I’ve created hundreds of designs for Soul Flower products over the years, and this particular project is an interesting example of turning something handmade into something digital, and repurposing a strong concept across a variety of branded collateral.
Soul Flower is an apparel and gifts brand of ethically-produced, eco-friendly goods. The company and brand emphasize positivity, kindness, good vibes, and self-expression.
In 2013, we created a manifesto statement during a company-wide meeting. Together, we brainstormed and documented over 100 statements of what we as a team and company value, what we believe in, what we stand for, and what Soul Flower represents to us.
To finalize the manifesto, a small team took this list and edited it down to a handful of statements. Our staff writer combined it all into one manifesto poem. I added illustrations and created a print-ready layout. Our in-house screenprinting team printed the design on a poster for every employee.
Originally just the result of an internal team-building exercise, we decided to share our manifesto with the public on the back of the spring/summer print catalog in 2014.
The second life of this manifesto started when I turned it into a t-shirt design. First, I simplified the text and then drew the letters on to a wood block. I then carved the block, keeping the text right-side out instead of backwards like block prints typically are, because I knew I would be scanning it and could flip it digitally later. Finally, I inked the block, made a few prints, and scanned the print into my computer.
Since Soul Flower screenprints all of its garments, I turned the woodcut print into a screenprint so it could be manufactured quickly. The texture left behind by the carving is still intact in the print, adding a natural worn and handmade quality to the design.
After the t-shirt, I output screenprint-ready art for headbands, tote bags, and zip pouches, as well as digital-print-ready files for recycled paper posters.
We then incorporated an even shorter “mini-festo”” version into branding materials for marketing. I created new typeset layouts and print-ready files for shipping envelopes, rebranded hangtags, and signage for retail shops. I also applied the art to various digital graphics and online ads.
The evolution of this manifesto design shows how rewarding yet practical it can be to iterate on a successful concept. By creating something so steeped in the soul of the brand, the manifesto naturally lent itself to usage across products and surfaces.