45/52: Trophy

Tangible validation


Each week for a year, I’m designing a shirt and releasing it on my Threadless store. This is the design for week 45.


My daughter’s orchestra performed at a competition at Universal Studios this week and won the highest honor. She volunteered to help carry the trophy back to their bus. While walking through the middle of a crowded park, people along the way — even though they had no idea why she was carrying a trophy — congratulated her. Everyone wanted to know what the trophy was for.

As a society, we love trophies (and plaques and certificates). They are a tangible representation of success. For some things like sports or races, the trophies are awarded to the last team or competitor standing. Other things are less black and white — like musical competitions, the Academy Awards and yes, design awards. 

We love the validation that a trophy provides. We love to celebrate the moment. But too often, we’re quick to move on, seeking the next trophy. Wondering what else we can win. Never settling. And while that drive is wonderful, it’s also exhausting. It’s always important to keep things in perspective.

You can purchase “Trophy” on 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.