Published: October 19, 2019
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By: Bryce Lofchie, Columbia College Chicago
Category: Graphic Design
Hashtags: #24th #Apparel #appareldesign #ApparelGraphics #Design #GraphicDesign #Merchandise #merchandisedesign #Photoshop
Lil Peep’s team held a contest allowing fans to submit designs to be included in a new official Lil Peep merchandise line. My design was selected out of 2,500+ submissions and was loved so much by the team that it changed the trajectory of the entire contest. Instead of their original plan of selecting multiple designs to produce an entire collection, Peep’s team decided to run with my design alone and partner with Hot Topic to release my shirt as a Hot Topic Exclusive, available on their website and 650+ retail locations.
In just 6 months since its release, my shirt has become Hot Topic’s #24th best-selling band tee out of 982 others, and the 76th best-selling shirt out of their entire 25,367 online shirt collection (as of June 2019). Additionally, the shirt has been acknowledged in The New York Times & New York Magazine's "The Cut" as well.
FULL CASE STUDY:
Lil Peep, one of my favorite artists of all time, passed away November 15, 2017. Devastated, and having always had the dream of working with him one day, I decided to design a tribute in memory of Peep. I incorporated a dark, rough background with vibrantly blooming flowers to show that there is beauty amidst darkness, a central theme in Peep’s artistry. My choice of color scheme was influenced by Peep’s half-pink, half-black hair, which further emphasized this contrast between between beautiful and dark
Before passing, Peep told his team that he had wanted to release a merchandise line that consisted solely of designs created by his fans. In August of 2018, his team followed through with Peep’s wishes, announcing that they would be holding a design contest for a fan-submitted merchandise line titled “NO SMOK!NG”. To this day, my tribute artwork is still one of my favorite things I’ve ever designed, and so I knew I had to incorporate it into my submission. In addition, I had already received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback on it, had it featured on HYPEBEAST, and even had people asking me to make it into merchandise long before the contest was even announced, and so I made it into a shirt and submitted it.
After reviewing the submissions, the NO SMOK!NG team contacted me saying that my design was their favorite out of the 2,500+ they received. After some minor adjustments, my design was ready to be added to the collection… Or so I thought. While this was originally intended to just be just once piece of the NO SMOK!NG line, Peep’s team shifted gears completely, and focused solely on my design instead, partnering with Hot Topic to release my shirt as a Hot Topic Exclusive which has unfolded to be a hit.
This project was a dream come true, not just for me, but for so many people. This was about giving fans across the country accessibility to merchandise that they had been longing for, and as a gesture to Peep. His mother and team believe Peep would have loved to see his merchandise next to his heroes like My Chemical Romance, or Blink 182, in Hot Topic where he used to love to shop.