Skip to content

Been there, done that, got the Six t-shirt

A pineapple, a teapot and a block of Jenga doodled their way into a creative agency. Little did they know, they’d become the subject of some very exciting branded graphic t-shirts. Here’s how it happened.

The background story 

A few months ago our Executive Creative Director, Dickon, set us a brief. He wanted us to design a t-shirt that ‘would look cool in the office and on the beach’. But it also needed to capture the essence of our employee value proposition: Strengths unleashed. 

Never ones to turn down a good creative challenge, our employer brand team got to work and it wasn't long before inspiration struck.  

Back in January, Sam, Dan and Sally hosted a doodle workshop as part of an agency-wide wellbeing day. The workshop focused on adding human emotion to inanimate objects to channel our be more human mentality. It was lots of fun and there were three drawings in particular that stood out: a teapot, a pineapple and a sad Jenga man. 

Not only were they fun, cheeky and full of personality, all three had come from outside the graphic design team. The teapot was drawn by John, our CEO. The pineapple came from Parissa, our motion wizard. And Jenga man was created by Lizzie, one of our Account Directors.

This is what sparked our creative idea: You don't have to be "a creative" to create.
  • The why: Our job titles don’t define us at Six. Take a look at our doodle workshop, some of the best ideas came from the most unexpected places. 
  • The what: We showcase the talent, fun and humour that exists within our agency, and use it as a talking point to share with clients (in meetings) and prospective employees (via social).                                        
  • The how: By creating a series of t-shirts that put characters, created by Sixers, to the front, back and centre. 

Here’s what Viv had to say about the process 

‘What really got us rolling was nailing down each character’s personality. Take Pina for example, a flirtatious and always single 43-year-old, who is fiercely loyal, and quick with a comeback or cheeky wink.  

The best and trickiest part? Turning those hand-drawn sketches into Adobe Illustrator vectors and ensuring each character felt like part of the same crew while still rocking their own distinct vibe. Choosing the right colours was crucial and important to the screen-printing process. Originally drawn to retro American red and blue, we shifted to neon green and blue to add an electrifying vibrancy to the characters, dialling up their charm and connection to our brand.’ 

From sketch pad to totally rad 

We kept the visuals as close to the original sketches as possible. The box frame and handwritten notes intentionally made the design feel like a sketch – keeping them authentic and human. We bleeped out the swear words and used censor stickers to keep the edginess of the original graphics but stop them from being too crass. 

After a few rounds of design we pitched the concept to Dickon and the rest of the board. This was very different to our usual Six branded stuff so some of the board needed a bit of extra reassuring. But luckily they could see the potential in the idea and trusted us enough to push it through. 

When three became two 

Sadly our t-shirt budget didn’t stretch to three designs, so we knew we had to whittle it down to two. We emailed the wider agency and got everyone to vote for their favourite character and told them the two most popular designs would go to print. Mr Tea Potty Mouth and Pina were clear favourites so we finalised the numbers, got everyone’s sizes and sent the designs to print.  

Something we were really mindful of was making the t-shirts as sustainable as possible. This meant only ordering t-shirt for people who wanted them, printing the t-shirts locally, and making sure we went for high-quality Stanley Stella t-shirts with minimal footprint.  

The final designs 

What started as a blank canvas soon became a picture perfect, planet-friendly graphic tee. And our friends over at Carillon Print helped make it a reality. 


By clicking "Allow Cookies", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. By using this site you are agreeing to ourCookie Policy.