Justin Hellwig is not only a Graphic Design/Branding graduate from FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, but an entrepreneur as well. Originally from Mesa, AZ and a Skyline High School graduate, Hellwig has been designing T-Shirts graphics for his label, Toby Clothing since 2009.
Toby Clothing features Hellwig’s hand-drawn characters on men’s and women’s T-Shirts and tank tops.
Although he had considered formally marketing prior to attending FIDM, Hellwig says that he didn’t yet know how to develop a brand image for Toby Clothing. Upon graduating, he certainly shaped the quirky brand’s image as demonstrated in his portfolio, below.
“Since attending FIDM, I applied any skills I could absorb from various classes like Licensing, Applied Branding, Design 1 and 2, and many more to the Toby Clothing brand,” he says. “This created a completely original and stable foundation for the brand that allowed me to start again from scratch and do it correctly and professionally.”
Inspired by Johnny Earle, founder of Johnny Cupcakes, and United Kingdom-based Drop Dead Clothing headed up by UK band Bring Me The Horizon lead vocalist, Oliver Sykes, Hellwig’s designs reflect a similarly rebellious, youthful energy with its unusual characters and organic, hand-drawn quality.
“The main thing I try to preach to people looking to start their own clothing company or any company in general is to just go for it,” he says. “To become successful at what we love doing, we have to take risks and put ourselves out there. If you have a great idea, make it a reality.”
Although he intends to pursue Toby Clothing as a full-time hobby, Hellwig says he is still excited to “jump right into the industry, and work a design position for a great company.”
“I have met so many amazing people through FIDM …there are some truly talented individuals there and I am grateful to have met them,” he says. “The teachers are really there to help and are very hands-on with their teaching styles. Graduation was amazing and completely surreal. I worked so hard these past two years and it’s unbelievable that it’s now all over.”
Graphic Design/Branding Portfolio
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