The MTV tshirt line that wasn’t

MTV shirt design by James White

MTV shirt design by James White

MTV shirt design by James White

MTV tshirt by James White

MTV shirt design by James White

MTV shirt design by James White

MTV shirt design by James White

MTV shirt design by James White

MTV shirt design by James White

MTV shirt design by James White

MTV shirt design by James White

Much to my surprise at the time, around 5 years ago I was contacted by MTV and asked to develop a line of cool tshirts that played on design motifs from the 60s through to the 90s. A number of shirts representing each decade. Obviously I was wildly excited and dove into developing some visuals, seen above. Everything you see here is still in the conceptual phase, nowhere near complete. Never showed these before.

The project ended up skidding to a halt and ultimately cancelled, which was unfortunate as I was having a great time exploring these styles. One of those cool jobs that got away, y’know? I look back fondly on this work as it was one of my first big Signalnoise client jobs and really forced me to into a number of different styles all at once. Very challenging. But it’s kinda bittersweet. I wish I’d gotten this call NOW as I know I could handle the work much easier, and develop designs and concepts that I wasn’t capable of 5 years ago.

Maybe MTV and I will give this another shot someday. Who knows?

9 Comments

  1. Things always happen for a reason. The spark this request ignited wasn’t to stop there. You’ve developed a couple of these for other people and look where it got you. Dude, you’re famous!

  2. Yo, MTV, call James back, maybe?

  3. Obviously stellar work and a great story James.

  4. hopefully you still got paid – as they say, “you cancelled the project? F you pay me!”

  5. James (Author)

    Rasheed, I didn’t develop any of these for other people. You might have seen a few elements used in my own work, but not for another client.

    Miguel, yes I got paid for the work I completed.

  6. Wow, it’s a shame these never became actual merchandise, because these are awesome. But everything happens for a reason.

  7. Remember, how you showed a sketch of the second picture in one of your broadcasts. I was always thinking, how come James never showed us the final piece of this one. :) Love it so much.

  8. True, my bad. The sentiment remains, because of this situation you explored yourself and your style and grew as a result :)

  9. Oh my god! These are hawt! I especially like the discoball with and without rollerskates. I’d wear/buy any on of these today!
    I do wonder if the vector shirts were off-putting. Sometimes just rouging them out in photoshop on a real blank shirt/model seals the deal. Such strong work though (as always).

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