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Steppin’ Out…

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At Stolen Outfitters we try damn hard to distance ourselves from foolishness and time traps, in general. We try BUT are not always successful. Sometimes we get caught up and -in the process of doing so- we fall behind. We can acknowledge that. We can hone up to that. We make shirts not excuses.

This site was….challenging to build. Switching from my old method to this new platform came complete with growing pains and much assembly required. It was all worth it. The site functions as it should. It upholds the brand as we see fit. We transact sales confidently. Our marketing sucks though. I can acknowledge that. I can hone up to that. I design solutions not justifications for shortcomings.

Why does our marketing suck? Honestly, I would break it down as several parts inexperience, several parts being too cool for our own good and -primarily- fear of being received as spam.

I view SPAM as -literally- Some Poor Ass Marketing and would hate for anything I am involved in to be exiled to one of those folders for quarantine and execution.

I thought we were on to something with our Labworks Series. They were picture based. People will come here to see the pictures right? Instagram shut all that down by giving our pictures access to more people immediately. Add to that my new found love for the camera on iphones and that time invested elsewhere is explained. Should we have stopped the series? Probably not. THIS is our virtual brick and mortar situation and where the work should be archived but the popularity of IG and the need for exposure superseded my concept of “pitching from the porch”. 487 posts and 530 followers later, I do not regret the decision.

If you know a little something, you know Facebook owns Instagram. All of our IG posts ultimately travel through FB. I cross post to both FB and Twitter using IG. The thing is, FB content is constrained to our friend lists respectively. We had been urged by several people ( S/O to Melissa Irby in particular) to put a fan page together. After Boot Camping this site into being I was not exactly enthusiastic about translating this brand into someone else’s framework. The suggestion lay on ice. Then I joined the African American Graphic Designers Group on FB. I started to notice how many fan pages were out there. I was asked to be a part of a fan page which -in turn- gave me access to the admin screen. That’s when I got a glimpse at the mathematics. Stats. Glorious stats. Not long after that, I found myself Liking a page and noticed the Create Page button in the upper right corner.

It couldn’t be this easy could it?

I clicked it. 4 hours, 4 custom covers pictures and 2 custom avatars later we had a FB Fan page. We had so much media posted on IG it was easy to shift some of the most relevant work to the fan page. 12 hours after we invited people we had 127 likes. 24 hours after that I hooked up our Mailchimp account, built subscription forms for this site (you can find them on the Home page and in the sidebar to your right) as well as the FB Fan page and then wrote this piece.

I am not sure if you can tell but I am excited about what possibilities and potentials this brings within our grasp. Speaking from a clearly marketing standpoint, I am interested to see what works and what doesn’t so that we can start implementing effective marketing strategies for -not only our brand- but other ventures that require the same exposure. More than that, it just feels good to be back in the back office and being active. Ink under my nails and all that.

Yes. The numbers I quoted are meager in comparison to more popular accounts but they are more than we had yesterday and for that we give thankhs.

For those wondering, design-wise, I carried the brand over to FB by using the subtle FB blue gradient and the Stolen Outfitters fence pattern as a cover image. The avatar is styled after the FB reversed out “f”. When you toggle between this site and that page, you are supposed to feel a connection and get the vibe that someone thought that out. Even if you don’t, do us a favor and Like it anyway. Every click counts. Thanks!

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Lab Work #6

I took a little time away from Stolen Outfitters to finish up www.hollagraphics.com. It was long overdue and continuously took a backseat in favor of the development of Stolen Outfitters but now we’re back up and better than ever before. Now that that’s out the way, back to Stolen….

I recently sat down with the author of the comic Jaycen Wise (who has his own name, Uraeus, but still responds to Jaycen Wise) and discussed using some of his art on t-shirts. Thankfully for us, he agreed and I set out upon the mission of producing a print fitting of the incredible artwork provided by John Jennings. Using a 280 mesh screen and a halftone process on the image, I was able to produce what I consider to be 1 of our most detailed 1 color pieces. You can help support the advancement of the Jaycen Wise Project here.

This shirt is now available in Moss (shown), Steel, Heather Grey and White. $35

 

 

The second piece is purely a product of my subconscious. I designed the center elements -consisting of 2 automatic weapons wrapped in bandages that form an ‘S’ and the first eye as the nucleus of an oval time portal- months ago. Last night -at about 3am- the line work that adorns the perimeter of the oval, basically fell out of my mind into the piece. After studying the forms, I started to see a bird in each corner of the line work. Completely unintentional but cosmically calculated. Can you see the bird or make out what species it is? What do you see in this piece? Does it give you a feeling or resonate in any particular way with you?

The shirt will be released as Fully Auto-Mummy. Colors have not been decided as of yet. Suggestions?