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.

First Draft

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.

Parks and Rec Icon Set
Screen Print Shirt Design
Parks and Rec Icon Set
Parks and Rec Icon Set