T-Shirt as a media

These days, new forms of media are popping up like mushrooms . Many of these mediums thrive on latest and greatest technologies. Most often, they require users to have access to sophisticated technologies. It is great that we’ve Facebook to share everything going on in our lives and around the world but that has no use unless you have Internet, and a computer to connect. Doesn’t that say there is a need for simplifying communication?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could take something like a T-shirt and reinvent it as a media?

To begin with, let us see what  constitutes  good media. First of all it should be able to reach large number of people in a short amount of time. News papers with its efficient distribution system can reach millions of people in a decent amount of time. A single T-shirt may not reach a wide audience but imagine hundreds of people wearing t-shirts with a specific message. We are already seeing this in political movements, and product promotions.

Secondly, every media should have its own unique language. Sometimes the medium becomes the message. Ancient Sumerian seals had a limited real estate so they used pictures to record ideas. The invention of books by Chinese led to books, which provided  means for communicating topics in depth. In the 21st century, we are seeing SMS and Twitter setting a limit on messages and thereby creating a new form of language. Now, we are seeing slogans and designs specifically designed for T-Shirts.

Finally, media should be convenient and enjoyable for people to use. People consume news, ads and information just like they consume other things. Well designed and funny t-shirts are fun to watch and talk about. There are infinite possibilities to make them interesting .

To be fair, T-shirts are not going to replace any other media forms but there is a role for them. The television channels like CNN and BBC are the prime source of breaking news. Increasingly, Internet channels are replacing cable news for breaking news, especially when citizen journalists are involved. The second level in the news cycle is analyzing and magnifying what has happened. This is where blogs and more recently newspapers are playing a big role.

So far, slogan T-Shirts have been used to amplify a view point or idea but there is an interesting technology development that could make them suitable for delivering even breaking news. This is digital printing coupled with online customization. With digital printing , you can print any design instantly on T-shirts. The experiment with CNN headlines T-shirts is a very good example of this trend.


Will there be a day when we read breaking news on somebody’s T-Shirt? For sure, we are enabling the technology. Rest we need to wait and see.

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