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I wanted to create a design that was based on the iconic London tube map. I first thought of the idea when I was waiting for a tube and looking at the map and wanted to use it in some way. I thought there was definitely potential in it for some sort of design.

London tube map basis for dabatag t-shirt design, simple minimalistic

My idea was to take away all the tracks and leave just the stations, then join the stations with lines in a different formation to try and create something a bit more interesting. Below shows this process.

Underground - Blog on the creation of the Dabatag design Underground. A Blog about the design based on the London tube map. T-shirt design hand printed in Norfolk

At this point I knew the design was not good enough and would not look that good on a t-shirt. After playing around with it a lot and trying out different things I wasn't having much luck with the design so I knew I had to go for a more hands on approach to designing it. I decided to wake up at 3.00 in the morning and head down onto the beach with a torch and a backpack full of tape. I always find that designing and being creative is easiest in the night and also find that designing with more of a hands on approach also allows for more creativity rather than just sitting at the computer. For this reason I recreated the design with tape on a sea wall on the beach.

The creation of the Dabatag design - Underground. Designed with black tape on Cromer Sea wall in Norfolk in the middle of the night

I designed it on the wall just by looking at a screen shot of the design on my phone. Here are some shots I took along the way getting to this point.

Underground, Dabatag design, during the process of tape on a wall Cromer beach design at night

Dabatag design created at night on a sea wall, mid process designer 3 am

After creating the design with this more hands on approach I could see more easily where the design was going and then, getting carried away, I just continued the design downwards on the wall, in the same style.

Dabatag design on beach wall in Norfolk with black tape

Dabatag pattern design on wall at beach in Cromer Norfolk. Minimalistic, simple designs

After I had done this and had finished the design I came back when the sun was up and took some photos of the wall. Here are the photos below.

Dabatag design in Cromer in front of beach huts on sea wall.

Dabatag t-shirt design firstly created using tape on a wall in Cromer, Norfolk. Photography

Cromer Sea wall. Tape graffiti on a wall creating a Dabatag t-shirt desing hand printed in Cromer, Norfolk, Uk

And here's the straight on shot.

Dabatag t-shirt tape design on sea wall created by Tom Dale

I then used this photo (above) to create the actual design with pure black lines all the same width and on a white background to then see if the design would look good on a t-shirt (which is the most important thing). The video below shows the process of this as I screen shot every step of the way.

Snippet video for the UNDERGROUND blog from Dabatag on Vimeo.


Dabatag design in the process of creating the underground design

The image above is the image I was picturing in my head for what the final design would actually look like. However, I was just not too sure about it and especially on a t-shirt the design was just not good enough, but I knew there was potential in it.

At this point I copied it into my sketchbook and played around with the design in there.

Dabatag underground sketch design by Tom Dale

In my sketchbook I changed the straight forward design and blocked in different segments making each line a different thickness. This completely changed the design and really made it stand out. At this point I knew the design was done and was as good as I always wanted it to turn out. 

Here's what the design looks like when printed on the t-shirts. I called the t-shirt 'Underground'.

Underground Dabatag t-shirt design hand printed - silkscreen screenprint on high quality 100% cotton t shirt part of the black series and a 2016 design

I was very happy with the final design on the t-shirt and at the moment it is definitely one of my favourite t-shirts in the Dabatag store. To get your t-shirt, click here 'Underground'.

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