Process: Derrick Rose T-Shirt

Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) T-Shirt | Fringe Focus


If you’re  familiar with basketball, you’ve probably heard the name Derrick Rose recently. Chicago Bulls’ point guard Derrick Rose was recently named the NBA’s 2011 MVP. He’s like Michael Jordan good.

I met up with a great guy here in Chicago a few weeks ago, who wanted to capture the energy and excitement of Derrick Rose in a t-shirt. These are unofficial shirts, so they’re not available everywhere, nor do they contain any official NBA names/logos. They’re for fans here in Chicago.

Not only does Derrick play for the Bulls, he was born and raised  in Chicago. Now that he’s taken his team to the playoffs, you can see why more than a few people here love him. The shirts say ‘Homegrown’ to recognize his local upbringing (and his floral last name…)

Process Shots

When I started illustrating this t-shirt design, I thought it would be fun to take some process shots. I’ve included everything from sketches, incomplete designs, to the finished shirt.

Derrick Rose T-Shirt (Sketches) - Fringe Focus

These sketches were done on my Wacom tablet, to quickly figure out ways to organize the imagery. We knew the shirts would say ‘Homegrown’, and that there would be a bull’s head in the shadow of the rose. The rose busting out of the concrete is actually my reference to a poem by 2pac. (I’m not cool, I just happen to know one poem by him)

Derrick Rose T-Shirt (Design) - Fringe Focus

Derrick Rose was raised on the south side of Chicago. So not only did the shirt need to show an urban environment, I had to make sure the skyline was accurate, and not showing Chicago from some bizarre angle out in the lake. These pictures are early on in the process, where I usually change colors and arrangements quickly. Ultimately I decided a grey shirt worked much better than a red one.

Derrick Rose T-Shirt (Design) - Fringe Focus

Derrick Rose T-Shirt (Design) - Fringe Focus

These shots show how each part of the illustration was pushed and pulled. The skyline needed some contrast, so I gave it a red sunset to draw focus to the rose. Later I dialed down the sunset a bit so it wasn’t too bright.

Derrick Rose T-Shirt (Design) - Fringe Focus

Here you can the next-to-last phase of the design. The colors are finished and I decided against using a separate color for the rose stem. The arrangement is fine, but the design was still a bit too clean. The rose itself also didn’t scream the fact that is was a rose. ‘Homegrown’ found its proper place in perspective on the ground. The previous sketches had given too much attention to the text. The final design solves this by visually pulling you in towards the rose.

Derrick Rose T-Shirt (Design) - Fringe Focus

Here is the completed design, with tweaks to most of the lines and the rose. The finished illustration uses only 3 colors, each of which would get their own discharge print on an American Apparel t-shirt.

The printing company even captured some great footage of the shirt being printed! Check it out.

Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) T-Shirt | Fringe Focus

The final shirt looks incredible, and is really soft. Great fit, great colors, and it was fun to work on! All work was done through my design company: Collision Labs

Derrick Rose Printed  T-Shirts - Fringe Focus

Here’s the Adams Barber Shop crew in Chicago wearing the shirts. Pretty exciting to see an idea/illustration take off like this.

One last thing: Derrick Rose himself actually wears my shirt! Although I don’t have any photos of him wearing it yet. Pretty crazy cool though.

I’m not selling these shirts personally, but you can buy them directly from my cool client right here:

Thoughts on the shirt? Drop me a comment, or hit me up on Twitter: @FringeFocus

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