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Death From Above - The War on Christmas

"Hovering U.S. Army helicopters pour machine gun fire into a tree line to cover the advance of South Vietnamese ground troops in an attack on a Viet-Cong camp 18 miles north of Tay Ninh, near the Cambodian border, March 1965. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)"

Design drop #7 in the Great Big War on Christmas Design Drive of 2021 has arrived. I call it Death From Above. While I enjoyed putting this one together immensely, I include the full description that came with the original photo to remind myself that people were very likely dying at the moment this photo was taken. Those guys were slogging across that field about 18 months before I was born. Crazy.

With that being said, there is a lot going on in this design that really works for me. The palette evokes Christmas with its green, gold(ish) and red, but that red is very angry and lurid. You could even call it blood red, or poppy red. I think the two smoke elements are very effective, and having that smoke drift outside of the frame helps to make the transition from 1965 to 2021. Adding a very stylized version of Santa's sleigh was an easy call.

At the moment, Death From Above really only works properly on a very light-coloured background/shirt because of that smoke outside the frame. The source photos of those plumes have the smoke against a white background, and I'm learning that it is very difficult to separate the smoke from the background, especially at the edges. This is precisely the type of challenge that I find ridiculously interesting, so expect to see a solution to this small issue soon. Hopefully.


As with all of the designs in this Design Drive, you can find Death From Above over at my Redbubble store, where it is available printed on a wide array of clothing and household products.


Here are the other designs that have dropped so far:

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