I am sure most of you are familiar with the types of “Mormon t-shirts” like these, these, these and these. To me, they are beyond kitschy and have entered the realm of horribly tacky. What bothers me most is how they use the hard and well-built brand recognition of other companies to sell themselves. In the basic legal training I received every year at Old Navy, we learned that our designs needed to be at least 10% different from the original “inspiration” to avoid any “trouble” (not that most designers like to “knock-off” but many of the business-minded people are looking for a “quick buck”). This 10% is obviously hard to calculate, so what it really came down to was, no one should be able to look at a product and identify the company that may have inspired the piece. Now I am hoping that these “Mormon t-shirts” fall into some legal loophole, because of that whole 12th Article of Faith thing, but they still bother me. I know how hard designers and graphic artists work to create original logos and how hard the merchandisers work to develop the brand recognition of that logo. To me, using the hard work of others to sell a tacky “Mormon t-shirt” is just bad form.
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Mormon T-shirt Kitsch
August 8, 2005 | 36 commentsBy Carrie Lundell