Yakov Smirnoff

  • by 8utters
  • posted Jan 21, 2008

Always thought those \'In Soviet Russia\' phrases were pretty funny...

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Always thought those \'In Soviet Russia\' phrases were pretty funny...


Bad font: The 'T' looks like a '7' -- and knowing that it's supposed to be a 'T' doesn't help, because it's just distracting.

Plus, aside from the text saying so, there's nothing about the graphic that conveys the idea that the T-shirt is 'reading' the viewer. Maybe if there was a security camera or two in the background, clearly pointing at the viewer...? (Letting my imagination run wild for a moment... maybe two cameras, one on each side of the star, mounted on poles above a brick wall topped by razor wire...)


And incidentally, I think that red star is far more striking against the white background with the grungy white, black-stained background (as in your image) than it is against the background of the red shirt.


Yeah i'm beginning to like it on a grungy white background more than red. I personally don't like red t-shirts myself but thought it was enkeeping with the theme.

Also - the whole 'In Soviet Russia' things arn't ment to be literal, it's just a joke about the opressive communist government in the old Soviet Republic and it's strangle-hold on it's people. Basically made famous by a popular Russian comedian, Yakov Smirnoff (hence the name of this print.


Thanks for the comments, tho, i'l get right on making a new version.


You're probably right -- it doesn't need the joke visually reinforced. Just make a nice grungy 'wall' texture to plaster in the background. Some streaky dirty stains, some eroded and half-visible graffiti, that kind of stuff -- exactly like what you've got in the background of the picture, but more.

Plus: I think you could make it 'snap' quite a lot merely by making the hammer and sickle gold/yellow. Leave the text and the outline black, though. That splash of bright gold in the middle would just seize the viewer's eyes.


Version 2.

Thanks for the previous comments, looks alot better now I think.

Wasen't sure on the grime tho, put it as a back detail, might look better on the front, any thoughts?


The gold sickle & hammer look great! Communism may suck, but man they sure have cool symbols. ;)

The new 'T' looks much better too. Indisputably a 'T' instead of looking like a maybe '7.'

I like the grimy numbers on the back. Kinda makes it look like a prisoner's serial numbers. Maybe one small addition on the back: A medium-large grimy barcode? Higher up on the back, toward the left, to balance the 'serial numbers' in the bottom right. (And/Or: Smaller barcode on one of the sleeves?)

I think it might look cool to have a bit of that grime on the front too, behind/around the star -- just grime, no numbers or letters, because they'd interfere with your text -- but you should probably play with that a bit, to see how much (if any) looks good to you.

One tiny little nitpick: Maybe move the bottom lines ('T Shirt Reads You') downward slightly -- just far enough that they aren't obscuring the bottom edge of the sickle's handle...? Or just far enough so that the distance from the bottom of that handle to the top of 'T Shirt' is the same as the distance from the tip of the sickle to 'Russia.'

One other thing I just thought of: For the same reason that the grime looks so right with the 'Soviet Russia' theme, maybe white isn't the best color for the shirt. A pale, dingy ash grey might be more appropriate, right? :) Just a thought.

Looking very cool!




да ну.. лажа какая-то


I was born in Soviet Russia. This design has nothing in common with reality. And who the hell is Yakov Smirnov? You'd better wrote "PERESTROIKA" and "GLASNOST' ))


New version with slightly modified main design and new front detail.


Try to make it as cheap and simplistic as possible.


I like it!

Only one thing: Except for that one little splotch on the right, the grime on the front all cuts off at roughly the same level (just a little above the bottom points of the star). It kinda looks like the shirt was dipped into something. That may be what you intended, of course -- but if not, you might want to have a few more stray splotches of grime above that line (and blend out a few of the darker areas on that line -- especially that horizontal splotch on the left).

I'd kinda like to see just a little bit of grime trailing downward from the various edges of the star, too -- like the way rust stains trail down off of metal signs on walls, you know?

That's all just minor quibbling, though. It looks pretty good already.


By the way, the repositioned bottom lines of text worked great. We can see the whole sickle now, and the text is a bit more legible as a bonus.


I did intend to put the grime at the bottom only, it matchs the back then, thought it might look wierd if I did it differently.

Yeah the text at the bottom looks much better now, thanks for the comments :)

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