July 07, 2011, 2 minute read

Lessons from Two Years of Tees

Glory days.

Today marks my second full year working as a designer at Threadless. I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve been able to work on really amazing projects that millions of people see. I’ve been able to work with people that kick my ass in so many respects. It’s an honor, a thrill and totally rad.

I just wanted to take a minute to thank all of my skinnyCorpin’ co-workers. They are all hilarious, inspirational and well, a fuck-ton of awesome. A special thanks to Jake, who constantly encourages all of us to make great things happen. And to Sean, who was crazy enough to hire me onboard to piece together one of Chicago’s absolute best creative teams.

Lessons from Threadless

Friends > Customers & Users Think of your customers and users as friends. Your projects will be honest. They’ll be better. And plus, you wouldn’t treat your friends like shit.

Act human. There’s no room for marketing-speak when you’re pushing your product out there.

You have to have fun. When you’re having fun, you give yourself the autonomy to fuck up more.

Fucking up is good. This is where we learn a lot. As long as you’re totally open with your community about the decisions you’re making, they’ll have your back.

You have to make lots of bad work before you realize what your good work is. My first stabs at the Threadless.com redesign are embarrassing.

As a designer, there are no “dream projects” handed to you. It’s up to you to make shit great.

Do it now. Inspiration is a temporary thing, so ride that wave while you have it. (Sean redesigned Threadless.com in a weekend. Jake writes new features overnight. I learned AppleScript [while drinking] in a night to batch 2,000+ Photoshop files. We’re all capable of learning new things, so do it. No one is stopping you.)

Modeling is a part of the gig. Sometimes, breakdancing and moonwalking are, too. These were unwritten job descriptions.

Office dogs are awesome.

Basketball wellness breaks are awesome.

So, that’s that. Pardon me, I have some things to make.