RED Hearts: Unique Graphic Tees

 RED Hearts are guests posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today. Today's RED Hearts post is from Zoe Mendelson, 19, reporting from Chicago, IL, who's found her new favorite graphic tee source: I don’t know when graphic t-shirts lost their charm. Maybe it was somewhere between "Jesus is my Homeboy" and "90% Angel." Honestly, it took me way too long to admit that a mass-produced t-shirt couldn’t actually be clever. Eventually I did give them up, but the concession made me sad.

This is why I’m all about Novem Studios. A graffiti-crew-turned-art-collective in Chicago, they print silk-screened graphic tees that are clever without the camp: quintessentially fresh. My favorite is the Team Spirits design (shown, $29). It’s a totem pole made of each Chicago sports team’s mascot -- I mean, they even worked in the Chicago Sky and Fire.

Novem designs are so far from the jokes made too many times on shirts at Hot Topic. This is flavorful local history (Obama surely coming soon) and graphic design at its best, with an originality that anyone can appreciate, outside the 312 and 773 area codes, and even past 630 land.

Their newest tees are a collaboration with another Chicago-based design collective, Delicious Design, featuring large intricate prints of animal faces. Fierce, yo -- and also available in poster form ($30).

So maybe we didn’t get the Olympics, but show a little love anyway. From the City of Big Shoulders to your shoulders everywhere: they’re all available at

RED Hearts guest poster Zoe Mendelsonis an author of RED: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today, which is now out in paperback.