Behind the Designs: Agents and Heroes Collection - Name and Number T-shirts
Behind the Designs is a blog series that explains the inspiration and choices made for designs from Something Good Merchandise.
The Agents Name and Number T-shirts we designed initially came to fruition because co-owner Ashley wanted some sort of Daniel Sousa shirt. Eventually, she realized a Name and Number shirt would be perfect due to the S.H.I.E.L.D. team featured in Marvel's television show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
In this post, we explore the choices behind the Agents Name and Number T-shirts, which can be found in our Agents and Heroes Collection.
(This post contains spoilers for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Our Agents Name and Number designs are an extension of our Name and Number Collection, which features Name and Number shirts inspired by West Side Story, Bandstand, and more. The general design concept, however, was inspired by the NBA jerseys and jersey shirts that co-owner Ashley owns.
The group of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents featured in AoS are, quite literally, a team. In sports, teams have uniforms with distinct numbers (and often names) that help with identification. So it just made sense to apply such a concept to the team of agents featured in the show.
To begin, the designs featured agents on the team during the show's final season. But further additions have since been made to include agents from earlier seasons.
AoS often uses shades of black, gray, and blue throughout the series. When branding S.H.I.E.L.D. as an organization, blacks and grays are often used, so we went with a gray shirt to stay true to that color scheme. The design itself is white instead of black to remain neutral and stray from being too bold.
Logos and Graphic Elements
The font chosen for "S.H.I.E.L.D." is a clean sans serif with a mixture of straight edges and softer curves. The organization has ties to the military―by way of the preceding Strategic Scientific Reserve―so we wanted the font to give off a a more serious, military vibe without being too harsh or modern.
Stars and Stripes
The stars and stripes beneath "S.H.I.E.L.D." are directly inspired by the original S.H.I.E.L.D. logo (from when it was formed in the 1950s, not the modern logo). In the original logo, there is a shield with stars and stripes on it (similar to the original shield Steve Rogers uses in Captain America: The First Avenger). The inclusion of these elements is to pay homage to the shield in that logo.
For Coulson, we wanted to use a low number to represent his importance to the team and the organization as a whole. The number 01 didn't seem right, because he's no longer in charge. However, 00 seemed fitting because it's a low number and is a representation of how Coulson is now a life model decoy and not the exact same Coulson in the flesh.
A simple choice, the Director Name and Number design features 01 to represent his status as the director or S.H.I.E.L.D. and his commitment to the organization—even after numerous claims he would be leaving it.
Sousa is a S.H.I.E.L.D. legend who was there when it all started, and we wanted to represent that by using a low number for him. But which number was a bit tricky to decide upon. Ultimately, 08 was picked for the West Coast Chief Name and Number design as a guess as to what clearance level Sousa may have had but also to symbolize his joining the team on the Zephyr as the eighth agent.
When we think of Bobbi, we instantly think of her batons. Choosing 11 for her design pays tribute to that, each digit representing a baton.
When Simmons is undercover at HYDRA and is asked why she joined S.H.I.E.L.D., she explains how she was "a 17-year-old girl with two PhDs and a million questions." The choice to use the number 17 on the Biochemist Name and Number T-shirt is a callback to that line.
Deciding on a number for Hunter was somewhat difficult, because we wanted the number to have legitimate meaning behind it and not simply be arbitrary. However, we also feel it's kind of appropriate to have a less meaningful number, because he is a more careless, impulsive person. So we went with 19, which represents the number of English League titles Liverpool has—something that has nothing to do with S.H.I.E.L.D. or himself beyond the fact he is a Liverpool fan.
The number 31 is inspired by Simmons's line "2 becomes 1. Then 3 becomes 1." in episode 7×12 while she pieces together the quantum table at the bar. It references the birth of Alya and FitzSimmons becoming parents.
May ends the series as having accepted the moniker of "the Cavalry," and the number 42 is a way to pay homage to that nickname. Cavalry is soldiers fighting on horseback, and the individual digits refer to the limbs each uses. The 4 is representative of the horse's legs and the 2 of the person's arms used in combat.
Fitz made a huge sacrifice by going into cryo-sleep—in space!—for 74 years to save his teammates. It was a significant plot point for him, and we felt using 74 for the Turbo Name and Number T-shirt would be a good way to honor that.
Daisy has come a long way since she was hacktivist Skye, but she will still always be the baby that S.H.I.E.L.D. classified as an 0-8-4 over 30 years ago. The decision to use 84 alludes to that.88: Elena "Yo-Yo" Rodriguez
Yo-Yo gets her nickname from her ability to travel at wickedly high speeds but always "bouncing back" to the point she started at. Because of that, we wanted to pick a number that mirrored itself. The number 88 was a great choice because of its symmetrical appearance and its rounder features mimic that of an actual yo-yo.
Deke traveled back in time from 2091 to join the S.H.I.E.L.D. team, so the 91 pays homage to the year he's from.
One of the biggest character details concerning Trip is that his grandfather was a member of the Howling Commandos, a military unit that fought alongside Captain America during World War II. Throughout his arc on AoS, we even see him using his grandfather's old Howling Commandos gadgets to help with the missions. To pay tribute to that family history, we chose the number 92 in reference to the 92nd Infantry Division, which was the lone African American division that fought in Europe during WW2.
If you would like to see an Agents Name and Number T-shirt for a character we don't currently have one for, please feel free to comment or send us a message on social media. If you would like a custom Agents Name and Number T-shirt, email us at email@example.com with your request, and we will do our best to make it a reality! Please note, custom designs will be more expensive, and we reserve the right to deny custom requests.