Jami’s Army Shirt Design
The goal of this project was to create a design for a t-shirt that my client, Athena, and her team (named “Jami’s Army”) could wear while running a race. The team was running in support of their friend, Jami, who was battling cancer. Unfortunately, Jami has since passed away.
Although Jami passed away before the race, the intention and sentiment of Athena and her team are something I greatly respect.
The idea for the t-shirt was to have a fighting sunflower character displayed on the front, along with the team name and the Blue Star Universal Symbol for colorectal cancer.
The fighting sunflower concept came from Athena – and I believe it was inspired by Jami’s love of sunflowers. The character represents Jami and her will to “keep on fighting til the end.”
Before the design process began, Athena was able to send me some sample images to use for inspiration while creating the fighting sunflower. Those images gave me an idea of the kind of character Athena and her team were looking for: fun, yet tough!
To achieve a “fun” appearance, I decided to design a cartoon-like sunflower for the shirt. I used simple, curved strokes when illustrating the character to maintain an organic and playful appearance. To offset the simplicity of the outlines, I used variable stroke weights on the outlines to add a bit of interest to the character.
To make the fighting sunflower also appear “tough,” I placed the character in a fighting stance – as if in mid-punch. I also gave her a confident/aggressive facial expression.
Athena and her team planned on the t-shirt being a bright yellow color, so they requested the fighting sunflower be all black (outlines). I think that worked out well, since the black linework really pops over a bright yellow background.
As for the “Jami’s Army” team name, I decided to use the “Stencil Std” typeface. I thought the typeface’s bold lettering reinforced the fighting sunflower’s aggressiveness.
The Blue Star Universal Symbol’s placement within the overall design of the shirt was chosen out of a few various placement options. Because of the symbol’s size and spacing requirements, there were only so many areas within the design that the symbol could be placed while still maintaining a good overall aesthetic appearance.
The fighting sunflower character (and overall t-shirt design) began as a couple of rough sketches which I sent to Athena for her and her team’s review. After receiving their initial feedback, I created a final sketch of the design and sent it off for approval.
Once I received approval, I brought the final sketch into Adobe Illustrator, where I created the vector artwork for the fighting sunflower and placed both the “Jami’s Army” team name and Blue Star Universal Symbol.
After sending the vector artwork to Athena and receiving her notes, I applied all changes to the design and prepared the final files for delivery.