After moving to Dayton, Ohio, with his family in 1992, Doug Aldrich experienced the first tug of community – and the Cincinnati sports scene – traveling south for Bengals and Reds games, and soon became a loyal fan.
The problem? A graphic designer by training and a marketer by trade, he grew tired of commercialized fan gear. Instead, he wanted a shirt that would be a nod to local sports, without over-the-top branding. Soon he had drawn up pages of his own designs, and had a couple printed for himself.
“I like the experience of the game and experiencing the community of Cincinnati, but I didn’t want to wear a big brand logo on my chest,” he explains.
When friends saw him wearing the whimsical T’s, they wanted shirts of their own, and after having a handful printed, Aldrich designed a logo and website, and Cincy Clothing
Despite Aldrich’s insistence that his lovingly drawn designs are “pretty simple,” they feature custom, hand-drawn fonts and graphics and tongue-in-cheek text (one reads “Keep Rolen,” another “One Dey”) that makes a statement.
“I wanted to create something that’s on the fringe of the brand, basically,” Aldrich says. “For instance, Mr. Redface
is really an homage to the Andre the Giant graffiti
-- it’s sort of a take on that. I wanted more of a fan’s perspective in the graphics.”
Aldrich launched Cincy Clothing less than a month ago and has a small, but steadily growing fan base of his own, with four hand-drawn designs available. They’re currently available at Prep Clothing in Dayton and online; Aldrich hopes to win a street vendor’s license soon.
By Robin Donovan