Earlier on, I was approached to come up with some t-shirt designs for USP (University Scholars Programme, my academic programme in university), and so I came up with 4 designs based on USP that I would actually like wearing in school. I made sure that each design has a distinct look, and it was pretty fun working with different styles. In the end, 2 of my designs were chosen for printing!
My first design, and one of the 2 chosen designs, is Always Curious. I feel that the single most commonly shared value amongst USP students is curiosity, a thirst to know the unknown and question everything (even if sometimes we problematise life).
And what better represents curiosity than the internet’s favourite animal, the cat? I used a more whimsical style in this design, illustrating a perhaps anatomically incorrect, happy cat leaping into the joys of the unknown. Curiosity might kill the cat, but hey, at least its got nine lives.
My second design is much cleaner, and also decidedly (unapologetically?) hipster. In this design, the second of the 2 designs that were chosen, I’ve imagined and hipsterised a USP badge/emblem, highlighting a few elements of USP life that we all know, perhaps a bit too well.
The all-nighters and endless
work fun can’t be better represented by a hot cup of coffee (from Starbucks, no doubt) we so desperately depend on. Also, in USP, the pen (and pencil) is truly mightier than the sword, as the many episodes on Facebook papers and essays we write show. You might think the light bulb represents some hint of intellect, or some eureka! moment when we finally hit upon a thesis idea, but really it represents a modern iteration of burning the midnight oil. (Ok, I might have been really tired and overwhelmed with work when creating this design.) Finally, no hipster design would be complete without hipster glasses, so I threw a pair in for good measure. But really, there is no better bridge between being a nerd and a hipster than a pair of glasses!
My 3rd design is a really fun one featuring an incredibly excited cinnamon roll. The design makes reference to Cinnamon, our residential college in USP, and has (I think) a pretty apt tagline: Stay hungry. Stay foolish. This was actually my favourite design (look how happy the cinnamon roll is!), so I was quite disappointed that it wasn’t chosen to be printed.
This might sound mad, but I haven’t eaten a cinnamon roll before. So to create this design I used several reference images of cinnamon rolls. This design, like the first design, is an illustration-based one, so I wanted to make this design bright and bold, and quite unlike the other more whimsical one. I really like how the different layers of the roll turned out, and how the design seems to trivialise the powerful quote, but perhaps at the same time in doing so, further emphasises its gravity.
My last design is an icon-heavy one, with each icon representing a student-led interest group in USP. I wanted to really capture the diversity of USP students in this design, but at the same time employ some kind of coherent, minimalist style in each icon.
Due to space constraints and because some of the interest groups were impossible to icon-ize, I could only create icons for 20 of the many interest groups in USP. I particularly liked creating all (save the soccer one) the icons from scratch, although some proved more difficult and complex than the others. My favourite icon amongst these would be the one for Quidditch (because Quidditch), followed by the one for Regrets for Dreams (because Regrets for Dreams).
For my fellow USP students, the USP tees should be on sale on 9 and 10 April! Do show support for my designs by purchasing the tees and wearing them :)! I’d feel immensely satisfied and happy if I see just one person wearing a tee designed by me.