Welcome to A Special Interview and T Shirt Review featuring a new brand here at Geek Shirts HQ
Optic Apparel, A Brand Based In The UK.
Normally in my t shirt reviews I talk a little about the brand, but this time I have Graham Cooling from Optic Apparel, who I interview for a little more info about his cool brand.
Why did you start Optic Apparel?
I started Optic apparel for a couple of reasons: the first being I needed a creative outletI studied fine art and film-making and having been unemployed for over a year I was desperate for something which utilised that which I had spent years studying.And so I fell back on my illustration and all of a sudden I was pumping out design after design.
When did you start?
I founded Optic Apparel in the December of 2012 and have been working on it ever since!
Where are you based?
Right now I'm based in Lincoln, Lincolnshire in the UK but being an on-line business I ship worldwide!
And work with clients on a commission basis across the country!
Where did you get name Optic Apparel?
Optic Apparel was actually suggested by my dad, my drawings ever since I can remember have always involved…eyes, and my first design for the brand was a milk carton with an eye a nice surreal piece to establish a brand!
It also has some nice connotations with the idea of aesthetic design and t-shirt design being futile without optics.
What else can you tell me about Optic Apparel?
Optic Apparel is a very small brand but growing; in terms of new brands were the babies of independent tees which is why we need support from awesome people who love film, games, comics and art and for people to spread the word about our shirts!
Optic is what I'd term an alternative brand; were a brand focused on the origins of Fine art and pop culture rather than just putting something on a shirt because it's 'cool' I want my designs to have a back story to have an origin if you will.
Producing imagery which is not only aesthetically please but with a meaning, more and more people are focusing upon their clothes and how what they are wearing says something about themselves.
So if you’re going to wear an image on your shirt why not know the history of the image? The artist’s statement?
Optic is about clothing which people can buy to reflect their voice.
What printing process do you use when printing a tee and the brand of tee you use?
Our flagship products are screen printed t-shirts which we print on Gildan Heavy cotton unisex shirts.
But recently we have made a bold move into t-shirt bleaching and are running a project called ' A bleach a week' in which a brand new design is released every week and available on a bleached shirt within that week!
Giving you limited edition designs at a lower production cost!
What can someone expect when ordering a product from you?
Whether your order a t-shirt or poster you can expect a quality printed product with an original piece of artwork/illustration emblazoned upon it.
And depending on your tastes it will either have a nicely conceived homage to fine art, or a charming reference to popular/geek culture.
What plans have you got for the future?
Optics future looks interesting, we currently have designs waiting to go to print, it's just a case of finding the funding to print them, as small a brand we are trying everything we can to get our shirts into the world and onto your chests.
One such way we are doing that is by offering pre-order deals, such a deal is how we are putting out our 'Life' shirt which is a cunning design referencing Jurassic park.
Wwe need 30 orders to take the shirt to print (that covers the initial printing cost of the shirt) and we are actually only TEN ORDERS FROM PRINTING THIS PARTICULAR SHIRT!
And so we basically ask customers to help kick-start the brand and production of the design by pre-ordering and knowing that they will get their shirt eventually but only when we fulfil said amount of orders.
I've literally built this brand from the ground up with very limited funding and so customer support on designs such as this is all the more important.
Alongside which our bleach a week campaign launches from the 13th of March giving you weekly limited edition designs for a lower cost.
Just another way we are trying to give customers the best we can for price which doesn't require you to take out a loan.
Let’s talk about the designs!
The shirt which is available for pre-order is called 'Life' it is what I'd call a reference shirt, it references a quote from one of the most memorable films ever made Jurassic Park!Showing a Raptor who having evolved from his brethren has scalped our poor friend Malcom and taken hold of his definitive quote ' Life finds a way' and it most certainly does. And that can be ordered here!
The T-Shirt Is Called 'Imagination'
It's a homage to classic fine artists, based on the quote by Salvador Dali "Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings" Something which I've tried to apply to everything I do.
Overall it’s a surrealist illustration obviously referencing the quote but also a hint towards other artists such as Davinci and Magritte, and it's not a bad message on which to launch my brand.
Thanks for the tee Graham.Now it’s time for my review of the tee that Graham sent me as he has mentioned already this tee is called imagination.
As well as the tee there were a few extra goodies as well
The generic label is still attached with the tee, this is something I am not a fan of personally, as I feel a custom tag of some sort helps gives the brand more of a professional feel but what I did like was the extra detail of the hem tag.
I love t shirt brands that goe with the extra details and include things like hem tags.I think these small details are what helps gives the t shirt a professional look.
Now onto the actual t shirtI was sent the Black version as you can see below.
Getting really close in on the design you can the actual print and the quality of it.
The fit of the tee is actually very good.It feels soft next to the skin and I knew since it was a Gilden tee that it would be good quality.I really liked the fit of the tee.I have not washed it yet so I don’t know how it will fare in the wash, but I don’t envisage any issues.
Overall I like the design and the brand.I think there could be a few improvements like having a custom printed tag or even getting rid of the tag and a print on the inside of the neck.
Just a quick note on the actual site as I like to include a little bit of info on the site.The website was basic but very easy to use with lots of info and a very good About Us page.I would like to see more product shot of the tees on the actual site as I feel this is ultimately what will sell the tees.
Back to you Graham and just a couple of questions before we finish
Where can I find out more about Optic Apparel?
So if you’re interested in what we do or owning one or more of our shirts you should head to one of more of these internet based places.
And if you want to know more about its owner you can grab him at
Are you able to provide a unique promotion code for my readers?
For your readers if they use the code GEEKEDOUT in the next month (up till June 7th) they can get 10% of their order!