Harvard-Yale: An Analysis of Game Swag
FM put on its thinking cap and tapped into its most pronounced highbrow persona to evaluate this year’s Harvard-Yale t-shirt offerings. “Where art thou, innovation?” we wonder, aloud, in affected accents.
Evidently a pupil of the school of contrast and juxtaposition, this shirt illustrates a monochrome John Harvard statue alongside an ironic companion: the Yale Bulldog. The inherent tension to the composition is electrifying, as is its spare but affecting tagline, “Domesticated Since 1701.” A more evocative statement might have been made, however, if the quip had been rendered in Helvetica Bold instead.
This shirt harnesses the brute machismo of caps lock to convey its timely message: “OCCUPY YALE.” The motif of aggression both disturbs and fascinates, and its deliberate starkness calls to mind the simple cries of our freedom fighters in Zuccotti Park. A yawning stretch of blank background canvas is a mesmerizing touch; its determined negative space appears fertile with imagined possibility.
“Yale is all about Safety,” announces the shirt, accompanied by the image of a silver lock emblazoned with the moniker of our rival. The schematic’s appeal lies in the universality of its message, but it could have gone further by utilizing an avant-garde inversion of this oft-used insult. While the depicted lock’s vertical symmetry is reminiscent of the deliberate balance of the nouveau contemporary, its color palette fails to impress. We all appreciate the perennial dichotomy of black and white, but this is Game Day. Have we learned nothing from Mondrian? (Trick question—of course we have!) Everything looks better with a splash of Crimson Red.