There’s no band shirt more iconic, ubiquitous, and basic than the Helvetica Beatles names. John, Paul, George, and Ringo, spelled out in subway chicness, a few ampersands dividing up the royalty. It’s telling the world that you don’t have any defining taste beyond liking The Beatles, but you still want to be treated like someone who Takes Art Seriously.
It’s also perhaps the most parodied t-shirt design in the history of pop music, so if you’re a particularly miserable person, you can buy a Smiths version or a Pavement version from bootleg websites across the world. Naturally that spurned my content-creative instinct and I decided to venture into the CafePress design tab and make the worst possible Helvetica Beatles interpretations I could imagine. The results were dumb.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 7, 2014