This isn’t the place to rant about how Western artists continually misappropriate Asian (or Asian-spoofing) characters in the name of “art”, but this ad is all kinds of painful to look at. Coty asks, “Are those Chinese characters on the tee Dead Bury Dead translated into Chinese?”, and my answer is no, they aren’t Chinese. In fact, they more closely resemble Japanese katakana, but even then they aren’t really katakana. (Some of the characters are rotated katakana and kanji/hanzi characters.) And is that Korean I see to the right? (The small vertical type directly next to “YUM!”)
In fact, the only actual Chinese on this ad is the set of characters under “TAKEOUT”, and repeated next to the Korean.
Mind you, I actually suck at reading Chinese, but wow.
I dislike writing blog posts composed entirely of criticism, though, so it’s a good thing that Dead Bury Dead has plenty of other attractive tees in their catalog that don’t follow the “nonsensical Asian tattoo” route. The type on their logo tees is actually pretty cool, to the point I could see myself wearing one!
I like the use of the inverted V here in the “Stacked Logo” tee — it creates a nice sense of rhythm in the type. It also reminds me of the Roman lettering style, which in turn reminds me of graveyards. Perfect, in this case.
This “X shape with four letters on each side” layout is a classic t-shirt design that seems to work no matter how many times it’s used. Combined with the distressed texture and the 50/50 heather tee, it adds up to an attractive vintage-style tee. Also available in heather gray!