43/52: Orlando's

Pizza and Pixels


Each week for a year, I’m designing a shirt and releasing it on my Threadless store. This is the design for week 43.


When I was a kid in the 1980s, we frequently ate at a neighborhood pizza place called Orlando’s Pizza. I don’t really remember that much about the pizza, but we always wanted to go there so the food must have been good.

In the back of the restaurant was a small arcade. “Arcade” is a little generous. It was at most four or five machines. After I finished my pizza I’d head to the back of the restaurant. If I had a quarter, I’d play. Or just watch the machines cycle through their demo screens. I played Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Galaga for the first time at the pizza joint. 

It’s hard to imagine now, when the phone that we carry in our pockets play an endless selection of infinitely more complex games, but those arcade games were my first real exposure to computers. Our family eventually bought several Commodore computers, but my love of video games and technology can probably be tracked back to Orlando’s.

The restaurant is long gone, but I wanted to commemorate it with a redesign, renaming Orlando’s Pizza to Orlando’s Pizza and Pixels. And it was an excuse to turn a slice of pizza into an apostrophe.

You can purchase “Orlando’s” from my Threadless store.

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.