Category Archives: Designs

In the Beginning… Was the Command Line

This is the title of an essay by Neal Stephenson published online in 1999.

From the Wikipedia: “The essay is a commentary on why the proprietary operating systems business is unlikely to remain profitable in the future because of competition from free software. It also analyzes the corporate/collective culture of the Microsoft, Macintosh, and free software communities.”

Despite the contents of the essay, I was captivated by the title the very moment I read it. It’s a great title, something worthy of the great writer that he is. It is a blend of mysticism and technology that makes you imagine stories regardless of the content of the essay. I liked it so much that I decided I wanted to wear it and, well, this is the result. I’m thinking of starting a “slogans” section.

In the beginning...was the command line

Simple but elegant. A perfect gift for Hackers, Linux lovers and geeks.

William Gibson and the Chatsubo Bar T-shirt

William Gibson meets a fan wearing a Chatsubo Bar T-shirt from Memetic Tees
When I designed the Chatsubo Bar T-shirt back in 2008, I couldn’t have imagined that someday Mr. William Gibson would see one of them.

My jaw dropped when I saw this picture posted to my Facebook wall by Blake wearing his Chatsubo Bar T-shirt at a reading of Mr. Gibson at the University of Calgary in Canada.

What can I say? I admire Gibson and my designs are the result of my passion for the worlds he creates. Have you seen his funny expression? He looks like a great guy. I doubt that I’ll ever have a chance to be that close to him, but I am delighted that one of my designs -a tribute to his work- had that privilege.

Tessier-Ashpool: A walk on the geek side

This is real geek stuff. T-shirts based on the fictitious company Tessier-Ashpool S.A. from the book Neuromancer by William Gibson.

Unlike other designs on Memetic Tees, the idea here wasn’t to create a striking logo but a serious corporate image that would serve as a base for the shirts of the company and its various departments (IT, AI R&D…). Are you a geek?  Do you work in an IT Dept.?  What if you had been working for Tessier-Ashpool?

Tessier Ashpool IT Department

It all started with the suggestions of “The Doctor” who among other things suggested a design with Hideo as a protagonist.

In the novel, Hideo is a cybernetically-modified, genetically-engineered clone bodyguard/assassin in service of the Tessier-Ashpools. Highly trained in ninja martial arts, he is loyal and dangerous.

Tessier-Ashpool Special Ops

This shirt is saying “Don’t mess with me or the last thing you’ll see will be my blade  sticking through your throat”

For the “IT Department” T-shirt, you can select your color. Here are some suggestions.

Tessier-Ashpool Special Ops

Come on, get one and show your friends you worked for the family that owns Freeside and the mainframe to which the AI Wintermute is attached.

Hosaka and Ono-Sendai: Break the ICE T-shirt

Ono-Sendai - Hosaka design
“With his deck waiting, back in the loft, an Ono-Sendai
Cyberspace 7. They’d left the place littered with the abstract white forms of the foam packing units, with crumpled plastic film and hundreds of tiny foam beads. The Ono-Sendai; next year’s most expensive Hosaka computer; a Sony monitor; a dozen disks of corporate-grade ice; a Braun coffee maker.”
Excerpt from Neuromancer, by William Gibson

Those of us who like Neuromancer have  a lot of referents, names of objects and places imagined by William Gibson that  evoke strong feelings. I suppose that this is part of the fan phenomenon.

The Ono-Sendai deck and the Hosaka computers are some of these objects. I think that the strength of  the Ono-Sendai, for example, was enough to make a good T-shirt. My first idea was to create a console. Then the slogan “Break the ICE” came to my mind and I designed a sort of cube to represent the “ICE”, but I wasn’t able to make something of my taste.

Working at the same time with the Hosaka logo, it all started to take form when I wondered how “Hosaka” would look written with Kanji characters. Hosaka, Ono-Sendai, Cyberspace 7, the “ICE”…a lot of good feeling-igniters gathered together in a T-shirt hard to ignore.

Ono-Sendai Cyberspace 7 T-Shirt

An Hosaka computer and an Ono-Sendai Cyberspace 7 deck. The perfect combination to break the ICE.

I started to play with many combinations of colors but I wasn’t able to decide about just one, so here they are the ones I liked the best.

Hosaka - Ono-Sendai T-Shirts

Two related designs for a new Singularity section

“The Singularity is here”, is a new section of the shop.  To open up this new “world” I have split the concept of transhumans in two t-shirts. “H+: Transhuman” and “H+:Posthuman”.

Singularity T-shirts

H+ is used  to refer to “Transhumanism” and is often used as a synonym for “human enhancement”.

A Transhuman enhances himself with the aid of  nanotechnology, implants, genetic engineering, AI, mind uploading… The final stage of a transhuman,  the posthuman, is a being “whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer unambiguously human by our current standards.”

Both designs have versions printed on black and navy.

‘What is a human being, then?’
‘A seed.”
A… seed?’
‘An acorn that is unafraid to destroy itself in growing into a tree’

David Zindell, The Broken God

Available in USA and Europe.

Hardwired T-shirt

Hardwired is a 1986 cyberpunk science fiction novel by Walter Jon Williams. It’s one of the most important works in the cyberpunk genre. If you are into cyberpunk but you haven’t read it I encourage you to do so.

I couldn’t resist to make a  T-shirt with a “Glow in the dark” design that tells that you are also hardwired.

Hardwired T-Shirt

It’s a good name for a cyberpunk novel but it can also have some other connotations related to the way our brain works in many aspects, so this could also have been in the Science section. I have drafts for a more elaborate typography but so far I have followed the line of Neuromancer and wintermute for a readable and elegant shirt. Over time I may add an alternative design but not by now.

It’s already available in the shop (USA and Europe).

wintermute finds neuromancer

When I created the Neuromancer T-Shirt (very simple but elegant) I was thinking of something to wear at night even when going to a club. I could see the shirt glowing around.
A wintermute design had been for a long time on my mind. I was playing with typography and trying to create some kind of logo based on a snow flake…well, many different things.

The other day I was thinking about it while walking and I had a spark of inspiration: Wintermute was programmed by the Tessier-Ashpool dynasty with a need to merge with its other half: Neuromancer. Finally, Wintermute unites with Neuromancer, fusing into a greater entity.
Suddenly I realized that they didn’t need to have different designs. Now I can picture myself with a partner hanging around with both t-shirts.
Neuromancer and Wintermute have the same essence, they are two complementary AIs destinated to be a goodlike AI when they merge.

Wintermute vs neuromancer

The shirt is already in the shop.

This is a video of neuromancer T-shirt whith the lights off. I’ll try to make another as in this one it doesn’t look as bright as it is.

Chatsubo bar T-Shirt Design

Book cover

Book cover

Many years have passed since I read Neuromancer by William Gibson. I always liked the Chatsubo bar. For those who haven’t read the novel, here is the introduction in the first chapter:

The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. “It’s not like I’m using,” Case heard someone say, as he shouldered his way through the crowd around the door of the Chat. “It’s like my body’s developed this massive drug deficiency.” It was a Sprawl voice and a Sprawl joke. The Chatsubo was a bar for professional expatriates; you could drink there for a week and never hear two words in Japanese.

I really wanted to wear something about this. I wanted a strong design based on contrasts, something to be seen from far and good looking even if you don’t read the text or don’t know what it’s all about. The idea is like having been in the future having a few drinks  at the Chatsubo and coming back with a t-shirt. Well, I know the Chatsubo wouldn’t be exactly like the Hard Rock Cafe but… what the hell…

Bold strong typography and the beauty of squared Kanji. Yes, those are the Kanji symbols for chatsubo, “cha” means “tea” and “tsubo” means “pot”. I drew the kanji with bezier curves to fit the rectangle. The most difficult part was to make the curves suitable for cutting the design with the plotter as space between lines was too narrow.

The design is printed by Spreadhirt in Flex, that is an extremely durable vinyl heat pressed onto the garment so it doesn’t fade over time. It will last more than your t-shirt.

Do you like neuromancer, or sci-fi, or cyberpunk or simply japan? Well, if so, I hope you like this design.