Word of mouth is definitely a good way to get business. A good friend of mine knew of a martial arts instructor who was looking to start a teaching studio and wanted to have some good looking but inexpensive tee shirts designed!
I was intrigued because of the style of martial arts he was going to teach. Wing Chun Kung Fu is a beautifully efficient art developed in secrecy in China probably 250 years ago. Although the origin of the art is shrouded in mystery, there is no doubt about it’s efficacy. One of the most well know teachers of this art was man named Ip Man who later taught Bruce Lee. The client wanted to honor Ip Man by having his image incorporated into the design.
The other imagery the client wanted to blend into the design was the Chinese Junket boats. The style of wing chun that he will teach is called Red Boat. Developed for close combat and used by the people opposed to the ruling dynasty by disguising themselves as entertainers in the Red Boat Opera Company, thus the use of the red junket boat.
The great Ip Man
Chinese Junket Boats
So, off I went brainstorming a solution. The two images I was provided with I vectorized so that I could control color and keep the designs as graphic and striking as possible. I also used the original Ip Man jpeg image and converted it to a one color file. I was also supplied the Chinese lettering that read Red Junket.
Unfortunately, on the first iterations, I forgot to add the acronym T.W.C that stands for Traditional Wing Chun….duh…but the client did like what I had developed so far. I designed a one-color and a two color design.
Back to the Mac to tweak and refine. The client wanted the name to be Red Junket instead of Red Boat. I added the TWC acronym into the design and also getting the red shirt color to match the design. The client was pleased but I still thought there were a few things I could do to improve.
On this 3rd iteration, I re-thought the placement of the TWC and removed the words Wing Chun as it was kind if redundant. I also removed some of the lines from around Ip Man’s shoulder and under the junket boat. The other design, I colorized the psd file of Ip Man and faded it out towards the edge. Lastly, I used a circle as a solution and masked Ip Man inside and placed the junket in front and then ran the type around the circle.
Ultimately, the client was happy and signed off on the designs and as he prepares to open his studio, will print shirts for his new students. Hopefully, I can get one too….