During the winter of 2010, some good friends and I started a hip hop project called Anderson’s Most Wanted. The music was outrageous and the lyrics were ridiculous, but it gave us an excuse to get all of our friends together in a crowded basement and act like Anderson, Indiana was the center of the universe.
While trying to design stickers for the band, I created a simple image that seemed to embody everything I had ever wanted to say about Indiana. It was bold, ambiguous, semi-controversial, and didn’t leave any impression other than Indiana.
The design took off. The hip hop…not so much. On the floor of my bedroom, I started printing the state and six stripes on old tee shirts for friends. Somewhere along the way, the name United State of Indiana came up and I don’t think there will ever be a better mission statement for this whole project than those four words.
The crew in Anderson started giving USI shirts to anyone and everyone who would wear one. Pretty soon, I didn’t have the skill or time to print them all myself, so I started looking for a local printing team to help me out. What I found was The Art Press, an Indy-based screen printing tour de force that cared enough about quality, good design and local business to take my crazy idea to the next level.
The first day I visited the Art Press shop, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had gone to college with the entire staff.
In February 2011, Jared Ingold, the owner of the Art Press invited me to collaborate with three other tee shirt brands to create a pop-up shop called Outpost. The store was perfect for USI: entirely local, impromptu and more concerned with making people smile than taking people’s money. What was originally supposed to last only a couple weeks turned into a three month experiment in store design, grassroots commerce and community networking.
Since then, my graphic designer friends, web designer friends, photographer friends, screenprinter friends, old friends, new friends and I have been working on having as much fun and creating as many cool things with USI as possible. My purpose has become to reciprocate the unbelievable support that so many people around the state (and world) have shown for this simple idea.
We spend more money on USI than we make. For better or worse, I’ll always be more interested in making things than making money.
Occasionally, orders get messed up or shipped late. I’ll do everything I can to make it up to you.
You can call me at any time to discuss your order, shirt sizes, new ideas, Indiana, hip hop, professional wrestling, or anything else. (260)820-0784