The Message Comes in Medium

Rumplo.comNo one should listen to anything I say about anything.

For instance. My friend Sahadeva Hammari told me a long while ago that he was working on a new startup that would collect and display links to graphic tee-shirts from all over the Web. My reaction was, “That’s a neat idea, but to what end?” It didn’t strike me that it was a concept that would go very far. As it turns out, the resulting site, Rumplo is pretty damn engaging.

Entertainment You Can Wear

Below: Tee’d up. Some of the shirts I’ve favorited on Rumplo. See more here.

I’ve always been enamored of graphical tee-shirts, but rarely thought too much about them beyond their rather ephemeral entertainment qualities. Through the power of aggregation though, Rumplo unexpectedly shows that this kind of garment is in fact a rich medium of its own. Spend a few minutes perusing the site’s pages, and I think you’ll see right away that there is far more wit and visual invention than you’ll find in most graphic design annuals.

My Rumplo Favorites

Actually, my favorite part of Rumplo is the email newsletter, which arrives once a week and features a hand-picked selection of ten of the best recently-added tees on the site. Amid the din of my in box, it’s easily the most enjoyable and consumable of my many email newsletter subscriptions. For fans of the more popular, generally excellent, community-driven tee-shirt site Threadless, you may already be finding similar amusement in their regular sales newsletter, which more brazenly hocks their latest wares. The Rumplo newsletter, though, is much less hard-sell, and feels more expansive in its culling from the most obscure corners of graphic tee-dom. In a way, it’s very much a weekly review of what’s happening in this hidden-in-the-open medium.

Actually, that part you should listen to.

  1. I just discovered Rumplo the other day, and I’m sort of in love. I’ve added the feed to my Google reader. It is a million times better than Threadless, where very often the t-shirts often don’t seem to rise above the sort of ‘ironic’ tees you’d find at A&F or Hollister. Rumplo seem much more oriented to limited runs and artist/designers.

  2. Rumplo has been amongst my RSS feeds for a minute. Its great entertainment. I love the fact that they link you to a place to get the tshirts. So I don’t have to remain envious.

  3. Joey: all of the shirts I show above can be found in my favorites list on Rumplo, which you can access here.

    Gabriel: no false modesty here. I’m really proud of that title!

  4. I’ve just recently been introduced to Rumplo, it’s the best tee site I’ve seen. I am on that site at least a few times a day.

  5. Yeah, I’m glad we’re over the ironic slogan t-shirt era. Great post, Khoi, It’s pretty interesting to see how the t-shirt designs are a growing force greater then those found on design annuals. It’s pure creativity and what people are really made of. Great idea, Sahadeva. Rumplo is pretty neat!

  6. Thanks for the Rumplo tip-off – you just never know where some inspiration might come from and I could definitely use some humour in my ‘inbox’!

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