Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 30, 2013.

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A small group of artists create apparel for the world's best bands & brands. Their names–and best work–are almost unknown. Until now.

Change their world. Brighten yours.

The Thread Council Project is being launched to get you great apparel – and change the world for some of the most accomplished graphic apparel designers in the industry.

The artists in this project create apparel, albums and more for more than 300 of the biggest brands and bands in the world – from Aerosmith to Jay Z, Levi’s to Prince, and everyone in between.

For this Kickstarter, we're launching with these artists:

This Kickstarter offers their original (and we think best) work – independent of any band or retailer.  When you back this campaign, you get great shirts and other rewards, and support our ability to take these artists' work to a larger market, and add many more designs. 

Our first designs

All shirt rewards are available with your choice of these designs, in men's (S thru 3XL) and women's (S through 2XL). Click the image to see a detailed view.

The rewards.

Our main focus is t-shirts, but for this campaign only, there are lots of other, fun rewards, including hoodies, custom shoes, and even a chance to collaborate on a new design.

You can choose any design above for any t-shirt reward. For more details see the text descriptions at right. 

Our Artists

Brandon is a really talented guy. He designs best selling apparel for some of the biggest bands and brands in the world. He does that by staying on top of design trends, printing methods, musical tastes, and cultural trends. 

Sure, people first see his shirts because of the musician or brand. But it’s his design that made them best sellers, often better than all the other ones a musician or retailer sells. That’s why they hire him, again and again. 

But while his skills helps him drive sales for others, his name, and his own, original work, are largely unknown. And he's not the only one. 

This is the way the industry works. The Thread Council Project is being launched to do change that. We do that by sharing revenue, by putting the artist front and center, and by giving them a way to sell their own, original work, independent of any band or retailer. 

Why we're doing this 

This Kickstarter campaign, once funded, will give independent artists like Brandon a new way to to offer their best work, share in the revenue, and be recognized for it. 

The funds will let us manufacture and ship the first group of shirts, pay the artists, and get the word out (and send you the cool rewards listed here). And send you the rewards described in this campaign. 

But it's bigger than that: It will also let us start building a system to launch amazing designs every month, publicize them, and get more and more independent artists a platform for their original work, and the recognition that goes with it. 

With this simple commitment, we've attracted some of the best artists in the business. They (and we) are incredibly excited about what this campaign could mean for their future, and that of independent artists in general. 

This campaign features designs by Brandon and...

About the shirts

Every design is unique, and won't be seen elsewhere. But no matter the fabric color or graphic design, the Thread Council Shirt is always the same high quality, combed cotton, tee, similar in feel to what you'd pay $50 or $100 at a boutique.  A tailored, high quality shirt -- not one of those heavy cotton ones best suited for working under the car or in the yard.  The Thread Council Shirt is something you'd wear out for a casual evening, or a 'dress casual' informal workplace.  And if it fits once, it will always fit -- no matter what graphics, color or artwork you select, the shirt itself is always the same cut, quality and style.

The best tee shirt guarantee ever

And tees are just the beginning. As you can see from the special rewards, there are lots more products coming from our artists beyond tees. But the only way you can get those now is through the Kickstarter rewards.

Where the money goes

With a successful Kickstarter campaign, we will be able to set up a repeatable system to regularly launch new products with our artists. 

Specifically, at our goal level of $50,000, we will be able to:

  • Complete all designs, customized for different apparel, from our initial group of artists
  • Prepare them for printing, including color separations, film, and creation of custom screens
  • Manufacture all items, both for the rewards and for future events
  • Prepare for future products -- including commissioning several dozen additional graphics to be offered in future runs by the same artists
  • Create regional events and “popups” to help artists get the word out around the U.S.
  • Get the word out to bloggers, writers and music fans, talking about each Thread Council artist and their capabilities, so that their fans know who they are, and how to find their work. 
If we exceed the $50,000 goal, we will be able to add as many as 12 more artists to the group, and do the same for them.

Plus, once we approach $50,000, we have some stretch goals and surprise products that we’ll tell you about.

We will deliver, because we know how

We can change the apparel industry -- and at the same time, guarantee anyone pledging that if funded the product will ship, and ship on time. We have already secured production, done test runs, shipped out samples, and figured out our costs at every step. 

Why we're doing it

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Our approach is new, but the process behind it isn't. We know exactly how to get this stuff made and shipped. We've done it before. It isn't fancy technology. It's time honored, high-end quality screen printing done right in the San Francisco Bay Area.

We guarantee anyone pledging that once the project is funded, we will ship, and ship on time. We have already secured production, done test runs, shipped out samples, and figured out our costs at every step.

And, for the Inspiration Awards, our artists will make themselves available just as promised -- they are as excited about this as we are.

It all works once our Kickstarter campaign is successfully funded. If we raise beyond the goal, we will add more and more artists and styles to the mix.  We will also be able accelerate the introduction of the the other product categories you see in the Rewards list.  

We're changing the rules so independent artists are known and rewarded for their original, and we think best, work, and we have the expertise to do it.

FAQ

  • When the campaign is successfully funded, we'll send you a survey asking you. You'll be able to pick from any of the designs now on the design grid, in both men's (S thru 3XL) and women's (S through 2XL) sizes.

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  • In those rewards that refer to a royalty, the amount is 5 percent of the price we receive for the shirt when we sell it. (The designer also gets a share separately.)

    What does that work out to be? The price we sell them for may vary, but we expect them to retail for $25 to $30, so in that case you would get $1.25 to $1.50 per shirt sold. If the design is used on a $50 hoodie, that would work out to $2.50 each. That may not sound like a lot but by the time we print, ship, and pay the artist, it's a big chunk of the profit. The industry norm is a lot less, if there is any royalty at all.

    And if a product sells well, it can work out to be a lot, and there's no "cap" on how much we pay.

    We can't guarantee how much we'll sell of any design, or even if it will sell at all. But we know the industry pretty well, and it’s not unusual for graphic t-shirts to sell 1,000 to 5,000 units on t-shirt websites, and a “hit” can sell 10,000 units or more. Again, no guarantees but we plan to market all our designs aggressively after the campaign. And we hope the artists and collaborators involved will help spread the word!

    Finally, the fine print: We own the copyright on all designs created this way, but we have the royalty obligation to the collaborator indefinitely -- any time we use it on a product, now or in the future. That's also not typical -- most designs in the industry are "buy outs" with no royalties, and only a few hundred dollars total. Unless you’re the Rolling Stones. But even then, the artist who designed their shirts probably gets no royalty at all, only the band.

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  • Yes.

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  • When you pledge, the checkout process will see your Canadian address and may automatically increase your pledge with an international shipping charge. You can then just change it back, since Canadian shipping is now free, the same as U.S. Sorry for the extra step!

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435
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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    21 backers

    KICKSTARTER-ONLY DIGITAL ART + EXCLUSIVE UPDATES. Pledge $1 or more and get access to exclusive backer updates, plus high-res digital designs by our artists formatted for desktop or smartphone. And you'll be supporting the independence of artists who make millions for bands and brands but are largely unknown for their own amazing work. Change their world. Brighten yours.

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    10 backers All gone!

    KICKSTARTER-ONLY PATCH AND STICKER PLUS DIGITAL DOWNLOAD: For $10, you'll be sending a message of support for artists' independence -- and you’ll get an embroidered patch featuring a Thread Council design, a cool sticker, the 'Support the Cause' download above, and our thanks. Free shipping in the US.

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    141 backers

    ANY THREAD COUNCIL SHIRT PLUS EVERYTHING ABOVE: For only $25, you get a mind blowing, fine combed cotton shirt AND you make the world a better place for independent artists. PLUS the patch, sticker and digital download. Free shipping in the US.

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    86 backers

    ANY TWO THREAD COUNCIL SHIRTS PLUS EMBROIDERED PATCH, STICKER AND DIGITAL DOWNLOAD. For only $15 more, you get TWO shirts...along with the patch, sticker and digital download. Free shipping in US.

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    24 backers Limited (1 left of 25)

    THE KICKSTARTER-ONLY THREAD COUNCIL HOODIE: This 80/20 cotton/poly, high quality zip hoodie features an exclusive design that will be ONLY MADE FOR THIS CAMPAIGN, so you'll be one of the only people in the world to own one. Free shipping in the US. --- NOTE TO OUR MOBILE VISITORS (for all rewards!): For photos of rewards, choose 'read more' at top of mobile page!

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  • Pledge $75 or more
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    31 backers

    ANY TWO SHIRTS PLUS THE KICKSTARTER-ONLY HOODIE: Choose from any shirt design in the campaign, plus you get the hoodie, sticker, patch and download. Shipments may arrive separately. Free shipping in the US,

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    20 backers

    ANY SIX THREAD COUNCIL SHIRTS! Plus the embroidered patch, sticker, and digital download. Free shipping in the US.

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    8 backers Limited (42 left of 50)

    PARTY! MUSIC MEETS FASHION + EXCLUSIVE T-SHIRT: Celebrate the launch of the Thread Council project at a Kickstarter-only party in SF's Haight district. And get a EXCLUSIVE SHIRT only available at this event. Meet artists plus special guest Baron Wolman, Rolling Stone magazine's original chief photographer presenting his pix (and stories) featuring everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Janis Joplin, Jefferson Starship, the Beatles, Johnny Cash, & more. At DSF, the cool gallery+apparel shop just a few blocks from where many of the photos were taken. --- NOTE TO OUR MOBILE VISITORS (for all rewards!): For photos of rewards, choose 'read more' at top of mobile page!

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    27 backers

    ANY FOUR SHIRTS SHIRTS PLUS THE KICKSTARTER-ONLY HOODIE. Shipments may arrive separately. Choose from any design shown. Free shipping in the US.

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    16 backers

    A THREAD COUNCIL SHIRT A MONTH FOR A YEAR! Once we are funded, our artists will be creating new shirts every month, and you'll be first in line for your choice of them. (Or if you don't want to wait, you can choose some or all from this campaign.) Free shipping in US. The extra charge for outside the U.S. is a single fee that includes all 12 items.

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  • Pledge $200 or more
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    10 backers

    A SHIRT A MONTH FOR A YEAR PLUS THE KICKSTARTER-ONLY HOODIE. Same deal as the Shirt A Month reward above, PLUS the exclusive Kickstarter-only Hoodie. You'll get the hoodie first and the first shirt by August. Free shipping in the US. Outside the US, there's a shipping charge but that covers the hoodies plus all 12 shipments.

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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    ART SCHOOL: TWO HOURS WITH ONE OF OUR ARTISTS: The Thread Council artists are independent, work long hours, and until now got only a small fee to design hit products. To succeed, they've had to master efficiency and high output, and find quick solutions to creative problems. They also remember the mentors who helped them in their careers. This reward was proposed by our artists based on their experiences, and the requests they get every day to show less experienced artists the ropes. Pledge $250 or more and you'll get up to two hours of consulting from any of our artists, and the ability to connect with them later for followup questions. --- NOTE TO OUR MOBILE VISITORS (for all rewards!): For photos of rewards, choose 'read more' at top of mobile page!

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    3 backers

    INSPIRATION AWARD #1: OUR ARTIST TURNS YOUR IDEA INTO A NEW PRODUCT: One of our artists will turn your idea into a future product (and you'll share in the revenues). Tell us about your concept for a design and one of the Thread Council artists will create an original design inspired by your concept. You will be listed as "Art Director" in the shirt label (screen printed inside the collar). You'll get a royalty (i.e., a share of EVERY sale) on products sold with the design – and 10 copies of the t-shirt (see FAQ for specific terms of the royalty). Free shipping for the 10 shirts anywhere in the US.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    9 backers

    COMMISSION AN ARTIST & GET A DESIGN FOR YOU ALONE - PLUS 10 SHIRTS. Great for you, your business or your community group. Basically you are hiring one of the best artists in the world for your own design. Think of it: They work for everyone from Jay-Z to Levi's. And now they'll create a personal design for you or your group. You'll submit existing artwork, sketches... or just a word, name or idea. From there, one of the Thread Council designers will create a unique design only for you. We'll digitally print up to 10 shirts for you and you'll get all rights to the resulting artwork for future printing or other use. If you need more than 10, or other stuff with the design, let us know and we'll arrange it. Free shipping in the US. Delivery date below is when we begin work together; they'll ship within 10 days after design is done. --- NOTE TO OUR MOBILE VISITORS (for all rewards!): For photos of rewards, choose 'read more' at top of mobile page!

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    SNEAKERHEADS ONLY: ONE-OF-A-KIND, HAND DESIGNED SHOES! As a special project ONLY through this Kickstarter campaign, our designers have agreed to create one-of-akind, individually painted, printed and signed pair of Vans canvas slipons. That means you'll be the only one in the world wearing one-of-a-kind shoes by artists who have designed for Aerosmith, Paul McCartney or Prince. And you'll be supporting their independence -- and a future of great original designs. You'll get to choose your size, since our artist won't begin work until the campaign ends. Each pair will be individually signed and dated, with a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist. Free shipping in US.

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  • Pledge $725 or more
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    2 backers

    THE WELL DRESSED SNEAKERHEAD: ONE-OF-A-KIND, HAND DESIGNED SHOES -- PLUS A SHIRT A MONTH FOR A YEAR! You get everything in the SNEAKERHEADS ONLY reward PLUS the SHIRT A MONTH FOR A YEAR reward. That's means you'll get one-of-a-kind, individually painted, printed and signed pair of Vans canvas slipons plus 12 original shirts from Thread Council designers. See details in SNEAKERHEADS ONLY plus SHIRT A MONTH FOR A YEAR awards. The extra charge for outside the U.S. is a single fee that includes shoes plus all 12 shirts at $5 per shipment.

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  • Pledge $750 or more
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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    INSPIRATION AWARD #2: CO-CREATE OUR NEXT PRODUCT AND SHARE THE CREDIT + 10 SHIRTS AND A SHARE OF FUTURE REVENUE. A major step up from the $350 reward, you don't just inspire this design, but truly collaborate a Thread Council artist. You will work together to turn your inspiration into a future product (and share in the revenues). Through a series of Skype sessions, you'll discuss your ideas and inspirations, and choose a direction together, view rough sketches and the final design. You'll get a royalty on any apparel products that use the design -- and 10 shirts with that design, signed by the artist. Your name will be listed as "Art Director" in the shirt label. (See FAQ for specific terms including copyright ownership.) Free shipping for the 10 shirts anywhere in the world.

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  • Pledge $1,500 or more
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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    THE WELL DRESSED ARTIST: INSPIRE A DESIGN *AND* GET IT ON SHIRTS, PLUS ONE-OF-A-KIND SHOES & KICKSTARTER-ONLY HOODIE -- PLUS NEW SHIRTS EVERY MONTH FOR A YEAR! You get to inspire a new design, as described in INSPIRATION AWARD 2, including co-credit and 10 shirts plus revenue share. PLUS you get the exclusive one-of-a-kind shoes in the SNEAKERHEADS-ONLY reward, the KICKSTARTER-ONLY HOODIE and the SHIRT A MONTH FOR A YEAR. (See FAQ for specific terms including copyright ownership.)The "delivery date" is for the shoes, and hoodie, and the start date for the shirt collaboration. The collaboration shirt will ship in the fourth quarter of 2013. (See FAQ for specific terms including royalty and copyright ownership.) The monthly shirts will be available starting in September and each month thereafter. All shipped free in the U.S. The extra shipping charge for outside the U.S. is a single fee that includes everything including the 12 monthly shirts at $5 per shipment. --- NOTE TO OUR MOBILE VISITORS (for all rewards!): For photos of rewards, choose 'read more' at top of mobile page!

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  • Pledge $3,500 or more
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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    INSPIRATION REWARD #3: THE FULL ARTIST EXPERIENCE. WE FLY YOU TO SAN FRANCISCO, WHERE YOU HELP CREATE A NEW DESIGN AND GET 10 SHIRTS, CO-CREDIT AND ROYALTIES AND HOODIE. You will create a new design in partnership with one of our artists -- and be one degree of separation from the biggest names in music and apparel. You'll create a new design, get credit for it on the shirt, get 10 shirts featuring it -- and a royalty (see FAQ for terms). Plus the Kickstarter-only hoodie. It begins when we fly you to our studio in the San Francisco Mission District. We'll look after you, introduce you to an artist or two, go to a great dinner. Then you'll collaborate, in person, with one of our artists in the studio, designing a future product. Your name will be printed in the shirt label along with the artist, credited as Art Director. And pay you a royalty on any products featuring the design in the future. We'll feature you and the story on our website. And the trip's on us: We'll pay round trip coach air fare from anywhere in the U.S. to San Francisco (with 30 days' notice) and two nights in a hotel. We'll pick you up at the airport, feed you and generally make sure you have a great time when you're not designing. If you're from San Francisco area, we’ll credit you $500 for airfare (or apply to other rewards) but still do all the rest, including the hotel. From outside the US? Deal is good, but air fare is limited to a maximum of $500 towards round trip. (See FAQ for specific terms including copyright ownership.) The shipping date is when we begin work together (we’re flexible). Final delivery of the product you create will the fourth quarter of 2013. Free shipping for the 10 shirts anywhere in the world.

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  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    INSPIRATION REWARD #4: THE "WE CAN'T THANK YOU ENOUGH' REWARD. EVERYTHING IN INSPIRATION AWARD #3 PLUS THE SNEAKERHEADS ONLY SHOES, A SHIRT A MONTH FOR A YEAR AND THE KICKSTARTER-ONLY HOODIE. That includes the travel, collaborating to create a new product with one of our artists, including a royalty and your name on every product, and 10 copies of the resulting shirt. A feature story on our web site. Plus SHOES, HOODIE and SHIRT A MONTH FOR A YEAR rewards. Same terms on travel: Air fare is limited to a maximum of $500 towards round trip. If you're from San Francisco area, we’ll credit you $500 for airfare (or apply to other rewards) but still do all the rest, including the hotel. (See FAQ for specific terms including royalty and copyright ownership.) The delivery date is when we begin work together. The Shoes and Hoodie will ship by October 2013. The monthly shirts will begin to be offered shortly afterward, and you can order at any time from existing or new designs. Free shipping in the U.S., outside the U.S. onetime fee covers all shipping including monthly shirts. Final delivery of the collaborative product you create will the fourth quarter of 2013.

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Funding period

- (30 days)