How We Create Our Handrawn T Shirt Artwork
Back in 2004, when Vivix 659 was first started, T Shirt graphics were mostly based on logos, logos, and more logos. In fact, the bigger the logo graphic, and the more logo hits you had, the better your t shirts were - or so it seemed. We didn't care for that look, and with that we went off in a direction all our own.
Back then, and today still, we liked to sketch out places, points in time, or even hobbies of our ours that personified our lifestyle and put them on T Shirts. We affectionately called these styles, "Single Line Designs," because they were in fact usually sketched with one single line, in a very simplistic way. These designs became an instant hit with our retail partners and they continued to want more and more of them.
These designs were an instant hit
Designing these basic one line designs may seem easy, but in fact it is a difficult process. It usually starts with setting a direction for the coming season. For instance, the Chartis T Shirt came about because we were interested in plotting a map of all the place that we had gone surfing, or dreamed of surfing. It was a very simplistic idea, but as we started to build the artwork we came to realize it was going to be a lot of work.
The visuals we use for the inspiration behind creating graphics can be anything from old pictures of places we have been, retro diagrams, or in this case a vintage oceanic depths & currents chartograph tied this artwork together. Using the depth chart allowed us to add detail & breadth to the artwork, while keeping the original goal of plotting the surf spots.
The hand drawn nature of our graphics are really what tie it all together. In the beginning, we thought that the unsteady hand drawing of these graphics on a computer would look messy, but in the end this is one of the most appealing aspects of it.
The next step is to finish up the whole graphic, making sure there isn't any mistakes throughout. Sizing the graphic for print comes after. Then you go over the color scheme for the coming season, picking out tee shirt and print colors that match the personality of the artwork. Off to the printer it goes, and in a couple of days we will have samples in hand to make a definitive decision as to whether it will make the cut.
The Chartis T Shirt in the end made the cut and has been one of our classic units ever since.