Favorite things: Jacob Weston and his collection of T-shirts

Skyler Ashley

Jacob Weston is a graphic designer and musician. When not performing in groups with vocal or guitar duties, he helps design merchandise and album covers. His favorite thing is the collection of band t-shirts he’s collected over the years.

Over the years, going to concerts, I always took shirts to support groups. I have just collected them since I was 13-14 years old. I have stuff from local bands that don’t exist anymore and stuff from my all-time favorite bands.

One of them is from a group called Stretch Armstrong’s 2000 Tour. A friend of mine picked it up and gave it to me. This band was kind of an introduction to hardcore music for me, and it kind of got me started in the direction that I’ve taken in life.

I have some stuff that I designed for groups of friends. Shirts and the like are what allowed me to do graphic design like I do now. I also have band shirts I’ve toured with, like Under Anchor. I have a First Step shirt that I love so much that I bought it back in a different size. It’s a very young crew that speaks to me.

I have a handful of red ones, like this Verse from the “From Anger and Rage” tour. I have an olive green Down to Nothing shirt and a royal blue Bad Seed tank top, which is actually one of the most valuable shirts I have. I like to look through all my shirts and remember, “This is drugs, and I remember when I was great in this band.” I also found my old Set Your Goals shirt, which was at the start of the big cartoon, all printed. It’s something I would never wear these days, but I was in it so much in high school.

Fashion is a big part of self-expression. It can be co-opted by people, like the Joy Division shirt. But that doesn’t bother me too much. I have the impression that this is a way of saying: “This is what excites me. It can be a way to connect and meet people. You can make friendships, and I think that’s huge. And I think design really matters, especially with the way you present yourself.

In times of pandemic, how to support artists? You can’t go to shows, and streaming doesn’t compare to buying merchandise. Buying shirts is one way to support the groups you care about and enable them to earn income.

Recording costs money, and it takes a lot of work and effort to put things together. I will continue to shop for shirts and support those I hold dear, probably forever.

Interview edited and condensed by Skyler Ashley, if you have a suggestion for Favorite Things, please email [email protected]

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Elizabeth J. Harless