Coldplay’s Chris Martin wearing a Last Exit to Nowhere T-shirt on Australian TV recently.
LucasArts actor Sam Witwer, the voice, face and body of Force Unleashed hero, Starkiller wearing our Lao Che Airfreight T-shirt.
Nathan Barry who is one of WIRED’s GeekDads had these kind words to say about Last Exit to Nowhere:
Geeks love movies.
Geeks love T-shirts.
Geeks love to express their love of movies on their T-shirts.
And the folks at Last Exit To Nowhere love to make geeky t-shirts inspired by geeky movies.
The company was set up about 3 years ago by a bunch of movie geeks who also happen to be designers, illustrators, screenprinters and photographers. Their goal was to create something a little bit different, and you can see the pride they obviously take in their work from the results.
Where their designs differ from the plethora of other T-shirts out there is in the almost forgotten art of subtlety. Anyone can knock up a shirt with the movie’s logo on it or write something ‘witty’ in The Terminator font, but Last Exit likes to do it in a much more esoteric way. Of course, as soon as someone has a great idea like this, there’s instantly hundreds of copycats around the web, but beware of imitations!
I’ve seen hundreds of variations of Jack Nicholson’s head coming through the chopped up doorway saying “Here’s Johnny!”, but Last Exit’s take on The Shining resulted in a vintage effect logo for ‘The Overlook Hotel’, complete with the mountains in background.
Why settle for Sloth’s ever quotable, but eminently predictable, “Hey, you guys!” on your Goonies-themed tee, when you could have the logo for the “Lighthouse Lounge” resturant and bar?
Sometimes they take the logo of a company glimpsed for only a few moments in the film and reproduce it, as they’ve done with Omni Consumer Products (OCP) from Robocop and Jack Burton’s Pork Chop Express.
Other designs feature logos for corporations only mentioned verbally in the movie, which Last Exit then creates from scratch in the appropriate style. Ever wondered what the Alien franchise’s ‘Weyland-Yutani’ Corp’s logo would look like? Or how about Gaff’s Spinner from Blade Runner?
Some of the best ones are designed like tourist souvenirs from the real and fictional locations in some of our favourite flicks. How about a shirt from ‘Devil’s Tower, Wyoming’ or ‘Hill Valley High School’? Or maybe even the pub featured in An American Werewolf in London: ‘The Slaughtered Lamb’?
My favourite thing about the ‘Abe Froman, Sausage King Of Chicago’ one my wife got for me is that so few people actually get it. To them it could just a cute 50s style illustration of a guy with a sausage on a fork, only the Trufan™ will recognise it for what it is and give you that knowing nod of approval. Shame on you if you just had to Google it…
Do you know what the Shimata Dominguez Corporation do? Where did you see Jaffe’s Burger Den? What about Charlie Croker’s Couch Tours? There are so many great design from great movies that it’s actually really tough to decide which ones to buy! There is one odd thing though – all the tees seem to be based on movies from the 20th century, with only a few more recent ones. You won’t find any referencing The Matrix or Moon. Maybe the studios keep a tighter reign on the copyright these days, which is a real shame as I’d love a Lunar Industries t-shirt!
They produce some of the designs in slim-fit and hoodie styles, as well as kids sizes so the little geeklets can be in on the joke too, even if they don’t really get it. Add to that some special posters and embroidered caps and it’s a one stop shop for geek satisfaction. They use the highest quality t-shirts and the screenprinting is faultless – unless it’s supposed to have a vintage look of course. International shipping starts at £4, which seems very reasonable to me given that I’ve paid upwards of $10 to get shirts shipped from the US to England in the past. The ones I’ve ordered for myself have generally arrived the next day.
Last Exit To Nowhere is very active on the social media scene, and are constantly previewing new designs and running competitions through their twitter account @lastexitshirts and facebook page. Their #hashtag games are great fun to take part in even if you don’t win – the last two were #BestTopicalFilm and #BestHorrorMonster – and then there’s always the photo of the month competition, where people show off their purchases in very creative ways.
Speaking of competitions, Last Exit To Nowhere has very kindly given five lucky GeekDad readers the chance to win one their fabulous t-shirts. We thought we’d make it a bit more interesting than just leaving a comment, so we’ve put together a little multiple choice quiz for you. Correctly name all 20 movies that each of these t-shirt designs were inspired by, leave your email address and we’ll pick five winners at random on the 13th September.
Even if you don’t win, you can still save 15% on the price of the t-shirts be using the code GEEKDAD at the checkout on lastexittonowhere.com.
The September 2010 issue of DVD & Blu Ray Review magazine wrote:
Movie fans are catered to en masse these days: how many Superman ‘S’ T-shirts have you seen people wearing this week? All of which means that anybody who wants to show their appreciation of film can find it hard to stand out from the crowd. Which is where Last Exit to Nowhere comes in…
This unique brand was founded in 2007 by Mike Ford, who brings his tongue-in-cheek love of everything cinematic – from Jaws and Deliverance to Ghostbusters and Shaun Of The Dead – to his designs. He uses left-field ideas to give his shirts and hoodies a unique feel; you have to be a fellow fan of the movie in question to get the reference. And that’s COOL. There’s a Hill Valley High School (Back to the Future) top or one bearing the name of the Alien ship, the Nostromo: you can choose from your favourite when you subscribe to Review this month. Beats a Superman logo any day.
The good people of scyfilove.com asked us for an interview…
I’m not much of a one for fashion, but I make an exception when it comes to Last Exit To Nowhere.
In the past four years they have become the geek’s clothing supplier of choice, attracting patronage from Simon Pegg among others and bringing out designs inspired by and paying homage to films like Total Recall, Blade Runner and Alien, to name but three.
The awesomest thing is you can look all day and never find the name of a film on their clothes. Instead they take it to the next level by pulling out the name of a place, a person or company from your favourite film and going to town with that.
It’s like a special badge of honour or a hidden code that only the cool kids will understand, the geeks like you.
What’s more it means I can pretend I’ve been on holiday to Amity Island, work for Skynet or shipped out on the Nostromo (obviously before it blew up) – and I do!
I’m a long-time fan and was delighted when founder of Last Exit To Nowhere, Mike Ford, took time out from thinking up more genius designs to answer my questions.
When did you set up and where did the original idea come from? Where does the name Last Exit To Nowhere come from?
My brother is a screen printer by trade so I’ve always been able to produce one-off T-shirts from various references in film, music, tv, computer games – you name it.
In 2006 I decided to focus on this area in a commercial sense and began the idea of Last Exit to Nowhere.
The ‘Nowhere’ aspect of the name represents the fictional companies, places etc that we feature in our range of T-shirts and the ‘Last Exit to’ was inspired by the film title ‘Last Exit to Brooklyn’ which I always liked as a name.
What is your background – i.e did you work in graphic art? What were your influences?
Last Exit to Nowhere is a team effort all round. I’m from a graphic design background so I tend to work on the designs and advertising mostly. Influences come from all cultural areas.
Are you geeks?
It has been said, although I like to think of myself more of a film/design enthusiast!
What was the first T-Shirt you did? Any reason why?
The first ever T-shirt I created was a band T-shirt when I was about 14. I designed it, my brother printed it. The band was called Desecrator and the T-shirt design featured a skeleton warrior king sat on a throne (actually lifted from an Ian Livington/Steve Jackson fighting fantasy book I was into at the time)
Awesome image. I’d wear it today if I still had it!
How pleased have you been with the reaction to LETN and how important is that feedback to you? And what has your reaction been to other similar t-shirt companies that have set up in your wake?
It’s a great to be part of a wider community that offer such positive and supportive comments. The interaction is probably the best thing about what we do.
We’ve had positive support and encouragement from lots of great people including actor Simon Pegg and legendary director Andrew Stanton.
We also support any company that is willing to offer their own unique take on the film reference T-shirt.
What has been the most popular T-shirt design?
Our Nostromo T-shirt goes down well.
How do you come up with the ideas for T-shirts, and how much work does it take to turn the idea into the finished product? Can people contact you with T-shirt ideas?
The T-shirt designs develop over a period of time. Once an idea is set in stone I begin sketch it up, normally on paper and then work it up digitally until I’m happy with how it works.
I like the design to be sympathetic with the feel/era of the fictional company, place, etc. We’re always happy to hear people’s suggestions for T-shirts.
What are your plans for the future of LETN?
Our plans are to build an army of followers and eventually conquer a small country.
The March/April edition of movieScope wrote this great article about Last Exit to Nowhere:
“Whether you are looking to impress at your next audition with your knowledge of film, or just want to indulge your passion for all things film-related. the range of seriously cool clothing from the boys at Last Exit to Nowhere may be just what you’re looking for this summer. Described in the press from Australia to the USA as ‘the greatest T-shirt company on the web’ Last Exit to Nowhere are the stuff of legend. Forget the predictable movie merchandise found at markets; their range of T-shirts and hooded tops make intelligent and subtle references to your favourite films, while being stylish designs in their own right. From logos like The Paper Street Soap Company (Fight Club) and Dapper Dan hair wax (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) to more oblique references like Abe Froman: Sausage King of Chicago (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Last Exit to Nowhere allude to the wearer’s knowledge, as well as their taste in films; an approach which has made them a favourite with celebrities and fans alike. Anyone for a drink at the Winchester Tavern? Check out the fantastic range at www.lastexittonowhere.com”