My idea

The problem that the brief identifies is a need to support and empower women on social issues that concern their rights and opinions.

The solution I offer is to design unique slogans for t-shirts that both men and women can wear at women’s marches. Having t-shirts with slogans talking what they think or feel, can help them to feel connected to each other. They do not need to speak or say how they feel out loud, but just by looking at each other, they will feel supported and understood.

On this case, my idea derives from the banners or t-shirts that people show on women’s marches, with messages hand-drawn, and sometimes not very clear. Since my idea is to inspire a more private feeling, a t-shirt fits better. It does not need to be seen from everywhere, but just by the person who is next to you, or who crosses paths with you.

I will be combining the idea of t-shirts with quotes, which is quite abundant, with lettering and powerful designs. There are several examples of graphic t-shirts that use a sans serif fonts for their messages (Fig. 1). My idea will give this a twist by adapting the type of font, colours, graphics and design to the message.

The Research

I have done research on the style and mood that the t-shirts and the brand would have, signs from women’s marches, as well as examples of t-shirts with quotes. I will be using all these elements as inspiration to create my designs.

The adjustments I have made after considering these questions are:

  • Considering creating t-shirts for all genders (not only for women)
  • Thinking about a fun name for the brand: Women Empowering T-shirts, or WET (double meaning)
  • Re-evaluating the target audience (specially the location, since these marches happen around the world)
  • Focusing on hand-drawn and custom letters for the slogans, to make it more personal and fun

General Assumptions

While researching ideas and pre-existing material, I have found some general assumptions of this work:

  • These quote t-shirts are mostly boring and plain
  • Quality clothes are expensive
  • For women, so it will all be in pastel colours
  • Feminism is selfish and monotonous
  • Many empowering t-shirts use stereotypical quotes like “believe in you”or “be yourself”
  • Only used for marches, not for the day to day
  • Clothes go out of season (stop being trendy) so they cannot be used as a movement
  • T-shirts are not personalised, so the quotes might not be exactly accurate for each person
  • Feminists are angry
  • Quote t-shirts are “loud”

Some of these assumptions can be removed to challenge the beliefs of people around the topics I want to cover with this project. For example, the assumption that quality clothes are expensive is true, so I would offer the possibility of paying a smaller price for the digital design, therefore people can print their own t-shirts on their preferred printing company. Also, instead of pastel colours, I could use a bright purple, which is the colour used in most women’s events.

My intention is to design t-shirts that are good quality and beautifully designed, including discrete versions, so they can be worn on the day-to-day. However, it is true that clothes go out of season, and in my opinion that is a good thing, because the wording used on women’s movements evolves too. Since I am taking ideas for the quotes from social media, I believe that the t-shirts are “personalised” for a specific moment or event.

Stylistic Approaches

Some of the stylistic approaches I have found on my research have similar styles: plain t-shirts and quotes in sans serifs. Some of the examples, as shown here and in the following pages, are more artistic, with hand-drawn elements and female icons. In general, I understand that the products that sell the most have very clear typography, so it is easy to read from a distance, but also handwritten texts are popular, because they seem more relatable. Sans serif fonts are used to give a statement, while scripts or handwritten show a personal opinion.