11 April 2014


101010 first mockup

The Answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42 (101010 in binary)

This design, a quote from Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", has a concept based on the duality of complex questions and simple answers. The number "42" is made up of pattern of "101010" (which is 42 in binary) while "THE ANSWER" of a pattern of the words "life""universe" and "everything". Thus, the idea I wanted to convey is that complex questions can be hidden inside very simple answers. Even the apparently plain and obvious football-like style has been chosen to strengthen this concept: simple and common things can have complex meaning inside, and vice-versa.

Initially I had the entire "the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything" phrase on the design, but I felt it was too cumbersome. I tried to rearrange the words, rotate them, writing them in vertical but still it was too "heavy", too complicated. Then I came up with the idea of the pattern. First I tried only with the "42" but it was too simplistic, then I added "THE ANSWER" above... and I knew that was the perfect solution. It was familiar but not trivial. From there on, it was just a matter of choosing the right colors, dimensions and shape. The "101010" for example had to look like computer code, but at the same time the various rows had to look good and not too boring or repetitive, so I created a pattern which consisted of 7 differently-aligned rows, separating the 101010s with a dash. The same with "life", "universe" and "everything". The big characters are black, but the small ones make them seem blue overall, a nice "familiar" color with which I wanted to convey a sort of confident consciousness and security. Blue is also the color of depth and intellect, so I felt that was the right choice.

This is my second t-shirt design, which was selected on Qwertee on March 25th 2014 and received enough attention during the first two-and-a-half weeks (and a PossibiliTEE votation on Facebook) to be chosen for print. It has gone on sale on Qwertee on April 15th 2014. That one above was the original mockup that I submitted, while this was the final look:

After that, it went on sale on Limiteed on May 21st 2014.

Limiteed promo banner

What I like in this design is that its concept is hidden inside the apparently plain football-style look. Deeper meaning can be hidden in everyday things.