team dong t-shirt designEvery year we need a new t-shirt design for our team to compete in the Great L.A. Scavenger Hunt. We came in 7th this year but we’ll return next year with a vengeance. This year’s shirt was an illustration of Gedde Watanabe in his controversial role as Long Duk Dong in John Hughes’ classic Sixteen Candles.

It’s a Little Cheeky

For our previous entry we had used Grace from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the shirts were very popular and fun. We were teenagers in the 80s and this was an iconic film for us. I had designed the shirts in the “Hope” style made popular by Shepard Fairey for the 2008 Obama campaign. For this year’s run we wanted something similar but didn’t want to use the same image. After some discussion we came up with Long Duk Dong because we could use “Dong” and rock the double entendre.

We chose the scene where Long is hanging over the bunk bed in his pajamas and delivers the iconic line, “What’s happening hot stuff?” I thought this was nice because the upside-down figure created a different feel for the “Hope” styled shirt.

Method to the Madness

We had a late start on getting the team design chosen, but once we knew the subject matter I dove right in. To create the illustration, I layered four drawings created from simplified sections of the still image we chose as a basis. On each of the drawings I had a registration mark so when I scanned them in, I could layer them together and apply the appropriate fill color. Adobe Illustrator makes the process a snap.

We reproduced them as a full-color print with Ooshirts who do a quick, professional turnaround. We got a great reaction for the shirts and had a lot of fun at the race. I’m already thinking about what we could do next year.