When we embarked on this long, strange trip, we decided that the old-school process of creating our designs with pen and ink on Bristol board would give us the artistic look we wanted. Our concepts come from the deep recesses of our 3 Curse team’s minds. Sometimes they are sparked by a poem, a story or philosophy; other times, they are triggered by incidents or images in the world. We never really know where a creative impulse will have its origins; however, that is part of the fun of bringing something new into existence.
When our founders, Julian and Cormac, came up with the idea for 3 Curse, they wanted to harness the curiosities of their minds and translate them into T-shirt designs that would inspire our fans to, as our tag line states, “Be Curious.” And a bit of serendipity occurred when some of our first customers came back to us and told us that random people would come up to them and inquire about their T-shirts, saying things like, “Wow, love that shirt,” or “What does that mean?”
Our graphic T-shirt designs are simple and distinctive, but a lot of work goes into making them. At the drawing board, a visual representation of the idea behind a design begins with a preliminary sketch done in non-photographic blue pencil.
￼After our 3 Curse team approves the sketch, the painstaking, final design is begun. The entire sketch is then done in pen and ink on Bristol board, a durable paperboard named for the city in England where it was first used. Back in the day, when graphic artistry was done by hand, these were the typical tools of the trade. After a design is complete, it looks like this. ￼
Of course, there is very little room for error when everything is done by hand, but that is the charm of doing old-school designs: imperfection is beautiful and interesting. We use the same process for any lettering on our designs, as well.
When the pen-and-ink drawings are finished, we take a trip back to the 21st Century and use a scanner to beam our designs to our screen printer deep in the Catskills of Upstate New York. That, however, is a story for another time.