The Leonardo DiCaprio foundation was established in 1998 with the intention of protecting the world’s last wild places. They approached Superfried to design a series of promotional t-shirts to raise awareness for key causes. As someone who studied Environmental Chemistry at Uni, this was a dream brief.
The first tee was required to raise awareness of the current concerns for global water bodies and to be launched for a two week flash sale on World Oceans Day. Initial ideas focused on styles inspired by Japanese wood cuts contained within a narrow pane for distinction. This was felt to be too generic, so the focus was brought back to the actual fauna.
The client had supplied ocean based imagery, one of which was a rotating shoal of fish. I was immediately drawn to the calming, organic yet geometric, circular shape being formed. To ensure that the focus remained on the oceans as a whole rather than the plight of an individual species the fish that formed the basis of the illustration was deliberately generic. A quick mock-up based on duplication of one fish sketch was approved, but now it had to feel more organic.
Each fish in turn was tweaked an adapted to ensure it was unique in some way as would be the case in the wild. This immediately transformed the feel of the illustration despite the minimal, silhouette style employed. The final piece was signed-off and sent to Represent for production for the flash sale.
Tee worn by Leonardo DiCaprio, Enric Sala – National Geographic, and scientists at Global Fishing Watch – photo by Oceana/ Patrick Mustain.