Life Of A Punctuation Mark.


Life Of A Punctuation Mark. by FRICKINAWESOME on Threadless
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reags profile pic Alumni

a cool grammatical journey, and for once the use of gradient is actually ideal!

ben chen
ben chen profile pic Alumni


soloyo profile pic Alumni



I am still on !!! era...:)




Wow. I really love this. Simple, but with a powerful message!

RedRafael profile pic Alumni

Great typography for a great idea! Well done guys.

dschwen profile pic Alumni


FRICKINAWESOME profile pic Artist

Thanks peoples, this really is one of the most personal pieces I've collabed on.

As for the people who don't get what the punctuation marks mean or don't understand all of them, that's perfectly fine- make your own meaning up to what you think they stand for. I have my reasons for picking each mark, it's like a three page long conceptual write-out actually that I have purposely resisted showing for this because I kinda want the piece to speak for itself. Maybe a little bit down the line if anyone's interested, I'll put a link for what each piece of punctuation means to me in terms of the concept and symmetry of aging/life's mysteries.

celandinestern profile pic Alumni

coolness, though honestly I don't get at least half of them. I'd love to see the thought process behind it though, and I love the finished product, mysterious though it remains :)




wow, really interesting and thought provoking! 5

brainrust profile pic Alumni

Clever and engaging work! Simple but definitely not simplistic.

Tikimasters profile pic Alumni

Great idea!


Hmm, interesting. How very very interesting. What a great concept! Very creative :]

staffell profile pic Alumni

I had to think about this, and then saw its meaning.

Not my thing, but I think it's really great. Well done. 5

staffell profile pic Alumni

Should have used a # symbol at 50 years though

FRICKINAWESOME profile pic Artist

Thanks again everyone, much appreciated!

thegoodpope, you got it buddy! I'll try to let you know if I put it up...

FRICKINAWESOME profile pic Artist

My lowest score of the year for my most personal and one of my favorite concepts I ever had....awesome! lol.


the question mark at 75 makes me sad was that the intention? that at 75 you are just filled with questions?

i have to admit i don't understand what's going on here. i can make up something that could potentially fit the illo, in terms of meaning, but then i'm still left wondering if it's correct. usually i don't care. but with designs that are this ambiguous it makes me want to know what exactly is going on here. /2ยข

FRICKINAWESOME profile pic Artist

So...I originally wanted this design to make an internal logical sense to myself and hopefully communicate that feeling of where life begins, where our bodies and minds go throughout the journey and then on to another level of "existence" after we are gone from this one.

Shirt, i hear you with wanting to know what's going on here which was tried the best by myself and Roni to convey the meaning of each symbol, but I really wanted this to be a simple typographical design hinting at a lot more if you looked into it and added your own life periods and attitudes as well.

This was my original typed treatment of the idea I sent to Roni and what we worked off of together:

( ) parenthesis: one space in between. Represents where we come from before birth, the energy we are before we are a person. Also represents purity and a mother's womb with its smooth curves.

. period: newborn child, still round, sweet, simple.

; semi colon: child to teenager. Mostly a visual cue of the period growing into something bigger, growing up higher. Also denotes not being fully assure of oneself yet, hence a semi colon. Also semi colon will start at the same height as the period, not underneath, to show the growth spurt.

! exclamation point: the twenties through thirties. The big time in life, the time when you are at your peak and living life to its fullest! Also starts a new visual of period being under the mark as opposed to above it.

$ dollar sign: the only thing that isn't officially "punctuation" but I'm okay with that, lol. The main time in ones life, forties to sixties, where the primary focus of life is providing money for various things, family, home, car, college for kids,planning for retirement, etc. Also is the most complex time or dealing with the most issues, hence the twisted nature of the symbol. This would be the halfway point of the design, with three symbols to the left of it and three to the right, bookmarked by the parenthesis and brackets. I was trying for some symmetry in whichever way you looked at this.

/ slash/division mark: this is retirement to eighties, a time when things are slashed from your life or divided amongst many things, when your health starts failing and things you easily could do all your life you can't do as well or at all any more. Also denote the visual of the slash, which is off balanced, almost falling over and heading downward.

? question mark: the eighties up until close to dying. The question mark is like the exclamation mark, but with a hunched over back. It shows old age taking hold of you, as well as questioning life, what it is, what happened over your life and where you are going next.

~ accent mark: the time right before death to dying. The accent is small, a bit like a withered version of the line that makes up the exclamation and slash mark, as well as being off the ground. This is the only punctuation mark that won't start from the same height, it will be up much higher, showing that the mark is about to leave this earthly realm to its next stage of life/death. It will also reverse the period at the beginning of the design as the period was the mark at its closest to the ground/smallest at birth, and now the accent is up in the air/closest to death.

{ } fancy brackets: These will parallel the curved parenthesis at the beginning, but show that the energy you came from is something you go back to, although you have now changed it with your lifetime's worth of experience in some ways.

The marks will have some weight to them, and gradually go from full black to white on the inside with black outlines. The shift will be gradual and halfway through the dollar sign start turning to gray, and be white by the accent mark.

Also, I was thinking a formal kind of type would be best, nothing too fancy, something everyone recognizes but has some nice personality to the marks as well.

Hope that explains some of this design a bit more!


I thin k it would have gotten a higher score if more people actually thought about it before they scored it. That explanation there really helped understanding the design, I think it's really interesting and valuable.. You must have thought a lot about this.

Also, lol at 'fancy brackets' :')

ArTrOcItY profile pic Alumni

I hate how people think that something with deeper meaning like this is not wearable! If they just stopped and thought about it for a minute they would realize there is so much more to it than just a simple punctuation marks!


very nice FA

i seriously think if you would have added that explanation with the submission it would have scored higher

reags profile pic Alumni

what the hell as if this didn't score higher! but agreed your explanation would've been awesome right at the top. Oh wells still a great piece nevertheless

FRICKINAWESOME profile pic Artist

Aw shit.

I wanted to shut the fuck up for once and let the images tell the story, and not just throw all that text up there and be so specific about the design from my viewpoint, letting people imagine their own meanings to the pieces but keeping it in a contained realm of parameters.

I think people would have complained about "wow, that's a bit too much to know if I want to explain this shirt or understand it, it should be able to stand on its own", so I guess it was a lose-lose situation either way, haha.

But thanks people, i REALLY appreciate you coming back and telling me what you think of the thought process....maybe I'll find a way to make the design a bit more visually appealing and re-sub it with the meaning....but probably not.

It was a fun process to do with Roni and he did an amazing job visually translating this idea (and pushing me to think harder about translating the concept better with the "yrs" underneath the punctuation), but I must admit I had honestly hoped this would get a better reception, although I'm totally proud of it.

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