I like T-Shirts. In fact, I am a big fan of Gap's push into graphic Tees. I happen to be one of those people that like to be able to feel the quality of the shirt before I buy it. Not all cotton or cotton blends are the same, and you have to get your mitts on it to know for sure. I myself am more of a soft Tee kind of guy. Not ashamed to admit.
Locally here in the southern mid-westish area, there are few good outlets for Tees, but not the same as the big coast towns. The hipster Highlands area here in Louisville is about the best source with a nice mix of local and national printed Tees, but not a lot of new design turnover. Lately, I have found that Gap has been putting out some quality designs at a nice refresh rate. I actually missed out on one of my biggest favs recently when they had the Japanese version of the Star Wars: A New Hope movie poster T. Couldn’t find it in my size, but the hell if I didn’t try to squeeze into that small. Not flattering.
Needless to say when I came across Threadless and Gap’s big T-Shirt contest I was intrigued. I have been toying with the idea of making the leap to T-Shirts and have one or two mockups made, but nothing really solid. So, I figured since I have so much to do this would be a good project to help in my procrastination, plus I believed in both brands.
Having a good understanding of what types of Tees are often found at the Gap and on Threadless, I went about concepting 3 ideas that would end up being my submissions since 3 Tee designs were the max. I wanted an eclectic range of offerings that I would want to wear and I thought others would find interesting.
My first choice was part of a project I had started a few months ago involving the design of a 50s style Batman. I ended up turning him into Honey Badger Guy. Of course, the pop cultural reference being the Honey Badger viral video sensation, which you can see here. It also ended up being Honey Badger “Guy” and not Honey Badger “Man” because it ended up looking a little too much like Honey Bad German when placed together. A little weird.
Anyway he is a true anti-hero. Literally because he just “don’t care.” I stayed true to the genre of 50s style comic book heroes and actually got a little carried away with the details. For instance, he has a King Cobra belt buckle and his symbol is a honeycomb with Honey Badger teeth. All references pulled from the viral video.
My vision for the final print is a faux-worn out look almost like it actually was a vintage Tee. Hence the false distressing in the final mockup.
Idea number two was a simple illustration of a hand that looks like it has seen some tough workdays. I was also keen on incorporating knuckle tattoos that would help tell the story. Initially the concept had two hands, but that ended up looking a little gropey, so I scratched hand two and went with the rings to spell out the “Self.” The idea being that to make it, you had to put in the work.
I blocked out some of the hand illustration using the erase tool in Photoshop with some paint splatter brushes to allow for the shirt colors to bleed through. Dirty hands. Simple, yet hopefully visually striking.
My tee design number three was inspirited by my recent photography of classic automobiles. The shapes and lines of the instrument panels of early cars are amazing. The chrome and small details of the dashes for those classic cars, especitally Corvettes, are really nice. That ended up being the dash I went with for this design. Specifically a 1963 Corvette Sting-Ray. An amazing machine. I was even able to find photos of parts to use as reference.
Once I had the basic illustration done, I went into Photoshop to add some halftone to give it some interesting texturing. I also played with the contrast by applying screened textures too. My final touch was a peace sign key chain. I figured why not, it’s the 60s.
Now that I have put the designs together, it’s up to you all to help me get them created. Please follow the links to my Threadless submission pages and score my designs. The more interest, the more likely they might be chosen. And no, I am not above begging. Pretty please? Seriously though these were a lot of fun to put together, so please enjoy.