Laura Lynn Johnston turns Peter MacKay's 'Albertastan' comment into T-shirt

A graphic designer in Edmonton has now turned an off-handed comment made by Justice Minister Peter MacKay into a T-shirt.

Designer who made 'Machete-wielding savage' shirt after Edmonton slam to do same for 'Albertastan'

Residents of 'Albertastan' can now wear their customizable colours with pride, thanks to this t-shirt design by Edmonton-based graphic designer Laura Lynn Johnston. (Sketchscheme Creative/Laura Lynn Johnston)

A comment made by Justice Minister Peter MacKay on Wednesday has now gone full viral circle.

That's right — you can now buy "Albertastan" T-shirts.

One day after the NDP swept the Alberta election, winning 53 seats and unseating many Progressive Conservative incumbents in the process, Conservatives in Ottawa were feeling the impact. 

"Someone said ... it's Albertastan now," MacKay told reporters after Wednesday's caucus meeting.

The off-handed comment soon took off on social media:

And then there was this:

Enter Laura Lynn Johnston, an Edmonton graphic designer who is no stranger to turning the comments of political pundits into wearable fashion.

Following National Post columnist Chris Selley's 2013 description of Edmontonians as "twitchy-eyed, machete-wielding savages," Johnston wasted no time turning the message into a t-shirt.

Laura Lynn Johnston, the woman behind the design, says the t-shirts were made in good fun and are not intended to offend. (Caitlin Hanson/CBC)
So, when MacKay's comments went public, Edmontonians knew where to go.

"Almost immediately, there were five friends and followers of mine who tweeted (Simons') tweet at me and said, 'We need a shirt and you're the one to do this,'" Johnston said with a laugh.

She got to work right away, coming up with a design of oil drops emblazoned above the words 'The People's Republic of Albertastan.'

Buyers are also able to pick the shirt's colour. So far, Johnston says orange has been particularly popular — but not many blue shirts are being requested.

Johnston's first go-around turning commentary into t-shirt-based satire: the "Twitchy-eyed, machete-wielding savage" t-shirt. (Sketchscheme Creative/Laura Lynn Johnston)
And now, 24 hours after the shirts went into production, she's already sold more than 250.

Commissions from the sales are going to the Stollery Children's Hospital.

"And I don't think that I really need to explain why I chose that charity in light of everything's that happened in the media this week," Johnston said with a suppressed laugh. On Friday, a group of business leaders which has donated to the PC Party in the past spoke out, suggesting that charities would suffer if the NDP were elected.

But while Johnston is happy to have found a second audience for her politics-based fashion designs, she wants it known that she's not trying to take anyone down a peg either.

"The big take home with it is we're all just having fun with this and we're definitely not trying to offend anybody."

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