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Design Process for Football Rivalry Shirt


Special edition custom designed shirt for the annual Massillon-Mckinley football brawl!
I was asked to go with a boxing theme for this year's battle. I wanted to keep the pose neutral, so the shirts could be sold equally to fans of both sides.
I start my design process by curating numerous reference images to guide my layout. I wanted to be sure the pose was realistic to how boxers actually fight.
(1) The sketch process begins with loose shapes and getting the feel for the pose I want. I'm free to play with layout and negative space. There's no pressure to get it all accomplished in one step and I can make sweeping edits and get the exact pose I want before investing time in the next stages.
(2) Once I get the overall pose down, I add general details. I'm looking to where shadows will go, making sure the design is still legible and accomplishes my vision.
(3) I begin to refine my lines, rotate and resize parts of the design. This is the final edit stage before I commit my lines with ink.
(4) Then I ink the design. It's always easier to edit the design in these first three stages over making edits in the inking stage. My focus at this point is making sure the ink lines look crisp and are accurate.
I imported the final inked design into Illustrator after converting it to vector. In Illustrator, I chose the fonts that would work best with the text provided, the background and the surrounding effects. My main focus is always on designing the main centerpiece of the design first and then figuring out what fonts, effects and layout look best to enhance it.
After the design was completely approved, I separated it into four colors with a white base and three inks to go overtop the white. My goal was to hand over a design with seps that would register and print as well as it would sell. It printed well and sold even better! The client posted pics of the print process and final result and I'm grateful he let me post them alongside the design process images.

I've always loved your art style. Solid and clean. Easy to read/see from a distance. Well laid out.

I agree with Dan, looks great!

Love it! Thanks for sharing Matt

Thank you! I appreciate the encouragement.


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