The head of the Women in Computing club at my college alma mater MSU contactacted me for a kitsch shirt design. Women in Computing is a club that encourages female students to pursue programming and other technology fields of study and work. The client encouraged me to turn up the kitsch factor and use a vintage style illustration. She wanted me to mix all of the elements in a feminine color combination.
Kitsch shirt design story – retro apparel graphic
First, I chose to use a royalty free stock image to base the whole composition around. It was a retro black and white image of a 1950s style housewife. Originally, the stock art showed her smiling and holding up a sign which advertised a cleaning product. I started by removing much of the lady herself, so as to simplify her down to just her hands and face. I also removed the sign by using the Adobe Illustrator program. Then, I replaced it with a tablet device which displays the requisite 0nes and zeros to signal a technology based club.
I mixed the two fabulous retro fonts together on the pink shirt in order to help convey the “wink and nudge” feel. The focal point large paintbrush font appears, roaring “WOMEN” in dull red! I chose a cute, fine script to set both of the phrases “murray state university” and “in computing”. I reversed that text out of two dull red swaths at both the top and bottom. Finally, the kitschy housewife pops up at the bottom flashing her smile to complete the piece.