I recently finished up a tee project of Sophilabs. My part in this was to work on a new shirt design for the team. Here’s my design process and a walkthrough of how the final design is created in Adobe Illustrator.
Sophilabs is an Uruguayan company that seeks to improve the lives of people by developing software products. Due to the environment and young team, the shirt of the company may not be very formal or just a simple logo.. and that's where I come in!
After some initial research and several conversations with the team we had fleshed out some thoughts on the style of the t-shirt -there was creative freedom surrounding the design-. The project started just a few weeks before the release of "The Force Awakens", so we thought it was good idea to do a Star Wars theme shirt.
Looking for the perfect style we found a post with illustrations by Ralph McQuarrie (the original Star Wars concept art), and I felt very attracted to one of them. At first glance they are all very impressive, but this in particular reminded me how good the scene of the Battle of Hoth is. In case you've never seen it, you just have to!
Anyway, I started working and sketching, basically trying to redraw the image but with my own style. I did not want to lose the essence of the scene, and even more knowing that I had set as my main goal, to create a line drawing that could then fill with watercolors.
After applying some fibers, I decided to experiment with Adobe Illustrator. This step helped me a lot, because the track ended quite clean. Now we had to evaluate options and printing systems, mostly thinking about the amount of inks that we could use. Some days passed and we decided to use digital screen printing, so the amount of inks was not a problem, so I began to apply the basic colors using some brushes Adobe Photoshop.
The colors may not differ much with the original, so the palette was reduced to shades of red/orange and gray. With this palette I could keep the contrast that was generated between the black lines and white background, since one of the color ranges is very warm and energetic and the other is very cold, sober, almost metallic. Even the contrast is perfect for separating the protagonist of the machine in the background.
With the colors applied, the first "final" design is ready. It was necessary to add elements that linked the scene of Star Wars with a software company -the geek part doesn't count-. For that, I added the company logo on the helmet and a notebook in hand following the same aesthetics. The end result was something like this:
Following the scene and not forgetting that the design is for a T-shirt, I added a background to separate the full color of the shirt. The problem in this case happens to be the impression, depending on the color of the shirt would have to apply a white background before printing the rest of the inks. With this, the opacities that generated the brushes will be lost, so I made a special white layer that fits the gradients of colors that should be printed above.
Finally and before the image of the finished design, it is just to emphasize that the process enjoyed in this project, it's always good to be a designer with complete freedom to create. To do: create a collection of posters.