Author Archive

Going downhill fast

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Skiing can be many different things to different people. Some like nothing more than to ski gently from café to café between the pine trees. Others prefer to test out their skills on fearsome black runs. And then there’s speed skiers – people who are prepared to risk their lives in the ultimate pursuit of…

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Kitzbühel – design notes

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We love skiing and all things Alpine at T-lab, so creating ski-themed designs is a task we take to enthusiastically. The real challenge is to find new ways of expressing our enthusiasm so that the designs stay fresh. Kitzbühel is a ski town with a reputation for fierce skiing and equally fearsome partying, so we…

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Why all the red lights?

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Our Focus t-shirt looks at those key moments just before the start of a Grand Prix when all the red lights are lit – and the race will start in the next few seconds… But red lights haven’t always been used to start grand prix. The world’s first Formula 1 world championship race took place…

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Roadtrip Scotland

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Our Roadtrip Scotland design is a classic T-lab design with a twist. See the green curves as hills, the blue ones as lochs. A fun slice of 70’s retro .. It’s not all just wishful thinking though, having taken an Alfa up the North Coast on recent Scottish Roadtrip No.1. It was only start of…

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Best sellers 2022

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A huge thank you to all of our customers for helping us to sell a lot of t-shirts in 2022 – but which ones were the favourites? In reverse order here are our top ten best sellers for 2022… First up is a t-shirt that isn’t a t-shirt and didn’t make it into our top…

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One, the other or both

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Our annual Christmas give-away is live on Instagram @tlabteam See in the New Year with an original T-lab t-shirt design and/or a super-soft, super-warm T-lab beanie. We are offering the chance to win ONE, the OTHER or BOTH, by following, liking and commenting your favourite t-shirt design and favourite beanie on the post. Three winners…

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A good yarn…

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We’re very pleased to add four Beanies to our product range this year. The basic design behind a Beanie is a relatively simple, classic shape – so its the details that make the difference. For our Beanies we took a lot of time choosing just the right yarn, and we’re using 100% British and Irish…

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Ventoux 1911 – design notes

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T-lab t-shirts have a tendency to look a little bit different. It’s a deliberate part of our design approach, using graphic design to tell a story in a way that is distinctive and eye-catching We’re often asked where we get our ideas from and to be honest its not always easy to put into words….

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Superstar sellers 2021

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A huge thank you to all of our customers for making 2021 our best year yet. We sold more t-shirts than ever before – but which ones sold the most? In reverse order, here comes our top 10 sellers in 2021… At number 10 is our Over & Out shirt, featuring a strictly non-technical but nonetheless good-looking graphic illustrating…

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Ski France – design notes

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Sometimes its all in the details. Our Ski France design is a dynamic graphic with shapes that hint at skiing and colours that instantly say France – but getting to the final design was trickier than we thought. We got off to a fast start by taking the three bars of the French flag as…

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Disk – design notes

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We’ve always been partial to pieces of technology, particularly ones that were used up until quite recently. It’s interesting (to us at least) how problems were solved using the technology of the time, how solutions became globally successful and then made obsolete overnight by the next big thing. One day an image of a floppy…

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Holiday at Home – the staycation edit

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Things are easing off (woohoo!) but foreign travel still feels like a bit of a gamble. So many of us are planning staycations this year and we’re looking through our collection for t-shirts that fit the nation’s mood right now… Best for – daytrips to the beach Trips to the beach are a classic British…

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A brief history of mid-century modern style

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Mid-Century Modern (MCM) was an American design movement running from the late 1940’s to the late 1960’s. It had its roots in the pre-war European International and Bauhaus movements – many of the artists and designers involved in the movements relocated to the USA after the war, keen to carry on their works. It found…

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Roadtrip 101 – design notes

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One of the world’s great roads, US Highway 101 runs for 1,500 miles along America’s west coast, from the outskirts of Seattle all the way down to Los Angeles. Snow capped mountains, ocean views, giant redwood forests, San Fransisco, Big Sur, California beaches – there’s a lot going on. Any wise person would rent a…

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Café do Brasil – design notes

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It started on a holiday in 2019, where we saw shapes on a fabric design that – always on the look out for design ideas – made us think of stylised coffee beans. We’d been thinking about doing coffee-themed t-shirts for a while so the stylised beans helped to kickstart the design. At first we…

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But first, coffee…

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It would be no great surprise to hear that there’s been a coffee boom in recent years, particularly in western countries, with consumption per capita now more than three times 1990 levels. But how much coffee do we really drink, and who drinks the most? In the UK coffee consumption has increased by 35% in…

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Bagging a better planet

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We’re pleased to announce that all of our deliveries are now being shipped in environmentally-friendly, strong, recyclable paper bags. It’s another step towards creating an ever more sustainable environment for our customers and our business. Other steps include all our new designs being printed onto sustainably sourced organic cotton t-shirts, and designing, printing and embroidering…

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Open reel – an appreciation

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Still accepted as the best way to faithfully record sound, open reel (or reel to reel) has been largely moved off the scene by the convenience of digital. Yet is still hasn’t completely gone away. In fact it’s even staging a small comeback. Why? Well, firstly there’s the incomparable sound quality. Audiophile bible The Absolute Sound…

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Isolation Inspiration: Summer Dreaming

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We’ve been been spending our lockdown looking at some of our favourite designs and putting them into mini themed collections. This week, the theme is Summer Dreaming. Right now there are a lot of things we can’t do and places we can’t go – but we can still dream, and things will get better. So…

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Isolation inspiration: Do try this at home

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We’ve been taking a closer look at some of our favourite designs and putting them into mini themed collections. This week, the theme is Do try this at home. We’ve picked out some of our designs based around the theme of activities we can still all do – lockdown or no lockdown. Quality screen time –…

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Logo love tangle

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NASA is, without doubt, one of the world’s coolest organisations. The Space Shuttle, the Hubble telescope, putting men on the moon – it’s heady stuff. Yet for all its scientific and technological prowess, NASA seems to have an enduring problem with its own logo. The original NASA logo was drawn up by NASA employee and…

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Isolation inspiration: Graphic twist

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We’ve been taking a closer look at some of our favourite designs and putting them into mini themed collections. This week, the theme is Graphic Twist. A graphic twist is when a design has used elements in an unexpected way, so that things aren’t always what they seem – making for a more distinctive or…

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WFH – design notes

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In the past ‘working from home’ has been given a bit of a bad rep. You’re not really working, they say, you’re just watching Netflix and eating chocolate. Well, right now, a lot of us are being asked to work from home. So we wanted to create a t-shirt that celebrated working from home –…

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Ready, get set, Raclette

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Technically Raclette is no more than a semi hard swiss cheese. But its also the name of a high calorie diy gourmet experience involving melted cheese, potatoes, gherkins, cured meats and anything else you may care to add. First mentioned in medieval texts in the late 13th century, Swiss cow herders would carry chunks of…

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Stocking stuffer

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A big thank-you to Stuff magazine for featuring our T-120 t-shirt in their excellent 15 retro gadget gift ideas for nostalgic nerds. For an old-school yule. See Stuff’s full gift list here and our T-120 t-shirts (and sweatshirts and posters) here.

washingmachinepost

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“the quality of cycling art and design has improved dramatically over the past few years, currently culminating in the latest offering from T-lab” The washingmachinepost is the world’s longest running cycling blog, containing the thoughts and experiences of Islay-based ‘famous member of the cycling media’ and ‘ageing velocipedinist’ Brian Palmer. If you like to read…

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Make mine a stein

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We’re big fans of alpine mountain bars. We like the idea of being 4,000 ft up and still be able to eat, drink and be merry. And we like the characterful people that run the bars – well you’d have to be characterful to run a bar in the middle of nowhere that’s snowed in…

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Pin up boys

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Just a quick heads up – we’ve often been told that our t-shirt designs could make for some great posters. ‘Mmm, maybe’ we thought – so we’re now in the process of producing a range of posters. We’ve had some test prints done – shown above – and the results look very encouraging. So stand…

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Freedom festivals

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Festivals are moving on. No longer just music-focused, newer festivals are springing up, many in beautiful settings, hosting events such as interactive art, poetry and wellness in mind and body. We’ve taken a closer look at 5 festivals that offer a complete chance to get away from the stresses of everyday life and free your…

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Col du Tourmalet

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The Col du Tourmalet (‘col’ means ‘collar’ or ‘pass’ in French) is the highest paved mountain road in the Fench Pyrenees, famous for its association with the Tour de France. Up until 1910, it was just another rocky mountain pass. Shortly before that, Alphonse Steinès, a colleague of Tour de France organiser Henri Desgrange, set…

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Get him a gift that gets him

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The world would be a lesser place without Dads. The fixer uppers, the school runners, the cheerer uppers. So with Father’s Day approaching, we’ve been looking through our collection to pick out some designs that are particularly Dad friendly. So whether your Dad is a music lover, cycling fan, BBQ Star or travel enthusiast, you…

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BBQ Bling

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Who doesn’t love a good barbecue? The sun is shining, your friends are here, cold drinks, sizzling grill – it’s all good. And to enjoy all this you only need a basic piece of cooking equipment that you can buy for a few pounds at your local supermarket. But that got us thinking. Supposing you…

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Paris-Roubaix – cobbles and chaos.

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Paris-Roubaix is one of the 5 classic cycling ‘monuments’, with a rich history of heroism, derring-do, pain and drama. The first race ran in 1896 – it was started by two Roubaix businessmen trying to drum up interest in a Velodrome they had just built there. That race was won by a German, Josef Fischer,…

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A tale of two cities

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LDN & PRS – designer’s notes Maps can make fascinating viewing. The aerial view laying out how we live, how we communicate, how we explore, how we connect. They create seemingly random patterns but look closer and there’s a method behind the madness. A system designed to live with or control or work around the…

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Best sellers – 2018

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Its been another busy year for T-lab during which we released over 20 new designs, as well as reprinting over a dozen old favourites. But which shirts were the most popular in 2018?   Drum roll….  

T-lab pop-up collaboration

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Pop-ups are a great way for smaller brands to collaborate and get a high-street presence so we were delighted when the guys at Hatch Label asked us to join in with their latest venture – London’s only ski pop-up. We’ve joined a fun and creative collective of emerging winter-wear brands from all around the world….

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Design notes – Ski Squad

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It’s no secret that we like a bit of skiing here at T-lab. It’s not just the sliding down a mountain with equal parts joy and terror, it’s the whole Alpine winter thing. Fresh air, stunning views, snow, mountainside cafés. Après-ski, vin-chaud, cheesy fondues and cheesier Euro-pop. There’s a lot to like! That’s probably why…

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Hot Stuff

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A big thanks to Stuff.tv – the bible for all things new and manly – for appreciating the understated qualities of our 66 polo shirt and including it in their Father’s day gift guide. ‘Classy’ they said. ‘Subtle’ they said. Of course, we couldn’t agree more. And here it is:

A brief history of the UK coffee bar

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It’s easy to see that the UK is in the middle of a coffee boom. No town or city centre high street is complete without at least one coffee bar – often a lot more. It wasn’t always like this, in fact it’s really only happened over the last 15-20 years – so what’s happened…

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Bruce & Alana

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We’re very excited to launch our new range of knitwear starting with Bruce (for men) & Alana (for women) – a classic lambswool/cotton sweater design in fresh, contemporary colours. Beautifully made for us in Scotland by one of the world’s leading knitwear companies, they offer an effortless laid-back style that can be dressed up or…

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SuperCircuits Series – design notes

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At T-lab we like to put a bit of ambiguity into our graphic t-shirts. So its not always immediately clear what the design is about. We do it because its good to have a design that’s thought provoking, and also it gives us some freedom in our design, so we can produce something that looks…

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Super 8

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Coming soon – Super 8 is our tribute to the non-stop all-action circuit of Suzuka in central Japan. The latest of our Classic Circuits series, Super 8 should be on sale from the middle of February.

It’s a gift

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Christmas comes at a very handy time for skiers and snowboarders. Just as they’re thinking about any new gear they might need, along comes the season of gifts. So its very timely then that Cat Weakley at The Telegraph has put together this great Christmas gift guide. Featuring everything from hi-tech ski poles to ergonomic…

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Ready made

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This website caught our eye recently from website publishers Readymag. It uses a great combination of shape, colour and movement to document the career of Italian product designer Ettore Sottsass. You can see the whole website here.

Just our type

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We all spend far more time reading from screens than from printed pages nowadays, but curling up with a good book away from it all is one of life’s pleasures. The Visual History of Type caught our eye recently. Written by Paul McNeil, Lecturer in Typography at London College of Communication and published by Laurence…

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Coming soon…

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Number three in our SuperCircuits series, Seuls les braves (Only the brave) is our tribute to the glorious circuit of Spa-Francorchamp, set in Belgium’s Ardennes forest. Seul les braves will be in our shop from mid-September.

Indian essentials

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Its nice how the internet connects us all sometimes. It all started with a tweet from one of our customers showing one of our shirts. Next thing we know evo India are on the line asking if they can feature some of our stuff. A couple of emails later and we’ve got Pista Veloce and…

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‘Summer turns Stylish’

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The Arbuturian is an upmarket style, travel and culture online magazine, written with wit and intelligence. We were delighted then, that they chose to run a ‘Summer turns stylish’ piece about our t-shirts. Describing us as ‘distinctive and contemporary’ the article goes on to also see us as ‘delightfully enigmatic’. Really, we could have read…

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Hey Dude

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Our latest t-shirt celebrates the laid-back surfing resort of Rincón, on Puerto Rico’s west coast. Rincón will be available from late May.

Flowertime

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Coming soon – Flowertime joins our small-but-growing women’s range. Fun and fresh styling for relaxed days and casual wear. Flowertime will be available from mid May.

Coming soon…

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Our Stelvio t-shirt celebrates Italy’s Passa del Stelvio, one of the most famous climbs in cycling. Starting from the town of Prato at 950 metres high, the Stelvio Pass climbs to 2,758 metres, a 24km ride with an ascent of 1,808m. The scenery is stunning (though you may not notice it at the time), the…

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