When it comes to making video game merchandise, we wanted to be sure the right amount of thought and love was put into each design. That people could buy them knowing they've not only been designed as a celebration of the game and the community but that each shirt sold would go directly back into supporting the game. Let's go over how we did it!
Some of you may know, we recently teamed up with RobaRoba - a new merchandise store dedicated to video games. I'm sure many of you have bought merch of your favorite game before, but most of those designs tend to come from stores that aren't purely focused on video games. RobaRoba is the first and (currently) only merch store that has developers and gamers at its core focus, so teaming up with them was natural for us and it's been a pleasure!
When it comes to designing merch, we've always approached it with two core things in mind :
Can we make merch that everyone will enjoy, regardless of their knowledge (or lack of) of the game?
How can we make our merch a creative extension to our games world?
To begin the process, we first looked into what people playing Misc's demo enjoyed the most. It's no secret a big portion of people playing Misc love meeting and petting the dog, so much so that we even got featured on the infamous @CanYouPetTheDog Twitter account. We wanted to find a suitable way to celebrate this moment and share it with the world. We began designing a rough concept based on Buddy petting the dog.
This shirt had to feel cozy, so we looked for similar shirts we'd buy ourselves with a cozy feel. A lot of them had warm but muted colors. Cream ended up being the most common color, with it feeling very much like a warm hug from home! Something you could wear while you're cozied up by the fireplace.
We took some screenshots of the pose from the game and our 2D Artist Chris began drawing our shirt design.
We couldn’t be happier with the final design! It conveyed the scene from the game so well.
The Can-Do logo has always been inspired by old Japanese canned food logos, so it felt natural to go in a similar direction when coming up with something for its shirt design. We looked at a lot of designs that mostly used two bold colors. These simplistic, flat designs had something special about them that really pop! So we tried to replicate that same feeling ourselves.
We chose a bold blue and red combo to highlight different parts of the logo. Initially, the design had a faded effect for the spiraling lines coming out from “Can-Do!” but we had to simplify them to solid lines due to it being difficult to print. These little moments of learning what we can and can’t do for a print were super helpful. It ended up being a much better look with solid lines.
The last design came about when looking at other merch I own. One shirt had a pretty standard 'sketchy' style but used a colorful gradient to give it a sort of shimmery look (without there being any special printing technique). I tried this on an old concept image of Buddy and it worked very well. It's popular to see many shirts having Japanese characters written on them. We see English every day, so I think breaking up the language a bit and playing with how lines are shown in a design with different languages can give a really interesting and beautiful effect.
It's been a really fun process coming up with these three designs, and of course, we have more to look forward to in the future. Working with the wonderful team at RobaRoba has made all of this possible, so thank you again to them and their hard workers printing, sorting, and bringing these designs to reality as something we can all wear and enjoy!
You can grab these shirts now on RobaRoba's website.
You'll receive a letter written by our team along with every order! If you pick one up be sure to let us know. We'd love to see you rock your shirt.