My main goal for this project was to come up with a concept and design a visual that would be appealing for a t-shirt. There are a couple restrictions for screen printing and so I was limited on colors and style. I am also not really a huge fan of graphic tees so the big challenge was getting something I would actually wear. I knew I wouldn’t wear a funny or cheesy shirt but the easiest concepts were pun related. I almost gave in and just went with a punny shirt, but changed my mind at the last minute.
Sketching for this project was a lot more focused on generating ideas. I did a lot of word lists and brainstorming. I ended up sketching quite a few non-related ideas. I had such broad lists and subjects that I decided to narrow it down to bands and music. I figured if I were to wear a graphic tee it would probably be a band tee. So this is where I came up with the idea for a Matchbox Twenty shirt.
After attempting several other ideas, I stuck with the Matchbox Twenty one. Once I had this I had a couple different options for style. I choose to do a more vintage/grunge look and gathered a lot of inspiration from that style. I then began the first draft in Illustrator. With the screen printing restraints, I went with a flat design and added texture with circle and striped patterns.
Final + Printing
I got some critique on my design and wanted to add more grunge and a little more chaotic feel to the boxes on the edges. So moving forward I tried to break the box a little more by adjusting the individual boxes. I added a grungy/splatter texture by creating a mask in Illustrator. And with these slight changes, I got to my final design.
For printing I used a process called sublimation printing. In this process the ink is actually dyed into the fibers of the shirt. It works best with higher polyester content so I printed mine on an 80% polyester grey shirt. I was a little nervous about how the colors would turn out on the grey, but I am really happy with how it looks. I think I accomplished my goals for this project and will actually enjoy wearing this shirt.