This year, to mark the beloved Saint Valentine’s Day, ethical fashion platform Everpress has asked nine of its favourite artists, illustrators, animators and designers to respond to the day in the form of a T-Shirt. Everpress recognises that there’s a range of responses to Valentine’s Day, from unbridled joy to tears or bitter laments – and “it’s come to be defined largely by overpriced menus and empty Hallmark sentiments”. As a result the collection, titled Love is the Message, takes it back-to-basics, “observing the day as it is and was, as a celebration of romance”.
“2019 will no doubt throw up its share of challenges, like those years before it, so Saint Valentine’s push for love through adversity is certainly something to be celebrated!” Everpress tells It’s Nice That. And celebrate they have, working with practitioners including Caterina Bianchini, Clay Hickson, Sophie Koko Gate, Annu Kilpeläinen, Adam Tickle and Chrissie Abbott, Love is the Message presents a wide-ranging vision of love ’n’ lust.
The campaign’s got cheesy typography, atomic bomb hearts, abstract 80s squiggly forms, 60s (maybe John and Yoko inspired?) couples hanging out under a patterned bedspread, and expressions of love worked out in a grid of shapes, text and an ecstatic smiley, and lots more. Everpress’ Nick Law was excited to see how each interpretation would turn out: “I’ve worked with Marta and Caterina for some time, from my previous role. They’re both crazy talented and their work is always a lot of fun, so I wanted to get their interpretations. I was so stoked that Clay wanted to take part. I love what he’s doing with Tan & Loose and The Smudge, and he just seems to be such a loved figure in the illustration game, and a true supporter of other talent. And although I’ve only known about Charlie’s work for a few months, I love his style as well as his process and how he uses music as an inspiration. His design for this is a visual interpretation of Escape by Rupert Holmes (better known as the Pina Colada song), which is a brilliant tune, whether you like to admit it or not…”
Nick says of what inspired the campaign: “it originated from a couple of events in quick succession. First was a conversation I was having with some mates in the pub (the source of most ideas, lol) some time back. The subject of Valentine’s Day came up and practically everyone – single, in a relationship, engaged, married, you name it – was rolling their eyes and discussing what they were going to do to avoid going out to celebrate it. I kind of agreed but also thought what a shame this was, that a day with such good intentions could elicit such a shitty response. Weirdly, the next day, Sophie Koko Gate got in touch saying she wanted to work towards a ‘slimy love slug valentines special’. My intrigue towards what that was, along with further interest in how others may feel about the occasion, led to a more formal campaign”.
As with every Everpress campaign, the T-Shirts are available for a limited time only (between 7th-17th February), and each purchase will include a donation to the British Heart Foundation.
About the Author
Billie studied illustration at Camberwell College of Art before completing an MA in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art. She joined It’s Nice That as a Freelance Editorial Assistant back in January 2015 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis.