Tee Story

Part Four (Scroll down for Parts One through Three)

What if we make a premium tee—three colors of ink on the best garment we can afford?

All this was happening while I was designing the stickers. (That's another long story). And when the wolf sticker came together, I was all <hearts for eyes emoji> but my initial reaction was, awwwwww... too cheesy and literal for the Rockhound theme. (Rock-HOUND, get it?!) But it wouldn't go away. I showed it to a few theme teamers and they were all <hearts for eyes emoji> too. I took that as a sign, and I said to myself, "What if we make a premium tee—three colors on the best garment we can afford?"

Let me tell you about these garments. First off they're the lightest garments we've ever done, 4.2 ounces. Now it's not so light as to be sheer, so we're safe there. (And we've chosen darker colors too, because the design works better on darks, and well, safety). The fabric is even softer than the Retro Tees. It has something to do with the cotton being combed, (which I can sort of wrap my brain around), and "ringspun", (my brain can't really seem to imagine what that might mean). All I really know is that combed, ringspun cotton is really soft.

The fit is a fashion fit, so it's just a little more snug, and definitely on-trend. And it has features—things like side-seaming, set-in neck, and retail sleeves that don't wing. These garments are crafted.

And did I mention that these are heathered? I know, right?! It seems like heathered colors are everywhere! This is that extra bit that really puts these tees over the top. These garments are precisely 52% cotton and 48% polyester. The heather texture visually softens the tones and sets the design off so nicely! And the heather feel is oh so soft and smooth!

And I figured, hey, if there are three colors of ink, why not offer three colors of garments?! Seriously, doesn't that design just fit these garments?

I know these are a little more expensive. But these are the best tees we've ever offered. They make perfect staff shirts, and maybe you could honor the team leaders by giving them one of these instead of the others. Or maybe you want to pick a couple up for the leadership team on your base to get them excited about your ministry. You won't regret giving these tee shirts to your people.

Part Two

What If We Made A Tee that was Super High Quality but less expensive than last year?

Part One

They say that the first step towards wholeness is to admit you have a problem:

My problem is that I like options more than I like decisions! This screenshot shows pretty much my whole process in designing this year’s Rockhound Tees. Over the next few days, I’m going to give you a special sneak peek behind the scenes to show you how we ended up with three different tee shirt designs this year!

My process is pretty iterative. If you zoom in, you’ll see that I tend to tweak and explore multiple versions of nearly the same thing. I go until I either see that the design works or it doesn’t. Then sometimes I go some more, haha!

Tomorrow I’ll share with you how the Green Diamond Tee came about! Stay tuned!

Part Three

The design that became the Retro tee was gonnu be a sticker… But then this happened:

While the Green Diamond tee was coming together, I explored this widened pentagon shape. I arced the top, and it just seemed to evoke national parks. I added some stripes and tried 17* different variations of the word, ROCKHOUND in it... And it seemed to reflect a cool, outdoorsy, 1970's retro vibe. I originally did it in five colors, thinking it would be a sticker. But then I slapped it on a tee shirt mockup. And I liked it. So I showed it to a couple of the Theme Teamers to get their take. The reaction was nearly instant: OoOooOooouu! Which I took to be positive.

I admit, part of the charm of this design was that there were so many colors. (Check out some of the early iterations in the screenshot in Part One below) So I decided to see if it could look as good with just two. And I was beginning to think that maybe I could offer two shirts, the Green Diamond tee, and this Retro tee.

The garment I chose for this tee is a little bit softer and quite a bit lighter than the Green Diamond shirt. (4.5 ounce... yes that .8 ounce really does make a difference!) And the fit is more fashion-oriented, much closer to a tee you'd find at the mall. It's very comparable to tees we've used in the past. And it's a bit more expensive, but I think it's worth it.

You'll note that there's more than one garment with this one. I couldn't decide which color. Then I thought, "Why decide? The same ink colors look amazing on both!" So now you can choose! This way you can give that cool kiwi green to your students and the sand tees to your staff and volunteers! (Or the other way around—whichever feels better for you!) Or maybe you don't like green. (2017 is gonnu be a bummer for you—sorry! It's the Color of the Year.) Good news, go with sand!

*This is an exaggeration, but not by much.

I still wasn't done. Tomorrow I'll tell you all about the three-ink, three color Wolf Tee!




From the beginning, I knew we needed a one-color design. And that meant that the art needed to be solid—something with a lot of texture, that captured the Rockhound vibe... Those crossed rock hammers were the first graphic device I made. And the faceted gem just begged for radiant lines to come out of it—you know what I mean? And the repeating arcs of Mission Adventures and Youth With A Mission echo the gem-sun. Plus, the mono-weight lines are so right now and contemporary and fresh.

A tee is more than solid art. I needed a high-quality garment that would show off the design, and at the same time, be a bargain. Pencils were sharpened. Math was done. Spreadsheets were employed. Samples were sent in multiple colors. Most were rejected, but we had one stand out. Not only was it a great color—that eye-catching green that is the Color of the Year for 2017, but it was relatively inexpensive. It's not cheap, mind you. I don't go for that. Value is my jam—highest quality for reasonable price.

And that's why I'm pleased to offer the Green Diamond Tee. This is a high-quality 100% cotton garment. It's a little bit heavier weight than the others. (The really heavy tees are 5.5-6.0 ounces; this one is only 5.3 ounce). The cut of the garment is a classic fit, so it's a little bit roomier. The bright green shirt really sets off the cream colored ink. I know your students are gonnu love this tee! And it's less expensive than last year!

Up Next: The Inside Story on Our Brand New Rockhound Retro Tees!