The above images are all t-shirt graphics I designed or helped design. I’ve designed many more, but these were actually printed and distributed. More graphics and logos can be seen here.
When I was in middle school I signed up for an art class. Mr. Butler taught it. I was one of two-dozen other long-haired, zit-faced teens desperate for some sort of outlet and course credit. The curriculum included sketch, still-life, painting, sculpture, pinhole photography, copper embossing, and screen printing. It was all extremely interesting, but I really took to screen printing because of it’s connection to music and design.
I learned to print using cheap, water-soluble inks from the hobby store. We would design and cut paper stencils by hand and soon I was at home with a full setup in the garage. Nothing fancy, but I was printing up to seven-color designs of my favorite singers in my spare time; one-off designs with only one chance to get it right. I really wish I had photos of the process to share, but back then it was just a way to create and nothing more.
In high school I was still at it, and one day my athlete friends introduced me to a store across the street where they heat-pressed names and numbers onto jerseys. I walked over to inquired about print supplies, but, when I told the owner what I was up to, he offered me a job on the spot. I worked at RockSports off and on throughout high school and college, learning a trade in a professional environment for the first time. I worked at every level of the process, eventually running the manual and automatic presses with a small crew. My thanks to the Payton family who own the place. They are great people and very generous to those they employ.
I joined my first band Featherlite at 17 and branding the music was definitely a highlight of the process for me. I continued t-shirt design all the way through college, eventually designing and printing two shirts for The UT Men’s Chorus, and eventually helping out other bands with their merch. It’s been a while since I’ve had anything printed, but I’ll always love the smell of fresh prints.