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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

T-post: the world’s first wearable magazine

Underground phenomenon T-post is a t-shirt, magazine and artwork all in one. Here, head honco Peter tells us why it all began, how it's developed, and how YOU can contribute!

Written by Matt Bramford

Quidams at Latitude 2010. Illustration by Sophie Parker and Daniel Sims
After what had been a magical weekend we decided to spend our final night of Latitude simply drifting through the festival. With no agenda we found ourselves sitting atop the large books outside the Literary Stage- donuts in one hand and chocolate dip held precariously in the other. Happily munching away with Vampire Weekend echoing in the background, click it seemed a perfect end to the weekend.

With the masses up at the Obelisk Arena, order the crowds had thinned out to the point where the festival began to resemble its Mean Fiddler days. The dust from the day had finally settled and the sun was just a whisper of warmth in the evening air.

As we got up and turned to head for Cabaret Stage we caught sight of a peculiar glow of light. Bobbing and shimmying, buy it was surrounded by a small gathering of people. As the light dispersed, four towering bubble-like creatures flickered into view, their immense height and width contrasting with their feather-light appearance.

Whilst Latitude is notorious for having all kinds of ephemeral creatures wandering through the festival both day and night, there was definitely something more surreal about these serene giants. Gently they tip-toed on stilts away from the bright lights of the festival into the secret darkness of the trees and, along with a growing crowd of enchanted people of all ages, we followed them Pied Piper-like into the darkness.

Unknown to us at the time it was in fact Quidams- a French street theatre company known for, amongst other things, inflatable self illuminating costumes and characters reminiscent of Tim Burton (before Disney devoured him, obviously). At the time, however, who they were and where they had come from didn’t seem important. It was far more exciting to simply engage with the moment.

Clumsy yet graceful, with only a wordless language of slow gestures and hypnotic light we were lead to the Waterfront stage. They shuffled tentatively onto the unlit platform and there was a simultaneous jaw-dropping as the four figures proceeded to creep silently (and unaided) across the submerged catwalk giving the appearance of walking on water.

What had been a small gathering was now a swarming crowd blocking the bridge and congregating on both sides of the lake. As if out of a Studio Ghibli film, we watched as the four illuminated characters arrived on the other side of the bank and surrounded a covered luminous globe. Performing a kind of magic to the strange and dramatic music, the orb began to rhythmically float and descend, each time getting a little higher. Finally it rose high above our heads shedding it’s gossamer-thin covering and blooming into a huge and glowing full-moon.

As the four characters deflated and drifted off into the night, the moon signaled the perfect end to an unbelievable weekend.

It was definitely not the biggest act, but for the brief time it lasted, the festival site was transformed into a Moomin-esque world caught somewhere between fiction and reality. Quite simply, it was Latitude at its best.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

After what had been a magical weekend we decided to spend our final night of Latitude simply drifting through the festival. With no agenda we found ourselves sitting atop the large books outside the Literary Stage- donuts in one hand and chocolate dip held precariously in the other. Happily munching away with Vampire Weekend echoing in the background, information pills it seemed a perfect end to the weekend.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

With the masses up at the Obelisk Arena, malady the crowds had thinned out to the point where the festival began to resemble its Mean Fiddler days. The dust from the day had finally settled and the sun was just a whisper of warmth in the evening air.

As we got up and turned to head for Cabaret Stage we caught sight of a peculiar glow of light. Bobbing and shimmying, it was surrounded by a small gathering of people. As the light dispersed, four towering bubble-like creatures flickered into view, their immense height and width contrasting with their feather-light appearance.

Quidams at Latitude 2010. Illustration by Sophie Parker and Daniel Sims

Whilst Latitude is notorious for having all kinds of ephemeral creatures wandering through the festival both day and night, there was definitely something more surreal about these serene giants. Gently they tip-toed on stilts away from the bright lights of the festival into the secret darkness of the trees and, along with a growing crowd of enchanted people of all ages, we followed them Pied Piper-like into the darkness.

Unknown to us at the time it was in fact Quidams- a French street theatre company known for, amongst other things, inflatable self illuminating costumes and characters reminiscent of Tim Burton (before Disney devoured him, obviously). At the time, however, who they were and where they had come from didn’t seem important. It was far more exciting to simply engage with the moment.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

Clumsy yet graceful, with only a wordless language of slow gestures and hypnotic light we were lead to the Waterfront stage. They shuffled tentatively onto the unlit platform and there was a simultaneous jaw-dropping as the four figures proceeded to creep silently (and unaided) across the submerged catwalk giving the appearance of walking on water.

What had been a small gathering was now a swarming crowd blocking the bridge and congregating on both sides of the lake. As if out of a Studio Ghibli film, we watched as the four illuminated characters arrived on the other side of the bank and surrounded a covered luminous globe. Performing a kind of magic to the strange and dramatic music, the orb began to rhythmically float and descend, each time getting a little higher. Finally it rose high above our heads shedding it’s gossamer-thin covering and blooming into a huge and glowing full-moon.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

As the four characters deflated and drifted off into the night, the moon signaled the perfect end to an unbelievable weekend.

It was definitely not the biggest act, but for the brief time it lasted, the festival site was transformed into a Moomin-esque world caught somewhere between fiction and reality. Quite simply, it was Latitude at its best.
Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

After what had been a magical weekend we decided to spend our final night of Latitude simply drifting through the festival. With no agenda we found ourselves sitting atop the large books outside the Literary Stage- donuts in one hand and chocolate dip held precariously in the other. Happily munching away with Vampire Weekend echoing in the background, visit it seemed a perfect end to the weekend.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

With the masses up at the Obelisk Arena, pharmacy the crowds had thinned out to the point where the festival began to resemble its Mean Fiddler days. The dust from the day had finally settled and the sun was just a whisper of warmth in the evening air.

As we got up and turned to head for Cabaret Stage we caught sight of a peculiar glow of light. Bobbing and shimmying, it was surrounded by a small gathering of people. As the light dispersed, four towering bubble-like creatures flickered into view, their immense height and width contrasting with their feather-light appearance.

Quidams at Latitude 2010. Illustration by Sophie Parker and Daniel Sims

Quidams by Sophie Parker and Daniel Sims

Whilst Latitude is notorious for having all kinds of ephemeral creatures wandering through the festival both day and night, there was definitely something more surreal about these serene giants. Gently they tip-toed on stilts away from the bright lights of the festival into the secret darkness of the trees and, along with a growing crowd of enchanted people of all ages, we followed them Pied Piper-like into the darkness.

Unknown to us at the time it was in fact Quidams- a French street theatre company known for, amongst other things, inflatable self illuminating costumes and characters reminiscent of Tim Burton (before Disney devoured him, obviously). At the time, however, who they were and where they had come from didn’t seem important. It was far more exciting to simply engage with the moment.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

Clumsy yet graceful, with only a wordless language of slow gestures and hypnotic light we were lead to the Waterfront stage. They shuffled tentatively onto the unlit platform and there was a simultaneous jaw-dropping as the four figures proceeded to creep silently (and unaided) across the submerged catwalk giving the appearance of walking on water.

What had been a small gathering was now a swarming crowd blocking the bridge and congregating on both sides of the lake. As if out of a Studio Ghibli film, we watched as the four illuminated characters arrived on the other side of the bank and surrounded a covered luminous globe. Performing a kind of magic to the strange and dramatic music, the orb began to rhythmically float and descend, each time getting a little higher. Finally it rose high above our heads shedding it’s gossamer-thin covering and blooming into a huge and glowing full-moon.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

As the four characters deflated and drifted off into the night, the moon signaled the perfect end to an unbelievable weekend.

It was definitely not the biggest act, but for the brief time it lasted, the festival site was transformed into a Moomin-esque world caught somewhere between fiction and reality. Quite simply, it was Latitude at its best.

T-post is the world’s first wearable magazine. Nope, it isn’t a Vogue-September-Issue-style glossy mag that has been fashioned into a Stephen-Jones-style millinery creation, story but a t-shirt that poses as a magazine. It’s the brainchild of Sweden-based Peter Lundgren, pilule and produced using an army of writers and illustrators. The concept is pretty simple – a current or topical news story is printed on the inside, and an artist or illustrator interprets the story on the outside. Previous topics have included immigration, the Nobel prize and Mickey Mouse, amongst many other things, and artists contribute from all over the world. Subscribers receive a new t-shirt every five weeks, with T-post producing its 57th issue very soon!

I had a chat with founder and editor-in-chief Peter Lundgren to find out more about T-post…

What’s the thinking behind T-post?
It all started with the idea of trying to re-wire the structures of news communication. We started concepting ways to engage people in important topics, and our favourite garment, the T-shirt, seemed like an ideal media for doing so. T-shirts inspire conversation, and when you add a story behind them, you get people thinking. By combining a news magazine subscription with a T-shirt we’re able to utilise the attention and commitment accustom to the ‘fashion world’ while communicating interesting news topics. And by putting the written story on the inside of the Tee just for the subscriber to read, the subscriber is really the one communicating the story and getting it to spread outside the T-post circle.

Since the article is not usually available while wearing the T-shirt, it really becomes their personal interpretation of the story, which is even more interesting to hear about, I think!

How did it all begin?
The idea was born back in 2004 in an advertising agency I co-owned at the time. During that year it was just a fun project that we did in between other clients. I always saw great potential in the project, but realised that I needed to focus on it 100% to get it to take off. In the beginning of 2006 I handed over the agency to my partner, so I was able to give T-post the chance it deserved. My goal was to not take on any investors along the way, even though I had lots of offers, which left me with six months to get the number of subscribers from 300 to a 1000 to still have a job.

After about two months we got a centrefold article in one of the biggest news papers in The Netherlands. After that T-post got its own life in newspapers and on the internet.

Describe T-post in 3 words.
I can do it in two: “Conversation piece”.

Where do the ideas for each ‘issue’ come from?
It can be a reflection on several news stories which have a connection or just a single interesting story that we’ve picked up in a newspaper.

How do you source and network with illustrators and contributors?
We’ve been very lucky. We always have a lot of illustrators contacting us wanting to interpret one of our stories, so we keep a constantly growing library of who we think have the most unique and interesting look.

And when it’s time to match a story with an illustrator we chose the one who we think have the most suitable look for our written story.

Can anybody contribute?
Absolutely. Just send us some examples of what you’ve done in the past and we’ll consider you for a upcoming issue.

Is it difficult running a business and maintaining creativity?
This is what I’ve always loved to do so I automatically pick up stuff which I think is interesting and could make a good issue. You have to surround yourself with talented people who can bring the best out of you and the brand. I always bring a bunch of ideas to the table some of them are good but most of them are really shitty. So it’s important to have people around you which you can try your ideas on.

How are the t-shirts produced? Are the actual t-shirts ethical?
We use American Apparel T-shirts so we’re really comfortable with them being produced ethically.

What are your thoughts on advertising?
Nobody likes advertising, yet everyone pays for it in the purchase-price of a product. Not with T-post. T-post began as an underground phenomenon amongst friends and we have grown honestly and organically. We’d like to keep it that way. 

We don’t create advertising. We create dialog. We listen. We don’t believe in corporations telling people what to believe. Instead, we only believe in our family of subscribers. Our fans do the only kind of advertising we like: word-of-mouth.

Your ethos is that T-post only produces the amount of t-shirts necessary to correspond with subscriber figures, to avoid any waste. Are environmental issues important to you, and your magazine?
We just try to do what we can with the recourses we have. Which all companies should. It’s important not to use more than what is absolutely necessary for your business to work.

The first issue of T-post had a run of 5 copies – how many subscribers do you have now? Do subscriber numbers multiply on a monthly basis?
Today we have about 2,500 subscribers in over 50 countries. And it’s about 150 new subscribers signing on each month.

How will T-post develop? What does the future hold?
Right now our only goal is to make as interesting issues as we can. We’re trying to expand what we can deliver in each issue to make our message as clear as possible. One example is our Augmented Reality Issue:

Who would you like to seeing wearing an issue of T-post?
I would love to see Andy Warhol wear one, but since that’s not so likely the next best thing would be to see Jon Stewart wear one on the Daily Show!

To subscribe, visit the T-post website!
To contact Peter and the team about contributing, see the contacts page.

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