2010 NAF International Ataxia Awareness Day (IAAD) T-shirt Design Challenge

     Thank You all for your participation is the 2010 IAAD T-Shirt Design Challenge. Over 4,500 votes were counted! Based on your votes Lealan D M LaRoche is the 2010 IAAD “Get To Know Ataxia” T-Shirt Design Winner! Great job & Congratulations Lealan LaRoche for your excellent design! Thank you very much to all the designers for your participation and enthusiasm to promote ataxia awareness. The winner & finalists will be featured in an upcoming issue of “Generations”. The winning Design will be the official NAF 2010 IAAD T-Shirt! The new 2010 IAAD T-shirt will be available to purchase through NAF’s online store in May 2010.


T-Shirt Design Contest Winner Image

Lealan LaRoche
Lealan D M LaRoche

 Design #7
I am an Architecture and City  Planning graduate student at Georgia Tech. We are constantly building a knowledge of design  for not only function and form, but for presenting our ideas-- graphic design essentially. And I have a passion for it! Over the past few year, I've picked up jobs for designing tshirts, announcements, signage, invitations, and event decor. This contest was calling my name....

I also have Friedreich's Ataxia. I am 24 years old. I was diagnosed at age 20. I know FA will not stop me from a career in design. Being involved is crucial to experiencing what life has to offer. Sometimes life hands you a curve ball. Life hands me a curve ball everyday. From this, I have discovered how important it is for someone like me to be in the design field. I hope to direct my career towards consulting and designing that specializes in mobility and accessibility. I want to improve the lives affected by unforeseen life changes. By creating a more supportive transition, people and place can simply better understand the needs of the disabled, caregivers, friends, and family. This makes me smile.

Now for the fun part: the tshirt design. Ataxia represents something very unfamiliar to most. What I hope it can represent is something positive, not mysterious and scary. Ataxia does have positive changes on people. We need to focus on its STRENGTHS. Ataxia, to me, means support, hope, STRENGTH. My family, friends, and I are the strength behind ataxia. I want to shout it! I want the world to know the strength. The ideas behind the design are just that simple. The color blue came from NAF. I knew no other color could do the design justice anyway!

Behind the message is a composition of the words and graphics. It is understood more abstractly. I did not want to center everything on the shirt because asymmetry is more striking. And the message is so much more easily read. The circles on the back design represent the many forms of ataxia, yet they are all linked to each other. "Ataxia" written on the back I chose to beautify- to find a font that brings out the beauty behind ataxia. I have probably told you too much. But I chose to take on  this contest with honesty and passion!

Attached is a pdf of the design on an actual graphic of a tshirt. The top color scheme using navy blue is my #1 choice. I emailed samples out to the Atlanta Ataxia Support Group to vote on color choices. In addition to the navy blue, they chose two more options below in royal blue and black. 



Design #1
 Submitted by: Danylle L. Kern
My name is Danylle Kern and I am 22 years old. SCA7 runs in my family. About 2 years ago my sister and myself began a t-shirt sale fundraiser to raise awareness and money for research of Ataxia. Last year we raised over $2000.00 with the selling of this t-shirt
Design #2
 Submitted by: Caryn Benson
My dad, who was one of my best friends, had spinocerebellar ataxia.  He died this past June.  It was a really hard time for me to watch my dad go through this, however, I am glad that I was able to spend as much time with him as I did. 

I moved closer to my dad 10 years ago when his disease starting getting worse.  I started off having dinner with my dad once or twice a week.  About a 2 years before he passed away, I then started going over there 3 times a week. 

About 5 months before he died, I got a job that enabled me to be flexible with my schedule and I spent everyday with my dad.   I was able to take care of him.  He took care of me all my life and this was a very small way for me to show him just how much I loved him.  I wouldn't have changed it for the world, being there for my dad like he was for me. 

We had always been close, but we bonded more than I could have ever believed.  I kept wishing for a cure and that he would get better.  I know that no one should ever have to endure what he went through, that is why I wanted to design a shirt in his memory. 

The design of my shirt shows us having a ribbon supporting the cause and when we find a cure, we won't need the ribbons anymore. 

Let's find a cure!!!
Design #4
 Submitted by: Zack Stackle
The design I came up with is fun, has a funky kind of feel, but is still educational in the sense that it gives someone wearing it an easy way to explain to people what ataxia is, and how it effects the brain.  This helps others 'Get to Know Ataxia'.
Design #10
 Submitted by: Danylle Kern
The first design consists of the contests 'slogan' along with a definition of Ataxia on the back.  Within the definition I have placed the logo of the foundation in a separate color.