• ROLES:

    Graphic Designer, project manager, salesman

  • TEAM:

    Me, myself and I

  • GOAL:

    The main goal for these shirt projects was to make some rad shirt designs that people would be stoked to wear and then sell my band's T-shirts




The goal for this specific shirt project was to make band T-shirts for my punk band, Shin Dig, to sell at our shows.


Part of choosing our band name was coming up with a cool logo to go with it. We chose Shin Dig becuase of the two ways it could be taken: like a party or like a shovel digging into a shin, which is where we got our logo imagery.

I drew up the band logo to use as a banner for our first concert's event page on facebook.

shin dig face
shin dig face

The sketches from my sketchbook

Shin Dig Facebook Banner

The Facebook banner created using Adobe Illustrator


shin dig shirt


Being a former Cal Poly GrC student, I was lucky enough to have University Graphics Systems, a print shop run by my major, located in the GrC building on Cal Poly's campus. I knew the managers there and knew that they did good work, so I decided to get my shirts printed there. Because it was cheaper to order my own shirts on Amazon than have UGS provide them, I ordered 27 shirts and gave them to UGS to use. The cost breakdown was as follows:

Cost Per T-Shirt $2.07
Cost of Printing Per Shirt $1.77
Total Cost Per Shirt $3.84
Total Cost $103.68

Because we knew our friends that would buy the shirts were broke college kids like we were, we sold the shirts for $10 a shirt

Net Profit Per T-Shirt $6.16
Total Shirts Sold to Date 21
Total Sales to Date $210
Total Net Profit to Date $129.36



The goal for this specific shirt was to create a design for a missions trip to Mexico that my old youth goup was going on with the theme being Empowered.


To get an idea of what imagery is associated with the topic Empowered, I searched it on Google images and a strong fist was one of the most reoccuring images. That image reminded me of the band Rage Against The Machine fist logo, which in turn gave me the idea to make the design look like a band concert poster or political protest poster. I chose this aproach for the shirts because I thought back to when I was in high school/middle school and the shirts that my peers and I liked. We didn't want our shirts to be over the top with Christian imagery because we thought it made them too cheesy. By making the graphic not standard Christian imagery, it would spark conversation with others that wanted to understand what the shirt is about.

empowered shirt design

The shirt design - back of shirt

rock and wave logo

The logo I designed for the youth group - front of shirt

The next step in this process was coming up with colors for the shirt.

empowered shirt colors

The Youth Pastor let the kids in the group decide the colors for the shirts and they chose the dark forest green with beige for the graphic.


final shirt design



  • People were not only stoked on the shirt designs and the affordable price but I also made a profit off of the Shin Dig shirts
  • I was able to get them printed for a good price at UGS, my major's printing company
  • I knew how to design print ready files so I didn't have any issues with getting the files printed


  • Because I took my orders for the shirts over Instagram and text, I received orders from people that were not close by and I had to work with them to figure out a way of getting them the shirts
  • Some people that messaged me for a shirt never responded to me to get the shirts once they were printed leaving me with extras that I have to find new customers for
  • Keeping track of all the sales and inventory got difficult especially when we sold the shirts after one of our shows and we had multiple people working the merch stand


  • I LOVE DESIGNING SHIRTS! - It's just fun! What can I say?!
  • DISTRIBUTION IS DIFFICULT WITHOUT A SYSTEM IN PLACE - It was much more difficult for me to get the shirts to the people that didn't live in SLO. To avoid shipping costs, I worked out ways to meet up with the customers to give them the shirts or drop off the shirts when I was in their area
  • KEEP TRACK OF INVENTORY - Keeping a document for inventory is extremely helpful. I started selling the shirts without any documented form of inventory but quickly learned that I needed to keep track if I was going to let people know how many of each size shirt I had left