Beyond US — Empower Through Product Design

Hunter Rice
Jan 25 · 4 min read

Personal Project, 2012 | Branding & Product Design | Duration : 2 years

🐦 @hunterrice20

Overview

Beyond US was a socially conscious venture that married my passion for simplistic design with my experience in t-shirt manufacturing.

My objective was to harness powerful product design to raise awareness and funding for local charities.

Challenge

I was tasked with concealing bold design on a subtle canvas —the bold to spark conversation, the subtle to allow everyday wear.

The product needed to be edgy enough to attract attention, but simple and versatile enough to fit both your gym and work attire.

Concept

I knew to accomplish this I would need to explore asymmetry. The idea struck me on my way back from freshman year Econ as I passed by the annual campus blood drive.

My classmates were wearing bright, colorful bandages around their left arms, and it was clear that this symbol made them feel proud about their donation.

Students commonly shared photos like these to show friends they donated and helped someone in need.

Product Design

Sleeve Design

To resemble those bright bandages, I mocked up vibrant patterns that I placed on only one sleeve. Each color would represent a corresponding charitable organization.

Logo Design

To capture the company’s significance and mission, I brainstormed and pieced together each fundamental attribute of the company — red, white, and blue because our manufacturing and charity partners were U.S. based, and bright stripes to echo our colorful sleeves.

Early mockups of the Beyond logo.

Tag Design

Early mockups of neck tags (left) hang tags (right).

Packaging

Each t-shirt was packaged with a thank you letter from myself on behalf of the company & corresponding charity. This was a delightful experience that gave our customers a sense of inclusion & community.

Manufacturing Samples

I designed the fit of each t-shirt size, and oversaw stitching & printing. It was critical to supervise while my designs were translated during each step.

Selecting fabric blend, sampling screen prints, and initial tags.

Final Product

The true test was to wear it out and gauge the reaction. During my first trip to the mall wearing my Beyond shirt, I was approached 4 times! To this day, I’m proud each time I get to tell the story behind the charities I wear.


Adventure Beyond

To tie it together, I strategized a social media marketing campaign for customers to share their experiences wearing the t-shirt. The theme was “Adventure Beyond”, and encouraged people to take incredible photos around the world while adventuring #beyondus. These were some of my favorites!

Beyond US Photo Shoot

Special thanks to Southern Methodist Univerity

Beyond US was a two-time winner of the SMU $5,000 Big iDeas grant, which funded our first two purchase orders, and prepared us for lift off.

Beyond US wins Big iDeas Competition, 2013.

Hunter Rice

Written by

Product Designer focusing on visual elegance and simplicity.

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