I think I’ve mentioned before that my buddy Mike created the Dagger logo for Dagger kayaks.  I have another funny story about that and tattoos. Remind me to tell you sometime.  And I’ve mentioned that I’ve done some work for various boat companies.  There was, in fact, a mad scramble during our ‘we-don’t-have-kids-yet-but-we’ve-got-this-cool-hobby’ years to cut deals with any kayak-related companies we could.  Here’s one of the products of that-

It’s a proposed Tshirt sketch for a company called Orosi, if I remember right.  I don’t know if it was ever produced.  I suspect not.  But I have an Orosi helmet around here somewhere, it’s held up pretty well.  I’ve done a LOT of Tshirt designs for various and sundry people and companies over the years.  They’re fun.  Sometimes the technical stuff gets in the way.  One of my favorites are folks that have contracted with a Tshirt printer that won’t do halftones or 4-color process, in total opposition to what the company needed to begin with.  Clearly a conflict between the guy signing checks (“use the cheap printer”) and the guys who’re gonna be wearing/giving away the shirts (“If they look like crap, who’s gonna want ’em?”)

There ARE middle grounds.  One color designs on custom color shirts can often be made to suit the need.

On the other hand, if the guy with the checkbook doesn’t want a Tshirt, you’re likely to get to the point where (and this is a worst-case scenario) you must:   Design a one color piece of art that can print on both white Tshirts and navy blue Tshirts that has no halftones, no thin lines, lots of lettering (copy provided, but not spell-checked, with lots of people’s names) and a logo (tiny .jpg provided for reference) which they must have at the printer tomorrow, so it needs to be shown to the powers-that-be today and before 4:00 because that’s when the boss leaves. And it’s gotta look cool because they’re going to be worn at a competition and our team is signed up for the Best Tshirt competition.  And “the printer says they can’t get email so you’ll have to take a printed copy to their shop- on clear acetate if you can, please.  When you get there, you need to call over the fence for someone to come.  Don’t open the gate because the dog will get you.  We’ve got $50 for a budget.  Will that work?”

Ah.  Those of us with older graphic design degrees are all chuckling and nodding our heads just now. Students getting graphic design degrees are laughing out loud at how bad things used to be (without realizing how little they’ve changed) and everyone else is thinking, “We paid our Tshirt artist with a couple of Tshirts.  Of course, he was fourteen.”