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Threadless: A Crowd Sourced Success Story. And A Look Inside The New Book.

If you're anywhere near Brooklyn today, you should stop by the the launch party for the new book about the history of Threadless. (info at the end of this post).

Threadless, in case you are one of the three people on the planet who has never heard of them, officially began in 2000 as an online user-generated design, crowd-sourced, voting-produced, limited edition T-shirt company.

They have since grown into an enormous online and offline success featuring some of the most interesting and hilarious t-shirts around --with user uploaded designs that are voted into limited production by registered users. The online store spawned a Chicago brick and mortar store, an art print store and a cultural phenomenon inspiring cake baking contests, collaborations with Dell computers and more.

above: the Chicago store interior, photo courtesy of

I've actually been a registered user since 2003 and own over 40 of their t-shirts. Below is a photo of me wearing one of my favorites (forgive me, my vegan friends):

The Book

Started by Jacob DeHart (no longer with the company) and Jake Nickell, who met in an online design forum when they were still in college, this story of how an internet T-Shirt company has led to livin' the dream has just been published in book form to be released October 10th.

A few spreads from the 200+ page book which contains over 300 images:

About the book (courtesy of Abrams) is the phenomenally successful T-shirt company with more than 4 million tees sold since it began in 2000. It pioneered the online business model of crowd-sourced or community-driven design, in which people submit designs that are voted on by the site’s 1 million users and printed. Over the past 10 years, the company has amassed a vast archive of very cool, very hip, and often very entertaining designs, and Threadless is a spectacular showcase of 400 of the very best T-shirts created by the community—a barometer of art and design over the past decade.

Much more than a book of extraordinary graphics, Threadless tells the extremely interesting story that inspired Inc. magazine to hail as “the most innovative small company in America.” There are also profiles of individual designers and “think pieces” from influential admirers, including design guru John Maeda, Jeff Howe of Wired, and bestselling business/marketing writer Seth Godin.

Author Jake Nickell

Jake Nickell, above, is co-founder of and lives in Boulder, Colorado.
(photo courtesy of

Buy Threadless: Ten Years of T-shirts from the World's Most Inspiring Online Design Community
Threadless Book Launch Party Today In Brooklyn!
Threadless and Abrams are launching the Threadless Book at the epic Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn today. Threadless Founder Jake Nickell plus a handful of awesome featured Threadless artists will be on hand signing copies and undoubtedly, causing as much trouble as possible.

As an added bonus, their pals from the Etsy Labs will be there for an afternoon of making hands-on recycled t-shirt projects as part of a special edition of Craft Night. You can try your hand at reconstructing and repurposing t-shirts into necklaces, skirts, totebags, and more.The fun starts at 2pm.

If you're already planning to check out the DuMBO Arts Fest, be sure to pop in and say hello. Tasty drinks will be graciously provided by AriZona Beverages.

Powerhouse Arena
Sunday, September 26, 2010 from 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM (ET)
37 Main St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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