The Story Behind the Shirt

The new QBACC t-shirts

Hello everyone! My name is Felix Joly and I am an executive member of QBACC and head of the marketing portfolio. Recently, I have been designing the t-shirt for the 2019-2020 QBACC team and it has been a really enjoyable challenge. My design philosophy has been one of minimalism - always prioritizing the directness of symbolic messages over details and nuance. With that being said, I also took inspiration from 90s t-shirt designs in choosing the scheme for our shirts. The 90s for me represents the pinnacle in colour blocking and minimalism, as seen primarily though fashion and pop culture at the time.

Anyways, enough about inspiration, on to the design itself. The front features simply a QBACC logo over the left breast. Simple and efficient, the QBACC logo has become one of the most recognized symbols on campus so its important to show that with all of the symbols on the back, that everything ties back to QBACC. The back is where things get interesting. The only use of words on the shirt is the unofficial club slogan “Getting it done, together” as featured on the top and bottom of nine circular logos. It was important to include this as that really is the mandate of QBACC, to get things done in a collaborative and inclusive way.

The nine logos represent different initiatives QBACC is taking on and off campus. The wind turbine and bicycle represent our work with Queen’s sustainability week and our support of several sustainability conferences at Queen’s. These two symbols reflect our desire to support and implement new research on state-of-the-art projects and while continuing to utilize common and well-known technologies.

The leaf and pine tree tie into our foraging workshops and wildlife preservation work alongside local NGOs in the Kingston area. We are at our heart a club which seeks to have nature respected and recognized as having intrinsic value.

The three arrows of the classic recycling logo are featured in the centre-right, tying into our clean up initiatives after Homecoming and the Plate over Plastic campaign which is pushing for Queen’s facilities to embrace reusable utensils and plates over the single use flatware which is currently employed.

The bottom row is reserved for our activism efforts. Beginning with a ballot box in the bottom- left, which highlights the initiatives we undertook surrounding the 2019 Federal Elections. The theme continues on with the middle showing a megaphone, to represent the numerous rallies which we organize, with the massive success of the March 15th Kingston Climate Strike and the September 27th Queen’s Climate Strike. QBACC has worked hard to bring the community together for large scale shows of support for environmental action and this symbol is to recognize that and keep it in the forefront of our minds moving forward. On the bottom-right, the most self-explanatory of all the logos, the earth - simply represents what we are ultimately fighting for. This is beyond just Queen’s or Kingston; we are thinking global while acting local.

Finally, the true middle logo portrays the Divest Queen’s logo, which is our biggest and arguably most important campaign. QBACC has been working hard for the past two and half years to push Queen’s to divest from fossil fuels. With our recent presentation to the Queen’s Board of Trustees, the flurry of endorsements from both faculty and student groups, the AMS becoming the first Student Union in Ontario to divest and the massive success of the September Queen’s Climate Strike, divestment is within our grasp. At its roots, divestment is about recognizing that we are in a climate crisis and we need to transition the way our economy and society operates as soon as possible. That is why divestment takes the centre spot on the shirt.

The shirts will also be printed on sustainable fabric, made from organic sustainably sourced cotton and recycled polyester. It was always a priority to be as sustainable as possible in making these shirts and we are proud to bring an ecologically responsible shirt for our membership in QBACC!

Overall, the shirt is not simply about showing that we are members of QBACC - it is about showing exactly what we do and why these initiatives have a real impact. Together, we can solve the climate emergency but it will take effort and support from everyone. I hope we can wear this shirt to proudly represent QBACC and show people that they as well can get involved, even at a small scale.

Every step makes a difference, and that is what I was trying to capture in this shirt. After all, it’s about getting it done, together.

Shirts will be available for the subsidized cost of $10 on December 5th,

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