Launched only last year by Andrew Wetmore, Fruits Art Club has quickly amassed a cult following, not least for their T-shirt collaborations. The Denver-based multidisciplinary design studio takes a communal approach, with an Instagram account that serves as a platform to create, share, and motivate other creatives.
Fruits have been behind a good few of our recent campaigns, from working with typography designer Alexander Dueckminor on a new custom logo T-shirt, to their People 4US project, which aims to “focus on the clock of the universe.” So we thought we’d pick Andrew’s brains on how he collaborates with other creatives to create great T-shirts.
It goes without saying that looking at the work of other creatives is one of the best ways to improve and develop your own output, and working closely with people whose work you love can have an even more direct impact on your practice. This is something Andrew really emphasised, “Collaborations are a great way to gain new insights into the workflow of other creatives which can be very beneficial to perfect your craft.”
…Make For New Work
One of the most exciting things about working with somebody else is that the end result will be something new for everyone involved, and this can be especially beneficial if you’re in a bit of a rut with your practice or you’re moving into a new medium that you’re less confident in. Calibrating how to best apply both your skills can take a little time, but as Andrew puts it, that’s what makes the final thing so special. “Finding the middle ground in both of your styles is what creates something unique and memorable that you can share with people,” he said, “In my opinion, collaborations bring out the best in both designers!”
Don’t Be Afraid of Trial and Error
Part of collaborating is adapting to working with someone else, so don’t panic if you develop a few more prototypes than you might usually, or if the design process is taking longer at the beginning. We were reassured by Andrew’s take on this, “The initial idea is always the hardest challenge when collaborating. Sometimes you may come up with 10 + designs before finding the right one.” Remember: it’s all part of getting acquainted with each other’s styles.
Find A Cause You’re Passionate About
We’ve seen all kinds of collaborations here at Everpress, and though this is by no means a golden rule, we’d have to say that some of the best have been when people come together for a great cause. One of Andrew’s favourite Fruits collabs was their Good Fruits project with Good People Make A Difference, “As a 100% non profit project with all the proceeds going to multiple charities, it was a great experience to raise money for children in need with the power of our design skills!” Working together on a cause can be really unifying, plus it’s a great chance to give something back.
It can be a bit of a delicate subject, or feel unnatural if you’re working with friends, but working out your terms of payment before you get started will keep things smooth and alleviate any awkwardness later on. Andrew’s golden rule is keeping things 50/50 – equal contributions for an equal share of profits; “Put simply, it’s always 50/50. In any collaboration we feel it is important for both individuals to put in their share of experience to make the final product!” Your approach will depend on your own project of course, and don’t be afraid of discussions that might need to happen along the way to take into account the changing scope of work. Andrew’s final word on pay emphasised the value of a healthy attitude too, “The value of collaboration shouldn’t always be monetary. Think also of the other impacts, as something that you can grow and learn from to make yourself better.”
Head here to check out more of the collaborations we’ve loved on Everpress.