How Jinx's Witcher Clothing Line Made One Fan's Dream Come True
Roberto Saldaña Cazares, a Mexican graphic designer and artist, remembers sketching Street Fighter II and Battleclash doodles in elementary-school notebooks, combining his childhood love for art and video games. Almost 30 years later, Cazares, now a full-time graphic artist and designer working with brands like Converse, Harley Davidson, and Live 2 Rock, has transformed that passion into a professional success story.
Working under the name Robba SC, Cazares posted some Witcher 3 designs on his Behance and Instagram accounts in April 2016 as a passion project. It was his first game-related project, a tribute to one of his favorite games. Cazares’ designs made the front page of Reddit back in 2016, and both CD Projekt Red and gaming lifestyle brand Jinx, who have partnered on Witcher-themed clothing since the days of The Witcher 2, took notice.
“[CD] Projekt Red was like, ‘Hey have you seen this art?’” recalled Raul Casillas, art director at Jinx. “And we were like, ‘Yeah, actually we have. We weren’t sure if you guys were gonna be into it.’ They were.”
Jinx, which produces clothing based on licenses like Overwatch, Minecraft, and the Witcher, as well as its own branded clothing, reached out to Cazares with their idea of featuring four of his pieces as well as their own Witcher designs in an upcoming line of Witcher gear. Cazares, who also works as art director at Alimentarium, a restaurant group, is first and foremost a fan, so it was hard for him to say no. He’s still reeling from the opportunity. Even though he’s a skilled graphic designer, he’s surprised that a little passion project spun out of control so quickly.
“Man, that was a good day!” Cazares recalls. “I mean the very people that inspired me to make this art tribute saw and liked my work!”
It doesn’t hurt that Cazares’ monochromatic, tattoo-like designs are incredibly striking. Both Jinx and CD Projekt Red loved the designs and were impressed by how much they felt like part of the Witcher’s world – the folks at CD Projekt Red call it “medieval simplicity” – while also feeling totally separate and unique.
This red windbreaker ($59.99) will be available as part of Jinx's Cyber Monday exclusives.
“Both me and Przemek [Juszczyk, lead graphic designer at CD Projekt Red] thought that they are capturing the essence of the world of the Witcher,” says Rafal Jaki, senior business development manager at CD Projekt Red., “But, at the same time, they have a quality to them that makes people think ‘Cool T-shirt,’ even if they don’t know the world.”
Cazares’ real inspiration was the morally ambiguous, war-ravaged world of the Witcher.
“[It’s] a real bada** world housed in some gigabytes,” Cazares says. “That right there was my hook. I wanted to visit the Seven Cats Inn, go to a feast in a Nilfgaardian palace, watch a fist tournament in Skellige, or visit the Passiflora.”
That kind of passion is one that many gamers are familiar with and one that CD Projekt Red has fostered.
“Without the community supporting us, we would not be where we are right now,” says Marcin Momot, community lead at CD Projekt Red. “We are gamers ourselves, and we do our best to treat players the way we would like to be treated.”
With his first gaming project such a huge success, Cazares plans on continuing to combine his love for art and video games in the future.
“I love the arts, and video games, as the art forms they are, will always provide an amazing source of inspiration for the years to come,” Cazares says. “I just need some music, coffee or whiskey, and a good pen and paper along the way.”
Fans of fashion and gaming alike will be able to enjoy the results of this international partnership when the product line launches on October 6. The launch will include four of Cavares' designs, starting at $21.99, as well as Jinx's own Witcher designs. Check out our screenshot gallery for a sneak peak and go here to purchase the Witcher 3 product line. And if you don't want to leave the world of the Witcher, CD Projekt Red released a vinyl soundtrack for the game earlier this year.