Welcome to I Club Detroit. Here, you’ll find screen-printed techno, house
and electronic music related t-shirts and tanks. All of I Club Detroit’s shirts
are designed and printed in Michigan.
I Club Detroit?
The name I Club Detroit (I ♣ Detroit) signifies an enthusiasm for Detroit's
music scene, its techno roots and electronic music in general. The mark is
designed to look like a hand stamp you'd get upon entry to a venue. It is
also a nod to Milton Glaser's iconic I Heart NY design.
Who Makes this Stuff?
Hi! My name is Kim Wilds, and I am the owner and designer at I Club Detroit. (I'm also the shipper, photographer, vendor, social media, and test market screen-printer person.)
I started designing techno and house music themed t-shirts for friends and myself to wear to Movement (Detroit's electronic music festival) in 2009.
When the designs were a hit, I knew I wanted to design shirts full-time, but
I didn't know how to make that dream a reality. I had a lot of ideas and I was
pretty good at drawing and painting, but knew nothing about graphic
design or the garment industry.
Back to School
Believing that it’s never too late to be what you might have been, I studied graphic design at Washtenaw Community College, and learned about the garment industry wherever I could. I was obsessed. I attended conventions and lectures, watched documentaries, read books and spent countless hours on websites like T-shirt Forums and Skillshare.
During that time, I learned a ton about copyrights and trademarks, and
knew if I didn’t apply for my trademark soon, I could lose it. I'd been using
a sloppy I Club Detroit illustration I'd done a while back. Pressed for time,
I applied for my trademark with that in August of 2012 and was approved
nine months later in May of 2013.
Power Tools and Science, Heck Yeah!
After taking a screen-printing class, I decided I needed a printing press and
exposure unit of my own. I didn’t have the money for either however, so I
designed and built them myself; a six station line-table press and an expo-
sure unit that burns screens in twelve seconds flat. It employs a single-point
light source design with a 1000 watt, 10,000 k metal halide bulb. I nick-named
that beast the Burnomatic, and have started designing a nameplate for it
reminiscent of the old automobile name plates.
Looking for the DIY Exposure Unit information?
The Making of Joan
I Club Detroit needed a female face, but not mine. It made perfect sense
that a crash test dummy should represent the brand considering the au-
tomotive industry in Detroit and the role the that Packard Automative Plant
played in the techno scene. Crash test dummy masks are really hard to
find, so I made my own lopsided mask and ended up with a version of my
own face after all. Joan is named after my maternal grandmother.
I still had to perfect the LP packaging, design the garment labels and find
the right shirts to print on. The labels and packaging were easy enough,
but I needed an actual product in order to do those things.
I wanted on-trend, lightweight garments made in the United States,
and I wanted the option of creating the colors and designing the garment
styles myself. I gave up on the usual blank t-shirt companies, either because
of a lack of styles and customizability, quality, customer service or location.
I began reaching out to textile mills and garment manufacturers in the United
States, and eventually forged a relationship with the right one.
Thank you for checking out I Club Detroit. If you have any questions or
comments, feel free to DROP ME A LINE.