Local designers create T-shirts based on Alameda’s storied past.

Alameda Made: Honour Brand’s Heritage Design


Mock and Eglin

Chris Duffey

Tara Eglin and Chris Mock have known each other for years. They are both graphic designers, had played on the same soccer team, and had, in fact, designed their team’s jerseys. They had always talked about doing more work together, maybe even starting a clothing design company.

Both liked the idea of “heritage design,” which focuses not only on historical content, but also replicates details like font type and color palette from particular eras, but they hadn’t found a theme that truly spoke to them. Then Eglin, who lives in Alameda, recognized that she was right in the middle of a gold mine of rich material. She realized there were stories behind the traces of the past still apparent across the Island—the Croll’s sign at 1400 Webster Street; Neptune Park by Constitution Way; the Victorian houses lining the Island’s streets.

She and Mock began digging into Alameda’s history—exploring the Alameda Museum, poring through the archives at the Alameda Free Library and, of course, searching the Internet—and what they found were fascinating stories.

Most Alamedans know about Neptune Beach, but who knew that one of the roller coasters was called the “Whoopee”? Or that the Neptune Beach Speedway drew in throngs eager to watch something called “midget auto racing”? Elgin and Mock found details about Alameda’s sailing history, boxing clubs, and minor league baseball teams, not to mention Jack London’s involvement in oyster poaching in San Leandro Bay.

They’ve also just launched their Anchor A line—designs based on Alameda’s city flag.

But this is not history for the books. This is history you can wear—whimsical and artful, it appeals to young hipsters and nostalgic grandparents alike.

“We’re always finding stories,” Eglin says. “Everywhere you look, people you talk to, there’s always something there.”

She and Mock are working on more Alameda-based designs and plan to branch out to graphically rendering wearable history of the state, the country and, who knows—the world.

Find Honour Brand products on line at www.HonourBrand.com.