Since mid-March I’ve (with Threesome) been working on the official Keiichi Tsuchiya T-Shirt for World Time Attack Challenge later this year. I had the opportunity last year but I was in a hole and failed to even get started on a design. This year I was on it early AF and majorly determined to get it right!
I wanted to take it back to where it all began. Best Motoring released The Drift Bible DVD in 2003 where Keiichi runs viewers through 6 different drift techniques These days you’d be hard pressed to find any video content of that length for any one driver. Mad Mike? Most I’ve seen is a few clips only a few minutes long, Keiichi? He had a whole DVD to himself! That DVD was fucking amazing to us at the time (it will forever live on my shelf in the lounge room!).
To get going I created the mood board above. On the top half are grabs from the DVD. I really love the cross design so I was pretty set on making that a part of the T-Shirt design, if not the whole design. At the bottom there’s a few previous T-Shirt designs. I’m not a fan of all the existing illustration/caricature designs as none of them look enough like him, and caricature’s are usually known for being ugly bastardisations of people in general so I knew I was definitely going to be avoiding that. I love the bottom right corner logo which he used for his business Kei Office, and early on I thought I might use part of that for the design or maybe even on the sleeve.
The shield logo on the right appears for a split second in the 2003 Drift Bible DVD (and also on the DVD jacket design). I decided to use it on the front pocket of the T-Shirt (saving the big cross design for a large back print). I took inspiration from MASH (a rad fixie brand) for the shield shape and the OG Keiichi cross logo (left).
Keiichi was born in the year of the monkey, so this was an early design to celebrate the Monkey King/Magic Monkey!
Some early concepts based on the theme of 4 seasons, the rising sun, Japanese waves.
As much as the team at Threesome and some close creative friends loved some of the 4 seasons concepts above, the rising sun, roads felt like a better fit for the Drift King. At this stage we knew we were onto something with this touge concept so the next step was to refine the design.
Adding in mountains to further reinforce the touge concept.
Hope you guys like the final design! I’ve put a lot of love in, and much respect. In the end the front is a nod to his Kei Office brand, the back a nod to the amazing Drift Bible DVD. This T-Shirt is one for the fans for sure!!! Find it at the WTAC merch stall at World Time Attack Challenge 2019!