Some of my all time favorite projects fall in the Apparel Design category. In my opinion, nothing beats art that is both fashionable and functional. I love going out and seeing others in public wear my T-shirt designs.
Do you play in an independent band or own your own record label? You need affordable merch design, including shirts. If your company promotes events, then you are going to need shirts or buttons to promote them. Perhaps your business needs uniforms and hats with your logo on them for your employees. Want something more stylish? Why not a scarf or bandana then? Put my creativity and skill to work for you.
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Scroll down in order to see samples of my apparel design work below. Then contact me to get started. I’m ready to work on your shirt or or other clothing graphic design project!
The staff at Lynagh’s Irish Pub have been great to me over the past few years. They have hired me for some of my favorite apparel and concert poster projects. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic reducing all of our local gathering places to carry-out only in 2020, the owner Jeb was still looking ahead to next year. He contracted me for an anniversary shirt design to commemorate Lynagh’s 40th year of service.
Anniversary shirt design diary
A photo of Lynagh’s Irish Pub in Lexington, KY, which I based my anniversary shirt design on.
As usual, Jeb gave me one bullet point and let me run with it. He requested that I recreate the Lynagh’s storefront from a few photos he sent. Other than that, he gave me complete creative freedom. I rubbed my hands together and started sketching out the perfect apparel design for this special occasion.
Initially, I intended on featuring the storefront front and center, with all of the other elements situated behind it. However, the building is not exactly very distinct, apart from the signs on top of the roof. I decided it would be more effective it were “contained” within a shield shaped frame. I made a very detailed drawing of the store, including the West Sixth Brewing neon sign in the window. The glass door opens to invite everyone in the friendly confines of the pub. I took some liberties with the illustration for artistic effect. Specifically, I enlarged the signs on the roof so they would stand out more within the shield. I needed to maximize the space on the art board. I also added a black “night sky” with stylized stars to help the sign pop more.
Finally, I laid out the shield and the heraldry. Outside the frame, I added a civic crown wrapping around either side in order to add a touch of class. I typed “40th Anniversary” in the Copperplate font, and then placed it into a double stacked banner in the center. To balance all of the elements out, I added a three leafed shamrock at the bottom, as well as a regal crown on top. The years 1981 and 2001 proudly display on either side of the crown.
Contact me today for your own anniversary shirt design
Does your business have an important milestone coming up? Let’s celebrate! Contact me today.
Lynagh’s is an Irish bar and restaurant situated near the University of Kentucky’s campus. It is a live music institution here in Lexington, which is also famous for its burgers and spirits. Patrons of all backgrounds also gather there to watch big soccer and basketball games. I have booked shows directly with their owner Jeb for years, so it was natural for him to approach me to create an Irish shirt design for the bar.
Irish shirt design story
Jeb asked for a montage of simple images to represent his brand. Specifically, he only requested that I incorporate a soccer ball, a mug of beer, and a shamrock. Beside these elements, he only asked for me to use a mix of fonts similar to his existing logo. Other than that, he wanted the design on either a green or grey shirt. He gave me the creative leeway to also add my own flair to the design, so I went right to work sketching.
First, I chose a Hunter Green shirt as the backdrop for the white and light green ink. This light to dark range is the perfect choice for an Irish shirt design. I then selected a combination of two decorative fonts to give the shirt a Celtic feel. “LYNAGH’S” arches on top of the design using a bold strain of the GF font, while “Irish Pub” displays in the lighter (XX) font below. I stroked the top text with an implied dark green, then a light green to make it pop a bit more.
After choosing the fonts for the main text, I placed an oval in the middle of them in light green. I filled it with a Celtic knot pattern, and used it as the background of the requested beer, soccer, and shamrock icons. The shamrock is slightly larger, and displays upright, in front of the other elements. I tilted them to give further emphasis on the shamrock, making it the focal element.
Finally, I took creative license and added the words “LEX KY” and “SINCE 1981”, orbiting the rest of the design elements. This adds a bit more of the varsity sports theme overall. I topped everything off with a weathered grunge pattern to give it a broken in “favorite old shirt” feel.
Hire me to create your Irish shirt design
Whether you want to celebrate your family heritage or promote an event, an Irish shirt design is a great idea. Don’t press your luck. Contact me today.
I created this Kentucky shirt design for The Misty Mountain String Band, who are long time clients and friends of mine. They are the hardest working bluegrass and roots music quartet in America. I may be biased in this assumption, though. The Louisville foursome showcase traditional Kentucky instrumental and vocal sounds. Four voices create soaring harmonies over banjo, mandolin, stand up bass, and the six stringed acoustic guitar. Their distinct blend of folk and old time music styles creates a crowd pleasing live show.
As with their previous records, the group called upon their fanbase to help crowd fund their 2018 LP “Kentucky Bound”. The Kickstarter online fundraiser service was a perfect platform to do that. Since a new record always calls for new merchandise, they needed a distinctly Kentucky shirt design as a reward for their donors.
Kentucky shirt design story – choosing the right images
Their stand up bassist came to me with a concept that was based on a vintage postcard designed to attract tourists to the Bluegrass State. Like the retro postcard, the shirt would feature a variety of Kentucky landmarks and attractions. We worked together to flesh out a variety of examples for their Kentucky shirt design. Finally, we all settled together on an iconic group of eleven notable ones. We decided that the shirt’s title letters should feature the following inside:
First, I started by hunting down the most appropriate royalty free images that I could find for each of the attractions. I then assembled the lettering for the main title from a tall sans serif font. After outlining the text, I reshaped each letter to make them stand out like those on the original design. Using the Adobe Illustrator application, I stroked the letters with thick black strokes and added a thinner white stroke inside. Then, I manipulated the text. I added both warp and 3D effects in order to mimic the text style featured on the original postcard.
Main title and photo retouching for Kentucky shirt design
Next, I cropped each of the photos so that they would fit exactly inside of the letters. As with the original design, some of the items also needed to take up the space of two letters. Peabody’s coal shovel was so enormous that it warranted taking up the “B” and “O” to get the full length effect. The patterns on the monarch butterfly’s beautiful wings deserved the extra space provided inside the letters “N” and “D”. After I laid out and cropped the images, I color corrected each of them. I did this adjusting their brightness and saturation factors so that each picture would balance the others out. Last of all, I blended some filtered copies together with the original photos in order to give them a painterly feel. I was ready at last to add the finishing touches.
Finishing touches on the Kentucky shirt design
The finished product, hot off the presses! Mammoth Print Shop did a great job.
In front of the faded and pale sunset background, I then set the band’s name. I employed a mix of italicized tall sans serif and script fonts. A majestic cardinal, which is the Kentucky state bird, rests its sturdy talons on the letter “I”. The red bird looks straight ahead to a bright future for our commonwealth. The goldenrod is the official state flower of Kentucky. The yellow flower also appears floating in the bottom left corner of the postcard. You might even choose to say that it appears as a garnish to balance all of the elements out.
Finally, this Kentucky shirt design features the historic Bill Monroe Homeplace in the bottom right corner of the postcard. This is a call back that is reminiscent of the Kentucky state capitol building, which is featured in the original postcard. As with the main title, I blended the original photograph with a copy of it that I stylized with a painterly dry brush Photoshop filter. I added an inside stroke to the rectangle shape in order to complete the postcard feel. To top off the shirt design’s composition, I later added a grunge texture overlay. This gives the whole piece a feel that looks both worn and weathered. A few minor revisions later, and we had a finished product.
Kentucky shirt design – fan reception
The design was roundly praised. When the teaser images were posted on the band’s social media channels, fans remarked that they couldn’t wait to get their hands on the new MMSB swag. That being said, this shirt graphic design turned out to be one of my favorite projects to date. The colorful postcard image really pops off of the mid grey colored shirt. It is always a pleasure to work together with The Misty Mountain String Band.
Contact me for your own Kentucky shirt design
Are you part of a Bluegrass band, a record label, or a small business which is based in Kentucky? Does your group need an original shirt design that pays tribute to your old Kentucky home? You can put full confidence in me to get the job done. Contact me today!
My friends in Lexington’s favorite (only) ska band The Rough Customers approached me for a new band shirt graphic design. They requested a parody of the famous Ale-8-One soft drink logo. Ale-8-One (“A Late One”) bottles their ginger based soda near here in Winchester, KY. Since it is a symbol of Kentucky culture, the band chose it to represent them at both local shows and tour dates. Also, the band had just added a new singer, so new merchandise would be a great way to celebrate the new era of the band.
Band shirt graphic design story
Many of my projects involve brainstorming ideas with clients. However, we did not need much back and forth discussion for this shirt design. The band simply requested a parody logo replacing the product name with their own. The design would go on a kelly green shirt, reminiscent of the brand’s bottles. I suggested replacing the stars in the original design with trumpets, in order to give it a subtle nod to the band’s genre.
The new shirt debuting on the band’s merch table.
I began the design by tracing the outline of the soft drink’s signature red and white badge. The brand name actually uses a hand drawn mark, instead of a conventional font. As such, I studied the original. I wondered what other characters would look like if they were written in this style. Then, I began working in Adobe Illustrator. I started with the conventional sans serif font Myriad Pro, spelling out each letter. After that, I outlined them, and warped them using envelope filters, as well as the pen tool. I spent the bulk of my time getting the sizes and weights of each new character just right in order to mimic the original logo’s feel. Finally, I substituted the aforementioned trumpets in place of the original’s stars. The end result? The Rough Customers‘ fans loved donning the bright green, red, and white shirts while skanking at the band’s shows.