Down The Rabbit Hole top picks


Well well, it looks like I’m really gonna have to do some vein popping psychic work to find out who the winner of the Down The Rabbit Hole theme competition will be.

Seriously there are soooo many designs that have come through for this brilliant theme competition…obviously it struck a chord with the design community, because they jumped all over this one in a big way.
So, as usual, here are my predictions, or shall I say Down The Rabbit Hole top picks!

My first Down The Rabbit Hole top pick comes from Qimstudio who hails all the way from Malaysia.

Two of my chosen designs have a slightly macabre tinge to their design elements, Lonely Bird being the first.
This design just spoke to me straight away, you know when you just simply have to have something. I remember when I wrote my comment on the page, I said, “Now this, is something special. I can’t actually even comment, it’s perfect!”

I stand fast on my comment. Truly there is nothing I’d like to see changed in the Lonely Bird design. Some people have commented that they feel the bird should have been made completely into a little skeleton bird. However, I feel as if the slight cloaked nature of the bird, makes him seem even more ominous….just the head perturbs me!
I can just picture this little Lonely Bird sitting high in a tree, watching Alice as she stumbles around in the dark….waiting for her to go to sleep.

I love this and would love to see it make it to print!

Next up is the second of my darker choices and perhaps my favourite design of the competition.

Nicetomeetyou brings us a wonderfully designer representation of the infamous rabbit that Alice chases after. This design is called A Very Important Date. When I say this design has WOW factor, I truly mean it. Just look at the intricate line work and intense attention to detail. This design speaks to me in a way that none of the other submissions do. While Lonely Bird captures me with its deceptive darkness, A Very Important Date has a darkness that almost transcends the boundary of only being able to be worn by a select few. What I mean is that usually the darker more scary design don’t usually sell well across the board. But, I think that this t-shirt will sell well in all demographic groups, male or female.

I frigging want this t-shirt now…NOW DAMMIT!!!!

My final choice is perhaps a breath of fresh air, compared to my last two dark choices. Fantome’s stunning design Oh Alice, is bursting with unique character power.

It is perhaps a dark horse of my pics because of the overall effectiveness of the design. While the Alice, Rabbit and Cheshire Cat in the design are all super different and SCREAM personality, I feel that the design is slightly let down by the dark checked and swishing pattern behind the characters. It’s almost as if the designer drew the original characters of Oh Alice and then somebody else came along and scribbled in pen behind it. At first I was even worried that this was a stolen image that had been tweaked by Fantome. I’m hoping this is not the case!

The design might of Oh Alice can’t be ignored though. It has a magic to it that 90% of the other submissions failed to achieve. It deserves to be one of my Down The Rabbit Hole top picks.

Now I just have to cross my fingers and hope for the best…please oh please let my Down The Rabbit Hole top picks make the cut.

copyright infringement

There is an annoying problem that we at Springleap tackle every single day. It is the bane of our particular industry. This problem is of course the ugly law of copyright infringement. It’s a problem that seems to be getting worse rather than better.

So how does copyright infringement affect you personally? Well rather more than you might think actually.

For the average consumer copyright infringement may take a back seat to reason. It seems that most people these days are guilty of one form of it or another, which is really sad.

When Springleap was still called eSquared Fashion and we were importing clothing from Thailand we were exposed to a world of dodgy sellers who posed with great big smiles and assured they were supplying us with the coolest most unique designs around. Hog wash.

While I’m sure quite lots of the designs were original, it was sad to find out later that many were in fact copies. We of course hate copyright infringement. The artists of this world have enough trouble coming up with original ideas and marketing them properly, but to have your work stolen and sold all over the world under some other idiots name is really shocking.

We at Springleap, from our past experiences, are very harsh with our rules on approving designs. Copyright infringement is a cancer and we will do our best to stem its passage through our competition. It has happened that a few “artists” have tried to sneak things into the competition before that were most certainly ripped, but those people are dealt with swiftly.

Look, there are lots of designers, particularly the younger guys and girls that don’t fully understand the copyright infringement rules that we play by and there are some legitimate cases of “unknowing infringement”. However we will not let our guard down no matter what.

Luckily the Springleap team has quite a varied knowledge of design, so it’s rare that something slips through the proverbial net.

What is even more amazing is the help that the community gives us in regards to copyright infringement. If for whatever reason, a copied design makes it into the competition, the community picks up on it almost instantly.
In these cases the voter or designer that discovered the transgression will supply a link or a name of the original artist that has been ripped off.

Honestly our community is top notch at sniffing out potential “rippers” who give our industry a bad name.

So beware all you creepy little criminals who feel like you can nab other peoples hard work and get away with it. We are watching and will launch yo ass (ouch very gangster) if we find out you are a criminal copy infringing fiend.

All jokes aside. Copyright infringement is a terrible thing that dilutes the world of design and denies people their full worth.

I have no doubt that this year’s expo is going to be absolutely crazy busy, with designers from all fields of influence descending en mass to enjoy the variety on show.

Those of you who have already been to Design Indaba in the past will know that it really sucks the energy out of you. If you don’t have lots to drink and some food to power up your mitochondria you may end up falling head first into one of the displays. So why not partake in some of the yummy food on offer, perhaps the Designer Baguette range.

This year various well known and upcoming chefs will be putting together the Designer Baguette Range. Design Indaba and Foodcorp have collaborated by giving a percentage of the sales towards the Chef Development Fund, which will empower underprivileged budding chefs to realize their potential and attain their dreams.

The Designer Baguette Range will be available from the 26th – 28th of February.

This is a treat not to be missed. Not only will you get a chance to experience some seriously tasty nosh, but you will also be contributing to the lives of the next generation of South African chefs.

alcohol t-shirts


I trust you have all had a wonderful weekend thus far?!

There is one style of t-shirt that is extremely prolific, but one which I have never mentioned before and that is alcohol t-shirts.

I guess it’s because I loathe drunks and seldom go drinking that I never pondered the idea of blogging about alcohol t-shirts.

However it can’t be denied that it’s a big industry and quite a fair amount of money exchanges hands for this kind of apparel.

You must know what I’m talking about, every single day I see people wearing anything from expensive Jack Daniels designs to crumby FREE promotional alcohol t-shirts thrown out at clubs to semi-conscious revellers.

The drinking culture is huge in South Africa and perhaps even more so overseas.

When I was living in London I remember walking through Camden Town and being bombarded by alcoholic t-shirt designs.
Personally I never went for them, however there was always one brand that I just couldn’t seem to shake and that’s Guinness.

Guinness is one of those drinks that I will buy to enjoy slowly from time to time and have never felt any animosity towards. I have fond memories of wearing my Guinness top hat to Saint. Patricks day and having a mellow jol whilst celebrating a bank holiday that has absolutely nothing to do with me.

Whenever I see people wearing alcohol t-shirts like Jagermeister, Jose Cuervo and…well pretty much any beer brand I know that they are possible maniacs ROFL.

Perhaps the only other alcoholic t-shirt design that doesn’t make me recoil are designs of companies that make fine wine…even though I know that wine can change the most calm and sedate granny into a raving frothing lunatic.

One thing’s for sure, it doesn’t seem to fancy anything alcohol related in design, which I have to say I’m thankful for…I don’t like designs that popularise or promote substances that leave people stupid or dead. I suppose I may be going a bit far and I’m sure loads of people just wear these alcoholic t-shirts for a little bit of fun, but hey thats my opinion.

In fact the last alcoholic styled t-shirt we have had in the Sea Point store was when we were still called eSquared, which was over a year ago now….shoooo.

March 5 2010 is set to b a day of great things, on this fateful day, Mr Burton is set to release his much anticipated and supposedly ‘engaging’ Disney digital 3-D Alice in Wonderland. Not to worry though, Alice will also be visiting our good old 2-D big screens as well. What more could cult movie goers ask for, a classic Psychedelic novel moulded and shaped by one of the greatest directors of our era.

A brief synopsis see’s a 19 year old Alice (Mia Wasikowska) about to be proposed to, but ends up running off with the White Rabbit down his infamous hole only to end up in a politically unstable Wonderland. With disgruntled characters like the Caterpillar (Alan Rickman), the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and the Cheshire cat (Stephen Fry) ready for a revolt against the new tyrannical regime of the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) we can only imagine what Alice must be going through. To top it all off, Alice starts having flashbacks of her previous visit. Sounds like we are surely in for a good trip!


According to press, Linda Wolvertine (Screenwriter) wanted to explore a socio-political aspect of the story as well, which I find rather interesting as the film would be geared for an adult and relatively young audience, one can only wonder what she wants the viewer to walk away? Unfortunately the film is a Walt Disney production, so we can’t expect the Queen of Hearts’ demands for chopped off heads to be quenched. We’ll just have to be satisfied with Alice wandering through forests of giant mushrooms and having philosophical discussions with animals J

I wonder if Alice in Wonderland is going to be dark and morbid like Sleepy Hollow or bright and cheerful like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? I can’t wait.

African designs

4457031542_131b7ed68bWell the Soccer World Cup 2010 is impending and everyone is in panic stations to get their ducks in a row before we are swamped with all the foreign tourists. The same goes for us here at as we prepare to get a few truly “African designs” under our belt before the invasion. Obviously when the foreigners come down to this neck of the woods they want African designs with a difference.

In the case of wanting something African and unique there is no better place to check out than
While I’m sure many foreigners will be grabbing piles of African curio t-shirts with the big five, we want to provide African designs that have a much more funkier vibe and are super unique.
Many of you will be familiar with our African designs already, but here are three designs that really symbolize our mission of providing African shirts that are a cut above the rest.

DaRKo’s Vuvuzero design is one of those t-shirts that the foreigners will probably not understand at first, but by the end of the tournament will be scrambling for them. Only a South African truly knows the headache a vuvuzela can cause on your poor ears. DaRKo has really done a brilliant job of the design. There are only a few South African designs that truly capture the essence of our culture and society. However DaRKo is definitely one of those designers that were able to achieve this feat. Just look at this wicked winner…AWESOME!

Taxi Wars by CHUCKY is a design that kinda transcends your normal South African design by not only capturing local South African themes, but also integrates a very well known sci-fi movie theme from the States.
Star Wars is one of those movie franchises which are super popular no matter wherever you go. By using the famous Star Wars type font and integrating it into a funky African sub-culture, CHUCKY has created something a design that really opens SA to the rest of the world. If the rest of the world doesn’t know about our taxis by now, they will have a serious “crash course” by the time they leave our shores…let’s hope less crashing and more polite drivers throwing daisies **fingers crossed**.

My final choice is Colour Culture which has a full on soccer theme. ShampooWarrior did a fine job indeed with this wonderful design. I suppose you couldn’t get a better mix of Soccer World Cup action and Africa influence even if you tried. This design covers all the bases in regards to foreign tourists…I really think these are gonna fly off the shelf when the action starts.

One design that I have not included, but should rightfully be included, is Tu’s new winning design from our Faces of Africa competition. I did a feature blog on Freedom Walker a little while back so thought I’d focus on some other designs. Freedom Walker is definitely up there with the best African designs available.