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Posts Tagged ‘t-shirt design’

To OFF I go…

August 12th, 2010

This weekend is the Ottawa Folk Festival, and I’m a little more excited about it than in past years… that’s because I’ve been working fiendishly on the event’s t-shirt and program design! I can’t wait to see all the volunteers and staff wearing the duds (sneak peek here, courtesy of Ming Wu :) — plus there’ll also be merch tees being sold.

This is the final t-shirt design:

I’ve shown it on a turquoise background because that’s what the women’s tees will look like (the unisex tees will be heather grey, and the kids’ tees will be red).

They asked me to come up with a design that was clearly music-based, funky, community- and nature-oriented, and not the typical banjo or guitar imagery… so I came up with this Seussian fellow and his critter bandmates.

Behind the scenes, my process went a little like this…

After a few sketches on paper, I did up a rough illustration in Corel Painter (as always, on my trusty Cintiq):

I brought the graphic into Adobe Illustrator, did a “Live Trace”, then cleaned things up a little; that’s what I presented for my first round of mock ups. For the next round, I went back to do a more complete drawing, again in Painter:

And again, I brought it into Illustrator to vectorize and clean it up, plus I added the text. Apparently, the woodpecker on the keys was a big hit at the OFF office :)

As for the program, I was able to use a lot of different elements from the t-shirt illustration throughout. Here’s the cover and a sample two-page spread looks like:

It’s been tons of fun to work on (though admittedly hectic!) — and I am so grateful to have been asked to do it.

Here’s a funny thing: I started up m chen wears a couple of years ago because I wanted to do more illustration. And as a direct result of doing these crazy t-shirts, I have been getting more creative work in my graphic design day-job. I never knew that my side gig would end up feeding my main gig! This particular project came about because one of the OFF staff had seen my shirts.

Just more proof that if there’s something you really love to do, then do it — and it might just grow into something bigger.

horn tootin', m chen wears, music , , , , ,

Hart of iron

July 28th, 2010

Last Sunday, my buddy Hart completed his first-ever Iron Man race. Cheering him on all the way were 40+ of his closest friends and family (a.k.a. The Red Army) dressed in matching t-shirts that I had the honour of designing.

I know Hart through my wonderful friend and his superstar sister Liz, who hired me to do this project — one of the most fun and rewarding jobs I’ve ever done. This is what I came up with:

If you’re wondering about the bare feet, it’s something Hart’s known for… though he did wear footwear for the event. Here are a few photos of his day, taken by his stepdad, Rod MacIvor:

I can’t possibly comprehend what must go into preparing for an event like this — what makes someone even want to undertake it, what sacrifices go into training, how surreal and grueling the day of must be, and how proud one must feel after having done it. Hart did a wonderful job writing about part of his journey here, but as a spectator-from-afar, all I can do is be in awe. I mean 16 hours in a row of anything is nuts, right?

As for the Red Army, here’s a shot of part of the team (apparently, this is only half the group!):

Thanks, Rod, for sharing your photos and generosity.

Thanks, Liz, for bringing me onboard; I only wish I could’ve been there and suited up with y’all.

Thanks, Hart, for being a huge inspiration… and for having fun eyebrows to draw :)


good peeps, horn tootin' , , , ,

My popsicles and I could use your help…

April 7th, 2010

After some encouragement from people over the year to try submitting designs to Threadless, I finally took the plunge and submitted my first-ever entry to a contest on the site. My design just got the go-ahead this morning to be scored:

And here’s where I ask very humbly for your help…

I have one week to collect feedback (hopefully positive :), and this informs the judges of this contest. You need to have an account on Threadless to enter scores (0-5, low to high) and to comment on the entries. Apparently, checking off “I’d buy it…” also helps a design (and there’s no obligation to buy anything if you do check it off!).

So if you’re game and have the time, I would sure appreciate if you scored/commented on my entry, and perhaps even deemed it purchase-worthy.

The contest I entered is called Threadless loves Havaianas — and the challenge was to come up with a summer-inspired design for both t-shirt and flip flops. I went with simple but fun, and nostalgic too… I’m a sucker for frozen treats, even if I wasn’t always coordinated at breaking them the right way.

As for the technical stuff, I created the artwork in Adobe Illustrator — I used the shapes and pen tools for most of it, then used my Wacom Cintiq to draw a more organic and poutier mouth.

Thanks for anyone who takes the time to help out!

general rambling , ,

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