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Apparel Design

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.

Contact me for your own apparel design

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!

Hoodie graphic design for Kentucky punk bandSempervivi

Lexington, KY

Since 2015, I’ve designed several shirts for my pop punk project Sempervivi. As the band has grown, so have our merchandise offerings. We decided to take the next logical step by putting out some hoodies. I have done hoodie graphic design before, but this was special, since it was for my own music project.

Hoodie Graphic Design Story

Printing hoodies can be expensive. I wasn’t sure if there would be a big enough demand for Sempervivi hoodies, so setting up a preorder on our website for a limited run made sense. My friend who prints our shirts (Jeremiah at Flesh and Blood Printshop) might have a few extra blanks lying around. I asked him, and it turned out he had a lucky number of 13 surplus hoodies, both pullovers and full zip ups. There was also a mix of black, dark green, and heather grey garments, in a wide variety of sizes, so it helped create a sense of scarcity.

Once I got our plan in place, I started working on a design, which is usually backward from my usual order of doing things. Our bassist suggested that I create the design around silhouettes of us rocking out. I’ve done this theme several times over the years, both for artists and businesses. I used Adobe Illustrator to outline a few screen captures of live video footage, as well as some professional photos our friend Carmen had taken.

After I arranged the silhouettes, I framed them in a grungy circle of stars, adding the phrase “Kentucky Punks” underneath. To punctuate that phrase, I added our state’s motto “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”. Then, I arched the band name at the top using a tall retro title font. I adjusted the “M” for legibility, and added a small crown at the top to finish the back art.

Finally, I added the front design to the left chest. The silhouette of Kentucky contains the new logo font without the arch, along with the crown.

Hoodie Graphic Design Color Variants

Since we were printing on three different colored garments, I asked our printer to use three different ink color combinations. In addition to this being our first hoodie design, it was our first apparel to feature more than one ink color. For the black hoodies, we used a combination of cyan blue and white. The forest green garments featured orange and white. Lastly, the heather grey hoodie graphic design was printed using black and pink ink.

When I finally nailed down the design and the color schemes, we set up the online preorder for our fans. Once we had sold enough hoodies in advance to break even, I sent the files to press. Suffice to say that everyone loved them! Order yours here.

Contact Me For Your Hoodie Graphic Design

Inspired to offer hoodies for your fans? Contact me today to create a hoodie graphic design for your own band or business.

Filed Under: Apparel Design
Lynagh's Irish Pub 40th anniversary shirt design

Lynagh’s Irish Pub

Lexington, KY

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

Photo of Lynagh's Irish Pub in Lexington, KY - anniversary shirt design

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.

Filed Under: Apparel Design
Irish shirt design for Lynagh's Irish Pub in Lexington, KY

Lynagh’s Irish Pub

Lexington, KY

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.

Filed Under: Apparel Design
Kentucky shirt design detail for Louisville Bluegrass band

Misty Mountain String Band

Louisville, KY

I created this Kentucky shirt design for The Misty Mountain String Band, who are long time clients and friends of mine. They are surely the hardest working bluegrass and roots music quartet in the USA. 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

"<yoastmark 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:

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

Screen printed Kentucky shirt design for Bluegrass band

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

This 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!

Filed Under: Apparel Design