- Michael and his friend Jochen travelled to Porto in June 2011 in order to walk the Portuguese Road, full of excitement and anticipation of what they would experience. On the first day, it seemed like they were the only pilgrims travelling there, but then they reached the town of Rates and found a packed hostel at the edge of town. Maybe they had just started out late that first day, because over in the following week, they continued to encounter similarly minded strangers on the road and in the hostels along the way. During all those stations on their journey, with its charming hostels and quaint little towns, Michael observed that no matter how many people they met on the same road, every journey was different and unique. And he longed for a memento that would celebrate that unique spirit and mindset.
- That's how the idea was born: the Personalized Pilgrim's Shirt!
- At the destination in Santiago de Compostella there were souvenir shops aplenty, offering all kinds of trinkets to remember the town and the pilgrimage. Still looking for that one memento that would encompass Michael's individual experience, he visited them all, but when it came a personalized souvenir, he came up short. He realized then that he would have to take his idea, and create his own individual memento - a welcome challenge after a journey filled with so many experiences and impressions he would never forget.
- It's a far road from an idea to its implementation in the real world, however. At first, he had to work out what exactly he had envisioned when looking for a personalized souvenir, to figure out what it could look like and make it tangible. While Michael is full of ideas, he sometimes lacks the creative energy to actually push them through. So he told Elke about his idea, because Elke works with graphic design and in many other creative fields.
- During several sessions, they created the first mock-ups. One of the biggest challenges was to incorporate the possibilities and limitations of t-shirt printing, but after several mock-up prints they overcame it together: The result was the „Classic design“ which can be printed directly onto fabric without loss of quality, designed to fit Caminos of different lengths and durations.
- So that was the shirt design, but at that point, they were clueless about how to create and develop this personalized shirt for pilgrims. They knew immediately that they wanted a website to ensure universal access. After all, pilgrims from all over Europe are travelling to Spain to walk these roads. Aachen, where Michael was born, is pretty much in the heart of Europe, after all, and that's also where me met Simon during an event called „How I met my idea“. Simon is UX designer with a passion for ideas. So when Michael told him about his personalized souvenir, he realized immediately how helpful Simon would be along the way.
- The result of intensive brainstorming sessions was a web design concept that would allow the simple configuration of dates and locations as a basis for the personalized memento of the travelled road. We call it the configurator! Of course that sounded highly technical and so it became necessary to bring more specialists into the group. Michael found two extremely gifted software developers in Marko and Phillip, both highly excitable by new challenges. They were vital contributors in implementing Michael's endless ideas and they understood his attention to detail and desire for a polished final product. And that's what you see in front of you right now.
Our gratitude goes out to...
- ... all of our friends, critics, fans and especially customers like you, who continue to offer us valuable feedback without which we could never have developed your Personalized Pilgrim's Souvenir!
- We sincerely thank the following websites with which we work closely together: