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“Up your game” t-shirt

"Up your game" t-shirt

Part of my Monday Motivation series, I designed the “Up your game” t-shirt with a dynamic look and encouraging message (that’s what Monday Motivation is about after all).

Up your game - Final design

Behind the scene

Like all projects, this one started with small sketches in my notebook to decide the general layout of the words. For this design especially, calligraphy explorations helped create a really energetic look for “Game”. Early attempts had all the words in a similar style, but digging further, combinations of different styles made a more interesting design, bringing contrast between the different parts of the message.

Set on a general direction, it was then time to work at larger scale. Using tracing paper, I decided on the final shapes of the design and added the details that would make the arrow feel less empty and tie everything together.

Up your game - Sketches

The design has a lot of straight edges. To keep them sharp in the final artwork, tracing a vector image was the way to go. No bleeding ink or tiny wobbles in the lines this way, giving the piece a handmade feel that I wasn’t after.

Once the shapes were ready in Illustrator, it was time to decide on some colors to make the design stand out. I was looking for a dynamic look, so the combination of bright yellow, pink and cyan really felt a strong choice. It gave the arrow a lot of personality and make the white “Game” stand out from it. This would limit the background choices a bit, but I was fine with a dark/black t-shirt as a final product.

In the end, these colors felt like they’d be at home on a TV screen of the 80s/90s, with visible lines of pixels and some glitches appearing here and there. I decided to follow this path and jumped into Photoshop to add those details, leading to the final piece as it is now.