Big Brain 2012 Finalist: Greg Kerr

You submitted nominations for awards given to the Valley's emerging creatives and the results are in. Introducing our Big Brain 2012 Finalists.

Leading up to the Big Brain Award awards announcement and celebration on April 7, Chow Bella and Jackalope Ranch will introduce the finalists.

Up today: Greg Kerr

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Photos by Jamie Peachey
Greg Kerr of Miles to Go
When Pennsylvania native Greg Kerr was 18 he had a phrase tattooed on his leg. It's a portion of the final stanza from the Robert Frost poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."

Now Kerr is 32. He has accumulated tattoos up and down his arms, launched a successful resin belt buckle company that's counted Fall Out Boy and Dominos Pizza as clients, and his t-shirt business, Miles to Go, shares its name with that thoughtful line he had inked almost 15 years ago.

It's no surprise that the unabashed bookworm would draw inspiration from writing to name his line of graphic tees. After all, each of his shirts features a graphic depiction of a piece of literature, and he's covered everything from Moby Dick and Edgar Allan Poe to Catcher in the Rye and Charles Bukowski.

Greg Kerr500.jpg
Photo by Jamie Peachey
Miles to Go Clothing
Kerr started screening the shirts about five years ago after toying with the idea while working at Acme Prints in Tempe. At first he printed his own jazz album cover designs and classic movie posters, but Kerr soon moved on to books. "I read a lot anyway, and there's an endless amount of inspiration," he says.

With super-soft tri-blend crewnecks from American Apparel as his base, Kerr screens each shirt by hand at Acme, using discharge ink (a dye that essentially bleaches the fabric) to color the designs into the shirts' material, as opposed to building ink onto the textile.

Kerr takes pride in keeping his business small and being in control of every aspect of it. "It's a very personal kind of brand," he says of his one-man business.

He's turned down offers to have his pieces stocked at Top Shop, Nordstrom, and Urban Outfitters. Instead, he prefers selling directly to his customers, and working with small boutiques.

He compares his role in overseeing the line to that of an art director. Kerr seeks out artists from all over the world, chooses color schemes, and works through their designs to form two focused collections a year.

Kerr released his latest spring line in mid-March, and it includes shirts depicting Ted Hughes' The Iron Man and Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves among its 12 new designs.


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5 comments
dr. angelface
dr. angelface

honestly, i'm sure this guy would have a better business if he were more concerned about actually delivering the product.

i'm saying this nicely. i tried ordering a thing from him, gave a bunch of money, got radio silence for three weeks, and finally had to verbally strongarm him just to get a refund. shoddy and halfass- basically a fly-by-night "business" IMO - i wouldn't bother with it if i were you. 

Chris King
Chris King

This guy is so inspirational and a genuinely good guy. All the best for him and the future of his clothing lines! 

guest
guest

I scrolled through your store, but didn't see even one thing that I liked. sorry.

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