By studying both Che and Trump’s “merch,” I realized that what made these items powerful were the men and the ideas they represented.
Political statements can be expressed through clothing often having a shock value. A prime example of a divisive piece of clothing is the Trump MAGA hat. It is simple yet, is arresting due to its alt right association. Another example, is the image of Che that can be found on multiple clothing items. A revolutionary with mass market appeal.
For this project, I wanted to try and create a political T-shirt. My focus was on simplicity and message. I ended up with two Bernie Sanders shirts.
The first step in this project was researching past political T-shirts. The one that caught my attention was the classic Che Guevera visage. By studying both Che and Trump’s “merch,” I realized that what made these items powerful were the men and the ideas they represented. This made me want to stay on the simple side.
For this project I used Illustrator. I decided to use Illustrator because I wanted to create a vector file that could be resized for web and for screen printing.
I first googled images of Bernie Sanders and saved my favorite images. I had to make the T-shirt mockups myself using the pen tool. After that I imported Bernie’s image to illustrator and traced Bernie’s most distinguished features with the pen tool. Finally, I used the shape builder tool to connect shapes. For the second shirt I used the text tool to add typography.
Saving The File
To save this file I decided to export it as a PNG because it is a loss less format. I also decided to save as a PNG because it would be on the web. Most importantly, I saved it as a PNG because the shirt designs are in black and white. I did not need to save a large amount of color information.
What do you think makes a political shirt? How can I improve these T-shirt designs?