23/52: I’M OK

Really, I’m fine.


Each week for a year, I’m designing a shirt and releasing it on my Threadless store. This is the design for week 23.


My son Ryan turned 6 this week. And as I mentioned when I designed Jill’s Team Rainbow Unicorn shirt, I let the kids help design the shirt on the week of their birthday.

We locked in very quickly on what the shirt would say. Whenever Ryan falls, stumbles or gets hurt, he immediate shouts “I’m okay!” He started this when he was very little — pretty much when he started to talk. Once, when he fell and smashed out a tooth at daycare, the first thing he said to me when I picked him up was “I’m okay!” Sometimes, he starts saying “I’m okay!” when he starts to fall, before he hits the ground. It’s become like a catchphrase for him.

But what the shirt looked like, though... that was challenging.

At first Ryan wanted something really complicated, with paper airplanes crashing and little stick figures and a speech bubble with “I’m okay.” But I wanted to do something a little cleaner. We went around and around with other ideas. After all the back and forth, we settled on just having “I’M OK” on the shirt. Bold and straightforward.*

Ryan’s shirt — "I’M OK" — is available in a range of colors on Threadless.  

* One variation was a bold “I’M OK” all cracked up into pieces. And while it looked cool, and Ryan really liked it, it looked completely depressing, all shattered and broken. It really didn’t fit the message we wanted.

Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. He's currently in the middle of a project to design a new shirt a week for an entire year. Follow Bob on TwitterInstagram and Micro.Blog.