CalArts 2015

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Tee shirt design in for CalArts’ Graphic Design Department’s 2015 T-Shirt Show.

CalArts 2014

Tee shirt design in for CalArts’ Graphic Design Department’s 2014 T-Shirt Show.

A description of the annual show, in the words of alumna Thea Lorentzen from a recent issue of IDEA:

As far as traditions go, the CalArts T-shirt show is a relatively new phenomenon. The first event was held just ten years ago. Today, current students and faculty as well as alumni contribute designs that are then screen printed onto t-shirts and sold to the rest of the school, as well as visitors. The frenzy begins during t-shirt printing. For one long day, the lab fills up with design students, all with inked hands and dirty rags, ready to fold and print over 60 patterns and as many as 400 shirts. The t-shirt show and sale take place on a Thursday night during the CalArts gallery openings. Hordes of students that would normally be wandering freely through the halls actually line up to buy t-shirts and tote bags. The line can extend out from the cafeteria and back into the galleries. The t-shirt designs themselves might be simple or intricate, disgusting or humorous. Sometimes they make fun of how little sleep students get. Sometimes they announce how much we love Walt Disney. Ed Fella’s designs always sell out first. But all designs proudly bear the name of the school, and in doing so, remind us of why everyone is excited enough to wait in line.

Over 30 years ago, before he was a teacher at CalArts, Ed Fella lived in Detroit. The local arts organization made some bumper stickers that said “Ya gotta have art.” Ever the contrarian, Ed made his own bumper stickers which read, “Art is an ethnocentric cultural construct that you don’t gotta have.”

This shirt design is a Japanese localization with as much nuance applied to the meaning as possible which reads, “美術は自文化中心主義的な社会構造であり、なくてもいいものである”. The linguistic and orthographic disconnect seemed somehow appropriate, but that’s also what happens when you design something at 5am.

CalArts 2013

Tee shirt design for CalArts Graphic Design Department‘s tee shirt exhibition and sale. This one’s a shoutout to the assorted folks who have taught at the school throughout the years (as well as design educators everywhere) who constantly catch shit from students while simultaneously whipping them into some of the best designers out there. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I am delighted to pay my student loan bill every month. My time earning my MFA at CalArts was some of the best of my life. The folks I studied under taught me so much.

Yutaka Tajima

Tee shirt graphic for Yutaka Tajima, a British apparel company run by Sanderson Bob.


Icon- and type-driven tee shirt designs for Microcosm advocating the use of bicycles for transportation and weaponry.

Blunt Mechanic

New shirt design for Blunt Mechanic (ex-Kind of Like Spitting). The vikings from the World Record album cover make an appearance in yellow, white, grey, and black on a lime green shirt.

Pick up a shirt here.


New tee shirt for Open Skateboards, an homage to the late Japanese graphic designer Kiyoshi Awazu. Available for online ordering here.

Peace Sweater

Apparel design for Ryotaro Bordini Chikushi’s Peace Sweater project. I created a typographic pattern from elements created by typographers from different cultures, including:

  • Stefan Sagmeister – Latin
  • Ahn Song-Soo – Hangul
  • Oded Ezer – Hebrew
  • Dainippon Type Organization – Japanese
  • Alexander Gelman – Russian
  • Behrouz Hairiri – Farsi
  • Da Wang – Chinese

The shirts were produced in four different colors in an edition of 1,000 each with cuts for men and women designed by Erika Ohashi.

Tokyo Art Beat

Shirt graphics for Tokyo Art Beat‘s apparel line. Inspired by the work of world citizen and polymath designer/thinker R. Buckminster Fuller, a blueprint for a modular life in Tokyo. Sardonic commentary on VJ culture, hotspots, where to eat, and critiques of Tokyo visual culture included. Pink and green colorway is available only at Beams T.

31 Knots

Two color tour shirts for amazing Portland, Oregon pop band 31 Knots’ 2009 European Tour.

Point Line Plane

Shirt graphics for Skin Graft Records‘ stalwarts, Point Line Plane.


Tee shirt graphics for Danish headphone manufacturer, AIAIAI. Available in 2 colorways.

Royal Cheapskate

Apparel graphics for Los Angeles-based Royal Cheapskate clothing line.

Peripheral Produce

Apparel graphics for Portland film production company Peripheral Produce.


Apparel graphics for rock legends KISS. Commissioned by rock merchandising company Signatures Network. The apparel all utilizes a number of different printing processes including foils, water-based inks, Plastisol, flocking, and chemical distressing.

John Lennon

Apparel graphics for pop legend Lohn Lennon. Commissioned by rock merchandising company Signatures Network.

Garage Gear

Apparel graphics, hangtags, and identity branding-out for Southern California-based streetwear company Garage gear and it’s sister line, Garage Girls.

Birds bag

Self-promotional tote bag graphics.

Velvet Revolver

Apparel graphics for rock band Velvet Revolver (ex-Guns&Roses/Wasted Youth). Commissioned by rock merchandising company Signatures Network.


Apparel graphics for alternative rock band Taproot. Commissioned by rock merchandising company Signatures Network.


Apparel graphics for glam rockers Poison. Commissioned by rock merchandising company Signatures Network.


Apparel graphics for Incubus. Commissioned by rock merchandising company Signatures Network.

George Harrison

Apparel graphics for George Harrison. Commissioned by rock merchandising company Signatures Network.

The Cult

Apparel graphics for proto-alt rock band The Cult. Commissioned by rock merchandising company Signatures Network.


Apparel graphics for Coldplay’s X&Y 2006 world tour. Commissioned by rock merchandising company Signatures Network.

Black Sabbath

Apparel graphics for Black Sabbath. Commissioned by rock merchandising company Signatures Network.

Billy Joel

Tour shirt graphics for Billy Joel’s 2006 tour. Commissioned by rock merchandising company Signatures Network.

The Beatles

Apparel graphics for The Beatles, commissioned by rock merchandising company Signatures Network.

Alan Jackson

2007 tour shirt graphics for American country star Alan Jackson.


Shirt graphics for Bay Area alt rockers AFI.


An ongoing series of apparel designs for Tokyo-based clothing line and retailer Graniph utilizing an exploration of garment processes including embroidery, custom dyeing and chemical distressing along with cut and sew custom shirt designs.

CalArts 2010

Tee shirt graphic for CalArts’ AIGA group’s annual tee shirt show featuring work by students and alumni. This graphic depicts my view of California Institute of the Arts’ educational system: a traditional Bauhaus-derived basic graphic design education that emphasizes form and meaning (hence the circle, triangle, and square), then infuses that with a personal interpretation (thus the destabilized, wobbly structure of the circle). The postscript outline of the graphic emphasizes the instructional nature, as the CalArts faculty also teach students the nuts & bolts of how to build designs correctly. is neither affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its contents. This is a safe-cache copy of the original web site.