NN: Epidemik Coalition- Who, What, Where, How long have you been around?
EC:We’re a design company who focuses on graphic tees. We believe the tee is the ultimate canvas for experimentation and expression. The process of designing a graphic tee allows us to freely experiment with concepts and techniques while achieving a produced result at the end of every exploration. We’ve been around for almost 3 years and we got our start screen-printing after hours in the basement of our design school, Portfolio Center, in ATL. We basically took over a photography studio and dirtied it up with our inks. Now that we’ve graduated from design school, we’ve been grinding hard to get our design company off the ground. We love doing logos and other branding identities but we also have a lot of people who come to us to design graphic tees as well. Some of our friends/partners sites you should check out:
We’re currently working on a new clothing line to hit boutiques nationally/internationally in the Spring of 2009. The line is called PROCESS. You can check out our teaser site at:
ProcessClothing.com or follow the journey of getting a line off the ground at EpidemikCoalition.com
The new line has been 3 years in the making! I’m excited to show the world what we’re all about! The influences come from Hitchcock, punk rock, electro, typography of Herb Lubalin, and of course, Atlanta. I’ve sent along a section of our mood board with some of the new designs blurred out. But at least you can see where we’re drawing our influences from.
NN: This is a first, featuring a graphic/fashion designer here at NN but we’re always open to new things!…Did the fashion design come naturally since you are graphic designers first…
EC: My business partner/best friend, Georgios, and I grew up fascinated with graphic tees. We met on the first day of design school and decided we were going to teach ourselves how to screen-print. As soon as we learned the techniques, we started pushing the limits of the medium as our own design skills improved with each quarter of design school going by.
NN: How do to the two worlds differ from each other and what are the similarities?
EC:Its funny you ask this because there are also a lot of people who don’t consider tees as part of the fashion world and it probably has something to do with all the tee designers out there who either have no design skills or training or want to make idiotic statements with their tees.
NN:My favorite EC Tee is the Anglerfish Tee, explain the concept and the inspiration?
EC:Georgios designed it, so I’m gonna have him jump in here to explain it:
If you are familiar with our brand you can tell we love marine animals, especially weird ones. We try to relate these mysterious sea creatures to our brand and what we are going through at the time. I designed this tee earlier this year and at that time, we were really struggling to reel in clients to get work. It became really frustrating when potential clients would never contact you back when we thought we had the job locked down, especially when you know you got to pay the rent. This tee was born out of this struggle and represents our constant drive to attract more work
NN: For as long as I can remember folks have been hating on the South HARD in all aspects…but these days there is a massive influx of talent rising from below specifically the A-TOWN!!! How do you feel about that?
EC: We love the ATL and we’re happy that the Dirty South is getting more recognition these days. I think a lot of it has to do with the rise of hip-hop in popular culture, especially southern friend hip-hop/crunk. Many people come to Atlanta to get started and then they move away the first chance they get. It’s a very transient city. I think these days more and more influential people who care about doing good work are sticking around and starting a movement. That’s what it’s all about. Check out ATLCreatives.com for some examples of what I’m talking about.
NN: What are a few stereotypes about graphic designers that bug you out?
EC:I know people jokingly stereotype us by saying graphic designers wear black emo glasses, black Chuck Taylors, black on black designer tees, and black slacks…it’s funny, but it’s not totally true.
NN: You recently teamed up with Atlantian artist Demun Jones on a line of tees…How did that come about and is there any certain criteria for the clients you choose to work with?
EC:We’ve been designing promotional pieces for the band, Rehab, for awhile and we’ve been dealing mainly with Demun Jones who has been handling their promos and merch for a long time. He always wears our tees when he performs on stage, but Rehab & Demun Jones ended up playing way more shows than we had tees. We started grabbing dinner with him at our favorite steakhouse/sushi place in Atlanta, Prime (which represents the ATL hard because you can get sushi and cheese grits at the same time), and the collaboration was born naturally out of that. Why not give Demun (the hardest working man in the music industry) his own tees to rep?
As for choosing clients, we enjoy clients who don’t know exactly what they want yet. They’re the best ones. Our job is to visually communicate and idea or series of ideas. Clients who just want to use us because they think we can lay out whatever they already have pictured in their heads are very difficult to work for because we can’t read minds…at least not all the time.
NN: Any dream collabos that you would LUV to do?
EC:Working with any client should be a collaborative process. So, in a way, we love working with clients who enjoy the process as much as we do. But since you ask, these are people/companies that we’d love to work with: Nike, Jordan Brand, Alexander McQueen, Gorillaz, Kid Robot, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Futura, Apple, Married to the Mob NYC, SOMA Magazine, Neutral Milk Hotel, & Lebron James.
Can we make any of those happen?
Thanks for the interview!