RGC's "The 'GO" Tee Design Close-up

A peek at the design elements of "The 'GO" special-edition tee by RDQLUS Goods & Cloth

A few heads have asked to see a closer look at a few elements of the special-edition "The 'GO" tee—to drop during the HOW Design Conference next month—and I thought it would be a fun idea to let everyone in on the simple, yet meaningful design elements that make up the overal design. Chicago has many nicknames, but the one that stuck me as so clever and denoting forward progress was "The 'GO."

I'm a huge proponent of less is more, but when building iconic elements that will lend themselves to an even larger design composition; less is more, and then more of that is beautiful! In my opinion, that makes work more conceptual, to build from simple parts into something larger than the sum. My own invented term for this is "simple complexity."

The "angry little bear" represents the tried and true standard of Chicago's team mascots who share the species of animal. After all, little bears are still bears so it's a nod to Cubs & Bears fans. The aggressive face is meant to show the fight we Midwesterners have. This ain't no cuddling bear! We are often seen as blue collar, "salt of the earth" types, but don't test us. We go for ours like any other. Don't believe the "local yocal" jokes you hear on TV! And I'm aware that the teeth kind of have a "fang" look, but it's a charicature… make the creative leap, peeps.

The typeface of "'GO" is a built on the framework of the beautiful Art Deco marquee masterpiece above the famous Chicago Theatre, which is almost the defacto icon for how to display the name of the city of Chicago. It's also a nod to the amaing Deco-Modern architecture of the city.

The flag is the Municipal Flag of the City of Chicago.

The flame represents the great fire of 1871 that leveled over half of the city. But symbolically, fire is destructive and consuming, fire also cleanses; strips away so much leaving the essential parts. Chicago is called the "2nd City" because it was built on top of itself—the ultimate show of that strong Midwestern character; "this land is still good and it's home, do it again!" Hence the phrase at the bottom, "So nice, they built it twice!" and the two dates of establishment.

The whisps/vespers anchoring the bottom are representative of the fierce winds that the city also has a nickname for.

There's one more week left on the pre-sale event over at RDQLUS Goods & Cloth. After that a limited run will make the trip with me to the HOW Design Conference, where I will be a feature speaker. After that, they're gone'dy!