New T-shirt for the John Doe Tour

Continuing on the arrow theme, I designed a new T-shirt for John Doe's June & July 2016 tour.

It's the same design I created for the exclusive baseball tee he sold as part Pledge music campaign for his new album The Westerner.

I like my designs to be flexible enough to work in different color ways.  I love the navy & gray color combination.

This tee is 100% cotton, made in the USA and super soft.  Both the men's and the women's cuts are a classic tee that's actually true-to-size (which is rare; usually women's tees run at least a size small).

I'm really happy with the way this turned out.  Get yours at a John Doe show near you.

Designing a Bandana for X

Since the bandana I designed for John Doe has been so popular, it made perfect sense that X needed a bandana.

X bandana designed by Featherweight Studio

X bandana designed by Featherweight Studio

I pitched the idea to their manager & he loved it, so I set out to make a bandana design worthy of such an iconic band.  I used motifs from their xeroxed songbooks that they've sold at concerts in the past.  I've also always wanted a piece of merch with all their names on it, since they have the coolest names.

X bandana designed by Featherweight Studio

X bandana designed by Featherweight Studio

Their manager asked for two colorways. I sourced a local printer & cotton bandanas made in the USA.  The results are super soft. 

I am very tempted to make a zine of the different ways to wear this bandana.  My friend Annie was playing around with it and came up with these styles.

I accidentally got the skull to show in the knot the other day, and if you wear it bandito style around your neck you can sport the logo front & center.

If you're headed to any of X's shows with Los Lobos & The Blasters this week, get to the merch booth because I'm expecting these to sell out!

If you need me to design a bandana for you, your band, your company or for any creative reason, contact me.

Designing a T-Shirt for Solid Gold Texas Boutique

When I met Katie, the owner of the beautiful Solid Gold boutique in Austin, Texas, I mentioned I did custom design & she asked about a tee for her shop. I was on board immediately.

When I'm designing for a band or a brand, I spend a good amount of time thinking about the feel of what they're putting out.  If it's a band, I'll listen to their latest album over & over.  In this case, I'd been to Katie's shop a few times and had taken in the overall feel of it and the items she carries.  It's super stylish but not overly trendy, cutting edge but not avant garde, high-end but approachable.  

I strive to design tees that people would want to wear regardless of whether they know or like the band or brand (yet).

Her customers are very stylish, and I pictured a tee that would look good alone or as a layering piece under jackets; as its own accessory or popping off with gold jewelry.  Gold foil came to mind, as I had designed a Featherweight tee in gold foil in the past.  I thought about what kind of tee a stylish girl with a big wardrobe would want, and I knew it could be nicer than your average tee but it would also have to be able to be styled with different looks.  (Or LEWKS).

I made some custom tags for her with special washing instructions.

I made some custom tags for her with special washing instructions.

This design popped in to my head and I instantly knew I'd want to wear it.  I wasn't sure how the gold foil would behave with thick lines though.  Gold foil is a delicate specialty ink and it will decay fairly quickly. It's normally not used for large solid coverage, but why not try it?  I mentioned to Katie that it was a bit risky because the gold will flake.  She was on board with the ephemeral nature of it, making the astute point that it'll look even better as it breaks down (she's got great style). Katie wanted a muscle tee silhouette so we worked together to find the best option, and then she chose to go with black and white versions.  The design will work well with any color, and is flexible enough to work on other products in the future (totes, long sleeved tees, etc.)  

This tee feels premium and cool, and instantly makes me think of outfits I want to build around it.  I'm excited to wear it.  This was a fantastic collaboration & I'm so grateful to get to design with such creative, open-minded clients.

These tees will be available at Solid Gold (1601 E. 5th Street) in Austin soon & in the meantime I'll be wearing mine in California proudly. 

Breaking in a New Screen Printer

I'm beginning to work with a new screen printer today, organizing a reprint of T-shirts for some upcoming John Doe shows.  Last year I intentionally created a perennial design for JD that wasn't tied to a certain album or tour, so that he could sell them anytime.  My strategy has worked, since he's been using the same design with different T-shirts & ink colors for about a year.

The design was based on his tattoos.

Here are a few things I need to suss out when beginning to work with a new screen printer: 

  • Communication style - is phone better? email? how quickly do they respond?
  • Vibe - friendly? just-the-facts? accommodating? fussy?
  • Pricing
  • Turnaround time - especially important for band merchandise
  • Specialized techniques - this time around I needed discharge ink, tag printing & had customer supplied goods
  • Location - for timely pickup, and in this case dropping off customer supplied goods

So far, so good.  I feel lucky to live in the East Bay where there are so many screen printers to choose from.