Your friends at Viget present Inspire, a Design & Interaction Blog

Viget Flash Mob: T-Shirts

Recently, our team set aside some time to make another flash mob happen. If you're unfamiliar with what that is, take a look back at our first. This time around, we decided to use our 4 hours to whip up some t-shirt designs that reflected some of our "inspirations". We talked about defining parameters, but bailed quickly on that and decided to leave it wide open. To keep it fun (somebody needs bragging rights), we're asking that you check out the design concepts and vote on your favorite. We'll then print up 3 of the winning design and draw randomly from the commenters who respond to this post to see who gets them. If you want to purchase one of these t-shirts in the meantime, we've set up a no-commissions Spreadshirt shop where you can grab one. We've ordered a couple of test shirts and the quality is nice, although not perfect (it's what you'd expect from a one-off, digitally printed t-shirt shop). We're pretty happy with the results, though. So here goes, a look at what each of our designers did with 4 hours of wide open t-shirt design time:

1) Paint Signals, by Owen

My shirt direction is illustrating the explosive nature of letting go of your preconceived notions of "right or wrong" design. Freeing yourself from the constraints and worries of making mistakes can allow innovative solutions to bubble to the surface, and taking risks can inspire you to walk down new avenues of exploration in your work. image

2) Boxes and Arrows, by Jackson F.

I wanted to make a UX or IA themed shirt. I've always felt UX nerds were an under served demographic in the online t-shirt marketplace. "Boxes and Arrows" seemed like a natural motif, and OmniGraffle seemed like the natural place to make boxes and arrows. image

3) Missing the Middle of Nowhere, by Mindy

After spending a long weekend driving around Central New York's rural farmlands, I returned to Durham homesick for the crisp fall air and rolling hillsides. My goal for this Flash Mob was to practice my rusty illustration techniques. I decided to try my hand at a stylized country landscape. Sticking to simple shapes and a pared down color palette helped me work within our time constraints. image

4) Design Fish, by Tom

I wanted to get away from the computer and utilize my neglected sketch pad. My original intent was to draw a fish and a hook with the word 'design' wrapped around it like a worm. I filled the fish with words and phrases that Viget UX designer, Jackson Fox, had provided regarding user experience design and ditched the hook for a more interesting composition. image

5) It's So Bad, by Keith

At first, I had a hard time getting inspired to make a t-shirt because I thought my ideas were lame. I actually made about 5 shirts, but ended up picking the one based on the power glove, because I think its a funny pop culture reference from the movie "The Wizard." I also think the power glove should be a constant reminder that just because a technology seems cool and trendy at the time, it might prove to be horribly inefficient. image

6) Flourish, by Samantha

I am a big fan of the hand lettering of Jeff Canham. Wanting to try out some hand lettering in that style, I chose the word "Flourish" to experiment with in this retro style. The word "Viget" means "to flourish" in latin, and as web designers we have the power to flourish with all of the tools the internet provides us to become better at our craft. A flourish can also be a typographic embellishment, similar to the style I wanted to implement. Having so many meanings, it felt like the right word to use. Using another retro font I had found, I took tracing paper and went over the letterforms over and over, making major modifications in each iteration. This allowed me to stay true to the original style while exploring my own variations of the letters. The entire process made me have an even deeper appreciation for those who can do hand-lettering. I feel like I could have tweaked this design for so many more hours, but overall it turned out communicating just what I was looking for. image image

7) Flossin' and Choppin', by Doug

I wanted to do something graphically simple that wearers could somehow "interact" with. The original thought was a fully-readable gang sign that read "D E S I G N," with missing letters that the wearer would fill in with their own hands. Try as I might, though, I couldn't get a configuration of hands that locked together tightly and read well, so I tried to split the hands up into a wider configuration. This kind of flattened the idea a little, so I branched in two directions to add in some interest: one idea added fancy jewelry to spell out the website address, and other severed the hands into cartoony parts. Undeterred, I will continue my quest to find a hand sign that designers can throw to express affiliation and dominance. image image

8) The Human Tree, by Jim

This was inspired by fall/winter nature and relationship to people. Using an earth tone palette of brown and green, I wanted to make a subtle design that would show how the outline of a tree canopy in the fall/winter shares visual similarities with our own internal organs. The drip at the bottom branch tips is also meant to symbolize this connection. Is it a lung or is it a branch? image

9) Piranhas Rule, by Jim

The main inspiration came from my two pet piranhas that were donated not too long ago. I wanted to recreate a scene of how I would always remember them, swimming and looking for food with their teeth showing (causing trouble). Since I was never able to tell them apart, I felt that using a mirror effect to show the two would give it a visually interesting result (one can spot a deer head and grasshopper in there if you look close). image

10) Pangram, by Erik

The idea for this design was to use the pangram "The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog" as the major design element. The color scheme was meant to have an autumn tone. To add an extra level of fun, each letter is a different font and the name of the font begins with the letter it denotes. See if you can figure out which fonts I used. image

11) Display None, by Erik

With the second design, I toyed with the idea of using markup as design. My idea was to add a bit of humor and have a seasonal theme, hoping the shirt could pass as a Halloween costume. image

12) Ideas Bloom, by Rob

The inspiration behind my design was the thought that ideas grow. The dandelion represents our ideas and the spreading of those ideas. Some fail, some flourish. The transformation and growth of the seed to the bird visualizes that thought. image

13) Speak Slowly, by Rob

Often times, when people ask what I do, I jokingly tell them "I work with pictures." I've always wanted to make a shirt playing off that idea, and now I've finally gotten my chance! Next, world domination and the dissemination of Apple laptops. image

14) Inspire + Kuler, by Peyton

I loosely tried to apply the idea of a visual mashup, using Adobe Kuler as my baseline for visual "data" to use. The whole idea here was to identify a kuler scheme, grab the associated color wheel plot graphic (represented by the 5 smaller dots and connected arms), and then repeat those colors visually by arranging 5 larger circles of color as a backdrop. Thanks to b_wiebe, tajeri68, dphillippe, and kristi for their fine kuler schemes. image image image image

Now Give Us Your Vote

So that's what we came up with ... 14 concepts in 4 hours, with some good laughs mixed in. Vote once below and leave us some comments (remembering that we'll be giving away 3 shirts to commenters). Voting will end at 11am on Friday, Oct 17, and we'll report back on the selected design and the recipients of the giveaways on Monday, Oct 20. In the meantime, remember to hit the no-commissions shop if you'd like to buy a shirt.

Voting Results (Posted Oct 20)

Thanks to all who voted and commented. The t-shirt recipients are Ben, Nathan, and Kristi, and they'll be able to choose any one of the 14 designs they prefer. As always, we appreciate the fact that you follow our blogs and engage us in great conversation. The results are below: image

Get More From Viget

Subscribe to get our monthly newsletter and occasional special announcements.