05/52: Campfire

There's something special about gathering around a campfire.

Each week for a year, I’m going to be designing a shirt and releasing it on my Threadless store. This is the fifth design of fifty-two.

 

Some of my happiest memories are at one, very specific place: Lutheridge, a camp in Arden, North Carolina.

As a young child, I attended as a camper. I made lifelong friendships as a high school camper. And then, after my freshman year of college, I was beyond excited to be a counselor. 

And promptly blew my knee out.*

My summer ended very quickly. One week to be exact. I had to have reconstructive surgery on my right knee. I was devastated and heartbroken. 

I returned the next summer and this time, made it through the summer unscathed. I had a great summer — a challenging summer — but an amazing time working with kids. But that was my last summer at Lutheridge. The following year, I worked as an orientation leader at the University of South Carolina and then, I graduated and entered the work world.

A couple of years ago, my girls started to attend Lutheridge as campers. And they fell in love with camp, just like I did when I was young. It was fun to see the camp experience through their eyes. To hear them talk and share their experiences. 

This summer, our entire family is headed to camp. My wife had never spent time at any summer camp and our youngest is too young for regular camp, so the three of us are heading to a program for families. The girls are doing their usual camp activities, but we’ll all be there at camp for an entire week. The whole crew is excited and I’m really looking forward to being a “camper” again.

I wanted to design a shirt for camp. Something that captured my love of Lutheridge and my history with the place. When I was young, I remember Lutheridge’s logo was a campfire.** It was emblazoned on more than one shirt I had growing up. So this week’s shirt is a stylized campfire, in honor of the camp that I love.

If you have a memorable camp experience, at Lutheridge or anywhere else, Campfire is the shirt for you. You can get one at my Threadless store. My wife recommends the baseball t-shirt with green sleeves. It’s her favorite.


* It’s a little more complicated than that. I injured my knee during orientation during a game of elbow tag. Then finished off my ACL during the first week of camp with a musical, noncompetitive version of duck-duck-goose… on wet grass.

** The logo is actually still a campfire, but different than the one I remember… 


Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. He's currently in the middle of a project to design a new shirt a week for an entire year. Follow Bob on TwitterInstagram and Micro.Blog.

Honorable Mention

SbB Codebreaker selected as an honorable mention for the Fontstruct Reverse Competition and a Top Pick.

SbB Codebreaker was selected as an honorable mention for the Fontstruct Reverse Competition and also awarded a Top Pick. I really enjoy working in Fontstruct, but what I love about these competitions is that the theme pushes you in new creative directions. Over the years, my competition entries have been different from my normal approach. I’ve had fun, but I’ve only been mentioned in the wrap up blog post one other time — for Dingbots and Monsters XL for the Illustrative Competition. SbB Commodora is one of my favorite Fontstructions and was my entry for the Connected Script Competition. And Infield was my Sports Competition entry.

Thanks to the whole Fontstruct crew and the amazing community. Can't wait for the next competition.


Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. He's currently in the middle of a project to design a new shirt a week for an entire year. Follow Bob on TwitterInstagram and Micro.Blog.

04/52: Instant

The power of a tangible object

Each week for a year, I’m going to be designing a shirt and releasing it on my Threadless store. This is the fourth design of fifty-two.

 

My daughters got Fuji Instax cameras for Christmas. The idea of an instant print was a novelty to them.* We’ve documented their lives with digital cameras. We bought our first DSLR the month our oldest child was born so our kids have always been able to see pictures immediately after they are taken. But an instant print is different and they fell in love with taking pictures, trading shots and labeling them.** Photos have largely become digital things for this younger generation of kids. They didn’t grow up with shoeboxes full of prints and negatives. It was fun to see them interact with photos as physical objects.***

As I looked at the stack of pictures they took, I noticed the familiar white frame of an instant print. There are a wide range of sizes and proportions of instant prints, but almost all of them share a similar, logical structure. A white frame around the top, outside edges and a wide bottom containing a packet of chemicals that develop the image. (The wide bottom also doubles as a place to caption your image.)

I guarantee you that the engineer that created the shape of the print had no idea that he was creating such an iconic shape. He was simply solving a problem. Yet, the iconic shape became so valuable, that when Polaroid declared bankruptcy, the shape, proportions and size of the most famous instant film print size — the Polaroid 600 — was part of the intellectual property that was sold to a holding company for licensing agreements.**** The design of the frame had more perceived value than the business they were in.

This week’s shirt is an instant print frame. Just the frame and nothing in it. For me, the instant print frame serves as a reminder that in today’s digital world, tangible things still have magic.

You can buy “Instant” on my Threadless store. It’s available is virtually every color they offer.


* I pondered the future of the instant print in a smartphone world in a post in 2008. Funny to see me describe how awful the first iPhone camera was. My iPhone 7+ camera is completely amazing.

** They were less enamored with having a limited number of shots and the cost of the film.

*** Now I desperately want an instant camera. Either the new Fujiflim Instax SQ10 or the Leica Sofort, which is a glorified Instax Mini 90, but with Leica style. And I’ve always wanted a Leica.

**** Which is why everyone who uses the instant print shape — including me — avoids using the exact proportions and size of an actual Polaroid print.


Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. He's currently in the middle of a project to design a new shirt a week for an entire year. Follow Bob on TwitterInstagram and Micro.Blog.