trvl lt final black


Line 136


Line 136

Visual Design


Line 136


This was the design used for Common Ground fellowship's spring retreat. The theme was called Travel Light, which is based on the Bible verse, Matthew 11: 28-30. It was printed on a cotton crewneck shirt. The graphic needed to include the theme title, subtitle (More Jesus, Less Baggage), church name, and fellowship name. The size and color were customizable.


Be meaningful and intentional to the theme.
I didn't want to use imagery that would be too literal or overused, so I quickly researched common symbols for traveling: airplanes, luggage, and transit signage. Airport signage is known for its clear and universal visual communication, and I thought it'd be interesting to incorporate this theme into the design. This meant using Helvetica, of course, the 'universal' typeface, and brainstorming more ways I could bring airport travelling onto a shirt.

Be creative, but keep your constraints in mind.
I initially thought of personal luggage tags, ones that require you to fill out your name and address in case you lose your luggage. However, this seemed unreasonable if I wanted to convey clear typographical hierarchy. While looking for more concise ways to convey information, I came across photos of the baggage tags that airlines place on checked-in luggage. These tags always state the airport destination in bold abbreviated letters and then state less important information in smaller type. This layout had strong typographical hierarchy, and it also felt appropriate to put this sort of tag on clothing rather than putting something like a sign on clothing instead.

Be intentional in every detail.
It was important to abbreviate the title, Travel Light, in order to mimic the abbreviated airport language, and to also carry the theme of lightness into the title itself by expelling extra baggage (letters). The standard abbreviation of Travel is actually TVA, but when I asked around for feedback from people in the fellowship, this seemed like a hard stretch for most people to understand. TRVL was much more understandable. The barcodes provided good structure, and the miscellaneous small numbers underneathe the top barcode ended up representing the dates of the retreat. This was not important nor required information, but a good opportunity to be intentional about smaller aesthetic details. I used a more pixelated Google font, called VT323, to mimic the low-quality print of baggage tags, and placed the 'random' symbols that usually print on the tags in intentional areas. The arrow points upward at the fellowship name, the small cross represents the Christian theme of the shirt, and the rectangular block implicates at the theme title. Since we needed to print the shirts as soon as possible after the design was chosen, the only adjustments made after the initial draft was focused on adjusting the size of the pixelated type to be legible on the shirts. 

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