I’ve been tshirtdad (on Skype) for over 12 years, so it’s about time I start making some shirts. I was encouraged by Paul at WestCoast RC Trading Post. He said, “Dude, if you have a garage to set up shop, you can make anything.”
I checked. I have a garage.
So I set up shop, made some designs, rigged a temporary drafting board (it’s still the wrong height, cramps my back) received my order from tshirt.ca, and spent close to 30 hours making 8 shirts.
Oh yeah. And these babies are still drafts.
Obey The Signs
CAUTION: ALL FALL
I started with the yellow shirt and quickly realized I didn’t want to just ink in the words. Boring. I wanted a cartoon-like style reminiscent to the underlying pen-ink hatching done by Mercer Mayer in the 70s.
I then, using that technique, made 4 shirts for my nephew. Long thin lines. Hours. I liked the shirts–they’re cool–but they were only the shirt color and Sharpie black and I found I wanted some white. Polar Bear White, to be exact. And yes, that’s an interior paint color. I’m using house paint.
HEAVEN (ONE WAY)
But then realized I didn’t like the hatching next solid white, even if I left the white faded looking. So I combined bold black with patches of hatching and left spaces untouched: an unfinished look. And it worked. I showed Paul. “Dude, you made that?”
U TURN, U LIVE
The U Turn, U Live shirt came next, even though it was my first idea. Here in Canada, a green circle around an arrow grants permission. And I thought, That’s what we have right now: Permission to Repent, to turn around and go the other direction toward God and how He wants us to live.
I returned to my adapted Mercer Mayer hatch lines and decided it was time to work a bit on my own font.
Last, I came to the Stop sign.
My Personal Intentions
I know. None of the verses on any of the shirts are easy to read from a distance. But that’s intentional. I’m not interested in designing obnoxious shirts that work like bumper stickers: “Here’s my opinion on life. Read what I think. It’s unnecessary for us to dialogue.”
No. I want conversation. I want people to see familiar symbols and wonder why they’re on my shirt. With my current design, people can only read the verses if they’re close enough to say Hi. That’s when people should be exposed to the verses–when there’s curiosity and a chance for questions and answers.
I’ve thought about having large, easy-to-read font and color on the back. But wouldn’t the shirt become a billboard?
Jesus is a person. He loves people. People introduce each other to the persons in their lives. I’m wanting to keep it personal.
–update: Within a week, I’m having my First Conversation!
Any tips or suggestions? Drop me a comment. Thanks!