I Think It Might Be Broken?
Calling all Bl,est fans and fanatics! I need testers for the all new, cutting-and-bleeding-edge,
world-beating web store. Here’s a sneak peek-
Oh wait, that looks like shit… never mind! This hand-coded masterpiece won’t be ready for a few more months, but if you’re interested in watching it progress send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
and I’ll give you access to the test version. All I ask in return is that you give feedback on features as I work on them, and do your best to break things – tough love is needed to make a store that will ruthlessly eat all your disposable income!
Watch Out Bristol, We're Coming
Despite disasters, delays, and abandoned plans, it’s finally happening. We’ve secured a company headquarters, a party pad where fun times will be had. This is a huge deal and we’re very excited!
Ben’s moving up from his home town of Yeovil and I’m heading south from the beautiful city of Birmingham in a classic pincer movement, as you can see in this completely unnecessary diagram.
For the last few years we’ve struggled to get things done while living hundreds of miles apart; now we will have a space to create, to experiment, and to make the best damn tees that we can. For us, and for you. Stay tuned for more details.
You've bloody started without me Ben! See that finger? That's for showing me up in front of everyone. Anyway my new designs are gonna be better than your new designs. Better bring your A game. Dickfingers is back.
Dollar Dollar Bill Y'All
A big thank you to everyone who’s placed an order over the past few weeks. We’ve had one of our best periods of website sales, and believe me it’s the only thing that keeps the lights on here at Bl,est HQ. Money man Merve is particularly happy, as you can see:
We’re having a bit of a clear out of old stock so there’s some bargains to be had in the sale section on our store. Some tees are only £10!
Party-boy Squeak x
Ps. Merve you stink do a news post!
Bl,est Bombers Will Fuck You Up
This is it, our other new design. Both this and the mental dog should go on sale sometime next week, hopefully in time for Christmas. The screens arrived last week (thanks Steve, great job as always) so we’re just waiting on the new ink to turn up before we can start printing. Hopefully Merve actually ordered it! Until then check out a nice big preview.
Some bonus images, first an early Bl,est team photo. There’s Benji ‘The Kid’ Carvill on the left, team captain and slugger. That’s me Squeak ‘Fingers’ Mason at the back – unpredictable, with a wild knuckleball. On the right is Merve ‘The Perve’ Shurmer, known for his dark moods and bad temper.
This design is just for fun, it isn’t going to be printed. I’m pretty sure anything with the word ‘bomb’ on it is frowned upon these days!
This Is Dog City
Ok here it is! We’re really are excited about this one. The print’s so big it nearly didn’t fit on the screen! We’ll probably do a few different colour versions, a nice fluorescent green for the text would look great I think. Also we’ve got in some nice two colour baseball tops which should suit the design really well. The other new design no-one’s seen yet – it’s one of these…
Ben is prolific at coming up with tee ideas, it sucks that we can’t just print them all. These he knocked out in less than a week. Hopefully one day we can go back through and actually make a lot of the cool concepts that never got used.
"This Place is Dead Anyway"
The B’ham Bl,est Store is no more. We lost some money, but not that much. We sold some tees, but not enough. Thanks to everyone who stopped by, and to Mike the caretaker for helping us move in (and out).
Accountant, Builder, Shelf Stacker
So, the dieElectrik tees are not yet on our store. This is my fault. I’m the company web-master, but also a night-shift supermarket drone. We run this shit for free. And right now I’m late for work. They will hopefully be on sale around midday on Saturday. Pick yours out!
We Live Tees
Quite frankly I’m jealous that I didn’t think of this. Just awesome. Thanks for the tip Rach!
Nerdcore 4 Life
A big thanks to everyone who grabbed one of our new banners and put it on their page. It makes my work worthwhile when people actually use new features. Our store front page has been redesigned… again! The whole look and feel has been streamlined and simplified. Usability is much better, with big intuitive colour swatches. The page load time has also been substantially improved. The old version loaded way too slow because there were over 100 calls to the server for the various colour swatches and thumbnails – this has been reduced by 70%, and there’s room for even more improvements.
A lot of what we do at Bl,est is intentionally basic, and in the end I decided a plain text title for the store would work better – but it still killed me to ditch this fancy title image. It’s just so slick!
We want our store to be the best of its kind on the web, and with this version I think we’re moving in the right direction. The next job is to bring the whole ordering & checkout process back in-house (rather than just relying on Paypal), using an open source Textpattern plugin by Levi Nunnink called TextCommerce. It’s pretty exciting stuff, for me anyway!
Bl,est On Bullshit T.V. Show
Thanks to Basil for wearing his See Love Lost tshirt during the first episode of The Bullshit Detective on BBC3 last week. There was some great nipple closeup action which really showed off the design! To be honest it’s just cool that someone would want to show off their Bl,est tee on national television.
Spring Collection 2007 Real Soon
Not long now! All four designs will (hopefully) go on sale sometime on Monday 2nd April. We’ll be previewing one design a day, Tuesday through Friday next week. I might try and set up some sort of commenting system so we can get some feedback from you all about which are your favourites. If not, you can always reach us through the contact details on the info page.
Draw it, scan it, screen it, sell it
I did this whilst manning the Birmingham Saturday market the other week, dead time away from the computer is great for drawing. It’s not for a tshirt, guess it might work on a badge or sticker though. Ben, I know you’ve got a hard drive full of doodles like this, you don’t have to wait till there’s some news to post them!
The Spring collection samples (to show stockists and to use for product photos) are being printed this Friday, so it’s not long before we’ll be unveiling them. We’re really really excited about them – the designs are so awesome I might wet myself.
Back to B'ham
After an absence of a few weeks, Bl,est is back in Birmingham today – hopefully this time to stay. There’ll be some end-of-line bargains, as well as several brand new designs that have never made it north of Bristol before. We’re at the Saturday Flea market in the Custard Factory, stuck way at the back, from 11am till 5pm every Saturday. Come and say hello, anyone who asks can have their name added to the Blest table, which is hand carved with my house keys!
Stock Photos, Sneak Preview
The boys and I had a lot of fun yesterday shooting the new stock photos for use in the store and elsewhere. Nothing went wrong at all (very unusual for us), and we managed to be fairly efficient considering how delicate we were from the night before. Here’s Ben and Merve looking fabulous in matching heather grey. I mean ridiculous.
The photos themselves have turned out so well that I can’t resist posting a couple of examples. They really show off the designs.
Those are just quick tests of the look I’m trying to achieve in post production. We actually shot each tshirt three times with different lighting conditions, which are then composited together to combine the atmospheric noirish background with the crisp well-lit tee. The final versions will be even bigger!
Bl,est in B'Ham
On Saturday we added Saturday Flea in the Custard Factory Birmingham to our growing list of outlets. As usual there were a few looks of confusion and bafflement, but also people who took an interest and were really enthusiastic. I’ll be back on Saturday 30th December, and hopefully every weekend after that.
Ok, by now I’m sure no-one believes me – the ‘new’ store has been in the works for months and months; I’ve started from scratch twice already, and now the whole thing’s being redone using the TextPattern system. That’s what the new site was built on, and it has proved very flexible and reliable with plenty of useful plugins and application hooks for adding custom features. Plus it suits my Voodoo Programming style! Right now the time-scale is something like this…
Replace the current store in time for Thread Show on the 10th, reusing code and assets from the previous aborted versions where possible. Then work on a more polished layout to coincide with the fancy new stock photos which are being shot on 19th January (more info about that next week).
The Blest company myspace profile and our personal profiles have all been updated to match the redesigned website. My plan was to make them much less cluttered, just simple and professional looking. In the process I discovered a really neat way to ‘disappear’ the top banner and superfluous navigation – just don’t mention it to Tom ok? Thanks.
Whatever you think of myspace, it’s a great marketing tool – our profiles sometimes generate more than half of the visitors to this site.
Y.N. State Of Mind
This is a design that Ben and I put together this week, as a replacement for the Original Team Y.N. tee. The sports/college style is something we used to play around with in the early stages of Blest, an original (and very basic) version was done when we were at college.
We wanted to capture the elements that made the Y.N. Original popular and add our own take on the commercial college logo design. Here’s a nice high resolution version.
The name of the tee comes from the Nas song N.Y. State Of Mind.
Dali (Work in progress)
This could make an awesome tshirt if I can get the line quality and composition right. And the colours. It’s based on the famous scene from Un Chien Andalou by Salvador Dali which you can see below – don’t watch if you’re squeamish!
The Blest Web Version 3.0
Welcome to the new website! We were sick of trying to work out exactly what sections the site should have, and what specific types of content to include – so we’ve blow it wide open. You can expect a deluge of cool stuff; sketches, unique photography, music reviews and downloads, (drunken) videos… and of course more t-shirt designs than you’ll know what to do with.
Starting next Monday we’ll be showcasing all our unreleased designs. If enough of you promise to buy one, we’ll be straight on the phone to Steve for a screen.
We need all the help we can get
Over the next few months we’re going to be raiding the archives (mostly Benji’s hard drive) for interesting sketches and doodles, going back to the origins of Bl,est. It all began in 1980…
Three New Tees
No big deal – just three new tshirts that were printed yesterday, and are on sale today. It’s almost as if we know what we’re doing! Leave us a comment if you like ‘em.
Salesperson Of The Month!
Congratulations to Merve Sherman! His tireless dedication to selling t-shirts has really paid off this month, contributing to the best sales figures in the history of the company. Using his considerable charm to win over potential customers, and with a relentless campaign of myspace bulletins, he has shown himself to be a valuable member of the Bl,est family. Keep up the good work buddy! Thanks also to everyone who has bought a tee, it means the world to us…
Remembrance Is Thy Greatest Cross
Wondering when EXACTLY you get to see our new t-shirts? I can exclusively reveal that we will be previewing one design a day, starting Monday 28th November! We can’t wait to show off the fresh styles, please come back and tell us if they’re any good…
"The website? Don't worry Merve I'm working on it right now..."
The photos section will be overhauled in the coming weeks, with more relevant pictures and a clearer navigation. A new Bl,est Magazine issue is planned for the near future, but in the meantime expect much more frequent news items. There are some exciting new products planned, so check back soon or sign up for our email updates. If you have any problems using the site, please use the feedback form at the top of the page to let me know!
Meet The Family
Bl,est will be at the Nails Market, Corn Street, Bristol on Saturday 15th of October. So if you’re in the area come on down and check out our tees and meet the bl,est family. The store is now active for you to get your hands on our first collection of tees. And as our friends you will receive an iron-on embroidered bl,est patch with any orders.
A New New Beginning...
Welcome to the all new Bl,est Lifestyle website, we hope you like it. Head to the store to see Bl,est’s second tee collection, named “#2nd collection tees” which consists of twelve vintage fit designs featuring the Bl,est stitch badge. To discover what it means to be Bl,est, you could read the first issue of our monthly magazine. And find out who we are and what we do in the Bl,est Family section.
Waiting 4 Someone 2 Come Along & Find Me
The proper website will be online in late February, with tees to look at and other cool stuff.
It will be way slicker and cooler than what you see here. I personally promise it will be brilliant.
You wonât be able to buy anything until mid April, when the store goes live.
[Where is Squeak Headed?]
Your Clothes Are Wank.
and so's your website.
Deph Comes Easy
...limbering up for the fight
Could Explode At Any Moment---------------x
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - coming soon. vs.
It's not over yet.
Suck it up,
No time for regrets or bitterness,
Weâre not dead yet.
We're not dead yet.
Squeak Runs The Show.
Abuses of the system are not appreciated.
Don't Listen To Chicks
go to bed,
you need your beauty sleep,