Graphic Design · Illustration · T-Shirt Design · Copywriting ·
Lindy Harvest is a yearly swing dance event run by Sugar Swing. It gathers instructors, musicians, and dancers from all over the world to celebrate vernacular jazz. I’ve given Lindy Harvest it’s own slot in my portfolio because this event requires a lot of design work, and it’s brought out a lot of unique pieces.
Lindy Harvest has a rustic, Albertan theme. The most recent design featured a Scandinavian-style illustration with an Alberta twist. It started out in my sketchbook and was coloured digitally. The design was translated into various marketing collateral including postcards, a poster, and social media graphics. My favourite piece, however, was the t-shirt. I went with a long-sleeve, flow/slouchy style that complemented the cascading patterns in the illustration. I think my audience like it too, because these ones sold out right away!
In the dance scene, event t-shirts are a very tough sell. Dancers accumulate t-shirts at an alarming rate, and it takes a lot for them to buy one after regular event costs. So I have my work cut out for me when it comes to event t-shirts! With every t-shirt I produce, my goal is to make it unique and stylish enough so that people hopefully want to wear it day-to-day, not just to celebrate the event.
The Lindy Harvest prior to this year also featured some fun illustration work. It started when I drew a picture for a dancer friend and mailed it to his home in Sweden as a postcard. This picture was of a stylized rabbit that doubled as prairie landscape — a very Albertan subject he might find interesting:
I later decided to use this illustration to help promote that year’s Lindy Harvest. To my delight, I discovered my dance friend was hired to teach at this dance camp — and found it pretty funny that he’d arrive and see his rabbit everywhere!
And the rabbit popped up quite a lot, landing on web banners, posters, postcards etc. But once again, my favourite iteration of all was the event t-shirt.
The shirt featured prairie rabbit, but in a wrap-around design. The front half of the rabbit was on the front of the shirt, and the back half on the back. Initially I wasn’t sure how doable this was print-wise, but my printer did an excellent job making the vision happen. For the garment itself I picked a soft tri-blend material with a modern cut. The shirts were available in heather red and grey. I’d say the project was a success because we managed to mostly sell out!