Tuesday, 20 September 2011

An Interview with...

Insert Coin Clothing are purveyors of fine quality gaming t-shirts and hoodies. Since they started last year, things have gone from strength to strength and they have secured exclusive deals with the likes of Ubisoft and Sega. Not bad, considering the the company was founded by a couple of gamers, disappointed at the state of the gaming apparel on offer.

You see, what makes Insert Coin stand out from other companies is that they don't sell typical designs. You won't see Mario, Ezio or Sonic, but you will see subtle designs that the hardcore fans will appreciate, such as advertisements for the Afterlife Club in Mass Effect 2, or Moa Burgers from Halo Reach. This is why Insert Coin have become a household name in the world of gamers. They sell desirable, top quality designs that are far more meaningful than the norm, and fellow gamers will appreciate the modest references far more than just a character's face.

We have been lucky enough to have a chat with Dan Long from Insert Coin Clothing, to find out a bit more about the company, their new-found fame and what lies ahead.

First of all, I'd like to thank you for this awesome opportunity! Could you introduce yourself/yourselves and briefly describe what you did before the conception of Insert Coin?
No problem! The two main folk at Insert Coin are us two - Jon Rhodes and Dan Long - two creatives with a shared passion for gaming and cool tees. We're both from creative backgrounds and we worked together for about 5-6 years before we started thinking about Insert Coin.

How did you come up with and get Insert Coin Clothing off the ground?
The idea from Insert Coin was actually from a really bad experience we had with gaming tees. As a gamer, it was really tough to find good tees, although a lot of people were trying. We used to try and find cool ones, but one particular tee just pushed us over the limit. It's as if they thought 'you're a gamer, you'll buy any old rubbish we print'. We found one design we liked from this company and it arrived and it was terrible. The tee was thin and cheap - but they were charging a premium price. It had just been screwed up and thrown in the envelope. When there was a problem with it too, there was no number to call, no way to sort out what went wrong. It was just poor all round... we thought we could do better tees that put a smile on the face of every gamer, print the best designs on the best tees and give them the best service possible. We knew we could do it, so we just got our heads together and created Insert Coin.

You often get well known figures in the gaming community endorsing your products and a huge fanbase. Did you expect that after just a year, you would be as well known as you are? 
Not at all, no. We were confident we could create something people would like, but we have been absolutely overwhelmed by the amazing support we've had. In just over a year, we've become one of the world's favourite geek clothing companies. It's amazing. We're genuinely touched by the response... and to have gaming's great and good wear our clothes it awesome. It's incredible... and we never get tired of seeing our tees out 'in the wild'. It's amazing every time.

You have some amazing designs, from some of the greatest games of all time. How do you decide which games should get a shirt?
Aww thanks so much! The approach is always the same, it starts off with us talking about the games that we love. From there we talk about what we love about the game experience and that leads us on to the people, places and things that make those worlds so fantastic.

What is the process once you have an idea? 
The general process is that we will have our chat about what we like and then we start drawing up scamps and sketches to see what will work and what won't. From there we start thinking about colours and - if it's a licensed design - we will chat to the crew from their character/brand teams to work out how far we can push the boundaries. Then it's a case of making mock ups, getting samples and generally just making it all perfect.

So year one has been absolutely amazing for Insert Coin, what does year two have in store?
Well, we have a lot of things up our sleeve. We've got a lot of licenses in the pipeline and we are planning on expanding our range even further - watch this space! We have quite a lot of stuff happening between now and Christmas though. It's gonna be a busy few months!

Thanks for answering my questions! I sincerely can't wait to see Insert Coin expand, and I wish you all the success you deserve!
Thanks so much - it was our pleasure!

You can check out all their t-shirts and hoodies at http://www.insertcoinclothing.com/

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