The Grateful Dead - IceCream Kid 72' - Toddler Long Sleeve Shirt
About the product:
Sleeve lenght, in
Designed to bring the best to the youngest of us all, the custom toddler long-sleeve tee is made from ringspun cotton and polyester. All main colors are 60/40 cotton to polyester and heather colors are 90/10. Built to last, the garment features a topstitched ribbed collar and shoulder-to-shoulder self-fabric back-neck taping. These inclusions boost durability, fitting, and comfort. The label is EasyTear™, a nice feature for those with sensitive skin.
.: 100% combed ringspun cotton (fiber content may vary for different colors) .: Light fabric (4.5 oz/yd² (153 g/m²)) .: Toddler unisex fit .: Tear away label
The Grateful Dead Iconography:
As people, the Dead may not have been very image-conscious, but they had exquisite taste in graphic designers. The band’s killer logo is called the Stealie, so named because it appeared on the cover of the Steal Your Face album. It’s a dreadful record, possibly the band’s worst, but it’s an amazing cover.
The logo was designed by the Dead’s sound engineer and in-house LSD provider, Owsley “Bear” Stanley. He devised it for stickers that he put on the band’s equipment, making it easier to tell it from the other bands’ gear in dark backstage areas.
Why did I constantly draw Stealies on my high school notebooks? For one thing, it’s fun to draw. It’s an easy little visual algorithm to memorize, but you have to really pay attention to get the execution right. It looks dangerous yet friendly, ancient yet modern, funny yet sinister, symmetrical yet asymmetrical. It’s a play on the American flag, the bones of the head, the lightning strike of inspiration. Its meaning is, as my shrink would say, multiply-determined.
The Stealie is a stupendously successful meme. You can put anything inside the circle in place of the lightning bolt: a dancing bear, a turtle, Jerry’s face, the name of your frat. Some clever person did a t-shirt that had an infinitely recursive series of smaller skulls-within-skulls. The skull can anchor all kinds of cool new designs and adventurous typography, too.
I was exposed to the Dead’s visual iconography long before I heard any of the music. My stepbrother stored a bunch of his records in our apartment’s closet when I was growing up, and eventually I got curious and started poking around them. Along with the Allman Brothers and Steely Dan, there were a couple of Dead albums whose covers practically radiated menace.
Based on the skull imagery, I expected death metal, so imagine my surprise when I finally put one of these records on and found it to be agreeable spacy jazzy-country-rock. Here’s a much less frightening album cover, from Europe ’72, a Stanley Mouse painting nicknamed Ice Cream Boy.
I get a MAD Magazine vibe from this image, Don Martin meets R Crumb. Jerry was an avid MAD reader as a kid, as was I.
Along with eye-catching album covers and t-shirts, the Dead also put out some gorgeous books. A standout: this book of hand-lettered transcriptions of every tune on American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead.