Lit-Geek coolness is easier to achieve when the world can see it right there on your clothes or jewelry. If you think Sherlock Holmes is cool and you’re not afraid to show it just put on your Adventures of Sherlock Holmes t-shirt with the cool steam punk looking logo and let them wonder if you’re brilliant or narcissistic. You’re a Holmes fan, you could be either…or both!
Out of Print Clothing is a brilliant and unique new company that is so certain lit-geeks are proud to show their literary loves to the world that they have created some of the innovative clothing and jewelry in the industry. And if that isn’t enough, the company also gives to charity in a way that promotes reading. Since the company has started they have donated over 925,000 books to communities in Africa. This year they helped raise money during National Library Week to pay for a book checkout system so a school in New York City could allow students to take books home.
Life-long friends and avid readers, Jeff LeBlanc and Todd Lawton started the company in 2010. “The catalyst to starting Out of Print was the down economy of 2009. Jeff and I both found ourselves in a position where we had the time and flexibility to finally start a business (as opposed to just talking about starting a business). We rented an office space before we had our idea, and kept regular office hours working on coming up with one. We created a long list and eventually whittled them down. The idea that we felt best about was Out of Print–a brand to get people to talk about reading. Being avid readers ourselves and big fans of great book cover art, we decided the best way to do this was to make super comfy and fashionable graphic tees. Kind of like the band tee for the book reader. The rest grew from there.” Says co-owner Todd Lawton.
T-shirts include classic cover artwork from such great books as Slaughterhouse-Five, The Great Gatsby, Of Mine and Men and Fahrenheit 451, but there’s much more than those. Some t-shirts have designs that look as though the shirt was stamped similar to an old library card. There are tote bags, pouches, phone cases and coasters as well as notebooks, greeting cards and a very cool Match Book Set using banned books that would make a fantastic gift for any lover of literature.
Todd and Jeff work with copyright holders to ensure they have permission to use the cover art, which is the most time intensive part of their business. When asked how they choose what books they will highlight on their merchandise, Todd shared, “Early on, it was a lot of guesswork on our part. The questions we asked ourselves were: what titles will people like, what covers are cool and will work on a shirt, and what cover rights are available to us? We still ask ourselves these questions, but the difference now is we have a large and very vocal customer base telling us titles and covers they would like us to feature.”
Out of Print Clothing attended BEA this year and was an obvious success given the number of people who were constantly in their booth. “BEA was a total whirlwind of activity. Every year we feel, going in, that we have everything covered. And every year, we leave with new ideas for the next year. The best part of the show is the conversations and face-to-face reactions we get from our customers. No amount of time in the office or on the phone with people will give us that kind of feedback. It’s also great to have our whole team there to experience the excitement. We definitely left the show exhausted but upbeat.” Todd said of the event.
Their merchandise continues to grow and they are adding new items all the time. You can keep abreast of the new items, or even offer suggestions via their website or social media.
Facebook: Out of Print – https://www.facebook.com/outofprintclothing
Twitter: @OutofPrintTees – http://twitter.com/#!/OutofPrintTees
Instagram: @outofprint – http://instagram.com/outofprint/
Tumblr: Out of Print – http://outofprintclothing.tumblr.com/