The story behind the new AEGEE-Helsinki T-shirt

Some of you might have seen promotion of the T-shirt on Facebook or during Autumn Agora Budapest and now you’ll hear the story behind.

First of all, I have to thank the person behind AEGEE-Zaragoza’s “I <3 Jamón” T-Shirt. For me, it’s the most brilliant idea to gain visibility for your antenna which I have seen in AEGEE. Without that shirt I wouldn’t even be thinking of doing something different from the mainstream.

In the beginning of 2012 an idea of a new T-shirt slowly came to our minds in Helsinki. We still had some old dark blue t-shirts with our logo left in our storage. Somehow, it hnd not been that popular among our members lately and we wanted to do something different, something that you can also wear outside of AEGEE events.  We wanted it to be something that Erasmus students would like to buy, as a souvenir from Finland and other AEGEE members would be interested in as well.

In summer 2012 during the Travelling Summer University (TSU) FinEst Design we were in Tallinn and after a nice dinner we were trying to find our way to the party with some participants. I had a map in my hands and I tried to figure out where we are and where we should go. Then some participant yelled, “We are in Helsinki bitch, oh no, we are in Tallinn.” In that moment the idea of this T-shirt came to my mind. I asked the participants if they would be interested in this kind of T-shirt. Their answer was yes and in that moment I promised to do my best to figure out if there were more demand for it.

Luckily, we know well Leander Voets (feature picture) from AEGEE-Amsterdam. He was in our TSU 2011 and we know that he has some pretty good skills in designing T-shirts. So I told him my idea and together, we threw ideas to each other and after that session he made a few different designs. I posted those to our TSU 2012 group and asked what they think about it and the feedback was good. I kept on asking people and still, it looked good for us.

After all the research we talked about this subject with our board and we decided to give it a try. This way we were able to get these T-shirts ready before Autumn Agora Budapest and we would have some visibility there during the event and even more during the European Night.

First thing after our board meeting what I did was a Facebook group for the T-Shirt. This way we would have some idea how many people would be interested in this T-Shirt and how much we should order. Also that page has info how to order a T-shirt.

At the moment the demand is higher than we expected, so we will have to order more T-shirts to keep people happy and smiling with an AEGEE-Helsinki T-shirt.

In the end, I want to say that also behind this T-Shirt, there is an ideology of being against  the idea of every antenna looking similar and being without personality. Every step in that direction will kill people’s abstract thinking and the opportunity to be something great. It would be very boring if we all would be just a grey mass. I hope AEGEE will not go too far in that direction, but only the future will tell us. Best compliment I have heard so far was that this T-shirt gave inspiration for another antenna to design something new. Anything more I couldn’t ask.

Written by Seppo Hälikkä Vice President & PR-Responsible of AEGEE-Helsinki