The design evolution for the new “Winners Don’t Use Save States” coat-of-arms shirt was a bit more complicated than the “Whatever” shirt. When I started sketching, I had a list of elements I wanted to include, but it took a few iterations to figure out the best way to arrange them all.
I picked a two-tailed fox and a saddled, long-tongued dinosaur as my two main “sheild supporter” animals early on, but I played with a couple different ways of drawing them before settling on their more traditional upright poses. Similarly, I knew early on I wanted to include the controller trifecta “flower” element, but I experimented with using it as part of the shield before moving it up and using it as the crest. That left a big open shield to fill, which I eventually decided to model after the most famous shield in gaming (with a number of references to other gaming franchises carefully inserted).
With the basics of the design nailed, I picked a colour scheme and started inking a final version. I experimented with a couple of different ways of handling the lineart for the TV screen and shield elements and before settling on the scanlines and partially-embossed styles seen in the final.
And last but not least, when the design was nearly done, I made a couple of small tweaks and replacements to some of the references: changing the coin in the shield border to a mushroom to better match the “health item” theme, replacing the Chao with a Bomberman-type character to keep all the references in the right era, and swapping the NES cartridge with a question block. (At such a small size, the cartridge wasn’t very visually legible.)
Designing this shirt was an exercise in creating exactly the kind of shirt design I would want to wear myself. (I am a dork.) Hopefully I am not the only person who feels this way! If you’d like to snag one yourself, you can find them in my Topatoco store… and if you’d like to help spread word of it to other folks who might be interested, it would be much appreciated!