THE YELLOW BIRD STORY
We are a Montreal-based organization called Yellow Bird Project. We work with an amazing range of indie rock musicians to create unique t-shirt designs that benefit an array of charities, each chosen by the musicians.
How It All Started
Let’s set the scene- the year was 2006, the sun it was shining, and two recent uni grads Casey and Matt set out to conquer the world. Like Bono on a mission, we decided it was time to make a difference and bring about a new world order of indie philanthropy. Maybe it was philosophy 101, guitar lessons, or an infinite awe for music that inspired us to climb aboard this train we like to call Yellow Bird, but we’re sure glad we did. Matt, in all his computer geekdom, was pretty involved in the wonderful world wide web, and so the online community seemed like an ideal venue for inter-galactic indie domination. Casey, with his salesman swagger became the spokesperson for attracting new bands and artists. Together they forged into a solid brigade and the troops then followed, the trumpets played, and the community kept expanding.
At first we had little to no connections with any bands. All we had was the desire, too many viewings of Field of Dreams, and a belief that the musicians themselves would appreciate such a venture and want to contribute. Thankfully, we were right. The wonderfully quirky Devendra Banhart was the first artist to sign on, and he really helped to jump start the project and give YBP some street cred. The project has since allowed us to reach the global community, and the interactions and friends we have made along the way are priceless. We invite you to join in for the ride.
You can think of us as a tree of creativity, with branches joining together indie musicians, charitable organizations, and t-shirts with a fashionable punch. We’re a Montreal based company dedicated to bringing our customers the finest of quality, originality, and philanthropy. We seek out only the coolest of cool artists, collaborate with them to design awesomely awesome tee-shirts, and give all the prettiest of pretty profits to charities of the artists’ choice.
We don’t care if it’s shaken or stirred, our mission, and yours - should you to choose to accept, has three fundamental aims:
To raise money for charities directly through the barter and trade of our fab tee-shirts. Unfortunately we no longer accept goats; money proved to be an easier currency to store.
To raise awareness for charity organizations and their aims through artists’ endorsement. YBP is a very different venue for these charities. It brings in a lot of younger people and encourages philanthropy from treble and bass clefts. It is definitely more work to have multiple charities, rather than one fund, but we think it allows the artists to pick something that is truly important to them.
- To raise the profile of artists we like. We by no means want to or presume to have the ability to make artists into marketed machines and different versions of Ms. Spears, but we want to help raise their profiles and get them the attention that they deserve. We hope YBP can in some way help artists and music to prosper, and in turn help those less fortunate.
The Future of YBP
The YBP thrives on community and collaboration. To stay fresh and relevant, we need to keep in touch with you, the indie rock fan. So let us know what bands you like, charities you support, artists you idolize. Register with YBP, send us feedback, your artwork, your ideas, your photos. Just like a caterpillar, YBP is on its way to becoming a full fledged butterfly, but we’ll always need your nurturing along the way!
A special thanks goes out to Dynamo, the creative communications design studio based in Old Montreal who drove the wireframing, graphic & typo-graphic design and code acrobatics of our new brand identity and website. They make miracles happen on a daily basis - not because of luck - but because of sheer talent (and hard work!). Thanks Bob, Alex, Bryan, Jenna, and the rest of the peeps at Dynamo.
There's our story, and then there's Emy Storey. Emy Storey, A.K.A. 'EE Storey', is a brilliantly talented illustrator, perhaps best known for her ongoing work with Tegan & Sara and Death Cab For Cutie. Under Dynamo's direction, she masterfully illustrated our new logo, which conveys the pride and hope that we have for our hero - Mr. Yellow Bird. Having spent hours and days in the Westmount library researching these socially monogamous creatures, Emy is now a bon afide bird expert. Thank you Emy.