My Failed Tee


This was originally a submission for a t-shirt contest. I was pretty OD about copyright issues, so I tried to work with plain brushes to come up with a logo. It was a thing that just sort of happened- I didn’t really sit there and consider what was happening- I just made this out of impulse and had to take in what I made afterward because I could tell it had a lot of meaning to me, but it was nested in my subconscious after obsessing over learning about elements of audio production for years.

While I was upset it didn’t win the contest, especially after hours of nitpicking adjustments to the edges, adding things I thought were missing, and trying to sculpt it out more so I could refine it into something with definition, I was still happy I ended up with a work of art I could be proud of.

I thought it would be cool to see guys walking around with this on as a t-shirt they’d *want* to wear around, and then when people would check them out, they’d look down at the logo to find out that it’s repping this music hardware company (not named, so it’s nothing personal). Then, they could ask about the meaning of it, and those ‘Music Engineers’ could explain what was written to them from me as the author, and then add their own spin on it.

And that would inspire others to check out that company and get into that wave of production while communicating some heavy messages in terms of artistry.

I still want to get this printed and wear it around. I’d re-explain its meaning at this point of writing this post, but I’d rather copy/paste what I wrote to the guys at the company in my submission letter, since that’s more accurate to what I was thinking and feeling at the time I created this design.

Check it-

“This is an extremely cryptic t-shirt design, so I should explain

The arch into the waveform is supposed to symbolize a rest symbol. Nested in it is what looks like a ‘7’ which is ’luck’ or energy that we feed on to compose, which can also depict an ear with the loop around it, or a question mark with the dot below it and outside of the border. The ‘7’ is if you choose to interpret that as the source of ideas, or a musician’s mind, nested in a skull. The dot produces a question mark with the ‘7’ shape, pointing at curiosity that inspires new ideas, but is also a point source for audio output from a ‘speaker’, or the mouth-like shape behind it (it sort of looks like a person shouting as well, come to think of it). Then you can see a crossover from the ‘rest’ shape with what looks like a half note, only it has an eye drawn into it that’s filling in a quarter note, the idea being that the eye is the gateway to the soul. The statement ‘Music Engineer’ is supposed to be ironic where ‘Music Producer’ and ‘Sound Engineer’ come together to show that this all culminates in the creation of one single endgoal/entity- music.

I didn’t plan to make a hieroglyph-style ancient design- I just started with a basic software brush tool, elaborated on a design I came up with, and let my personality take over. I intended to do it this way because I wanted to be as vigilant as possible to prevent any sort of copyright issue.”