When people ask me how I come up with a design, they wait for me to tell them about a bunch of "Eureka" moments, where confetti flies everywhere, with bombs bursting in the background and a bunch of monkeys drop-kicking douche bags all across the earth (even possibly in other galaxies). Sadly, this isn't what happens. The douche bags are here to stay people. When a design pops in my head time doesn't suddenly stop, it keeps going and unfortunately I still can't fly around the world faster than a speeding bullet.
Coming up with a design usually happens when I'm reading or watching something on TV. The words that are written on a page or said aloud through the television conjure up a visual inside my head. Sometimes, these visuals make me laugh, smile or even piss me off (all of which are great for when trying to design something). Rarely do I come up with a design when I'm looking at other posters, logos or images. It may provoke a thought in my head, but I hate making something that has been done before or looks like something that has been made before. So when it's time to start designing for a certain thing, I stay away from what other designers have done.
To give an example, one of the designs I did recently (one that may or may not be in our next line of shirts) was because I heard the words "child's play" on the tele. Then, the monkeys started kicking douche bag ass. Then, I thought of war. Next, I saw George W. Bush getting kicked in the face by monkeys (something many dream of... sorry Bush). But seriously, when I thought of war, and I hate the thought of war, I thought of the reasons why people start wars and kill people. It's all childish to me. So I saw this innocent looking kid controlling a war machine that can harm many people.
I love making something serious, funny and lighthearted. And this design, to me, was just that.