Always be creating
When I worked at Disney, It was an amazing environment. Although, the work I was actually doing was not as glamorous as one might expect to find at a company like Disney...It was still a pretty awesome job. Besides the fact that I worked with some incredibly brilliant minds, I also worked on a floor that was themed after Marvel and Star Wars. Our elevator lobby was modeled after the death star. There were murals of Marvel super heroes every where and the business rooms were named after Star Wars characters. I was working at Disney during the Rogue one release and everyone was getting their "Fan-Geek" on. I loved the excitement.
During my time there, I thought up an idea about doing a line of "FAN GEEK" Shirts around the Star Wars Universe. The idea came to me when someone walked by me with one of those "PROPERTY OF..." University Football T-shirts. I thought to myself...Wouldn't it be cool to do a bunch of T-shirts based on that concept but that were for fictional locations in the Star Wars Universe. Each shirt could celebrate a different planet and do a visual NOD to the environment.
So... Today I was sitting at home working through the weekend on a project and just needed a little break before diving in on the next round of work. I threw a little design together to see if I really wanted to put the time into the concept.
THE exploration of concept
I researched several worlds that seemed popular enough to do a concept. I needed to find worlds that were popular enough that they would be noticed. I couldn't go too Obscure...Even for the Star Wars fan it needed to make sense. My list shows up below:
I chose Endor University as my fake university because it is where we meet the Ewoks and it held a fairly substantial presence in the movie "RETURN OF THE JEDI". Endor was a really "green" Moon (Not a planet). The residents of Endor struck me as fairly earthy creatures. To me, it made sense to suggest that Horticulture might be something this fictional world university would potentially be focused on.
In Searching for photo stills to inspire my design, I found that there were already several pretty awesome designs including some tourism photos. This told me that this idea would probably fly but that it might be difficult to do something original and recognizable. Most of the designs I saw out in the market seemed to focus on one of the most recognizable screenshots of the planet. The screenshot included the Giant Satellite dish that was disabled in the movie, and it felt like it was pretty overused. The other side to that is that it meant I wouldn't have to work as hard to come up with a recognizable design that would convey the Idea of what it was about.
I first went after the visual recognition of the surface scene with the satellite image using Adobe Illustrator. I built some simple silhouette shapes and layered them to convey the idea of the planet with the iconic satellite down played in the background. I scanned some crinkled paper to make the scratches and create a distressed feel. I Set the focal point to a plant just sprouting from the earth. I liked that visual but I worried it pushed everything else back too much. I also worried that the distressed filter was too strong and busy.
In my next attempt I decided to create a CREST I could focus on.
I modified an existing font face that looked a bit future-esque. I placed it in the center of the shield and divided the colors to give contrast. I Placed the plant in the center of the EU to emphasize the "horticulture" message and then created a flag banner to drape across the shield. I searched the web and found an EWOK dictionary. I was super excited to find enough words to create a motto. Feef Shetai Na-Shin would roughly translate to PLANT WARRIOR TRIBE. I felt this was extremely appropriate. As an after thought I dropped the Rebel Alliance symbol into the crest.
Next I did a design that focused on the Crest in place of the scenery. I wanted it to look more like the XXL shirts that actually say - Property of....____________.
I tried to do that leaned heavily on the Existing Shirt Concept and came up with the following design.
This design was a lot more like the original intended XXL shirts that I was going after.
My take away
Drawing up the designs (even as a proof of concept) was a lot of fun. I think that my take away would be that I would prefer a more organic hand drawn solution than the digital design I came up with. I would also want to spend way more time, than I put into these, on making the design less stiff, warmer, and more original. I would stay away from existing fonts and play more with hand drawn lettering.
OK - If I did move forward - I would probably work with some of the following concepts.
Moons of Endor University: Where the Ewoks lived
Possible focus: Horticulture
Kamino University: Known for: Where the Secret clone army was being built. A water planet
Possible focus: Swim Team or Crew (the humorous take)- Robotics (a little more literal)
University of Mustafar :Where the OBI WAN and young VADER had their big duel. A LAVA planet
Possible focus: Volcanology department
HOTH University: Known for: Where the Rebel alliance was hiding after the destruction of the 1st death star. An Ice planet
Possible focus: ICE HOCKEY TEAM
Dagobah Jedi Academy: Known for: Yoda's home planet - Where Luke learned to be jedi
Possible focus: Jedi Academy
This entire exercise was to provide some stress relief and offer me a mental break. I got to create something that required me to use my thought process in a different way. It is important to allow yourself breaks when working long hours. This gave me the chance to do something fun and creative that I enjoyed and caused me to think outside the scope of what I was working on, and flex my creative muscle.
I hope you enjoyed this little break away from reality. I sure did...Don't be surprised if you see me wearing one of these T-shirts in the near future.