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The Process Tee

two t-shirts, one dark and one light, with a squiggly pattern that is jumbled up on the left but gets straight and smooth on the right

When you start something new, how do you know where you’re going to end up? Most of the time, you don’t — you stumble around for awhile, exploring uncertainly until, slowly, things start to make sense. That messy journey is all part of the process. Designer Damien Newman and I have teamed up with Cotton Bureau to make some t-shirts featuring his Design Squiggle that illustrate this untidy pattern of creativity. The Process Tee is available in two varieties — light design on dark fabric and dark design on light fabric — and 50% of the profits will be donated to a charitable organization (more on that below).

Newman originally came up with the Design Squiggle (aka The Process of Design Squiggle) more than 20 years ago to explain how design worked to some of his clients. Here’s his description:

The Design Squiggle is a simple illustration of the design process. The journey of researching, uncovering insights, generating creative concepts, iteration of prototypes and eventually concluding in one single designed solution. It is intended to convey the feeling of the journey. Beginning on the left with mess and uncertainty and ending on the right in a single point of focus: the design.

Although it originated in the design world, the Squiggle is handy for understanding or describing the process of many different creative endeavors. If you asked a chef, a scientist, a writer, a programmer, or an artist to describe how they got from their starting point to an end result, I think it would look a lot like the Squiggle. So what’s this shirt about? The Process of Design. The Process of Writing. Cooking. Art-making. Science. Learning a New Skill. Creativity. The Messy Process of Becoming a Better Human.

The Process Tee is short-sleeved and available in unisex, fitted, and youth sizes in several light (white, heather white, heather gray, banana, banana cream, pink, gold) and dark colors (black, royal blue, red, green, purple, orange) with sizes ranging from S to 5X, which I hope will work for almost everyone. I ordered a few test shirts to figure out the sizing and placement of the Squiggle and I think they turned out really well: sharp, simple, and even a little enigmatic.

50% of the profits from these tees will be donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds. Access to safe, legal abortion is essential health care and we’re supporting the NNAF in their mission to work towards a world “where all reproductive options, including abortion, are valued and free of coercion”.

Update: I’ve sent two donations to the NNAF so far, for a total of $3,640. Thanks for helping support such a great cause — I will continue to update this post with further donation amounts.

Update: Sent another donation from the past month of sales: $432 for a total of $4,072 donated so far!