Thursday, August 22, 2013

10,000 Bags

This Sunday I'm off to Burning Man for the 4th consecutive year. Every year this exquisite journey is made possible by my beautiful, dear friend and neighbor, Joshua Suzanne. For the past 4 years we've traded art for paid passage in the way of websites, business cards, murals and other graphic tasks. This year I've redesigned the inside of her store and the outside of her shopping bags.

Her old bag was fun but, a little clunky and hard to read. She loved the Doctor Suessiness of the round logo (drawn by an ex-lover and partner). I kept of it what I could and did my best to match its spirit in the remaining text. My main objectives were to make it immediately read as Rags A GoGo, to do what I could to make it read from the other side of the street, and as Rags A GoGo counts many international travelers as part of its clientele, I made sure that NYC was a major focal component. As for the big heart, who doesn't love love? Boys and girls, Rags A GoGo, vintage clothing, NYC?

The old bag is yellow with black letters. It's a good combo for a quick read but, there's something very cautionary about it. In fact I believe the color is "Safety Yellow". Josh asked me if we could see the new design in different color variations. 24 quickly emerged. Of them, Josh most liked the red bag with white type,"Like Christmas and Valentines Day all year round!". Who could effectively argue that Christmas and Valentines aren't warmer and fuzzier than the severity of black ink and the color of caution tape, bees and hornets?

No sooner than I had sent the design to the bag company, I got a call back from them explaining to me that white ink doesn't work well on deeply colored plastics. The result was described to me as "muddy". I asked if we could print red on a white bag in order to achieve a similar result. I was told yes but, the printing field was limited to 10" X 12".
I tried it and hated it. It's always something isn't it?

I went on line, looking for white plastic bags with red print and found some interesting results. I tried filling as much of the bag with red print as possible. It looked great . I could see it as a tee shirt graphic but I felt that there was just a bit too much red ink for a run of 10,000. Then for some odd reason Josh's "69" Camaro popped into my head. Hmmmm, thought I. By adding the Chevy's rally stripes, I reduced the amount of ink by about 20% and not so unpredictably the bag got a lot racier. Will it work with in the current vendors template? Nope but, as I've designed this I've pondered other options and different types of bags.

Since the bag's stripes were inspired by the hood of Josh's car, I had to see what it looked like. I went on line and found this 69 camaro at . What a gorgeous old thing. Anyhow, I doctored up the shot a bit to match up the colors and plunked her graphic on the hood. It occurred to me that if she applied this as a removeable vinyl graphic, she may be able to write off the current restoration of the vehicle. It's just a thought that would require the expertise of an accountant and more importantly... would Josh want this on the hood of her baby?

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