1. Tell us about your journey leading to T-post?
I come from a small northern Swedish village with a population similar to a medium-sized grocery store. Prior to T-post I had an advertising agency that specialised in ethical advertising. Some of our clients included Amnesty International and MTV. Under the wings of the agency, we started a clothing line called ‘It’s So Fucking Fresh! – for more information visit nature!’ The thought behind the brand was to promote the idea that being one with nature was the only way to truly be original. I also produced numerous music videos and short films during that time. The idea for T-post was born back in 2004 as a fun project we did in between other clients. I realised that I needed to focus on it 100% to get it to take off, so in 2006 I handed over the agency to my partner so I was able to give T-post the chance it deserved. My goal was to not take on any investors along the way, even though I had lots of offers. Which left me with six months to get the number of subscribers from 300 to 1 000 to still have a job. But after about two months we got a centrefold article in one of the biggest newspapers in The Netherlands. After that T-post got its own life in newspapers and on the internet.
2. When I first saw T-post, I was like ‘WOW’, this is awesome. How did you come up with this idea?
It all started with the idea of trying to rewire the structures of news communication. We started concepting ways to engage people in important topics, and our favourite garment, the T-shirt, seemed like an ideal medium for doing so. T-shirts inspire conversation, and when you add a story behind them, you get people thinking. By combining a news magazine subscription with a T-shirt we’re able to utilise the attention and commitment accustomed to the ‘fashion world’ while communicating interesting news topics. And by putting the written story on the inside of the tee just for the subscriber to read, the subscriber is really the one communicating the story and getting it to spread outside the T-post circle. It becomes their interpretation of the story.
3. What is your favourite toy?
I have a Darth Vader alarm clock, which I love. When the alarm goes off, Darth yells “You can not resist the power of the force!” Can you imagine a better way to wake up? <no we can’t>
4. Please tell us more about the 51st T-shirt issue with Augmented Reality and what gave rise to this fabulous concept?
A friend of mine showed me the AR technique and it just blew my mind. I instantly knew that it would make a great T-shirt whatever we did. But if we could make it interactive somehow, that would really blow people’s minds. It took us a while before we found a suitable news story to go with it. But when we did, everything just fell in to place.
5. Let’s talk more about Tees. What in your opinion makes a successful Tee?
Ever since John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten took a Pink Floyd T-shirt and wrote “I HATE” on it back in the ’70s, people have expressed themselves through T-shirts.
6. What is your favourite Tee of all time?
One of the latest T-shirts I’ve bought and loved is a Tee named “My Bike is Missing!” The print is the note to whoever stole his bike. It ends off with “I hope you ride my bike without a helmet and get hit by a monster truck. I hope my bike takes you straight to hell.”
7. There has been a global trend for designers and illustrators to break free from commercial confines by diving into the underground world of street fashion and the likes as side projects or after hours (for example designer Tees). Your thoughts on this?
There are a lot of trends out there right now. But the one thing they have in common is that they all try to outdo each other in being unique and groundbreaking. All things popular will create a counter reaction. One of my favorite counter reactions in design at the moment is to leave the computer and build it for real. Make the headline in baked bread, or do your illustration in origami. The perfection is in the imperfection.
8. If you could be an animated character, who would it be and why? I would definitely want to be Mister Magoo.
Blind, adventurous and oblivious are not a safe mix for an old dude. But it would be awesome going through life not having a clue, but thinking you’re always on top of shit.
9. Which issue has been the most popular in terms of sales and why do you think this was the case?
Definitely our AR issue. Since we did something no one had ever seen before, we got a huge amount of exposure.
10. What advice do you have for creatives who want to follow in your footsteps?
Get your friends to buy your product in the beginning. They will be the harshest critics you’ll ever meet since you’ve made them pay good money for it. And they know you too so they won’t hesitate to crucify you if they think it’s called for. And don’t think too much. If you’ve got a good idea on your hands, just go for it! Look at your idea and ask yourself “Is this truly unique and different from what everyone else is doing at the moment?” If it’s not, kill it instantly and start over.
11. What do you do to chill?
I spend time with my family. My girlfriend Annica and my kids Arvid and Sigrid are my main source of inspiration.
12. What is your favourite band/album/song?
I listen to a LOT of music so my favourites vary. Today it’s ‘I Need a Dollar with Aloe Blacc’, tomorrow it’s probably something else.
13. Which is your favourite country that you have travelled to and why?
I’ve been visiting NYC quite often lately. For a massive city it has a certain calmness. Compared to Stockholm, which has a baby brother complex – everyone is trying to outdo each other with who they know and what they’ve accomplished. Somehow I feel that New Yorkers
are more certain of who they are and are therefore not as eager to whip out their resumé as soon as you talk to them.