T-shirts, games and Chuck

A celebration of graphic design

08/25/2012 12:24 PM

By Bill Motchan

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Joe Santo (left) and Nick Santo create T-shirt designs for Threadless fans.

From left, Carissa Miller, Chuck Travels and Stevie Thomas.

You’ve probably heard the business phrase du jour “crowd sourcing.” Essentially, it means a bunch of people getting together to creatively develop something. It could be to solve a knotty problem or to arrive at a new way of doing something.

It’s this community of interest mentality that’s at the heart of Threadless, the graphic T-shirt design company in the West Loop. Threadless is holding its sixth family reunion this weekend, and they expect about 300 artists and fans to attend.

“We’ve expanded the reunion this year beyond just artists to include the people who support us,” said Joe Van Wetering, a Threadless graphic designer. “We’ll have a party, music, and a show-and-tell interview with artists, but using a comedy theme.”

The Threadless fan base was out in force this morning, playing ping pong, basketball and competing in a pinewood derby.

I’d have to say the crowd there was eclectic. One of the Threadless faithfull I ran into was Chuck, a ventriloquist’s dummy with his human companion Stevie Thomas. Chuck is what you might call a non-working dummy, and Stevie is not a ventriloquist. She just schleps Chuck from place to place so he can post his exploits to his Facebook page. He goes by the handle Chuck Travels if you’re interesting in friending him.

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