Alumnus designs T-shirts for Gap Inc.

Photo courtesy of Phil Jones

One of Murray State’s own is making a positive statement in the design world with his original T-shirt design “I Hate Negative Statements,” which is now available in select Gap stores across the nation.

Phil Jones, Murray State alumnus from Louisville, Ky., has experienced success across the design spectrum since his graduation in 2005.

He is now the art director at advertising agency Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis and frequently contributes to the online design community, Threadless.

In February, Threadless partnered with Gap to release a line of T-shirts created by designers and artists from the site’s competitions and archives.

Threadless is a website where designers and artists can upload content to be voted on by other contributors in on-going competitions.

After seven days, the highest scores are released and the favorites can be printed and the artists will be paid. It is most well known for its T-shirt designs.

Jones said Threadless searched through their archives to find the designs that best fit with the Gap’s style and found his “I Hate Negative Statements” T-shirt.

“It’s a very simple typography and one of my favorite quotes that I have ever scribbled down,” he said. “The irony of it makes me laugh and it’s such a simple idea and design that it doesn’t need any extravagance.”

Jones submitted his design in 2011 without knowing about the Gap competition.

While Threadless has worked with many other companies before, this is its first retail partnership.

Jones said he saw the opportunity as a chance to reach a whole new community of people within a totally different market.

“It’s been quite the whirlwind experience,” he said. “This reaches a whole new level and it’s such an exciting time to be a designer and artist.”

The collection consisted of shirts for both men and women and was released on Feb. 27.

The T-shirts can be purchased in Gap retail stores across the United States, Canada and via Gap’s online store.

Jones said he has enjoyed getting to see his design hit the public and get noticed. He said he has received recognition from friends and family across the United States after his design was featured in stores roughly a month ago.

This is not Jones’ first success with Threadless, as he has had 23 designs printed since he joined the online community in 2007, developed an online following and received the award, “Designer of the Year” in 2010.

“I will always be contributing to the site,” he said. “Sometimes the

T-shirts come second to meeting new artists.”

Though Jones has achieved many great things since his graduation day, he said he remembers Murray State fondly and is proud of his alma mater for many reasons.

“Murray State has a great design program and I’m glad to have put a mark on the map for us – besides our great basketball team,” he said. “I have more of a voice now, but I’ll always be a Racer.”

Jones has several designs available on the Threadless website, and some are also available on his personal website

Check out the video campaign for Gap + Threadless T-Shirts.