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Decoding Vardagen’s Designs

In the crowd of local T-shirt designers, Vardagen (8684 E. 116th St., Fishers, shop.vardagen.com) stands out with quirky-amazing graphic tees that make you think a little (read: no tired advertisements for “tickets to the gun show” here), and they offer something for just about everyone, whether you’re a guy, a girl, a coal miner, or an otter enthusiast. In an attempt to crack the aesthetic code, we talked to co-founder and owner Jared Ingold. According to him, Vardagen (which means “everyday” in Swedish) is all about being “fashionable and current” without “hammering on trends”—a principle that rings true in these designs, available at the label’s cool store in Fishers.

That raggedy old “Life is Good” shirt is fine for mowing the lawn, but taking a spin across the dunes requires something a wee bit tougher. Luckily, this “Ride the Lightning” tee is just the thing for your more harrowing pursuits.


Vardagen Jet SetFlying the friendly skies may have lost some of its luster since the days of the Pan Am smile, but that doesn’t mean air travel is off-limits when it comes to pun material. The kids’ “Jet Sweater” style ($32) is wordlessly witty (and snuggly enough to beat the chilly air back in coach).


Vardagen ParasaurolophusThe women’s “Parasaurolophus” tank ($28) was designed with not-so-girly girls in mind. Its fierce imaginary dinosaur is an homage to just doing your own thing.


Vardagen BeetlesHaving a bug in your computer wouldn’t be so bad if you could take it out and play with it—at least, that’s what the kids’ “8-Bit Beetles” tee ($28) posits.


Vardagen Earl GreyhoundIn addition to being adorable, the “Earl Greyhound” design—available in both women’s ($38) and girls’ ($28) styles—satisfies anyone’s inner word nerd with a Jeopardy!–worthy portmanteau of sorts.


Vardagen Bast CatIf the likes of Grumpy Cat and Lil BUB are the first furry faces that come to mind when you think of feline worship, think again. The women’s “Bast Cat” tank ($32) is a subtle tip of the hat (er, tail) to all the regal Egyptian kitties of yore.


Vardagen Skate for LifeThe “Skate for Life” tee ($26) is a wonderfully weird explosion of neon and goo. Unlike all those bumper stickers that profess lifelong devotion to running marathons and going fishing, the zombie on this shirt takes his passion for ollies and kickflips a step further by vowing to skate for life … and beyond.


Vardagen ValiantNot everyone is willing to spend the time it takes to dig around for the coolest stuff in town. The monochrome “Valiant Few” sweatshirt ($48), which also happens to be Ingold’s current fave, recognizes this (and salutes you).

Fernandez began writing for Indianapolis Monthly in 1995 while studying journalism at Indiana University. One of her freelance assignments required her to join a women's full-tackle football team for a season. She joined the staff in 2005 to edit IM's ancillary publications, including Indianapolis Monthly Home. In 2011, she became a senior editor responsible for the Circle City section as well as coverage of shopping, homes, and design-related topics. Now an executive editor, she lives downtown.
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