spontaneous design

For a long time I struggled to generate good designs and then I started not trying to do it from scratch.

This is the story I tell everyone:
You need fan wear for volleyball and can draw.  You say “I am locking myself in my bedroom and will not emerge again until I have come up with the ultimate fan wear design.”  Ten hours later you emerge with a balanced well colored image that is ready for print.  Awesome!!
I would say that you spent well over 8 hours too long and more likely 9.  I could also likely Google a couple of the assets into Google images and find something very similar to what you spent ten hours on.

Most great fan wear designs are already done and new ones are just variants of existing designs.  Starting with a blank sheet of paper is so unnecessary.


Here are my rules and processes.


  1. Don’t be original.  Remember; you are trying to make something that everyone will want to wear, that people will trade their hard earned money for and you want to fill the stands with your team colors.
  2. Find a design that already exists and modify it.  Use google images and punch in something like “volleyball design” and select one.
  3. If you are doing something like volleyball you can also look at soccer, or basketball and just swap the text and the ball.  The nice thing about sports designs is that they can be reused for other sports entirely.
  4. After you have selected the design “template” you can do one of a couple things.  Design it yourself or have someone else put it together.  It is easier than ever to do this work yourself.  We have a design studio with thousands of templates ready to go; and remember you can use a soccer template for basketball and nobody will know if you swap the balls and change the text.
  5. If you struggle with the designer you may need help.  We have been doing this for years.  All that we ask is that you have a design that you already like, that you know what text you want changed and what colors you want things to look like.  Asking us to “do something” cool and handing us a blank sheet of paper just isn’t going to happen.