Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to Photoshop

Recently some designer aquaintances and I were discussing popular cultural trends and in a way making fun of them.  In particular we mentioned how certain design elements are hugely popular for a while and then other elements come along to replace them.  Certain things like cupcakes, chandeliers, certain font styles, patterns (damask) owls, polkadots, color schemes and the Honey Badger. 

Yep, the Honey Badger.  You may have never heard of a honey badger but many have.  For reasons that only pyschologists with 100 years of training in the human psyche can explain, a youtube video of a honey badger went viral this past spring and designers jumped on the bandwagon and began designing honey badger t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads and every other kind of merchandise you can shake a stick at.  Why?? Well, because the way our culture works, once something goes "viral" online it becomes popular offline and our society wanted a piece of the action by wearing or using something with a popular item on it.  In this case it's the Honey Badger.

After our brief discussion on this subject and purely as a joke, I decided to create my own version of the popular Honey Badger shirt.  See, there are basically 3 groups in society.  The first one is the group that jumps all over everything popular, everything trendy, and gobbles it up like candy.  The second is the group that hates this stuff and finds it highly annoying.  The third is the group that tends to wonder if they've been living in a cave because they've never heard of such things like a Honey Badger, can't figure out why he's such a popular little creature and doesn't have a clue at all why their friends are either loving or hating the latest trend.  Sometimes I think I live in the third group, sometimes I find myself in the second group and I must confess, once in a while I am in the first group and if something popular is just WAY too cool, I can see why folks enjoy it.  I created this Anti-Honey Badger t-shirt design mostly for those in groups two and three.

The funniest thing about this new design is, 1.) it immediately won a Today's Best Award from the brilliant folks at zazzle (they hand those out to designs they believe will be good sellers) and it immediately jumped to the very first page of Honey Badger t-shirts on zazzle.  Both funny and completely unexpected, I think instead of creating pop culture designs (which I don't do much of anyway)  I'll stick with creating anti-pop culture designs for those of us that tend to find them either annoying, or can't figure out why in the world they're so popular in the first place.

Have a fantastically wonderful day!
Carla - Resident Mad Designer
Graphic design by Carla Rolfe