Category Archives: Graphic Design

Tee Shirt Designs for Red Junket TWC Martial Arts School


Word of mouth is definitely a good way to get business. A good friend of mine knew of a martial arts  instructor who was looking to start a teaching studio and wanted to have some good looking but inexpensive tee shirts designed!

I was intrigued because of the style of martial arts he was going to teach. Wing Chun Kung Fu is a beautifully efficient art developed in secrecy in China probably 250 years ago. Although the origin of the art is shrouded in mystery, there is no doubt about it’s efficacy. One of the most well know teachers of this art was man named Ip Man who later taught Bruce Lee. The client wanted to honor Ip Man by having his image incorporated into the design.

The other imagery the client wanted to blend into the design was the Chinese Junket boats. The style of wing chun that he will teach is called Red Boat. Developed for close combat and used by the people opposed to the ruling dynasty by disguising themselves as entertainers in the Red Boat Opera Company, thus the use of the red junket boat.

The Great Ip Man

The Great Ip Man

Chinese Junket Boat

Chinese Junket Boat

So, off I went brainstorming a solution. The two images I was provided with I vectorized so that I could control color and keep the designs as graphic and striking as possible. I also used the original Ip Man jpeg image and converted it to a one color file. I was also supplied the chinese lettering that read Red Junket.

TWC_Tee_v3 TWC_Tee_v2 TWC_Tee_v1

Unfortunately, on the first iterations, I forgot to add the acronym T.W.C that stands for Traditional Wing Chun….duh…but the client did like what I had developed so far. I designed a one-color and a two color design.

TWC_TeeShirt_Front_v2b TWC_TeeShirt_Front_v2a TWC_TeeShirt_Front_v1b TWC_TeeShirt_Front_v1a

Back to the Mac to tweak and refine. The client wanted the name to be Red Junket instead of Red Boat. I added the TWC acronym into the design and also getting the red shirt color to match the design. The client was pleased but I still thought there were a few things I could do to improve.

TWC_TeeShirt_Front_v4d TWC_TeeShirt_Front_v4c TWC_TeeShirt_Front_v4b TWC_TeeShirt_Front_v4a TWC_TeeShirt_Front_v4e TWC_TeeShirt_Front_v4f

On this 3rd iteration, I re-thought the placement of the TWC and removed the words Wing Chun as it was kind if redundant. I also removed some of the lines from around Ip Man’s shoulder and under the junket boat.  The other design, I colorized the psd file of Ip Man and faded it out towards the edge. Lastly, I used a circle as a solution and masked Ip Man inside and placed the junket in front and then ran the type around the circle.

Ultimately, the client was happy and signed off on the designs and as he prepares to open his studio, will print shirts for his new students. Hopefully, I can get one too….


…patiently waiting for Blackberries

I know, I know…it’s just the end of January and I’m whining for Spring! In the last few years we have had the most peculiar weather patterns that I can remember. February and March loom, quietly winking with the almost assured promise of bad bad winter weather to come…brrrrrrrrr! As I was looking through my iPhoto library, I came across the pics of my baby Blackberry bush that I planted last spring. Gardening is a pastime passed onto me by my mother. I would watch her meticulously turn over the earth in our backyard and set her plants in neat rows while using knowledge of growing things in God’s good earth that I’m sure not only reaches back to her rural upbringing in South Carolina but has it genesis all the way back to our ancestors farming in Africa! So now I too have a rapport with this Terra Firma.

For a few days in late January, it was very warm, allowing me to go out into my yard with my dog, and that’s when I spotted my now dormant Blackberry bush. Still healthy, with it’s dark stems and foliage. It reminded me of the warmth of spring which brought a broad smile to my face…the thought of the sweet dark berries grown in my own garden….the joy my wife and daughters will have eating those fruit. So February and March, do your worst as I am patiently waiting for Blackberries.


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Check out these 30 examples of concept artwork. Very good…..


Posted by on January 31, 2012 in Artwork, Graphic Design


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13 Signs You’re A Bad Graphic Designer

13 Signs You’re A Bad Graphic Designer. Click to read more…

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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Graphic Design



The Lost “ART” of Sketching

As I network and talk with other designers about how they go about the process of designing something, I found that many, graphic designers in particular, go straight to the computer to conceptualize. Firing up their favorite application, grab their mouse or tablet and go to town! If you CAN do that then more power to you! When I mention that I doodle or sketch my ideas first, some designers say “Well, I can’t draw well” or if they see a sketch I’ve done, they may say “WOW, you draw really well!”

Unfortunately, they are missing the point!

It’s not about making a pretty drawing, it’s about letting your creative mind flow. A lot of my sketches ARE NOT works of art but they allow me to jump start the creative process, get it out of my head and let my eyes give me feedback. Since my background was drawing comic books (back in the day), I naturally transitioned that pencilling skill into how I formulate my designing. The pencil and paper allow me to “be foolish” with my ideas and most times, that foolishness will help me come upon a great idea! I can relax and not force it. Let the ideas and concepts come to me. I can highlight or cross out elements and let my pencil scribble away and eventually I will come up with something that I can take further and translate to the computer.

Unfortunately, some designers forgo this step and jump right to the computer. I say, make sketching a part of your brainstorming routine. Keep some writing utensils at hand and some paper. Some swear by Moleskin notebooks which are very good. But it can be anything you have to just get the idea down onto something….I sometimes sketch on  napkins ( Just don’t get it wet…lol). I also use sticky notes as you can see in the bottom right pic. I can then attach them to my job log notebook and keep them in some type of order. Then, later on, you can flip through the sketches and maybe use some of the unused ideas for another project.

So for your next project, sit down and put on your favorite brainstorming playlist off your iPod (mine being Marvin Gaye or Marcus Miller) and put pencil to pad and see what you come up with. Come back to the sketches after giving them time to marinated and see what good ideas you’ve cooked up!


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