Graphic Design and Illustration by Ian Leino Graphic Design and Illustration by Ian Leino
Serenity Sake

Browncoats! Clothes looking a mite tired after too many hours in the saddle? Shirts showing a bit of age – not to mention blood, sweat and engine grease?

You’ll look all kinds of silly stomping into a fancy soiree wearing clothes that a Reaver chewed on, so you may want to consider spiffing things up a bit with my newest design: “Serenity Sake”.

It’s available on a Sand colored shirt on Friday, December 10th at and ever afterward, printed on Silver through my own shop!

But what about you folk who have a deep down love for all things shiny, but are already well-stocked on t-shirts? Well, I’ve thought of you too, and have printed up both pint glasses AND sake cups which are sure to impart a certain touch of class to their bearer that’s certain to be noticed and regarded favorably by everyone from colonists to city dandies. May even get you an invite to the big shindig, though course I can’t say for sure.

To celebrate it’s one day at TeeFury, I’m also running a giveaway through both Facebook and Twitter, and offering up a 15% off coupon for my store. Here are all the details:

Facebook: Become a fan on my page, and leave a comment on the “Serenity Sake” post

Twitter: Follow me on Twitter, and tweet this message: Browncoats! Get your #Firefly ‘Serenity Sake’ shirt by @ianleino for just $9 today only at !

And through my own site, use code “ThisLand” for 15% off your entire order, today only!

For anyone interested in the process, I really tried to emulate the classic Japanese brush style for this design, something that is completely different from anything I’ve done before, and not exactly easy to pull off. The biggest difficulty was trying to render the hard mechanical lines of a spaceship in an organic way that felt true to both the ship and the style I was emulating . I ended up painting over 30 versions of the ship before I found one that I liked.

The other issue was in finding appropriate (and correct) kanji characters for the design. Luckily, through the help of a friend on Twitter, I was able to connect with someone fluent in Japanese who helped me out. The larger characters are for “Serenity” – the name of the ship – while the smaller phrase at the top right says “Junmai Daiginjo” – a classification for a style of sake. I ended up with LOTS of attempts at these characters also before find some that I was happy with.

All of the background elements including the Alliance Flag, the pattern and type were set in Illustrator then combined with scans of the paintings in Photoshop.

Thanks for your interest in my designs, and for taking the time to look through this post! Now don’t forget to go pick up your shirts and glasses before they’re gone!

arrow2 Responses

  1. John Wagner
    75 mos, 1 wk ago

    Shouldn’t the symbols be Chinese to be closer to the lore of the serenity universe?

  2. ianleino
    75 mos ago

    Good question, John. As one culture grows, it generally picks up a small flavor of the other cultures that it absorbs. In the Serenity universe, I felt it safe to assume that sake would be a strong enough meme to make it through the cultural mergers – if not from the Chinese side, then possibly even from the American side (our small-ish town has 7 sushi restaurants, and the local grocery store carries 8 different sakes).

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