• Carswell King

High Tee Victoria Artwear



It's been said that one t-shirt is equivalent to one hundred posters. Wear one that has a slogan or artwork on it and you'll soon see how it attracts the viewers eye. For this reason, many companies distribute them freely as promotional materials at various conferences and trade shows. They're economical, pack easily and won't get thrown away as soon as it leaves the event. In fact, it will be worn and noticed long after the event has ended!


Much has been written about the psychology of t-shirts but an experience got me thinking about the t-shirt as tourist souvenir. A couple of years ago I was visiting a well-known city on Canada's east coast. I, like most tourists, purchase t-shirts to give as gifts when I return home. It's estimated that every tourist will buy at least one t-shirt . But this particular city had none - I looked everywhere, enquired - nothing!


I wondered how much lost tourist revenue they missed out on by not offering this visitor staple. But by far their biggest economic casualty was the loss of promotion. T-shirts for tourist consumption not only provides the purchaser with a tangible connection of having visited a place and the ability to prolong an experience, they also communicate the location as a valued destination. Remember the hundred posters?


So I started looking at my own city, Victoria. How were we being portrayed and promoted on souvenir t-shirts? Searching online turned up a few sources - even some from vintage collections, but then the trail went cold. Victoria is a tourist centre - Conde Nast Reader's Choice Awards once hailed it as the 7th best city in the world to visit and Vancouver Island was named Canada's best Island by a New York-based travel magazine. We're a tourist-based economy so why aren't we taking advantage of those one hundred posters?


As an illustrator, Victoria is a never-ending source of inspiration for me. What if I presented Victoria the way I see it - as art? This was the beginning of High Tee Victoria Artwear and a collection of designs for tees, tanks and sweatshirts that highlight various places in Victoria as well as a treasure trove of unique activities one can experience around Vancouver Island. For me it's a serendipitous journey that I think visitors and even Victorians can relate to. So whether you've enjoyed a visit in the past, are dreaming of a future trip to Victoria, or even just a proud Victorian - Victoria Artwear has something for you.


High Tee Victoria Artwear t-shirts, tanks and sweatshirts are printed in Canada through Art of Where in Montreal and only available online for now. Art of Where specializes in Direct to Garment (DTG) as well as vinyl print technologies. Wholesale pricing is available.


Note: Travel restrictions are in place due to COVID-19. Follow the current BC travel advisory, stay within your community and avoid all non-essential travel.


The High Tee Victoria Artwear Collection (click on any design below to open the gallery)