Is this the ultimate T-shirt for unassuming little London?


You might be a Londoner if you’ve already described Forest City’s location on the map in relation to other major cities.

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You might be a Londoner if you’ve already described Forest City’s location on the map in relation to other major cities.

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And James Kingsley – who calls himself a “bored” graphic designer – capitalizes on this London quirk by selling t-shirts with a slogan that doesn’t mention the city by name, but is immediately understandable to people here.

The shirts say: Halfway between Toronto and Detroit.

“Most of the comments were, ‘I’ve said this a thousand times,’ ‘I just said it yesterday,’ ‘If I had a dime for every time I said that,’ Kingsley said about the reaction of local residents who took hold of his creations.

Earlier this week, Kingsley had sold over 160 shirts – 20 just for Black Friday.

They are his way of gently poking fun at Forest City’s complex identity while celebrating all that London has to offer, even though the Six (as Drake calls Toronto) and Motor City are more present on the region’s maps.

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“People always say that London is halfway between Toronto and Detroit,” he said. Even still, Kingsley is surprised that shirt sales have taken off.

The origins of design go back almost 20 years. Kingsley took inspiration from a Dutch design company that wanted to create an archetypal group shirt using the same font. About a year ago, the creator teased his tagline on Instagram, but it hasn’t caught on. When he tried it again recently, people understood it right away.

Kingsley’s shirt comes in different color combinations and sells for $ 24.99. He attributes part of the interest they arouse to a hyper-awareness of everyone’s environment and to the local buying movement.

“I think people are just paying a lot more attention to where they are because we haven’t moved around a lot,” since the new coronavirus was declared a global pandemic in March 2020, he explained.

In his own words, London has a ‘nice average’, so he thought to himself: why not publish a design that builds on that identity? “I’m just trying to instill a little bit of humble civic pride,” he said.

Kingsley has also sold stickers that say Keep London boring and has more designs in mind for the future. He also received the ultimate compliment for a t-shirt designer when other sites started selling fakes of his design.

“There are unlicensed versions,” he warned. Kingsley’s online store is at jameskingsley.ca.

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