museums&MORE Summer 2016
Editor’s Letter: Location by a different name By Zeke Jennings

If you’ve driven in Michigan in recent years — or even close to the Great Lakes — you may have noticed black-and-white decals with the numeral 22″ stuck to more than a few rear windows. They’re replicas of road signs that can be found on M-22, a 116-mile state highway in northern Lower Michigan that follows the Lake Michigan shoreline of Leelanau Peninsula.

The M-22 stickers are not produced by the state of Michigan, but M22, LLC, the company of brothers Keegan and Matthew Myers, who call Leelanau Peninsula home. The Myers brothers, who are avid kite-boarders — a watersport that combines kite flying and surfing — created the M22 brand to celebrate the “way of life” in Northern Michigan.

It’s become a multi-million dollar business, with M-22 appearing on mugs, glasses, shirts, buttons, dog collars and many other products. (The company added a second brand of the word “love” with the V shaped like Michigan’s Lower Peninsula that may even surpass M-22 in popularity.)

It would have been easy to make a line of shirts with “Leelanau” on them, but that had been done so many times already. The name of a road was unique, and a great example of how the official title of a city or place is just the tip of the iceberg in creating location-specific apparel and merchandise.

Assistant Editor Sam Ujvary explores few ways this can be done in her story, “Tailor-Made,”” including the growing practice of using zip codes and even coordinates.

Who would have guessed consumers would buy pillows with a postal code on them, but it’s happening. It goes to show finding new ways to say the same thing always stays on trend.

Until next time.

Zeke Jennings

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