29 July 2017

The other day I stumbled upon a fascinating sub-subculture – people making and wearing parody shirts of popular brands. It’s fascinating to see people trying to make brand logos their own.

For example, Patagucci was a short-lived brand based that sold Patagonia-inspired clothing:

Pataguccia sweater

They unfortunately had to shutdown after receiving a Cease and Desist from Patagonia, but this doesn’t seem to have deterred other fans. There are literally dozens of takes on their iconic logo. Fraternities sell Fratagonia tee-shirts. Even Grateful Dead fans have their own.

I found this really inspiring, so I decided to try to make my own Patagonia-inspired tee-shirt. It turns out it was surprisingly easy, thanks to the Internet.

The first thing to do was to decide what the logo would be about. Since I live in California, I decided it would be about… California1.

The second thing I had to decide on was the logo. The Patagonia logo is pretty interesting because it’s not a completely abstract form – it’s the outline of Mt Fitz Roy, in… Patagonia. I could have simply pasted California on the logo but that wouldn’t cut it. I needed something Californian.

That’s when it hit me – why not replace Mt Fitz Roy by the most iconic skyline in California – el Capitan? Doing so would be above my drawing abilities, but I was able to find a good illustrator on fiverr to draw it:

California logo

After that it was pretty easy to find an online tee-shirt printing service that would print a tee-shirt with this logo. Three weeks later I received my tee-shirt by mail:

California tee-shirt

This is fascinating because all of this happened only because of the Internet. It’s easy to get fixated on the bad aspects of technologies. It’s also important to remember that the they let people to do amazing things2 every day. We should be grateful for it.

  1. One thing to know about Californians if you’ve never been there is that they’re really proud to live in California. It’s pretty common to see locals wearing California tee-shirts and sweaters, which is something you will not see in any other place.

    It’s also why Antony Kiedis has written hundreds of songs about California. 

  2. I’m not talking about this humble tee-shirt of course! I’m thinking about real art.