When I got the pretty new Macbook Pro, the first thing I wanted to do was find something to protect it. Turns out all the cute ones (because it has to be cute) are really expensive! Go figure. So I took things into my own hands. Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel/Fendi bigwig to those who aren’t into that sort of thing) designed a print that went something like this:
I’ve always liked it and thought about making my own t-shirt. The laptop dilemma seemed like the right opportunity to use the idea. I went on Amazon and looked up the cheapest sleeves with the best rating. I came across a cool one that was black faux leather (not fancy, but I prefer to refer to it as “cruelty free”) and it’s made to look like a document folder (complete with red cable tie for a little bit of “pop” but has a Velcro closure if you are too lazy to use the cord). It had a 4.5 rating and was $9.99. Sold! It has turned out to be perfect. It’s sturdy, fits just right and has a felt interior to snuggle my computer as it deserves. BUT, the sleeve is kinda boring if left as is.
I spent some time figuring out what would adhere to pleather (it hurts me to say the word) …turns out nothing really does, not completely. It was better than my other option though. See, most laptop sleeves are made of real leather (which I wouldn’t want to risk fucking up this early in my design endeavors) or most commonly: Neoprene. Think wetsuit material. It’s so porous, it doesn’t respond to anything! So I went with the fake leather and got myself a large, white, OIL BASED paint Sharpie (you can grab one of those for under five bucks). The fact that I didn’t know how the sleeve material would respond is why I decided this was the perfect project to use this design for. It only requires one paint pen, nothing complex, and if it does get a bit messed up …it makes sense with the “punk” style of it. Also, if it got too “punk” it seemed the easiest to touch up.
The final result is at top. Not too bad if I do say so myself. The bonus for me is how much ol’ Uncle Karl would crap his pants in a rage over how someone dared to copy the all-mighty Chanel. Needless to say he’s very protective of the “brand” …even if his design is meant to be tongue and cheek grunge. Heh! Mine is REAL grunge. I win! How has it been holding up? Pleasingly well. The texture of the sleeve is coming through a lot (you need to go over the lettering at least twice …don’t forget to let the coats dry) and there is some cracking. But like I said, it works with the design. I’m glad I went with this and didn’t actually draw something. It would not have held up. My other advice would be to not try to replicate the original font exactly. You’ll spend too much time worrying about being exact and it will turn out badly and rehearsed looking. That defeats the purpose. I know this from trying some test runs in my sketch book. As you can see, an approximation is just fine.
As someone who changes up the bag I carry, sometimes I don’t carry one large enough to put the sleeve in. Not that I take the beast out much, I couldn’t deal with it being stolen and I don’t feel the need to look oh-so important at a coffee shop (my home has great coffee …and it’s just better). But for school purposes and having a place to keep the charger, etc. having a laptop bag is necessary. That part was simply left to Betsey Johnson. It’s interesting to look at and gets the job done (and, of course, it’s made out of Neoprene …so it should be safe if someone started a water balloon fight …because it happens, all the time). Another tip? (since I’m at it) …always check Ross before anywhere else (even eBay …that’s just people who went to Ross and are now making a huge profit off the people who are too cool or dumb to go there themselves). Mine? $19.99. Most other places? $30-80. Yeeeeah. It’s not that great.