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Joe Wirtheim

Designer of the Victory Garden of Tomorrow

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The Victory Garden of Tomorrow needs a Label

The Victory Garden of Tomorrow” is a poster project that I’ve been creating for over 5 years. I have about 20 poster designs each being different expressions on the modern gardening and food movements, as well as ideas around green urbanism. All have a fun/interesting, but original take on vintage "homefront propaganda." Some have been featured in Martha Stewart Living Magazine, on the cover of Organic Gardening Magazine (April 2013), farm markets and community spaces all over the country.

Now, I want to develop a line of printed graphic T-Shirts based on the fun expressions in the poster work. I’d like the clothing brand to be a more alive, more hip version of the poster campaign—that is, not so much about garden history, and more about the cool new future of green urbanism.

I’d like to create a unique printed label for the T-Shirt line—one that would express the cool retro-urgency of today’s green movements. I want it to be something for young adults, cool parents and be able to have a version for kids shirts. Later, the label may expand to printed bandana’s, kitchen towels and more.

I love the character and voice of hand drawn type. I've almost always been happier with type I've made rather than some purchased typeface. I hope to explore the expressive possibilites of type in this project.

My final label will be a single color screenprint, for the inside tag area of the Tshirts.

5/14

My mood board is an eclectic mix of stuff. The vintage war-era posters, plus the contemporary urban farm garden settings. Then add-in the exuberant excitment of the New York Worlds Fair (1939). I love the "world of tomorrow" stuff-- it really makes the now more exciting. Lots of great use of expressive type and script-- and a lot of hand made. Love the Mercury 7 badge and other '60's space program stuff, too.

Mostly, I like the ironic idea that the big powerful future might be a place where people are gardening, focusing on their food sources more. It could be a humble backyard chicken or community garden. There's a power in these humble, small things that I'd like to capture and express.

5/16

These are the sketch ideas I have so far:

#1 The first one is my favorite idea: a simple, small poster with the project name and a graphic of a wagon loaded with veggies (the graphic is from a previous full color poster). This would be screenprinted but made to look like a sewn-in label. I may inverse the colors, with the type and graphic as a knock out and the background filled.

#2 is another version using a thimble and thread as the graphic. I've used a similar graphic on packaging for my felt badges and felt it would fit here. Now I'm considering a different label graphic for each TShirt design.

For #3 I went to illustrator to work on how the small handmade type would look. i like this thimble and needle graphic, although its not all hand illustrated, just the "victory" part. I like the classic layout, but I don't know if its capturing the original spirit I'm looking for.

5/20

As sometimes happens, when I sat down at the computer to digitally ink up a sketch and create a label, it took another turn. I love seeing everybody's amazing sketches, but alas, my sketches tend to be quick and dirty. The real deal for me doesn't happen until I sit down with the Wacom and paintbrush tool. That's when discoveries are made. 

I'm liking this concept below. Again, this is to be screenprinted on the inside tag area of T-shirts. I may try something similar with the thimble because i like the thimble, but I'm hesitant because it doesn't work as well as a symbol for the larger project.

5/23

I'm trying to open the design by losing the border. Plus I tried one with the thimble, and yeah, its cute. Thoughts?

5/26

Here's where I've ended up. I do like it with the thimble, which I have reillustrated. I could see this really working. Any thoughts or considerations?

Feels like I'm wrapping this up. Thanks for all your input!

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