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April 2010

“After burying our collective heads in Design is Love code and logistics for months, we took a break and designed a shirt. That’s all the inspiration we needed to get back at it.”

That’s a direct quote from someone at co:lab, the design team that spawned Design is Love and that has the tendency of constructing personal statements using the plural pronoun, “we”.

“This website is a testament to the idea that if you do what you love, you'll find a way to share your happiness with others. To mark the start of this site, we wanted to release a commemorative shirt that captures the excitement we’re feeling,” says Troy Monroe, co:lab designer and founder of Design is Love.

Design is Love wants to inspire everyone to explore creativity, share opinions and most of all “be your self”. Designer, illustrator, architect, financial planner, marketing manager, street musician—these are just labels temporarily attributed to an ever-evolving individual. Both co:lab and Design is Love share the perspective that “You are simply and expressively—you.”

Here’s how Rich Hollant from co:lab puts it: “At some point in our lives we all kicked around the statement: When I grow up I wanna be ______. Careers can be transient. But no matter your place or position ‘when I grow up I wanna be me’ is a relevant insight.”

With a theme-line fully resolved, the designers got down to the business of visually crafting the statement. “We wanted it to be whimsical but also have an element of nostalgia. Summoning the spirit of colorforms® seemed a logical place to start. We’re attracted to timeless references, and old-school architectural blocks fit the bill just fine as a cue for constructing one's own expectations of life. Based on basic shapes reminiscent of this classic toy, we created the typographic illustration,” recalls Constanza Gowen-Segovia as she flips through her sketchbook.

“Refining the color-blocking took a lot of time,” Brian Grabell mentioned. “Adding kids sizes drove the concept home.” Everyone agrees.

To help support the Design Fund and celebrate the pursuit of self-confidence, we hope you'll pick up a shirt and share the message. Shop the shop.