About Us

The Sad Shirts Story

The Sad Shirts origin story starts in 2013, when artist and t-shirt connoisseur Sad Ivan decided to make his own destiny…

As an ardent collector, Ivan owns many, many t-shirts (about a hundred at last count!). But there was one elusive shirt that he never could find. One with Cthulhu on it. 

“Hot dog!” Ivan ejaculated. 

“I so yearn for a crazy Cthulhu shirt to call my own.” 

“Aaah … yeees … how wondrous it would be …” he daydreamed. 

“I’d be wrapped up in the gratifying warmth of Lovecraft’s work. Like a soft, comfy blankie. A furry cocoon of Lovecraftian terror!” 

And so it came to pass that Ivan began carving his own destiny and, unbeknownst to him, laying the foundations of what would go on to become the signature hand-printed shirt that you, our beloved kinfolk, have come to know as a Sad Shirt. 

Falling back on the lino-printing skills he learned in high-school art class, Ivan drew and he sketched. 

He drew, sketched and erased. He carved and he carved. And he carved some more. He smeared ink and cussed for a spell. He added another thin coat of ink for old time’s sake. And then he cussed a little bit more for luck. 

Then it was finally time for Ivan to make the crazy cool Cthulhu shirt he’d mused over for so long. So he printed it. And it was marvellous! 

He’d finally done it! There, in his house at Observ’try, Sad Ivan stood beaming. 

Because there he was. At long last! In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu lay dreaming. 

Recognising his Sad Shirts for the wonderful thing it was, Ivan carried on making shirts. And eventually, the first ever Sad Shirts stall went up with a handful of shirts and a borrowed clothing rail. We had a surprisingly fruitful first day, and walked away buoyed by the reassuring enthusiasm of the people. 

Agog at the pile of sweet, sweet t-shirt money in his hand, Ivan was bolstered. Stronger. And vindicated. An underdog – victorious! 

The years rolled by and Ivan delighted with one awesome design after another. While also dealing with the pressures of a demanding full-time job, he single-handedly transformed Sad Shirts from an obscure little one-man operation into something very special. 

And he, in an incredible feat, single-handedly built a solid following of kindred spirits, who have shown the brand remarkable loyalty.                                 

People like you, dear customer, who make it all worthwhile.