My t-shirt design for WieMu

27 Mar 2014
  • posted by Veerle Pieters

With the Spring Classics in full swing, this is the perfect moment to share my story about a t-shirt design I recently created for WieMu, "To be or not to be Flandrien"…

Photo of the t-shirts I designed for WieMu


WieMu stands for "Wielermuseum Roeselare", which is a cycling museum located in Roeselare, Belgium, in the heart of the province of West Flanders. Apart from the history of the bike, and the unique Flemish cycling culture, the museum presents the story of the so called 'Flandrien' cyclist, who stands for a bad-ass cyclist who excels on the typical heavy terrain found in the region of Flanders.

The people of WieMu asked me if I would be interested in designing a t-shirt with this Shakespeare inspired text: "To be or not to be a Flandrien". I said yes of course!

Design experiments

During the process, we decided to leave out the word "a", and go for "To be or not to be Flandrien". There were a lot of small words and repeating letters, which made it rather hard to keep the design clean and compact. That's why I tried all sorts of things out with a ribbon, as you can see in the example on the top right. I created a whole bunch of other similar variations on this theme, but none of them really seemed to work. I did have a specific style in mind though, so I knew exactly which direction I would go, but somehow I always ended up with a rather cluttered and incoherent result. It seems that this was harder than I thought, but of course I always love a challenge and I was pretty confident I would get it right in the end.

Some of the design experiments

The top left version was initially my favourite design, but that was before I created the ones below. This design however got dropped quickly as it was a little too playful and light. After all, a Flandrien is a strong and bad-ass cyclist, so this was hardly a good match. Guess I got carried away a bit with the dots and decoration. After a few small iterations I ended up with the design on the bottom right. I tried going for a version with the words 'not to be' strike-through, but I seem to end up with a less coherent result.

Final design

I count myself very lucky that I'm sometimes able to combine my passion for cycling with my work. This small project was such opportunity that I grabbed with both hands. In the photo below you see the final result of the printed t-shirt in different colors.

The final t-shirt in different colors

Source photo: WieMu

Ceçi n'est pas un Flandrien

The first t-shirts were done by someone I admire so it was a little daunting to follow in his footsteps :) The photo below shows the t-shirts created by the talented Tim Bisschop from Houtkaai7 which was inspired by the famous painting "Ceçi n'est pas une pipe" by Belgian painter René Magritte.

Colorful t-shirts designed by Tim Bisschop's for WieMu

Source photo: WieMu