Soul 2 Sole : HBCUs + Gym Shoes

15 March 2019

Soul 2 Sole : HBCUs + Gym Shoes

Yo. First off I'm not a writer.  It took me 10 minutes just to find how to add a blog post.  However from time to time I do something and I want to put down how I arrived at it.  Then I say, nah, and I don't do it and I move on to my next t-shirt.  Well not today Satan, not today.  So if you care to hear how I came up with this project and some added swag thanks to the homie, Rich Harvey, let's get into.  If not leave and go buy a shirt.

Concept:  So two nights ago I saw homie wearing a PUMA hoodie on social media, Jourdan I hope you got out of LAX.  The big cat hoodie reminded me how much I love that brand.  The visual of the big cat stuck with me most of the day.  Then as I was laying on the couch I just pictured the puma in the logo with stripes.  A tiger.  AWWWWWWW SHIT!!! Yep another Morehouse shirt.  If you don't know by now, I love my college dearly.  So I go down to the lab and start to work.  Then a crazy thing happened, or maybe it was the beer, or the lack of sleep, whatever.  I remembered that I just used the Fila font a few days back and think "man that would be dope for another school".  Well now I have a project because I can't make two shirts, I have to so a series.  So I started



Using the Puma shoe logo I wanted to keep it clean.  I wanted you to know this is a twist on Puma.  How do you turn a puma into a tiger?  Make the tail more narrow , add stripes and outline the jaw.  Question, should the word maroon be there?  Puma is one word and the cat.  I thought about just tiger and the cat but I didn't know if that drove home that this was a Morehouse shirt.  So dropped the maroon in there.  I also believe there has to be another school that uses the tiger as their mascot and I didn't want no confusion and I really didn't want another school rocking it like nah it works for us too.  Nope sorry.  

Kicks To Match:

Ok here is where I got help from my brother and sneakerhead Rich.  He went through and selected kicks from the same brand to match the shirts.  I looked at his list and that made me look up a few of my own.  Feel free to comment on who had the better picks.  Or not.  

Rich: Puma Roma Basic

Reese : Puma Tsugi Netfit



As stated earlier I used this font early in the week to make two other shirts. I've always liked the Fila logo because its dope in it's simplicity.  The F and the LA connected is perfect.  This was an easy one Fila is four letters so issssss Fisk.  That's right originally I thought of Fisk here first but then thought Fam with the green and orange would be a better look. Shout out one of my little brothers who is a die hard Rattler.....When he aint also reppin TSU?? Transfer life. Anyway strike strike and strike again right? 

Kicks to Match

Rich: Fila Original Fitness 

Reese: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles X Fila M-Squad 


Xavier University of Louisiana

Whenever I do black college themed shirts I have to give love right away to XULA for two reasons.  1) This is my wife's college and 2) this was my original HBCU choice back when I thought I was going to be a doctor.   I also love New Orleans, the food is amazing.  So at this point in the design process I have two designs done and now I need to start looking at logos and finding some inspiration.  So I pull up famous logos and I see Vans.  I've never owned a pair, I don't like the shoes that much and the logo is hella basic.  However the slogan under caught my eye.  "Vans "Off the Wall".  This reminded me of something my wife taught me about her school, they had a big thing about not walking on the grass.  There were these little signs posted all around the campus.  I actually feature this is one of my other XU designs.  The next thing that got my attention was the V with the long ledge.  I figured I could flip that upside down and make the bottom of the X.  Wrong that didn't work.  So now I'm running through all my fonts to find a similar font.  Eventually I ended up building the X from a similar font.  Font building is a pain.  


Kicks to Match

Rich: Corduroy SK8 Hi-Pro


Reese: SK8 Slim Classic 50th Anniv

I went to bed at this point.  It was a Tuesday night and I worked late the next day. So I knew I could get up in the morning and knock out a few more.  I went to bed knowing a few schools I had to knock out as well as a few brands I had to incorporate.  I wasted more of my night looking and logos in bed trying to mentally plan my attack.

Wednesday morning


So I knew I had to do Adidas.  I was torn between the 3 stripes or that flower looking thing.  Clearly I wanted to do the flower looking thing but that just didn't make any sense.  There was no creative play there.  So, instead I decided to make the 3 stripes into "HU".  I worried that cutting that middle stripe and connecting the bottom would confuse people and they would see 4 stripes or just not recognize it was Adidas.  However I didn't care once I saw the "HU".  It's hot as fish grease as the homie would say.  I didn't care if I had to explain it to everyone.  The lowercase Bison was also a nice touch.  Originally this was a red shirt with blue and no red.  It looked crazy to me though. The shirt, that red, seemed to be to much.  So I went with the tri-color approach. Dope

Kicks to Match

Rich: Adidas Harden Vol 2

Reese: Adidas D Rose 9


I've never owned a pair of New Balance.  However there are a couple that I have seen I think I liked.  The VA people rep these super hard.  So I decide to give Hampton the New Balance treatment.  I'll be honest, there are tricks in graphic design.  Short cuts.  So what I did was I found a font and made it thicker by outlining it a bunch of times (increasing the stroke to like 40) and then I just laid the shape of those cuts over the top.  The shirt was originally white because I could just lay the white stripes over the blue letters with the white background and give the illusion that it was one piece.  Until… The Hampton homie Carrie was like "Ummm don't nobody want a white shirt, can it come in a different color?"  I knew I was wrong for the lazy white shirt.  I was mad about the call out.  The problem is , I didn't know how to cut the shapes into the font with the outline.  So off to YouTube Univ.  I found a video that was literally 1 min long that taught me how to turn the outline into a shape. That allowed me to then just cut the shapes out easy.  Thanks for the push Carrie, learned something new I needed.

Kicks to Match

Rich: New Balance 574 Sport

Reese:  Nope, Rich nailed it and I agree.



In my mind whoever got Nike would have the best look because to me Nike is the ultimate gym shoe brand.  However there is not much you can do with the logo to tweak it to make it reflect the school.  While the four letter name fit nicely, it was still blah to me.  I added the year.  Meh.  It looks dope and clean, but mainly because the logo is dope, not because I altered it.  Ah well.

Kicks to Match

Rich:Zoom KD 11

Reese: Air Max 95 "Lemon Wash"



I'll keep it a buck, I don't even know how to pronounce Saucony.  However the other choice was Sketchers.  Soooooo I feel like I went with the lesser of two evils??  I don't know.  I don't like this brand, the logo is weak but I needed to include the Spelman sisters.  I don't expect to wow anyone with this one.  I changed the dots to the year.  I know I know, didn't I do that for Fisk as well.  Whatever. If you are a Spelmanite and you happen to love Saucony, then boom. 

Kicks to Match

Rich: Saucony Jazz Low Pro


Reese: Saucony Jazz Low Pro Vegan



Honestly after Spelman I was done.  I decide to take one more look at the logos.  I see the DC shoe co. I like the logo and the shape of the D and C make me think of the letters CAU.  OOOOOOHHHH. Welp now I guess I have to do them now.  I get to cutting the logo apart and what I realize is I can't leave these shapes the same color and overlap them.  You won't be able to see it clearly.  As it is now It might be confusing to some.  However overall I really like that it's the letters but kind of abstract.  However I must say, I've never seen a pair of DC shoes in person and noticed them

Kicks to Match

Rich: DC Court Grafikk

Reese: Spartan Hi SK


There you have it.  HBCUs, and Gym Shoes.  I liked the challenge.  There are other HBCUs out there, other shoe brands.  I plan to look and see if I can mash up a few more but for now I'm happy with the first 8.


Reese H


15 March 2019 at 09:01 PM

Do you offer shirts and tennis shoes for Cheyney University if Pennsylvania? The original name is Cheyney State. It is the FIRST HBCU.

15 March 2019 at 09:01 PM

all of my picks are amazing. AND yes i’m biased. great job, Reese!

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