Reinventing a Fraternity T-Shirt // my creativity

“Transforming words into artistic expression.”

overview

In the spring of 2019, I got the opportunity to join the national service Fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. At the end of the semester, the organization needed someone to design a t-shirt in celebration of everyone who had joined the past few months. I had some time on my hands and was in need of something creative so I decided to try and come up with something.

My only requirements were:

  • To include all 40 names of the new members,
  • To include all 10 names of the officers that ran the organization,
  • and to stick to our namesake for that semester, “Nicki Fox.”

As Alpha Phi Omega was still a student organization, it was also important to keep costs low and limit the number colors within the design.

role & duration

graphic designer

ideation, digital illustration

T-shirt Design Project

April 2019 – May 2019

ideation

One of my main concerns with group shirts like this one was how bland and rigid the back usually was in traditional designs.

Since you needed to include the names of every single person within the group on it, other fraternities and organizations would usually stick with regular columned lists of every single name. Albeit easy to implement, they would usually turn out like this:

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Most of the time, you can’t even read the names of everyone and the layout would look super cramped.

When people are looking at shirts like these, they usually are not reading the names but are rather seeing them from far away where the overall shape of the names matters more.

When I was brainstorming ideas, I was trying to think ways in which I could make the back of the shirt more aesthetically pleasing while also allowing people to distinguish the names more easily.

How can I make the shape of the names look good while also maintaining the integrity of the letters themselves?

digital illustration

An idea occurred to me,

What If I used the words as art?

This way, the back could be used as an artistic piece, but, upon closer inspection, the names would still be readable. It would have taken too much time and work to use illustrator and shape every single name into an art piece so I decided to use a word map generator.

As for the shape of the art piece, I chose a Fox because I felt like it would be a great tribute towards our namesake, “Nicki Fox.” After a few iterations of what type of fox shape I wanted and what colors worked the best, the final T-shirt came out quite nice:

Here is a more detailed look at the fox:

I decided to make the officers’ names stand out by using a larger font size and a different color. As these names make up the spine of the Fox, it is akin to how they led us through the our first semester and helped support us.

conclusion

unnamed

This design ended up being the one everyone liked and we were able to order sixty shirts for our cohort.

I was happy that my idea was able to come to fruition and that I was able to surprise everyone with an unconventional shirt design. I hope that I will be able to undertake more creative challenges in the future and that they would be as successful as this one.