The now ubiquitous "roots" logo began as a part of a covert street art campaign designed to illuminate local history and the unique cultural legacy existing here in "the Town." The first project was a digital slideshow featuring images of 130 local legends – projected on to the walls of architectural landmarks in the downtown area.
This Award-winning piece was followed by a progression of engaging multi-media stunts: a wheat-paste poster series, a pirate drive-in movie theater and FM radio broadcast, a zine, a website, and eventually a gallery space in the produce district near Jack London Square.
After years of public art, the Oaklandish brand of apparel was introduced to help support our ongoing calendar of free public events and the Oaklandish Innovators grant program. The civic pride-oriented merchandise is meant to spread "Local Love" while promoting awareness of our mission at large. Oaklandish is committed to encouraging the continuation of Oakland's "trailblazers' legacy," where trends are created and boundaries are redefined. 2012 marks the sixth year of annual grants given to organizations that are doing pioneering work in our community. These funds are meant to offer recognition and support of programs that exemplify the values of innovation and progress in all areas of civic life, including arts, education, technology, and business.
So wear it well… when you rock these roots, you're supporting and representing Oakland! We hope the gear helps to spark some dialogue, as we all share in the strange luster and oddball spirit that is East Bay life. You can also feel good knowing that the proceeds go to support the ongoing public art & action of Oaklandish.
Almost all of our gear is made in California. It's all printed by hand in the heart of Oakland, with proceeds supporting a wide array of spirited community projects.
Oaklandish has also won over twenty "Best of the East Bay" awards, including Best Public Art (2002), Proudest Hometown Merchandise (2005), Best Gallery Openings (2006), Best East Bay Product (2008-2010) and Best East Bay Idea (2011) .
Oaklandish is a certified B Corporation, which means we meet the highest standards for socially responsible businesses. B Corps are graded on how they treat their employees, the community and the environment. You can read our full profile here.