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twenty ONE pilots tee

Brandon Rike has been on my shortlist of "Designers I Wish Would Teach A Skillshare Class." Watching his process helped validate my some of own technique, but also provided a lot of insight I lacked. This was a lot of fun.

1 Client Interview

I made a few notes (you can see on my sketch paper, below) that helped guide me through my process. I felt the video was necessary for us to find any direction. Very glad we had that.

2 Research & Brainstorming

It was difficult to move past the interview, especially since Tyler didn't associate with any brand or style. Thoughts like, "cooler than reality," and "simplicity," guided me more than images—that was new for me. Brandon's 3 questions regarding perception were a big help, too.

3 Sketches

I sketched a lot during this unit's video, but everything I drew felt forced; I could only draw what Brandon was drawing. After the video, I came up with a few ideas. My favorite were traced in pen.

4 Execution in Adobe Illustrator

I attempted to imitate my favorite sketch, but I didn't like the way my triangle and circle were matching up. It felt balanced, but I wanted to avoid mimicking Brandon's concepts so I moved on.

I've been messing with single-stroke type lately, so I started that process in Illustrator without any sketches. It was fun for about thirty minutes, but felt counter-productive.

One thing did stick with me, though (no pun intended); I liked the idea of centering the "O" in "one" and using it to house the bar logo. I brought elements in from the logo pack file and started sizing them up.

I decided to try making the type consistent with the stroke width of the circle. I outlined "one" and expanded my stroke before using the Pathfinder tool to extract my new font weight.

I was unhappy with having to adjust so many anchor points, so I used the Pen tool to trace over the outline of the "N" and the "E." I had to sacrifice a little bit on the logo, but I preferred consistency to posterity.

Adjusting the colors, I moved to a new artboard. I brought in the original type again and evaluated my design. It was familiar, but different; I didn't feel I lost any of the band's identity, but tried fine-tuning the letters again.

That "E" really bugged me...

5 Finalizing in Adobe Photoshop

Finally, I went into Photoshop and followed Brandon's instructions. Here's the final result.

Something that Tyler mentioned to Brandon was that he was surprised when everyone wanted the same, simple band t shirts last year. To reorder the same shirt over and over again... that really stuck with me. I think simple sells best, and this design is definitely simple. It's also somewhat mysterious; fans will recognize the logo and strangers won't struggle with understanding the relevance behind extra art (eg: ski masks, Japanese characters, etc).

6 Mocking Concepts for Presentation

I have several templates, but wanted to try Brandon's out. I appreciated the vertically-centered guide. I'll have to add that to my own. Here's how it looks.

I'd like some feedback. I've considered adding "TWENTY" above and "PILOTS" below the design, for clarity. Maybe add some lines or shapes along the top and bottom? Part of me thinks this design is too simple—this seems like an obvious concept to me. Then again, most of my favorite band tees are pretty dang simple...

I'm open to color suggestions. Also, I'm convinced that I've used too much texture for this design. Any thoughts?

Thanks.

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