The Show ‘Cowboy Bebop’ does not suffer a lack of good t-shirt designs. One of the hallmarks of the show was the way in which it blended genres and styles such as noire, scifi, westerns, or jazz. Over the years this genre bending has proven fertile ground for designers and Cowboy Bebop provides artists a lot to work with. Of all the shirt designs I’ve seen ‘3-2-1- Let’s Jam’ has always been my favorite.
Compositionally this work Reminds me a lot of the movie posters done by Drew Struzan [Blade Runner, Indiana Jones, The Empire Strikes Back] with its stacked figures and distortion of scale. This makes sense as the poster would have preceded the shirt, and likely would have been influenced by the history and nature of that media, but it’s surprising just how well most of Iaccarino’s poster designs translate to t-shirts. Those who use the rectangle of their canvas, by cropping specific elements for the purpose of creating balance within the composition, as is done here, will struggle along the borders of their work when it is transferred to apparel. Thankfully Iaccarino has chosen to avoid what is, in my opinion, the cardinal sin, of slapping a large rectangle on this shirt. This never looks good and I don’t know why anyone does it. Through the use of shrewd editing has managed to avoid this pitfall, and the silhouette of the design is very strong.
In terms of color, the design utilizes that pared down palette that seems to be in fashion with the ‘limited edition movie poster‘ set. The palette while perhaps being a little closer to cyberpunk in its saturation comes across as more of a personal take on the show’s ‘space noir’ art style then a perfectly faithful reproduction.