14 limited-edition t-shirt designs from Central Saint Martins’ best young graphic designers, all for a great cause.
The current crop of third year Central Saint Martins BA Graphic Design students are taking a fresh approach to funding their final degree show. Instead of looking to the usual sources within the university, they’re launching a fully fledged commercial project, alongside an exhibition, opening up their fundraising beyond the CSM walls.
From April 7th you will be able to purchase 14 limited edition tees, designed by the third year students themselves, will all profits going towards funding their degree show. The brief? White tees only, black designs only.
We picked the brains of Katherine Easthill, one of the bright minds behind the project to find out more.
Firstly, brilliant idea! Where did you come up the idea of selling tees to fund your degree show?
Thank you! When we started working on the fundraising, Indiana (one of the other girls working on the project) and I, were both really keen to put on an event and take it outside of the university. A lot of degree show fundraising happens in the universities but we thought it could be a good opportunity to showcase our work as a year group and make money somehow. We had various ideas and we share an interest in print, Indiana suggested we sell t-shirts. She’d been printing some of her own work this way and the results were really simple but worked well and people liked them. By having the t-shirts we could use them to share the work of third years but also it’s form means that the work can also be bought and worn by the public.
being on a design course and needing to raise money for our degree show, why not do it by selling our work?
Was there a brief? Why did you decide to go this way?
There wasn’t ever really a brief in terms of fundraising. We had some students from last year come in and discuss what they’d done previously and some guidance from our tutors with the other events we’ve put on. I think as a team we just have similar interests and knew we wanted to do something along these lines. The decision, I think, came after Indiana’s first meeting with Everpress. We’d decided to sell prints and t-shirts but after that meeting it was obvious this would be a much better way to go about it. Rather than finding the materials, prepping all the screens with the possibility of printing too much or not having enough time this way was a lot simpler. Also it meant we’d have the opportunity to be part of a bigger platform and have more people access our work through the website rather than just a physical space.
Did the students involved have much experience with selling tees or merch before?
I think here and there some of the students involved have either designed or sold merch on a smaller scale but I think for all of us this is the first time we’ve had a proper platform to sell work. Also I think what makes this different is they’re part of a collection, they’re all black designs on white t-shirts and working together to sell work as a group is new for all of us.
What are the key challenges you faced when putting this together?
Getting third year students to submit work for a deadline! We had to do a lot of chasing people for work, everyone’s got so much on with final year and I think that was quite stressful. We extended the deadline to 16.00 on the day we had to send the files and at 15.50 all of a sudden I think we got 4 more designs through. Overall though we’re really happy with all the work that was submitted and it showcases a range of the work being made by CSM. We have a t-shirt which uses a roman typeface the student designed, a t-shirt using photography, and then some amazing examples of illustration work and other type as image examples.
Do you think it’s important that creators learn to make a return from their art?
Definitely, for us being on a design course and needing to raise money for our degree show, why not do it by selling our work? Also I think we’re all worried about what happens when we graduate so by doing this and putting our work out there in the real world we can become a bit more confident and start promoting ourselves.
Why did you think Everpess would be a good fit?
At the end of the day we are students and so for a company to take us seriously and understand our idea and want to work with us was great. It’s a really unique company and seems really keen to help promote the work of creatives and also just a really easy platform to work with.
it meant we’d have the opportunity to be part of a bigger platform and have more people access our work through the website rather than just a physical space.
Any tips for people looking to do it themselves?
I think what we’ve found is just ask people. With the venue, with working with Everpress and with other aspects of the project we just had to go in and ask and we’ve managed to get more by doing that. I think it’s given us a lot more confidence in the idea and we’re really excited to see how it turns out.
Let’s help them put on one killer party, grab your tees here.
There is a launch event and exhibition running alongside the limited edition t-shirts campaigns, head to the Facebook event for full details, make sure you hit ‘going’!