Go Simple and Original for Grupo Fantasma’s T-shirt Design
April 29th is the deadline for the Grupo Fantasma T-shirt contest. To give designers some last-minute inspiration, the Grammy Award winning Latin/Funk orchestra from Austin, Texas spoke with Creative Allies about their history and what they’re looking for in a winning design.
Creative Allies: How did Grupo Fantasma originate? How did members know each other before playing together?
Grupo Fantasma: The band was started in 2000 in Austin, TX. It was the merger of two bands known as the Blimp and the Blue Noise Band. Members of the Blimp, who were all from Laredo, TX, had been playing together since the early 90′s. The Blue Noise Band featured one member who also hailed from Laredo. The two groups had mutual friends and began playing shows together in the late 90′s throughout Austin, eventually joining forces as Grupo Fantasma.
CA: How does Austin affect the flavor of Grupo Fantasma’s music?
GF: Austin mirrors Grupo Fantasma in the sense that both are very multi-cultural, laid back yet adventurous, and both are constantly growing and evolving. The lifestyle and cost of living in Austin were instrumental in allowing the band to prosper in its early years. We always say that Austin is the only place in Texas and arguably the world that this band could’ve come together.
CA: Any thoughts on the T-shirt designs you’ve seen submitted to Creative Allies so far?
GF: Some have caught my eye and others have stung my eye. There is potential there.
CA: What will the winning t-shirt be used for?
GF: It will be incorporated into our line-up of merchandise for the upcoming summer tour.
CA: The contest specifies to stay away from cliché imagery like Day of the Dead and Mexican wrestlers. Can you elaborate on this?
GF: We definitely want to avoid the typical stuff, not only because it’s played out, but because over 11 years we’ve most likely used it once already. Skeletons, Mexican wrestlers, paletas, cactus, and Mexican flag-related imagery — we’ve used it all at some point.
CA: What kind of “look” or aesthetic are you going for in the t-shirt design? Do you have any visual references to inspire designers?
GF: What stands out from looking at other bands’ designs over the years is simplicity of design. Something that stands out and can become associated with the band, almost like a logo. I think that’s the most lasting type of image. I definitely don’t want to limit anyone to that description. Obviously the reason we went the submission route was to see something fresh and new. So just be creative, stay away from the typical and be open to something different and unexpected. We are taking the same approach and hoping to see something we would have never expected that just works.
From the whole band, we appreciate all the work and all those who take the time to submit. Thank you for your support.
Things to remember for this contest:
- Include the words, “Grupo Fantasma”. The band’s name doesn’t necessarily have to be the focal point of the design
- Don’t use more than three colors
- Stay away from stereotypical concepts (Mexican Wrestlers, Day of the Dead, etc.)
- Don’t use stock photography or images of the band