View Cart



These shirts have nothing but an outline of the Great Lakes on them. No promo for your friend's indie band. No logos. No cities, states, or any other political boundaries in the design. Just the lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. No explanation.

I started making these shirts back in 2003, as a subtle way for myself and friends to show some Midwestern pride. After bringing some to Ypsilanti's Shadow Art Fair, I decided to make a simple site to handle backorders and requests. That original site has morphed into the current greatlakesshirts dot com.

The whole concept - if it can be called that - turns on the fact that an aerial view of the Great Lakes is immediately recognizable to some people and unrecognizable to others. Wearing these shirts can be a nice way to meet other Midwesterners in far-flung corners of the globe or to give a quick geography lesson to someone who asks, "What's that random inkblot on your shirt?"

Easy Order and Back Order shirts are printed in scheduled batches, because I need to have enough orders to make it worth the time and cost of high-quality screenprinting. I only stock limited color combinations and sizes, (which can be ordered using the 'Easy Order' option.) Items that are out of stock, as well as other color options and sizes, can be backordered (using the 'Back Order' option). My next batch will be printed and then shipped in Spring 2014.


Custom Ordering is made possible by the fact that there are now printers in Michigan who offer the same print-on-demand services that giant non-local companies have been doing for years. I could have set up accounts with these companies - like many others have - but I’ve always insisted that my shirts at least be printed - if not manufactured - in my home state of Michigan. (They're manufactured in Los Angeles.) So you can always rest assured you're supporting local screenprinters and shippers when you order from!


For wholesale inquiries, please contact me.


Easy Order (in-stock) shirts are shipped via USPS within 2-3 business days of order placement. Custom Orders ship slower, and usually arrive within 7-12 business days. I try to minimize wasteful packing materials, so your shirt will arrive folded and may need to be washed before wearing.


If you aren't satisfied for any reason, we accept returns or exchanges up to 30 days from the time you receive your order.

Custom Order shirts please contact me for returns. All others, please ship your shirt, along with a note indicating the Style (unisex, girl, etc.), Shirt color, Ink color (black or white), and Size you'd like to exchange for, to:

Whiplash Merch
ATTN: Great Lakes Shirts Returns
4657 Platt Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48108


Read more about our colors and sizes.