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21 Top Wearable Designs from 1996–2008

The final deadline for the Wearable Design Awards is drawing near (Aug. 7), and all of us here at PRINT have had wearables on the mind constantly (but I won’t bore you with my dream about the killer wristwatch). So naturally we were thrilled when we discovered a large number of fascinating wearables in the Regional Design Annual archives, including gems from Sagmeister, Comedy Central, Ocean Spray Cranberries, Charles S. Anderson Design Co and more. Plus: A “swash” buckle. Need we say more?

If you love a little eye candy when it comes to the best wearables, enjoy!

21 Best Wearables from the RDA, 1996–2008

Region: Southwest; Year: 1996; T-shirt for Bruegger’s Bagel Bakery; Designer/Illustrator: Cap Pannell/Pannell St. George

Region: Midwest; Year: 1996; T-shirt for retail sale; art director: Bob Powers/Brazos Sportswear, Cincinnati; VP of Merchandising and Design: Janet Reuter; Illustrator: Lace Lee; Client: Walt Disney Co./Mickey & Co.

Region: Midwest; Year: 1996; Self-promotional T-shirt; art director: Frank E.E. Grubich/Laughing Dog Creative, Chicago; designers: Frank E.E. Grubich, Tim Meyer

Region: New York; Year: 1996; Promotional T-shirt for Comedy Central; art director/designer: Saul Torres/Comedy Central

Region: East; Year: 1996; T-shirt for Ocean Spray Cranberries; Agency: Devine+Pearson Advertising, Quincy, MA; art director/illustrator: Greg Wood

Region: South; Year: 1998; Wave Fest T-shirt; Designer: Gil Shuler/Gil Shuler Graphic Design, Charleston, SC; Client: 96 WAVF Radio

Region: Midwest; Year: 1998; Chuk A T-shirt design for CSA Archive; Design Firm: Charles S. Anderson Design Co., Minneapolis; art director: Charles S. Anderson; Designers: Todd Piper-Hauswirth, Jason Schulte, Erik Johnson

Region: Farwest; Year: 1999; Apparel for Joe Boxer; Illustrator: Susan Gross/Susan Gross Illustration and Design, San Francisco; Designers: Heather Liang, Chris Mock

Region: East; Year: 2002; T-shirt for Farley’s Bookstore; Designer: James McPhillips, Lambertville, NJ

Region: New York; Year: 2003; Self-promotional T-shirt that reproduces the folds evident in Bob Gruen’s 1974 photograph of John Lennon wearing a “New York City” T-shirt; Design Firm: Sagmeister Inc.; Art director: Stefan Sagmeister; Designer: Julia Fuchs

T-shirt for Cingular Wireless; Agency: BBDO Atlanta; art director: Marco Howell; Illustration: Freestyle Collective; Writer: Clarence Bradley

Region: South; Year: 2006; Anti-tobacco T-shirt; Design Firm: Capstrat, Raleigh; art director: Todd Coats; designers: Robin Salerno, Napoleon Wright; writer: Lindsey Bennett; client: Tobacco Free Schools

Region: New York; Year: 2008; “Swash” Buckle; Design Firm: Veer; Art Director: Sheldon Popiel; Designer: Anna Coe; Writer: Mark Hamilton

Region: Midwest; Year: 2008; T-shirt design for the nonprofit group Lost Boys Rebuilding Southern Sudan; Agency: Euro RSCG Chicago, Chicago; Design Director: Doug Gipson; Designer/Illustrator: Malgorzata Zawislak

Region: Midwest; Year: 2008; T-shirt for Dave Matthews Band’s 2007 fall tour; Design Firm: FarmBarn Art Co., Columbus; Designers: Drue Dixon, Mike Pierce

Region: Midwest; Year: 2008; T-shirt for the Nebraska Book Company, Lincoln, NE; Art Directors: Shane Tochum, Benett Holzworth; Designers: Bennett Holzworth, Curtis Pachunka, Eric Nyffeler; Illustrator: Curtis Pachunka, Benneth Holzworth

Region: East; Year: 2008; Tote bag to benefit the International Dyslexia Association; Design Firm: Gluekit, Hamden, CT; Art Directors: Christopher Sleboda, Kathleen Burns; Designer: Daniel Eatock; Client: Part of it

Mock flight patches produced for an article critical of NASA; Design Firm: The Heads of State, Seattle/New York; Art Director: Maili Holiman; Designers: Jason Kernevich, Ryan Hayes; Client: Wired Magazine

Region: New York; Year: 2008; Tote bag for VH-1 Soul; Design Firm: MTV Networks; Art Director: Nigel Cox-Hagen, Nancy Mozzei, Julie Ruiz; Designer: Alison Solomon

Region: Midwest; Year: 2002; City pins for Fleishman-Hillard Worldwide Conference; Designer/Illustrator: Buck Smith/Fleishman-Hillard Creative, St. Louis

Region: New York; Year: 2000; Hour plane watch; Illustrator: Otto Steininger/Doppelganger; Art Director: Adelina Bissolo/Swatch Creative Lab

Final Deadline: August 7, 2015

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