While the guidance on what exactly we're allowed to do, who we can hug and can't, and how big a metre really is has been staggeringly unclear around "social distancing", it's probably safe to say we're not ready for cuddle puddles with potentially tickly-cough-laden near-strangers just yet.
And while the government seems hell-bent on doing as little as possible to protect people, maybe T-shirts can. At least that's the hope of the team behind Distance Couture, a range of shirts with often-hilarious, always beautifully designed imagery hopes. The range is the result of a collaboration between creative agency AMV BBDO and a group of artists, briefed to create a collection of tongue-in-cheek t-shirts designed "to make people stay TF away from you."
Participating artists including Katy Edelsten, Animationseries2000, Daniel Fishel and Leyla Reynolds; ad a raft of artists represented by agency Pocko including Simon Landrein, Michaela Pichi, Marco Oggian, Dave Anderson and Paul Bower. AMV BBDO's in-house creatives Vanessa Robinson, Tim Riley, Prabs Wignarajah and Nick Hulley also took part, led by Lauren Peters and Augustine Cerf who initiated the project, as well as designing for it.
Slogans include 'Let me tell you how amazing my kids are!', 'Super Spreader' and 'Let me sell you some Miracle Bleach Cure'. One of our absolute faves, however, is Michela Picchi's Free Hugs tee – a statement that's abhorrent at the best of times (though helpful in being able to make a pretty decent judgement of someone's character—in this case, a bit of a dickhead) – but particularly inexcusable in these strange, unprecedented, tactility-free times.
"It's basically PPE for civilians," says the Distance Couture team. "The T-shirts make social distancing just that little bit easier by keeping close talker at bay and scaring off that bloke who gets up in your space in the fruit and veg aisle. Don't just stay alert. Stay TF away from each other."
The designs are available to buy from Print Social, and all profits go straight to the NHS, via NHS Charities Together.