This is my latest t-shirt design, it’s called: the US Navy Master Diver t-shirt (available on my Etsy store). On this post, I would like to quickly explain my design process.
Since I was a child, I’ve always been fascinated by diving expeditions. I’ve also watched Jacques Cousteau dive a million times! But the part of diving that fascinates me the most, is when I watched Men of Honor. You can’t be insensible to the story, clothes, uniforms and gears used in that movie! It’s simply a treat to the eye and brain!
The diving helmet was particularly interesting. It still is a famous symbol in the navy and diving community around the world.
Rediscovering a Design
A few years ago, I made this master diver design and left it on the “unfinished design” file. (All the artists and designers know exactly what I mean lol)
It is very common for me, to return to old forgotten ideas and restart them. The longer you stay away from a design, the fresher your eye will be!
As I looked at this design, I had a few new ideas to add. So first, I went back to Adobe Illustrator where I started to fix a few problems:
- I changed the font and message around the design. (This is my own font, I will make a tutorial about font making soon.)
It took me a few tries before finding the right text to circle around the design. It couldn’t be too long or too short. Plus, it had to make sense!
2. As I added the text, I had to print the design to add details by hand, like so:
I always leave some notes to myself and test a few things before adding them to my design.
3. As I did in my correction drawing, I added the US Navy eagle seal on top. Finally, I added the 88th co. vintage sunbeam signature, behind the eagle.
This looks great, but I’m not done! My most important part is next.
4. Finally, this is the most important part of my design: texturing. I print my design and ink over it with China ink. Why you may ask? because I want to make perfect, imperfect. Vector art is beautiful, but to me it lacks soul! So the only way to do it is to age it by inking it! Ink is one of my favorite tools, to transform any design into something beautiful and vintage!
The design now has some beautiful imperfections that a computer cannot make. Therefore, the design is ready to be put on a tee!
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