Name: Michael Calhoun

Location: Portland, Oregon

Motto: Hijacking the commonplaces of existence

Mission Statement: To encourage the discovery and development of one's true self through product, people, and place.


Logo: I wanted my logo to be something bold but simple. My aim was to include an image symbolizing the Pacific Northwest coupled with a lightning bolt. While sketching I realized two lightning bolts form a tree in the middle. I also use the FBI sketch of D.B. Cooper as an alternative logo of sorts.






I made a couple custom shirts in high school and then thought to submit the graphic designs to t-shirt companies. Eventually I decided I wanted to retain the rights to my work and start my own line. I came up with a name and logo for the brand that I’ve slowly been developing while going to school. In the past few years I’ve been teaching myself to screen print and sew while researching the fashion industry. I am now at a point where feel ready to take the next step and start promoting the brand.

The name Norjack was derived from the mystery of D.B. Cooper. I was fascinated with what is arguably the greatest mystery in the Pacific Northwest (unless you believe in Big Foot).  The FBI file for the case is called NORJACK, short for Northwest Airlines Hijacking, and thus the inspiration for the brand name. This story has had a great influence on the brand and below I have included a short summary of the mystery of D.B. Cooper.

The Mystery

On November 24, 1971, a man named Dan Cooper bought a one way ticket on Northwest Orient Flight 305 from Portland to Seattle. Shortly following takeoff, Cooper handed the flight attendant a note and informed her of a bomb in his briefcase. The note stated Cooper’s demands: $200,000 in cash and two sets of parachutes. The items were to be delivered on the runway at Sea-Tac and if the airline failed to comply, he would blow up the plane.

After landing, the people aboard sans crew members were allowed to leave. The money and parachutes were delivered and the jet was refueled. Cooper wanted the plane to head for Mexico City, but the pilot informed him that Mexico was out of range. Just before departure, Cooper ordered the cabin depressurized.

Once in the air, Cooper ordered everyone in the cockpit where they could not monitor him. A red light came on in the cockpit indicating the aft stairs had been opened. Somewhere over the Pacific Northwest in the howling wind and driving rain, D.B. Cooper jumped out of the plane and into history. He was neither seen nor heard from again, frustrating authorities and fascinating the public to this very day.

Allegory of the Cave

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave bases itself on the premise that individuals are held immobile in a cave. Behind the prisoners is a fire, and between the prisoners and fire are people walking and carrying various objects. Since the prisoners cannot move, the only things they see are the shadows of the people on the wall cast by the fire. These false projections become the prisoners’ reality because it is all they know.

Now, suppose a prisoner is released and turns to see the true source of the shadows. He would be blinded by the light and return his gaze to the shadows, still believing them to be more real than what he has just witnessed. If this man were then removed from the cave entirely he would protest, but eventually acclimate to the world around him. He would begin to see things as they truly are, and come to realize the shadows were mere distortions of reality.

Ultimately, the man would recall his past in the cave and pity the other prisoners knowing they live in a false reality. Upon returning to the cave to help, the prisoners would reject him and resist release. Afraid of what they don’t understand, they would ironically believe him to be corrupt and stupid, entirely unaware of their own ignorance.


In looking for inspiration to articulate our theme, “A New Perspective,” we drew parallels between the D.B. Cooper case and the Allegory of the Cave. Many wonder about the conspiracy surrounding the hijacking such as implications on Fourth Amendment rights in respect to air travel and whether D.B. Cooper is a criminal or hero. We like to look at it from a slightly different point of view. When Mr. Cooper dove out of the plane and into the unknown, we like to see it as a bold exit of the cave. While we may never know D.B. Cooper’s true motives, we can use his actions to paint a picture of a culture where we’d rather point fingers at illusions of evil rather than take an honest look at the corruption of our own humanity. In this initial collection we lay the foundation of what we stand for. Norjack is hijacking the commonplaces of existence, forcing you out of the cave and into A New Perspective.


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