baibaibai is the dynamic design duo Eugen and Felix from Giessen, Germany. Their showroom sports designs range from a nicotine-addicted deer, a pink cat, to lots of black humor.
Names: Felix and Eugen
Ages: 32 and 29
From: Giessen, Germany
Occupation: Web developers
Software: Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC
Hardware: PC, MacBook, Wacom Intuos 4
Spreadshirt Designers since: November 2018
Hey Eugen and Felix, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions about your showroom! baibaibai: does your name have something to do with ‘bye’?
Eugen: That’s right, the name has something to do with the word “bye,” in a rather detached sense. Our sense of humor is rather dry, even a bit off-putting and trashy. Many of our comic characters actually want onlookers to leave them alone. That’s how “bye” came to mind as an overarching concept.
Felix: Exactly! However,baibaibai also has another, somewhat deeper meaning for us personally. When we work on our designs, we say goodbye to the stress of the job and the problems of everyday life. The word “bye” thus initially helps us unwind. Between the lines, though, we want to invite everyone to do the same with our designs: just smile and temporarily say “goodbye” to all the negativity.
Eugen: The modified spelling was then only a question of aesthetics. Basically, you don’t have to understand that either. Even if people don’t quite get the name, at least the visual is right. 🙂
True. That’s why you two are our designers of the month! Your humor sets you apart: your designs are really pretty funny. What comes first: the joke or the design?
Eugen: Thanks! Actually, it’s a mix of both. Sometimes it’s more the joke and the slogan that comes first. Other times, we just feel like putting a certain design on paper, and then we think up a slogan that fits the theme.
You obviously love cats. Why do you make them pink?
Eugen: Yeah, I like cats. I sometimes even pretend that I don’t like them very much, because, then they pay more attention to me. Somehow I think that makes me more interesting to them. Strangely, this really seems to work, but it probably sounds completely crazy. 🙂
Felix: Sounds funny…and it is, too! In fact, we are often asked about our fascination with pink. Apart from the fact that the color is fashionable, it’s a good contrast to our often stinging humor. We like opposites and the resulting tension. When a cute-looking cat starts cursing and it’s pink, it’s funny.
Felix: Neither of us has a cat. However, their unpredictable and often dismissive nature inspires us to create many designs, which is why they regularly end up in our sketchbooks. And honestly, who doesn’t like cat content?
In addition to the pink cat content, there’s also a smoking deer jumping around your showroom. For one thing, it drowns out negative thoughts. Where does this character come from?
Eugen: In addition to the cat, the deer has become another baibaibai mascot. It seems a bit battered by life, with its broken antlers and the cigarette in hand. Nevertheless, it’s always style-conscious and looks optimistically off into the distance. Here, too, we’re playing with a certain ambiguity. The design is initially negative, but has a positive message.
When we publish such design, I often get asked whether I’m okay or if I’m going through some depression. I understand why they ask. The actual meaning behind the design is supposed to motivate me and the viewer.
We’ve even actually heard that this happens. One follower wrote to tell us that he had put one of our designs as a background on his smartphone and is thus repeatedly reminded to think positively. It’s cool to hear something like that! Then you can brush off the fact that your friends think you’re depressed. 🙂
Perhaps your quirky point of view also has something to do with your mothers’ telling you that you were really something special?
Eugen: Haha, you’re referring to the “Mom said I’m special” design. My mother still tells me that, regularly, every time I visit my parents.
Felix: You are really something “special,” not to say “different,” so instead “special”…
Eugene: I got it! : D
I think we kind of get what’s going on in your minds – a lot of craziness. But how do you create your ambiguous designs? On paper? On a computer?
Felix: The designs are mainly created on paper. This makes developing a rough sketch easier and faster. Then we scan the sketch and digitize it on the computer. We use a graphics tablet, which makes it easy to handle.
What are you up to when you’re not busy with filling your showroom?
Felix: At the moment, we both work as web developers. Mostly we build websites.
Eugen: In addition to the showroom, we also run a Spreadshop, where we sell designs branded with the baibaibai logo. This branding obviously makes less sense on the Spreadshirt Marketplace.
You’ve been on Spreadshirt for almost a year. Have you learned any tricks in this short period of time? Are there certain things that you wish you had known from the beginning?
Felix: I found it a bit alarming that rather simple designs sometimes sold better than designs that we spent more time and creativity on when we were making them.
Eugen: It’s hard to judge what others will think is nice or trendy. But for us that just means staying true to our vision and continuing to create designs that we like. To be sure, in order to generate a lot of sales, you need to look for niches and serve them. Initially, we tried doing this with shirts that had witty sayings on them. But those were all missing a bit of identity. Since then, we’ve been striving to find our own niche.
And you’re doing a really good job at it! What’s your favorite design in your showroom?
Eugen: What do you get when you mix a cat and Saturn? That’s right! Caturn!
Felix: I really like the “reality” design best. It describes how your own reality feels when you’ve spent a few too many hours on the computer again. 🙂
Do you already have future plans for your showroom?
Eugen: Of course, our ongoing goal is to improve our designs and continually upload new designs. We hope that our style is recognizable and that customers looking for new designs will come take a look. These are big goals, but at least we already have a range of designs that will motivate us as we move forward. 😉
You’re definitely on the right path – your own! Eugen and Felix, thanks for your time!