When we first started designing kids’ T-shirts, we went with some ‘safe souvenir’ styles. The caption would be basic. The artwork would have many elements, colourful designs and cute pop art type depictions. By Pop Art, we refer to a style of design that has colour POP as one of its finest points, where bright colours are used and the theme is modern or current subjects.
At Chennaigaga, we have worked with many designers over the years to give a wide variety to the expressions and tones of our designs and captions. The idea is to cover various styles so that there’s something for everyone in terms of taste.
Coming back to the kiddos’ tees, our first few designs maxed out on colour and a splash of many elements put together in a single artwork. They were very popular as they looked quite irresistible for someone who was fondly looking to buy T-shirts for kids. That frame of mind coupled with delightful colours on tiny T-shirts was a recipe for Great Sales for us! And yet, as with all else, a sense of repetition set in. Many of our customers (thankfully) come back to us as the Go-To place for Chennai-themed t-shirts, gifts and souvenirs, and they needed more than just a couple of skylines and pretty fonts. That’s how our kids’ collection began growing.
Later, we experimented with single element designs and clever captions. These sold well too. And then came another request from our customers -- to make Tamil themed T-shirts for kids, since they saw them in the adult tees’ collection.
However, the Thamizh themed T-shirts we had were well-suited for the adults to wear, but did not seem to belong in the kids’ section.
We decided to use our brand Chennaigaga’s core value (empathy) to figure it out. What kind of tees would kids like? What designs would their parents like them to wear? Many of our customers are avid travellers, tourists, expats and NRIs. We thought a ‘basic’ Thamizh t-shirt could be just as powerful as a great quote, proverb or personality.
Then we asked ourselves: What are the first things a child typically learns in Thamizh? Uyir ezhuthukkal. We decided to start by just printing them on a design, but while the letters themselves look quite artistic with swirls and squiggles, we felt a spot of animation might make them quirky and funny and therefore appealing to kids and adults alike. This is the artwork we have here.
We gave it the name “Tamil Alphabet Eyes”. Yes, we are quirky like that too!