This week KEXP unveils its new “Music Matters” T-shirt, designed by New York native Jeff Glendenning, Assistant Professor of Communications Design at Syracuse University and former Art Director for The New York Times Magazine (fancy!). “I was inspired to create something listeners would want to wear with KEXP pride,” says Jeff. Mission accomplished! This simple and iconic design magnifies your passion for “music that matters” every time you wear it, and it can be yours when you donate $100 or more to KEXP today.
Jeff initially discovered KEXP via a studio mate who would stream The Morning Show. He was struck by the diverse mix of music, and the inclusiveness and passion of the KEXP Community. “As a fan of everything the station puts out and stands for, I thought KEXP would be a dream client,” he recalls. Jeff approached KEXP about donating a T-shirt design in late 2012, and the deal was sealed when he visited our Dexter Street offices during a 2013 summer road trip.
One of Jeff’s favorite aspects of KEXP — besides the music, naturally — is how it fosters a sense of community. That spirit carried over into the creation of the “Music Matters” T-shirt, too. “A very KEXP thing happened during the process of creating the 2014 Spring Drive branding,” he remembers. “After submitting various initial sketches, a hand-lettered ‘manifesto’ concept was well-received. At this point I had to figure out how best to execute the lettering, as I don’t like the look of own writing.”
“Initially I thought of a few professional illustrators that I might typically hire for commercial jobs,” he continues. “However I was struck with the idea of asking a talented young design student of mine for some lettering contributions, as I’d been a fan of his from the past semester’s work. The sensibility of his work was contemporary, quirky in places, and authentic. Thrown in the mix of several other designs in the final presentation, KEXP unknowingly chose his T-shirt and graphics as the winner.”
You’ll feel like a winner in the new “Music Matters” T-shirt, too. Make your gift of $100 or more now to pick up yours and help us start the Spring Fundraising Drive strong!
The KEXP pride that radiates from Jeff’s work is evident in how he discusses music, too. He cites artists that the KEXP Community championed first as some of his favorite recent discoveries. “For instance, I was a Macklemore and Ryan Lewis fan from pre-Heist days thanks to KEXP. So when an artist like that blows up, there really is an insane sense of pride in how special a place KEXP is. Other recent bands that I have KEXP to thank for include The Lumineers, Alabama Shakes, and Chvrches, plus older, seminal ones that I somehow missed growing up like Joy Division, New Order, and even Sigur Rós.”
“It’s been a very Seattle January 2014 for this New Yorker,” Jeff concludes. “Since I was working on the KEXP Drive tees and graphics intensely throughout the month, I felt like I could join in on the Seattle community pride and cheered as the Seahawks won their first Super Bowl!” And now Jeff gives us all another reason to cheer: the new “Music Matters” T-shirt. Bravo!