The Most Obvious Evolution of All Time

Drumroll please… announcing our latest winning design for the Peanuts challenge! Created by Brazilian artist and graphic designer Fernando Degrossi, “The PEANUTS_smallbanner_newstyleCreation” illustrates the evolution of one of our most beloved characters, Charlie Brown, from the only natural source possible: a peanut shell. Check out our conversation with him below, and shop the winning design here!

Congrats on your winning design “The Creation” for our Peanuts challenge! Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself.

Thank you very much! I am very happy to have my design chosen among so many other good designs. My name is Fernando Degrossi, and I am Brazilian graphic designer living in São Paulo. I love to present my ideas around the world, and am passionate about art and challenges. I believe that all art is valuable when presenting a concept and has a story to tell.

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How does it feel to win a challenge for such an iconic comic legend?

Yeah! I never imagined that Charlie Brown would make me so happy! He is sponsoring my next vacation!!! It is very gratifying to know that my art was chosen from more than 1,000 good designs. This was a contest that showed good ideas. It’s great to know that Threadless, in partnership with the legendary Peanuts Studio, chose me as one of three winners. It makes me very proud.

What initially made you a Peanuts fan?

Peanuts are those drawings that became a classic. In childhood, my nickname was Linus; not because I walked with a blue blanket, but because of my appearance, and maybe because I’ve always been a good friend. Naturally I became a fan of the cartoon!

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Why do you believe Peanuts had such a significant cultural impact on readers everywhere?

Peanuts were an important part of the history of the newspaper. I think each of us identifies with a character. In Brazil, not many people know that the cartoon is called Peanuts. We refer to the cartoon as the “Snoopy Gang”. Even those who have never read a strip design know Peanuts.

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When considering what to design for this challenge, where did you look for inspiration?

I wanted to illustrate a story that is important to the scene of the cartoons, and thought of something that shows an evolution from the strips of newspapers to 3D. I needed to have an idea that both adults and children would understand quickly. I started researching the history of Peanuts and saw that the characters have changed traits over time, and that this execution was the best way.

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How did you ultimately land on your final concept for “The Creation”?

To illustrate this evolution, I thought it would be interesting to mix two aspects: the evolution of the main character Charlie Brown, and the evolution of design traits. When I saw the picture of the scientific evolution of man, I figured I’d do the same so everyone would understand the evolution aspect. At first I had thought of hand drawing this evolution, but the I read “Peanuts” and realize oops! This idea comes out of a shell!

Would you mind taking us through your process for this design? Feel free to share any WIPs, if possible!

I picked up the pencil when the idea is ready. Here’s a taste of what I explained in the previous question:

If you could have lunch with Charles Schulz, what’s the first question you’d ask him?

Why the name “Peanuts”?

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Any other shout-outs?

It was a great pleasure to participate in this contest. I had other selected designs and would have liked to make them all. It was great fun! Also, I have a design agency in Brazil, and the logo of my agency was also born of a peanut! We are three partners who studied in the same University class, that is, we are born of the same shell! Long live the PEANUTS!!!

Shop “The Creation” here!

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Shawn Gauthier

Content Manager & Writer at Threadless. Into the usual stuff like words and music and internet animals.