Monday, February 17, 2014

The Society of Palaeontology Fanciers

I have this compulsion that occasionally rises up, demands attention, prompts feverish work, and subsides until it sees fit to return. I am compelled to design the kinds of paleontology-inspired apparel, stickers, and whatnot that I'd like to wear. I'm kind of picky when it comes to graphic shirts, you see, and when I visit a big museum I'm always hoping that they'll have designs than hit me in my sweet spot. Let's call it graphic simplicity. If you've been hanging around here, you may remember me sharing such designs here in the past - I Left My Heart in a Prehistoric Age, Dinosaur Hearts, and of course the set of minimalist family crests that I came to call Cladistic Heraldry.

If this kind of stuff hits your sweet spot too, well, I've got some damn splendid news. I recently created a set of designs and I think they're pretty nice. I call the set The Society of Palaeontology Fanciers, and like the other projects I mentioned above, it gives to the chance to proclaim your allegiances to extinct taxa to the whole world.

These are all seven of the first batch. The impetus for the set came when I was doodling, and started playing with minimalistic renderings of stem-birds. I have to say that as I worked on the design above, of a vaguely deinonychosaurish animal, it was freeing to not to have its damned arms sticking out. When it comes to artistic renderings of animals closely related to modern birds, I find I am less and less satisfied with artists staying close to skeletal contours. In my doodling, I came to challenge myself to find a way to an iconic rendering of just such an animal. I didn't want it to be easily confused with a modern bird; or if it was on first glance, I want it to inspire a double take. Once I felt that I'd achieved it, I was in full-throttle design mode and I played with various non-avian dinosaur forms. Each took on a life of its own. One of the fun challenges of these sets I like to do is to resolve drastically differently scaled animals into a cohesive series. Once my dinosaurs were done, I was compelled to do a trilobite, specifically the Cambrian Oryctocephalus.

I'm flattered by the fact that when I do projects like this I get a lot of "do such and such!" or "what about whatchamataxon?" comments. I certainly want to do more. Before I do any more for extinct critters, however, I'm working on a set in hopes of doing a tiny bit to help extant raptors from going extinct. These I hope to realize as genuine embroidered patches which will be sold in the Indiana Raptor Center's new gift shop, and maybe down the line I could even have the capital to make patches of my paleontology designs, as well.

Anyhow, if you're moved to pick up a shirt or two, these are available in the base colors above, as white designs on dark colored shirts, or as black designs on light colored shirts, so no matter your preferred style and color, there should be something to your liking.


  1. What is a heterodontosaur fancier to do?...

  2. For my "add such and such" comment I think an Abelisaur Fancier design would be cool!

  3. And I'll just add my "please add" comment: could you do something with the Burgess shale?

  4. Just bought a theropod sticker! Though I believe I speak for everyone else in the entire universe when I mention that the lack of pachycephalosaurs is sorely noticed.

  5. Could I just say "please add" icthyosaurs? Or if you don't like them, mosasaurs or something... I'm feeling the lack of marine reptiles here.


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