MARNEGIE CELLON UNIVERSITY
Part culture jamming, part fashion, all fun.
In Fall 2017, I created the first Marnegie Cellon University T-shirt. By Fall 2018, MCU can be seen on hundreds of shirts, hats, crop tops, and sweaters. What started as a small experiment in screen printing yielded the premier Carnegie Mellon parody brand.
After a course project was submitted, I repurposed screen printing materials in an effort to realize a dream I had for so long been unable to actualize: a hand made Marnegie Cellon University shirt. Would people notice the subtle change? Would reactions be positive? negative? Somewhere in-between? I didn’t have a clue. All i knew is I had supplies to make a shirt, and I sure as heck was going to make it happen..
I started with a single screen, some red ink, emulsion, a 100w ligthbulb, and a couple of white t-shirts I found behind washing machines in my campus laundry... From these, I created my first ever screen-print emulsion.
And then, after I realized I’d messed up the exposure timing, I created my second ever screen-print emulsion! From there, it was just moments before the first MCU shirt was in the world.
But, very quickly other people caught onto the shirt. After printing 3 by hand, I had a dozen people ask to buy them, so, teaming up with a friend, we hand printed 30 more to sell.
At this point, there were almost daily posts on “Overheard/Overseen at CMU” and plenty of attention on snapchat. So we thought we’d post a link to a Google form just to see if anyone else wanted to buy… and we got over 100 replies.
When printing by hand wasn’t able to meet the demand, we transitioned into an online storefront allowing MCU customers to place orders that were then totally automatically fulfilled (billing, printing, packing, and shipping) by Etsy & Printful. Allowing us to focus on other projects while MCU continuous to grow. At this point we’ve sold over hundreds of Marnegie Cellon branded apparel, and don’t plan to stop anytime soon!
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