For the fifth year in a row, we’ve designed and printed shirts for the A.C. Reynolds Middle School band. From the start, this project has been surprisingly unique, and has turned into a great shared tradition between us and the band. Every year, we get to do a memorable and unique design for these kids, and it’s a really fun design project for our Art Department.
From the start, the idea began with the band’s director, Greg Love. He wanted themes from classic rock album covers, mashed up with their school’s mascot, the Rockets. He gave our Art Department complete creative license (which we love, obviously). From that great starting point, we decided to use Astronauts as the theme, since we would be able to use them in place of the people on various classic rock album covers.
UPDATED January 24, 2013: The design for the 2012-2013 school year has been added. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more.
For the first year’s design, former Image 420 graphic designer Jeremy Boger chose The Who. After looking through his personal record collection, he chose this album cover as the basis for his design:
Here is what Jeremy came up with:
And here’s the shirt, modeled by the band:
A simple, direct, and effective design. It was also a huge hit with the kids, so we got the call again the next year. For this design Jeremy started with perhaps the most classic of all classic album covers:
And here is the epic result:
For the third year, the kids became a little more involved in the process of selecting a theme. That was great, because it really let us know that they were into it, and were enjoying their shirts. They gave us a list of potential candidates, and from that list, we chose a slightly more modern classic:
Here’s the result, by graphic designer Israel Hill:
Which brings us to this year. The kids are now “all-in” on the design selection process. They sent one idea, and it was a great idea. The design was to be based around this classic rock poster, for The Grateful Dead:
The kids chose well! In the fourth year of this project, their selections perfectly match the theme, and the things that make it work: a classic design, with a central human figure that can be swapped out with an astronaut. Here’s the result, by designer Brent Baldwin:
UPDATE! For the 2012-2013 school year, the kids chose No, by They Might Be Giants. Here is the original cover:
And here is the tribute design, by Brent Baldwin:
So, once again, we’d like to thank the kids of the A.C. Reynolds Middle School Band, and their director, Greg Love, for letting us make these shirts for them every year. As designers, and lovers of classic design, it’s so much fun to work on designs like this. And it’s great to be have the creative flexibility and trust that we’ve been given by these kids. We hope to do many more of these fantastic shirts in the future.