I made a draft of this post the day I submitted my “Vintage Hand Drawn DOOP” design to the Philadelphia Union for their contest. I said to myself that I would post it only if I won the contest. I am happy that I am able to share this with you. There are more sketches that I chose to leave out of this post because I wanted to condense this post into a three step phase. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you all go out and buy the finished product once the Union put it up for sale. Exciting stuff all around.
The sketch process is the most fun, but also the most arduous time in the design process. There is something liberating about throwing everything on the page and seeing what sticks, but what begins to happen is that if you fall in love with more than one design moving forward in the process becomes more difficult. Fortunately, as soon as I sketched out the vintage poster (sketch in the top right corner) I knew that was it. I hurriedly flipped the page and began drawing.
The ink process is very different from drawing. Once you put that sharpie to the page the impression is permanent and every misplaced stroke adversely affects the outcome. The beauty of this piece is that I was going for a vintage, worn in look so the more “misplaced” strokes in this case, the better.
The idea behind the design is this: The Union, although a new organization, is rooted in a city that has a lot of culture, character and history. That culture and character is evident in the way the Union do things and within one year they have done a fantastic job of creating an identity for the team and the fans. I wanted to capture every element that helped create this identity while simultaneously creating a unified whole. The Sons of Ben, the Commodore-Barry Bridge behind PPL Park, the “DOOP” song, the Delaware River are all parts of that identity.
The oar and scythe in the design is representative of the Sons of Ben, the bridge and the Delaware River make a cameo and the Os in “DOOP” (a requirement for the design) are rendered in the vein of classic logos like Gucci’s interlocking G’s as well as the Chanel logo:
I employed this technique to root the design in a classic and timeless aesthetic. The phrase, “The Original DOOP Squad” really appealed to me. It sounded classic even though the Union is a new organization. Ultimately, my goal was to create something that had the potential to mean a bit more to the fans and the organization than just being a contest-winning design. I want people to be able to look back at this time at some point in the distant future and point to this design as a visual representation of what the Philadelphia Union is all about. If you think I am taking this a bit too seriously, I am, and that is because I have seen the power that design has to define a time, a people, and a culture. I took this opportunity as my chance to identify- in one motion- the culture of a city I have grown to love and a football club that is poised to really make history. And from the reactions from folks on twitter- both old and young- it seems that they feel the same way as well. Thank you all for voting and hope you grab one when they are released!
The final Product: