Are you curious about ancient civilizations and other great mysteries buried under the surface? Do find yourself fascinated by conspiracy theories? Case Ultra brings the world’s greatest mysteries to apparel products, artwork and prints. Sign up for Case Ultra and receive a new tee and magazine every month, based on lessons of power and ancient history. I had the chance to interview Danny of Case Ultra to find out more about the brand and its mission.
TM: When did you begin Case Ultra and what was the motivation behind the brand?
Since I was a kid, history and powerful people have always intrigued me. Through my life I’ve read a ton about conspiracy theories and ancient history. What led me to express these ideas through t-shirts was my cousin. He used to wear these crazy band t-shirts from the 90s metal and rock bands like Metallica, Guns n Roses and others. They would have skulls all over them and sick graphics and I would love the art on these tees. That started my obsession with graphic t-shirts.
I started making my own when I was in high school with those cheap iron-on transfer papers you can get at any office supply store. My crew and I used to come back to my house and sit there and design the shirts we would wear to school the next day and when our friends would see them they would flip out and want their own.
After I graduated college the work I found was at a few major magazines doing the design and layouts of the pages. I enjoyed the work I did, but these magazines catered to audiences that had nothing to do with what I was really trying to express and I needed a way for me to say what I wanted. I couldn’t do it through working at these companies so I left and taught myself screen printing so I could do quality work. I started pumping out shirts and selling them at local flea markets and events. The shirts did really well.
In 2008 I formed the brand and finally I was able to express and say anything. My experience with magazines led me to the idea to merge the subscription model of magazines and shirts.
Merging your greatest passions and skills you gained from previous experience, was a great way to start creating your brand.
Case Ultra has a subscription based marketing strategy to appeal to potential customers and subscribers. Explain how the process works and what customers can expect to receive when they sign up.
On our website, our potential clients can see everything that is being offered. He/she can check out all the products that have been sent out in the past. They can also read the previous magazine issues on the site.
Once they order, the client’s package includes; a t-shirt inspired by a particular concept, a magazine to elaborate and educate about that concept, and they also get some extra goodies, such as stickers and collectible cards. We ship the first shirt out within a week or two depending on where the next tee is in the cycle.
In a way, Case Ultra provides a cooler version of educating people about ancient history through t-shirt designs and informational magazines. What inspired you to take your brand in this direction?
Thanks very much. The inspiration behind that particular direction and wanting to educate started when I was about 11 years old and first watched the movie Stargate.
In this movie, a team of archaeologists are digging in Egypt and discover a portal to an ancient yet futuristic world. The ruler of this world is an Alien-God who controls everyone by limiting their ability to gain knowledge. Reading is forbidden.
Somehow that concept stuck with me the more I read books about power and history. This seems to be a recurring theme; keeping the masses ignorant and keeping secret knowledge for themselves.
I’ve always been a voracious reader and just interested in the workings of the world. So these shirts and magazines are a way for me to share my curiosity and hopefully people find the information and graphics interesting.
The search for forbidden knowledge and buried history is a daunting, yet powerful journey to take. How much research goes into developing the graphics component of your products?
I’m constantly reading books or watching movies on different subjects and always observing and gathering inspiration from almost anything while I am enjoying my daily life. You can say that I am constantly researching. Once an idea sticks in my mind, I will usually make some notes and start designing.
Who wears Case Ultra? What kind of customers do you often attract?
Sometimes what you learn in school or absorb through the media is just straight BS. I feel like my designs communicate to people who have a curiosity about life and want to know more than the information that is fed to the masses. So I feel my designs may first attract people who enjoy the bold streetwear style graphics, but the people who stay subscribed and loyal customers are the people who are getting some value from the information and who also want to express that through what they wear.
Your brand follows an exclusivity policy, yet new and eager customers who see past designs will request dead-stock clothing. Does this ever make you want to reconsider your business model in order please potential customers due to high demand of certain products?
It actually does make me consider it all the time. I get asked this constantly and it is awesome to hear positive feedback from people about the shirts and the fact that they really want the prior issues. I am actually in the process of working out a way that people can get dead-stock, but still give the subscribers priority on availability and bonuses. This is something I’ll be working on for 2015.
With the growing popularity of subscription based apparel and accessories companies, how hard is it to influence potential and current subscribers that Case Ultra is worth the investment?
There are companies for everything and everyone now a days. The market is full of competition and to stand out from all those other brands is hard because some are more well-known and bigger. When Case Ultra sticks out to the potential client and gets chosen it is because the client appreciates creativity. They like wearing art and like to express themselves and they believe that not all of what you see is what is really out there. They see this as not just a t-shirt but that Case Ultra is going to deliver stories, conversations and knowledge.
Not only can someone learn about a particular topic that is interesting. But they can express this concept to others and perhaps pass on some information while wearing a shirt with an awesome design that is exclusive. By doing this, hopefully it can change the world in some small way.
How do you plan on expanding Case Ultra in the future?
I plan on expanding the magazine with even more topics and pages, perhaps adding more illustrations to the magazines to give it more depth and visual appeal.
I’ll also be coming out with new products such as jackets, snapbacks, sweatshirts and cut & sew gear to appeal to potential customers who may want single items, as well as subscribers who want more than just t-shirts.
Do you plan on collaborating with any other brands or businesses in the future?
Yes, I am always open to collaborating with other clothing brands and businesses. Also, I would love to have some guest writers who may be experts in particular fields.
What do you hope to get accomplished in the next few years?
I love what I am doing now and just want to be able to do more of it. Expansion is my main goal for the next few years. A larger magazine, additional products and also perhaps some video episodes will be considered for the future. The CASE in Case Ultra stands for “Create and Simply Evolve”. It serves as a personal motto and motivation for the brand.
Thanks for sharing Danny!
Subscribe to Case Ultra to start exploring some of the world’s greatest mysteries.