Behind the Design: The Lookbook that Inspired a Current T-Shirt Design

By Andrew Davidson
on February 27, 2020


Final Art:

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
— Albert Einstein

I am inspired by many things; I keep pictures of those things, and I'll use them to create something new. This is one brief journey.

To be honest, this blog post took me far longer to write and produce than creating and posting this design. I'm very quick with design (I've been doing it for decades), and less prompt with the explanations of how or why or where. I've kept a 'lookbook' folder on my computer for decades now - it's a folder of things I run across the internet that inspire, influence or amuse me. More often than not, it's images, but sometimes it's text files, links, or screenshots.

In this design case, I took this 7 year old photo of a t-shirt design I'd saved. I liked the sentiment, but not the wording exactly. The font, color and layout all looked too casual for my liking, and while titillating, it's was obviously a bit sexist, and could be softened for both sexes. I wanted my design to be inspired by warning like signs, only have some color, softening the outer edges, and adding my brand to the final full-color design with white back-printing on colored shirts.

The design was created as a vector in Adobe Illustrator. All fonts were converted to paths for archiving and exporting to the proper spec for the T-Shirt print vendor (Amazon!) before being quickly uploaded and meta-tagged and keyword described to my new national audience!

Now my T-shirt is available Online Right Now! Plenty of OSHA-approved colors to catch your eye, and Men's and Women's sizes, too!

I hope you're not disappointed that it's only two things that inspired this design, but that's all it takes to get started. You don't need endless years of art history or experience to make something new, just the wherewithal to get going!

Special Thanks to my friends at TinyJPG, who easily shaved more than half off these images making this page load fast!