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The story behind the Summer Tees

You may have seen already that this Summer, I’m giving away free tees at each of my destinations this year (if you haven’t yet, then you’re really missing out!). But these t-shirts aren’t any old tees you can pick up on the high street…these awesome designs have been carefully designed and crafted by two of the best local artists in the city, Ed Hicks & Joesphine Hicks, exclusively for Generator.

Visit each hostel to collect the whole set and receive 5 free nights free at a city of your choice.

So let me tell you the story behind the artistic inspiration of each tee and what they represent. This project for Generator has seen the brother and sister team collaborate professionally from their different cities. A development from ‘picture consequences’ played as kids, each adding and changing the design in turn, resulting in the finished body of work you see.


The Christmas Day harbor swim is one of Barcelona‘s oldest sporting traditions, hundreds of locals dive into the ice cold marina and swim 200m in open water on the 25th December every year at 12.00 noon and the colles castelleres festival (Castell meaning Castle) tradition in which groups of enthusiasts form impressive human towers up to ten people high.


The legs featured beneath the main building design are some of the master designers of the Bauhaus (1919-1933), the most important school of architecture, design and art of the 20th century. It existed in Berlin producing some of the most famous designers of our age. The achieve museum can be visited today to see the impact and history.


A diverse infrastructure in Copenhagen successfully allows for a blend of bicycles and public transport. However, cycling in Copenhagen is a dominating feature of the cityscape and often noticed by visitors. More people commute by bicycle in greater Copenhagen, than cycle to work in the entire United States!


Samual Beckett is the main feature (13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989) an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director and poet, born in Dublin. His work represents the most sustained attack on the realist tradition, one can visit the Dublin writers museum. Drawings of the cities townhouses and some of modern architecture also can be seen.


Cranes and shipment containers are the main focus to this design, referencing the cities port and shipping industry, which is almost as old as Hamburg itself. The Port has been by far the fastest growing in Europe and today it is the most significant economic unit for Hamburg. The arm of Hamburg born sculptor Eva Hesse and also the face of composer and pianist Johannes Brahms feature more subtly in the design.


The winding and meandering shape of the Thames river is the feature imagery in the design, The river’s strategic position has seen it at the centre of many events and fashions in British history, earning it a description by John Burns as “Liquid History”. For a long time London had the largest population for a city in the world, today is home to a diverse number of cultures, referenced by the use of people in the design.


The main bust in the design is in reference to the renaissance city, producing famous paintings and sculptures such as Antonio Canova: famous for his marble sculptures that delicately rendered nude flesh. Along with the striking and beautiful architecture and intricate ornamentation, Venice hosts major contemporary art exhibitions such as the Venice Biennial once every two years.


Artist: Ed Hicks

Hicks known mostly for his mural work and street art, learned his craft in Southampton with the 54 crew and making so many canvases he had to leave them out on the street on a daily basis.
Since winning Secret Wars London – live art tournament he has earned much respect and many fans, creating jobs all over the UK and abroad. In fact his work can be seen in Generator HQ.
These days he spends his time illustrating, painting murals and singing the blues from his cave in North London.

Ed Hicks Flickr

Artist: Josephine Hicks

Jo studied Fine Art in Liverpool, which gave her a strong conceptual basis for her artwork. However since graduating she has become passionate about screen-printing creating limited edition prints on paper and fabric.

She likes to create collages both by hand and digitally, finding inspiration in old books and other ephemera, finding beauty in recycling forgotten images into new narratives. 

Josephine Hicks



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Generator The story behind the Summer Tees

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