Turning an idea into a t-shirt design is not exactly a simple process. We have the tendency as consumers to see the final result and think “oh that’s cool” without realizing the thought, detail, underlying message, and time that the company put in just to bring it to fruition. With that in mind, I wanted to give you more of an insight into the creative process that goes into our designs as I think it’s one worth telling. I’ll talk about the underlying message I was going for, show you the initial sketches and back and forth editing all the way to the final end product. As all things in life, there’s more than meets the eye.
I’m not a Photo-shop guru nor do I pretend to be one so all of our design work is outsourced to graphic designers. Now when I say “outsourced” I’m not saying that I merely write up a description and say “make this, ” in some cases this is applicable (graffiti or tattoo design work) but usually it starts with an idea that I have which I sketch up and pass off to the graphic designer. I try to be as specific as possible with the type of lettering and detail I’d like and always send examples so that there is little confusion in what I’m looking for. With that being said, let’s dissect the Family First design.
The store description reads:
“Not all are privileged to come from supportive backgrounds. One commonality though that we can all agree on is the importance of family, whether blood or not. We rely on our loved ones for support and direction and this tee pays homage to that bond. With a fresh athletic feel coupled with a back print that radiates respect and loyalty, this one’s for all the people kicking back with their homies or hanging out on a Sunday afternoon with mom and pop. In this life we may not have it all (yet) but at least we got our fam! ”
The idea of family is a universal concept. Even if it’s not a huge bond that we have with our blood, we all have some sort of group (friends, acquaintances, those with similar beliefs) that we would do anything to protect. Taking this concept, I decided to use the athletic baseball styled design because a family is really like a team. When one feels hurt, we all feel it and when someone needs comforting or advice we’re all there to sympathize and coach them through it. You’ll also find the diamonds and dice incorporated into the piece as that is our little insignia which I’ve posted about prior. Switching over to the back of the design I used the same lettering to keep it visually in tact along with the text “My Blood, My Pride.” The lions crest was also very important as crests are used to signify a families name. With the theme of family, this was obviously very fitting.
Being a stickler for detail, you’ll see a lot of different edits that were bounced back and fourth until my exact vision (or damn near it) was reached. Hopefully you see it in the end result.
On to the design front, here is my initial sketch.
Alas, the winners!
And that’s all she wrote for our Family First design. After design, it’s of course ready for production which is another waiting game in and of itself full of budgeting, estimates and ultimately risk. It is printed on a 6 oz. 100% Cotton Tubular Jersey t-shirt and laced with a screen-printed tag. This design is limited to 55 pieces and available in a black/ white or navy colorway, pick it up here. It is also available on a tank-top which is limited to 30, those can be purchased here.
Stay tuned for our next episode of “Behind the Design” where we’ll unravel the Perseverance piece.