Back during the days of when Animal Crossing for the Gamecube first came out, me and my girlfriend at the time were obsessed with constantly pruning grass, catching fish, blabbering on with the other townsfolk, and getting into trouble with the mayor. Within the game, it allowed you to meet a pair of clothing designers, and gave the player a choice to create their own styles of clothing (using a primitive yet effective pixel-art designer). Back then (and still to this day), I was enthralled with the color black and images of death and rebirth. I decided after picking up my 1000th conch shell from the beach, I needed a new hobby, and made my way to said clothing store, to try my controller at a new endeavor. After days of pushing little colored blocks beside one another, seemingly trying to create shapes that actually looked like what I wanted them to, I was able to create my first shirt design (one with a basic flaming skull on both the front and back). It didn’t take too long for the other townspeople to flock to this new brand, and within a couple of in-game days they all began wearing the pieces of garb I had made (I think I had also created an umbrella design and maybe even something else, even though I almost can’t recall).
As in typical role-playing fashion (heh, a pun), I dubbed my new line of clothing as “Death by Design,” a somewhat witty and introspective name that was supposed to garner feelings of chicness and ominous doom. Many years later (almost 15 years, to be exact), I decided after learning a bit about graphic design, I would revitalize the brand name, and create real life pieces (stickers, logos, shirts, etc.) based on the same name, but with a newfound purpose. I will go more into the true purpose behind the name once I create more pieces and post about them, so stay tuned about that.
However, before I leave, let me comment on the images you see above. Here in the Appalachia region of America, there are a lot of coal mines and even more coal mine workers. They (and the companies that feed off their hard work) are fiends for coal and the life of a coal miner. Most of them can’t even conceive of other types of energy sources, and swears by their ancestors that coal “keeps the lights on” (although indeed it helps, but here in 2018, there are way more options than we had hundreds of years ago). With all of that being said, most of these people, their families, and other dimwitted fans of the black rock have taken it upon themselves to spread the word of coal by slapping stickers on their vehicles (typically on the license plates), pushing the propaganda that coal is by far the friendliest energy source there ever could be (of which studies have shown this to be absolutely WRONG). So, much to the happiness and glee of my wife, I decided to create a parody of the famous sticker (of which originally says “Friends of Coal”), and turn it on its head. Using subtle differences, but obviously pushing my own agenda in full force, I wanted people to begin questioning the onslaught of deceitful stickers that plague the backs of so many cars and trucks (mostly BMWs and Trucks 5 times the size of any normal vehicle), and wonder if coal truly can keep the lights on in the long term without destroying the planet in the process. Or, perhaps, it is just a remnant of the past, one that should never be forgotten, but should also be put to the side, to make way for better energy resources.