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Dont know how to improve my design further

Hello threadless community. I've worked on this design multiple times and turned it in each time being turned down. I dont really know how to improve this design any further since threadless is so general and doesnt really give feedback. Any tips, tricks, or help of any kind would be greatly appreciated thank you :)

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lxromero profile pic Staff

it's very type heavy, and bad typography at that. I think you should consider hand-drawing your letters, even if it is just tracing, it looks better in general.

I don't think the wording is really helping either, it's hard to understand what exactly is going on in the image. What's the idea behind it all?

another minor nitpick I have here is that there's a dragon casting a shadow but the character himself isn't casting any shadows

Wharton profile pic Alumni

Mr Romero is correct (although not very often). This is a bit of a mess really. The main character is 'floating' in a white space with nothing to ground him. The type is in multiple typefaces with lots of weird gradients and colours going on and some of it has been scaled to fit inside the speech bubble which now makes it look squashed.

Fundamentally you need to also think about the idea and whether its worth beginning in the first place. I think there are better ways of visualising your idea than literally showing +1 signs and walking the observer through the idea.


Ooof, this is really bad. But you're young (I think) - you can do other things with your life.

But seriously, okay, get a pencil to take notes. Look at things that have printed, does this stack up in terms of quality? Even the simpler designs have a cohesive, likable appeal to them. Your design kinda looks like a panel for a (bad) webcomic. This is to be on a shirt, would you buy said shirt with this design on it? Your joke has to be told, and it's in very small text. So right there, visually, this is not a strong design; your idea doesn't work without the text. Without the text, it's a poorly drawn dude with a dragon shadow. What does that mean?

I can see this being funny, like, you're hangin' with your nerdy D&D frands or whatever, they're nerds, and one gets in a fight with a stray dog, and you're all like, "Dude, you need level up!" Har, har, har - see that works, for that scenario. So from here, you can go different ways.

Your shirt is too literal; it's not clever, so there's no humor. So I would focus on making a typographic design with just that sentence or the like, which is not easy. Or you can make a strong image conveying leveling up or the need to level up - that's the trickiest part! - Conceptualizing is probably the hardest thing to do. I'd give you a bunch of ideas, but then I would be doing your job for you.

You need to start over. You can redraw your idea really well, but that won't matter if your concept is weak. Go look at videogame-related prints for inspiration, and practice, practice your drawing!

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