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“Best Gift Ever” X’mas Collaborative Project—Design Process

“Best Gift Ever” is our biggest project yet, where we collaborated with 100 of you to come up with a design for our winter/Christmas items. The span of the design process took more than 2 weeks, from accepting entries to compiling and polishing the design to the way it looks for the final products. Stoked to show you what went down on our end! (Pre-order period: 12/10 8PM PST to 12/13 11:59PM PST here)

 On 11/26, we announced this project:

We asked you guys to contribute one thing that you want to the most for X’mas.

Thank you guys for participating and trusting us, even when our “mockups” didn’t look really look promising.

Due to our limited capability to pump out the design, we had to contraint the entries to 100 only. To our surprise, the items flooded in like teen girls at a Justin Bieber concert. We cap was filled within 24 hours of our announcement:

Members of the IZ team speedily organized all the items into various categories for easier execution.

Here’s a glance of almost everything. Each of the item’s illustrated by hand from scratch. 12 hours worth of illustration. Oh yeah.

And a closer look at the individual items: Automotive related.

Food and places. (One on bottom right’s the secret gettaway island.)

Items and accessories:


Electronics, of course.



People and symbols:

Toys and jewelries:

Also, due to the little space that we have on the shirt, there are items implemented on the workshop staff:

Now, to compile all the items into a single graphic can be tricky. The idea that we came up with is “workshop,” where a group of Imaginary Zebra’s helpers would sort and examine the items as they travel on a conveyor belt across the workshop.

Really rough draft. It took me 40 minutes to go through all the items and strategically composing them into the final design.

The main structure for this shirt is based solely on the conveyor belt, so that’s first on the to-do-list.

Then, spacing out the items and helpers:

Wrap the design up with the “workshop banner” on the bottom right, as well as the entrance and exit.

Once completed the layout, shadow and details are added to polish the design.

..and finally, a thick outline over the entire graphic to make the design more compact.

As for the back, we’re including all the names of the collaborators. Just listing out the name’s too boring and feel too much like a high school senior shirt. So we came up with a “nice list” and illustration idea for design:

Yet another rough draft, this one took me 2 minutes. ha.

The final design:

Up close and personal for both the front and back design:

Thank you for contributing!

Lastly, placement on the shirts: It would be placed on white tees AND crew neck sweaters.

There’ll also be two options to choose from:

One with the simplistic approach, and one with all the names of the collaborators.

Same goes to the sweaters:

Happy holidays. I don’t think a project like this has been accomplished by any brands (that I know of) in the past. We’re making history here! We’re probably not gana make a dent in the universe, but we’ll definitely have a personal and kickass shirt for this winter! Thanks again to all the fellow zeebs, collaborators and supporters out there that makes this project possible.

Pre-order period: 12/10 8PM PST to 12/13 11:59PM PST here

 ’til next project -Benson


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