ProjectsShirt Design

Shirt Design: Fur Delivery October

Overview

Fur Delivery (FD) was a monthly subscription box for the furry fandom. Each month a box would be shipped to subscribers containing several items, one of which would always be a shirt. After reviewing my work with Midwest Furfest as well my other designs, “Tymid” of FD reached out to me to become their official shirt artist.

October of 2017 was the “re-launch” of the FD project after a temporary hiatus in which they hired a new team of artists including myself. As such, it was important for this first box to exceed expectations. Given the launch in October, the theme of box took advantage of the popular Halloween holiday, while aiming to provide items that weren’t exclusive to the holiday so that they could be enjoyed by any person, all year long.

The shirt art file was provided to the client nearly two months in advance to give ample time for edits and production, as well as to accommodate my own exhibition schedule. This early completion also allowed time for additional promotion, with which I also assisted.

The shirt was very warmly received among recipients. Many who did not order the box in time were inquiring on how to get the shirt, which may have prompted sales for the following month.

Client’s parameters for shirt design

The client already had a preferred shirt manufacturer selected, and as such I would need to follow their requirements for shirt design. Additionally, the design needed to be limited to 3 colors maximum in order to fit the client’s budget.

I provided the client with the original .PSD file with colors organized into separate layers as well as a hi-res, transparent .PNG for their use with the manufacturer.

Concepts

Given that the shirt would be released in October, we agreed that a “spooky” theme would be suitable. We discussed that the shirt should be appropriate for, but not exclusive to, the Halloween holiday. I suggested something with crows, and given the “furry” theme we decided on an anthropormorphic crow, or sort of a gryphon. To add some creepiness to the theme, I decided a three-eyed creature with color highlighting the eyes would be truly eye-catching.

I created three concepts from which to choose for the final shirt design.

The second concept involved the creature holding and obsessing over a golden necklace with a mysterious gem at its center. After reviewing color possibilities with the shirt manufacturer, the client decided that this design with shiny, gold ink used would make for the perfect debut October shirt.

Mocks

After choosing the preferred concept, I got to work digitally inking and finalizing the design. With the limitations in colors, I focused on making thick lines and large black shapes to help define the creature, using gold to accent the necklace and red for the eyes and gem.

After the art was completed, I created a sample mock on a creme colored shirt as I felt this would help the colors stand out more.

The client felt that the creme shirt didn’t fit the theme of darkness and spookiness well enough. We reviewed options with the manufacturer and decided that a medium gray would fit the theme better while still making the artwork stand out. The gold ink would also be much more clear on a darker background.

I created two more mocks for the client before they proceeded with the order. This helped them confirm the shirt color choice as well as allowed us to use the shirt mocks for promotion in advance of having them actually produced.

Promotion

As part of this project, I created some promotional material to help sell the subscription boxes.

I also added promotional tweets into my social media queue to signal boost the product among my followers.

Reception

The shirt proved to be a very popular item for the box. Some who missed the deadline to order the October box were still inquiring on how to get the shirt.

One fan created an “unboxing” video that captured their reaction to all the items. The reaction to the shirt can be seen at the 2:14 mark.

Final Artwork

Below is a flat rendering of the final artwork, with an additional light gray fill added.

Fur Delivery had the following to say about working with me on their shirt designs:

Each shirt met and exceeded design expectations, consistently. The artist requested fair wages, and was amicable to communicate with, helpful, and prompt. Would definitely work with again, and would recommend to other businesses or personal projects!

– Tymid of Fur Delivery

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