Ugmonk Celebrates Their 3rd Anniversary

August 28, 2011 / Design, Inspiration / 0 Comments


Ugmonk is one of the indie clothing brands that I love and find inspirational.  Ugmonk applies minimal, typography design to t-shirts, posters, tote bags, and mini sketchbooks.

Soon after Jeff Sheldon graduated from college with a B.S. in graphic design, he started a full-time design job and launched Ugmonk as “an outlet for his passion and entrepreneurial experiment”.  Ugmonk quickly grew.  Just in two years, Jeff was able to quit his job and go full-time with Ugmonk.  The story behind Ugmonk is truly inspirational and you should definitely read more about it.

What I really love about Ugmonk is that Ugmonk gives back to the community and that all of their products are made in the U.S.  Also, Jeff spends many hours brainstorming and sketching for each design he creates.  He sometimes even shares photos of his sketches or sneak peeks of upcoming designs on his blog.

Another pillar of Ugmonk is the desire to give back to those in need. Just a few months after opening shop, we decided to hold our first annual Ugmonk Gives Back charity drive – donating to children in need for each item sold during the holiday season. Each year we’ve partnered with Samaritan’s purse, and through three years we’ve been able to give over 2000 meals to needy children around the world. We are grateful for the support of our customers and the ability to share our success with those in need.

-Jeff Sheldon, founder and designer at Ugmonk

Ugmonk is now turning 3 and 3rd Anniversary Set was released last Friday to celebrate their 3rd birthday!  Only 200 of these sets are made and about half of them are already gone.  So you should go grab yours now before they are all gone for good.  Here are some of the images of Ugmonk 3rd Anniversary Set:

As a part of their 3rd anniversary, Ugmonk is also having 20%-off sale which ends on Monday, August 29 at 11:59 p.m.  This discount applies to everything in the shop including the 3rd Anniversary Set.

All images are from Ugmonk online shop.

Hello Kitty x Johnny Cupcakes

June 4, 2011 / Design, Inspiration / 0 Comments

Johnny Cupcakes just released their second collaboration work with Hello Kitty yesterday which could be exclusively purchased at all store locations, including London, and through their online shop. There are three t-shirts, one hooded sweatshirt, one tote bag, and two mug cup designs as well as a handful of pins and stickers.

When JC released their very first Hello Kitty collaboration products a while ago, they were all sold out before I even had a chance to take a look.  So when I found out about JC’s second collaboration with Hello Kitty through their e-newsletter a few days ago, I was very excited and determined to grab a JC x HK t-shirt this time!

The Johnny Cupcakes x Hello Kitty release has been such a hit that their website server crashed yesterday during the day.  So I thought maybe I should come back later at night and grab a t-shirt.  I checked JC’s online store 6-8 hours after the release just to find out that everything except for sweatshirts were sold out.  I’m sure the sweatshirts will be all gone soon as well.

Here are some images of the JC x HK products that were just released yesterday:

I really hope that there will be another JC x HK collaboration in near future.  Next time, I’m buying a JC x HK t-shirt as soon as they are up for sale no matter what!

So what’s Johnny Cupcakes?  No, they don’t sell cupcakes. They create and sell t-shirts with cupcakes on them and everything at JC is limited edition.  Also, almost all of their products are made in the U.S.

The first time I ever heard of Johnny Cupcakes was when he had a lecture at Laguna College of Art and Design years ago. My cousin was a student at the art school back then and told me that I would love the lecture since I’ve been very interested in t-shirt business for years. I had never heard of JC before and I wish I got to learn about this amazing brand and the story behind it sooner! Even if you are not a t-shirt person, you should definitely check out the story and find out how Johnny Cupcakes was all started and why so many loyal customers are in love with JC.

This may sound like a cliché but JC, founded by Johnny Earle, is not just a clothing brand. There are hundreds and thousands of customers all over the world who “like and appreciate the story and work ethic” behind Johnny’s brand.

Customers like and appreciate the story and work ethic behind my brand. I started this as a joke from the trunk of my beat up ’89 Toyota Camry. A college drop out with a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle, I never wasted my time going out and partying but instead focused only on brainstorming and sketching up my wacky ideas. I turned down investors and took countless risks like keeping my shirts out of chain stores.

-John Earle, Founder of Johnny Cupcakes

Johnny has managed to turn JC into a multi-million-dollar business without selling out.  He’s done it with no college education, no start-up loans, no investors, and little-to-no advertising.

Johnny also enjoys hanging out with customers.  He builds great memories with customers through in-store and outside-of-store events such as movie nights and suitcase tours.  He also donates a lot of his time for charities and encourages kids to stay away from drugs and alcohol so that the kids would have more time and money to spend on building and accomplishing their dreams.

In 2008 John Earle was even voted America’s #1 Young Entrepreneur of the year by Business Week magazine.

Many of JC’s regular customers love the brand so much that they even have Johnny Cupcakes tattoos.

I absolutely love Johnny Cupcakes.  I love the brand, the  story behind the brand, and everything that JC does for their customers and the community.  I can go on and on just talking about why JC is so awesome and why I love it so much but I will let you guys read everything about JC on their website — the story & F.A.Q.

All images in this post are from Johnny Cupcakes.

Design Blog that Steals

April 10, 2011 / Blogging/ Web / 2 Comments

Update May 6, 2011: Since I wrote this post “Design Blog that Steals”, Medhley blog has stopped stealing.

I first came across Medhley blog in January 2011.  The blog has been around for almost a year now and has many tutorials and freebies.  The blog may seem like a nice design blog with many great resources but it’s actually a culprit that steals entire blog post content including images from other design blogs.  Medhley even hotlinks some of the images from the blog’s server from which they steal the blog post and images.

I’m sure I’m not the only person who knows about Medhley’s stealing.  However, when I reviewed some of the comments people left on Medhley blog, it was obvious that those people had no idea that the tutorials posted on Medhley are just copy & pasted from other blogs.  Medhley has been getting credit for tutorials that were entirely written by others.

Although this does not directly affect me, I was still upset to see Medhley stealing posts from other great design blogs that I regularly visit.  And trust me, I’ve written a tutorial before and I know that writing such a tutorial can take many hours.  So I had to write this post on my blog.


Here’s the evidence:

“Blackberry Inspired AD in Photoshop” by Spoon Graphics

Digital Illustration Tutorial by Psdtuts+

“Vector Polishing Techniques” by Web Designer Wall

Website Design Tutorial by Grafpedia

When I first saw these tutorials on Medhley blog back in January 2011, I tried leaving a comment to tell them that this was totally wrong and that they should not simply just copy & paste entire post content from other design blogs.  Comments had to be approved by the administrator before they appear.  My comment was, of course, never approved.

There are many bloggers, including myself, who re-post other blogger’s posts to their blogs.  There may be a fine line between stealing and re-posting.  However, here are the two main factors, in my opinion, that make Medhley a blog that steals:

  • Medhley copies entire content of another blogger’s post and simply pastes it to their blog rather than just using excerpts.  Total plagiarism!  Many design blogs including Blog.Spoongraphics and Web Designer Wall clearly state that you can share their blog posts by using links or excerpts but that you cannot copy the entire posts and display on your blog.
  • Medhley does not include link to the original blog post.  They used to at least add a link to the end of each post—the one that they copy & pasted from other blog—but they have stopped doing that now.

I have no idea how Medley manages to keep their blog up and running for almost a year without being forced to shut down.  Please spread the word so that people stop visiting their blog.  If you are subscribed to their blog posts, I encourage you to unsubscribe.