Behind the Deliverance Collection
Learn about the biblical inspiration and design process behind our newest products and order the products here.
YHWH Apparel is first and foremost an organization centered on the character of God. That’s why every YHWH Apparel design process begins with the studying of a particular Biblical theme: it is only after we study that theme, reflect upon it, and pray together as a team, that we are able to create pieces which truly reflect the beauty of God and His truths.
Last semester, still in the thick of the global pandemic and facing head-on the reality of racial inequalities in our country, we studied the theme of assurance and what it meant to have assurance in the Lord. But going into this semester and building off of that study, we wanted to explore what assurance in the Lord could lead to. This semester, we wanted to focus on the beauty of his deliverance.
Study of Deliverance
Deliverance is the sign of a kept promise, of God’s faithfulness and immense love for us, which sometimes we can’t even begin to comprehend. Over a year into this global pandemic and with a new wave of racial injustice and violence making its way to the surface, it can be hard for us as His children to focus on the glory of His promised deliverance. But through the study of this theme, we hoped to remind ourselves of the goodness of God. He doesn’t just make promises; He keeps them. He doesn’t just ask us to trust Him; He asks us to believe in Him. And through all of that, He delivers.
Sometimes, God’s deliverances can feel distant. There are countless stories of praises of God’s deliverance in the Bible, but those can sometimes feel alienating in the midst of our brokenness, like something unattainable which we can only blindly hope for. That feeling often arises because we have our own idea of what we want deliverance to look like. We fail to realize that His deliverance is only a deliverance insofar as it comes from God and His will. It may take us years to realize the true glory of God’s deliverance. We may never realize His plan for us at all. But we rejoice nonetheless that his deliverances are present and that He hears our pleas. It’s the unvanquishable light at the end of the tunnel, in the highest of our highs, and even in the everyday trials and temptations we face. His deliverances are not on reserve; they are plentiful and fruitful.
The Design Process
The start of our design process began once we started delving into the Word through our Bible studies. After reading, reflecting, sharing, and reminding ourselves of the deliverance that God has demonstrated throughout the Word (Exodus 14, Psalm 23, 1 Samuel 17:32–47, Psalm 34, Psalm 40:11–17, James 1:2–4, Colossians 1:12–13), we entered the ideation process.
After each Bible study, the team would break out into different breakout rooms to discuss what came to mind when reading these passages. Consequently, we were able to share what words, phrases, feelings, images we felt when reflecting upon God’s deliverance in the Word.
The product design team would then revisit what was discussed from Bible studies and begin searching for concepts to build on. There were several components that we wished to utilize, such as warm/light colors, a feeling of serenity, and the concept of actively and faithfully waiting. However, we also wanted to keep in mind both the flexibility and legibility of the design because of the products we were using. With this direction, the team came up with a multitude of different designs to capture what we had studied.
The design process stretched across the majority of the semester, and it was a constant process of fine-tuning and tweaking, ensuring that we could vividly illustrate the concept of deliverance. Nonetheless, it was a full team effort. The product design team received a lot of feedback from the other members of YHWH, and we valued each member’s critiques, suggestions, and praise. There were a lot of amazing designs that came from this semester’s design process, but we’re extremely happy and proud of the two that we settled with. After a lot of prayer, discussion, and refining, the product design team was able to create a minimalistic, geometric look for the hat and an intricate and bold design for the sticker.
Our cap is inspired by Psalm 23:3–4.
“He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me”
Psalm 23 as a whole describes our relationship with God as an illustration between sheep and a good shepherd.
Sheep are gullible and dumb creatures. They have little means of self defense, are easily killed by predators, scared easily, are prone to stampede due to mob mentality, need to be reminded to rest, and can even die of suffocation if no one rolls them back over when they lie down. Just like helpless sheep, we don’t always know what is for our own good and are clueless about what lies ahead in our lives. Fortunately, we have a devoted shepherd in charge of our lives who knows what’s best for us. God makes sure we are on the good and righteous path in order to deliver us to the promised, complete relationship with our Father. (verse 3). We need God and we know He will continue to lead us throughout our lives because it is “for His name’s sake.” This phrase is more than an instrument of emphasis and illustrates a promise we can put our full trust in because of God’s perfect goodness.
Our cap design directly draws from the valley imagery in verse 4, where even in dark moments that approach the shadow of death, we can trust that God is still there even when no light seems to exist. We incorporated negative space to represent the everlasting and unseen God (cross) and light source (the sun) that is always present even when everything feels dark and full of uncertainty. Even in moments when we may not be able to tangibly see or feel God’s presence, He is still with us. We intentionally chose the earthy color scheme not only for the aesthetics, but because they are symbolic of themes in the passage. The red, green, and yellow colors represent sanctification, growth, and light in God’s glory respectively.
While the original design consisted of the sun (light source) and two mountains to reflect the imagery in the passage, we chose to incorporate and emphasize the cross to clearly display the Christ-centered message. We hope that the cap design reminds people of the comforting message that Christ is there to guide us, protect us, and deliver us from our helpless state through grace alone. The God of the mountains is the God of the valleys.
“I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)
Psalm 34 stood out to us because of the way it described the concept of deliverance so simply and powerfully. Besides the fact that the verse itself talks directly about deliverance, it also eloquently portrays one of man’s greatest weaknesses: fear. Fear is something everybody experiences, regardless of whether we choose to show it or not, but even amidst that feeling of fear, we find hope in the fact that we can seek the Lord. He will answer and come to our rescue when we call out to Him.
When ideating for the sticker, we immediately thought of prayer. Prayer, like the Psalm 34:4, may seem very simple — after all, it’s something that most Christians do on a fairly regular basis. Yet, prayer is so much more than a mere routine practice. Prayer is what brings us closer to God and is a way that we can seek the Lord during our trials and tribulations.
Another concept that stuck with us was the idea of actively and faithfully waiting for God’s deliverance. We played around with this idea as we explored mail-related and delivery-related design themes. From drafting mailbox illustrations to creating stamp-inspired stickers, we wanted to exemplify the idea that our prayers could be likened to letters sent via mail to God. We also messed around with wing-related imagery to illustrate the idea of our “prayer mail” being sent up to God.
While the final design drew heavily from Psalm 34, Exodus 14 was another passage we studied that inspired our sticker design. Exodus 14 revealed to us the power of God’s deliverance in action through the story of Moses parting the Red Sea, as well our inability to sometimes even seek the Lord’s deliverance during times of trial. In difficult times, we can tend to grow impatient, doubt, and even spite the Lord, unable or choosing not to see the beauty of His ultimate plan. From this, we were reminded of the near-sightedness of human perspective and our own brokenness. As a result, we wanted to create a design that would remind us to be patient, faithful, and trusting of God and His deliverance of us from our brokenness. Again, we felt that prayer was one such way for us as Christians to seek to gain comfort, heal, and seek the Lord. Thus, the illustration of the hands clasped in prayer came to fruition as a powerful symbol of the importance of prayer in faithfully waiting for God’s deliverance.
From there, we combined the concepts of mail delivery and prayer together to create the illustration of hands clasping an envelope in prayer. Together, we felt that this illustration could represent the lifting up of our fears, anxieties, and brokenness up through prayer, and God’s faithful response and deliverance of us from sin.
The last details of the ribbon and wings enveloping the prayer hands were added as a final reminder of God’s most powerful act of deliverance: in giving us a second, new life as Christians by sending His son down on the cross to die for our sins. The wings and ribbon create a cross, reminding us of the merciful nature of God in continuing to love upon us despite our brokenness.
Thank you for taking the time to read about the heart behind the deliverance collection! This semester has been a rough one, especially with COVID-19 ongoing and other turmoils occurring around the world, but we hope that you will always be reminded of God’s deliverance and provision throughout our lives. He is always constant, always loving, and always steadfast.
May these products foster Christ-centered conversations and serve as a reminder of His deliverance!
To purchase any of the products from this collection, check out our website. The majority of our profits will go to Covenant House, a non-profit that helps aid the housing crisis in the Bay Area.