C.D.O.T.W: Tailgate N’ Tallboys

Tailgate N' Tallboys

This past weekend was full of camping, good beer, and great music for the attendees of the Tailgate N’ Tallboys music festival in Chillicothe, Illinois. The two day event was part of the Bud Light Concert Series, and featured performances from musicians like Kid Rock, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson, among several others. While we couldn’t get out to Illinois fast enough to make it to the festival, we got our own small taste of the festival when we came across this week’s Customer Design of the Week.

The intricate details in the music festival’s t-shirt design made us feel like we could have been right there in the bed of the pickup, looking up at the stars, and listening to the strumming of a six string. It conveyed an authenticity that otherwise only comes from the amplifier of a country music band itself, and included subtle details that can be picked up only with careful attention.

Our in-house designers were particularly blown away–here’s what they had to say:

Tailgate N' Tallboys

Joe: Looking at this design, I’m amazed that it only took 2 ink colors to print and yet it still retains such a great amount of detail. Everything in the graphic is vividly represented, from the wood grain of the drums, to the strings and frets on the bass and guitar. I’m impressed by the way the designer used the details of the image like the tailgate and the license plate to present some of the event information. My favorite part of the whole design is the cracked tail light–for some reason my eye is continually drawn to it. It’s this subtle yet deliberate attention to detail throughout the whole design that really takes it to the next level.

Tailgate N' Tallboys

Imri: This design shows what you can do with a very limited color palette: in this case, two warm muted colors that look great on charcoal tee. It doesn’t just deliver the message, but it does so in style. It’s a top notch illustration with lots of great details, and clever use of information placement. The dirty, grungy look is called “distress” and it’s perfect for this artwork. The big halftone dots are a nice touch and keep it simple.

I believe this kind of pickup truck is called a dually–big enough to fit all the band gear plus the band members in the front seat as they ride off into the sunset. It’s a good thing they are on a dirt road, because a state trooper might have something to say about those beer cans falling out. But if they’re playing some Skynyrd and give him a tallboy, he’ll probably let them off with a warning.

Bud Light Concerts


Max: I love seeing designs like this come through our doors because they prove that you don’t need a million colors to create something interesting, unique, and—above all—beautiful. We printed this promotional gear for our friends at Bud Light and Limelight in support of their Tailgate N’ Tallboys summer concert series, and we couldn’t be more satisfied with the way it came out. First, the incredible detail preserved in this design, using just two colors, is absolutely masterful. From the drums, guitars, and amplifiers in the bed of the pickup truck, all the way down to the multi-dimensional sandy smoke under the dually tires, the attention to detail is just… Superb, really.

And the texture! The slightly distressed setting sun, the halftones in the clouds and sky—ugh, it’s just brilliant. Additionally, the way the artist incorporated information like the location and date of the concert in the license plate, rear-end, and tailgate of the truck was exceptionally clever and tastefully done. It’s not often we say this, but this week’s CDOTW wasn’t even close. This one was our huckleberry the moment we laid eyes on it. Well done, indeed!

Check out photos from the performances and other activities at the event on their Facebook page!

C.D.O.T.W: Long Island Iced Tea

Long Island Iced Tea Brand

It may not be the cocktail, but Long Island Iced Tea brand’s logo is pretty intoxicating. We were tempted to get to the South Shore Wave Rides ourselves when we received the order from the New York-based iced tea brand. Long Island Iced Tea brand brews iced tea that takes you to your favorite sunny beach days, and their t-shirt design did just that. Although we couldn’t actually pick up and drive to the beach, we could spend a little more time dreaming about it if we chose this one as our design of the week. Lo and behold, that was the best option we had.

Let’s hear about the sandy dreams it stirred in our art department:

Design of the Week Long Island Iced Tea

Joe: This week’s design is brought to us from The Original Long Island Iced Tea, and while I prefer my Long Island Teas to have a little more bite to them (if you know what I mean), this design still hangs ten! Despite the image on the back being posterized, a technique that gives it a more flattened appearance, it still retains all the detail needed to portray the cool and refreshing attitude of the brand. To bring you even closer to a relaxing day on the waves, the design lists all the hot spots to catch a tasty wave and a refreshing tea on the East coast, right there on the back of the shirt.

I must admit my favorite part of this whole design is the logo itself. The use of a simplified rendition of a tea leaf looping off the descender of the “L” acts as a subtle throw to what this company represents, and is what branding is all about. Overall, this design is solid and deserves its spot atop the wave of designs we rode in this week. So just as the front design states above the sweet woody wagon, “ENJOY LIFE,” enjoy design, and enjoy a cold beverage while you’re at it.

James: Let’s start with the front print of the shirt. You can’t capture a better visual than this. The old woody wagon with the surf board on it is simple and classic, but effective. And the Long Island logo in itself is a great modern font–possibly even hand-drawn–and definitely gives the car an extra punch. As for the back, the logo with the light distress is perfect, and flows well with the black and white image behind it. Only a master at printing and design can pull off this perfectly done process of half-toning, in which you can clearly see a full image on a shirt, but it’s mainly made up of whites, grays, and blacks.

Long Island Iced Tea t-shirt

Colton: Have you ever wanted to grab your board and head down to the beach before dawn? Well if so, this would be a perfect shirt to pull on and let the salty mist of the sea spray through your hair as you catch your first wave of the day. A strong sense of direction and bold yet concise design give this one the podium, even if you don’t wear it while taking on the waves at Long Island’s South Shore.

Careful attention was paid when crafting the shirt’s designs, which is exemplified in the simple and clean design of the front left chest logo. The logo and crossed surf boards with the text “ESTD 2011” really make the front of this shirt classy and fun. On the back of the shirt, the design mostly consists of one large image paired with well laid-out text. Not only is the text informative, but care was taken to also make it part of the design. As a whole, the shirt just works well and I’m sure it will be a staple of anyone lucky enough to nab one.

Imri: This design shows how much you can achieve using only black, white, and gray, which in this case creates a nice, subtle look. The low contrast combination of black and charcoal gray paired with the black and white photo and the choice of gray for the t-shirt all combine into a design that is easy on the eyes, yet bold. The image evokes memory, taking you to a special time and place.

It reminds me of the time I was surfing in Hawaii with a beautiful woman. Suddenly I was attacked by a shark. Instead of helping, she swam ashore and just stood there with her surfboard, looking pretty, while I almost died. Luckily, the shark was old and had no teeth, so he was just gumming my leg. Still, it left me traumatized. And, of course, I never spoke with her again, although, I have recently returned to surfing and drinking delicious Long Island Iced Teas.

While we can’t say for sure whether or not Imri’s story is true, we can say that Long Island Iced Tea brand’s design is top-notch, and definitely caught our team’s attention! If you’re like us and you’re looking for more beach vibes, check out the Long Island Iced Tea brand’s Facebook page!

C.D.O.T.W: Zeppelin Comics

Zeppelin Comics

If your dream world consists of CosPlay, comic books, and board games, Zeppelin Comics is your place. The store in Benicia, Ca created by Natasha Curtis is a wonderful mix of everything that a comic book fan could wish for.

The store features a game room, which is available for customers to rent out and use for playing board games. Along with this, Zeppelin hosts frequent Comic events for their loyal fan women and men, AND a monthly CosPlay competition. Pair this with shelves full of fresh comic books every week, and you have everything needed to keep comic book fans coming back for more. Almost as cool as the store itself was the design we printed for the store’s t-shirts. When this design came into our hands, we were wowed. The artistry perfectly reflects the style of comic book universes, and definitely makes us want to jet over to check out Zeppelin Comics.

Let’s hear more from our panel of judges:Zeppelin Comics

Imri: When I first saw this woman, I knew she was the one. I wanted to know more about her. I wanted her to pick me up in her zeppelin and fly us into the clouds and around the world together. But unfortunately, I had to settle for just spending a couple hours putting her image on a t-shirt. This is an outstanding illustration, with a full, yet muted color palate. A nice balance of fine and strong lines, and a soft glow gives it a feminine mystique. The face is perfectly drawn, with striking blue eyes, and the off-center typography is a nice design touch. When a customer submits artwork of this quality, it places extra responsibility on us ensure the final product is at least as great as the original image–and hopefully even better. By the way, if you see this girl around, tell her to call me!

Zeppelin Comics

Mike: In comics, the term ‘pin-up’ refers to a standalone illustration of a character. This week’s design is a pin-up illustration of an aviation-themed, vintage-style pin-up girl. What sets off this piece is the well executed pose, cleverly placed in a vignette that features comic-styled sky, and a visual representation of a zeppelin, the brand’s name. The composition is all tied together well with the military themed typography. Combine all of these elements with a great color palette that jumps off the black t-shirt, we’re left with a vintage-styled comic illustration that becomes an instant classic.

Joe: This weeks’ design is a real bombshell. I believe this is the most colors used in a screen print thus far for one of our awesome Designs of the Week. Coming in with a whopping 9 colors, this illustration translated very nicely for screen printing, thanks to our hometown halftone homie Imri, who put in some serious time making this design really soar. I love how the zeppelin breaks through the top of the circle of the design to almost balance the onset type on the opposing side. Also the way that her legs almost frame the “Zeppelin Comics” logo is a nice touch.

Follow Zeppelin Comic’s latest comic book and CosPlay events on their Facebook page!

C.D.O.T.W: Texas A&M Viz-a-GoGo 23

Viz-A-GoGo design of the week

What in the world is a Viz-a-GoGo? That’s what we thought when we received the order for Texas A&M College of Architecture’s Viz-a-GoGo 23, The Vizzening. The Viz-a-GoGo is an annual showcase of the work that the M.S. in Visualization students complete during the course of the program. This year’s theme? The Vizzening!

If the word sounds a little spooky–it’s intentional. The Vizzening was named after the dark, “cult-like” studios of the school’s Viz Lab, where the Viz students are said to spend most hours of the day. The event will screen the digital masters’ projects that they worked so hard on, including digital video segments, still work, interactive games, and more. Graduates of the program go on to work in creative fields including animation, software design, visual effects, electronic gaming, and all of the other cool things that make our lives fun. To top off the entire showcase are the amazing t-shirts that will accompany the event.

Our panel of judges was blown away by the design, and choosing it as this week’s Customer Design of the Week. Let’s hear from our experts about the artwork:

Viz-A-GoGo 23

Imri: This is a fantastic image that was originally hand-painted by the customer, a student who helps run the computer graphics department at Texas A&M. It has a unique look that is at once striking and mysterious. If I saw someone wearing this shirt I’d have to stop and ask what it’s about.

The pink and light blue really pop against the backdrop of darker, muted colors, and help give the image depth. The separation was especially tricky because there were originally many more colors than what you see here. Working for a client who is also the artist of the design can be a challenge, because he is intimately familiar with his artwork, but this customer was really easy to work with and understood the color limitations of screen printing. The final product came out great–I wish I had ordered one for myself!

Texas A&M The Vizzening

Mike: One of the things we harp on here in the art department is the use of a great color palette. This week’s design is another example of unique but delightful color selection that really sets this design apart. The bright pinks and blues really jump out at you when set them against the middle grays and dark blues in the background, which draws the eye to the peak of the illustration.

The painting itself is energetic–even chaotic–but also makes use of a well-constructed figure, which maintains believability whilst not derailing the surrealism of the piece. All of these elements tie into a very engaging t-shirt design.

Viz-A-GoGo Texas A&M

Joe: The colors used on this weeks design are super vibrant, causing the image to practically soar off the shirt. The design itself emanates power and energy, while the font choice is solid and clear, all without distracting from or overpowering the image. The shirts are for the computer graphics department at Texas A&M, and the monitor used in place of a head is a great representation of this. Taking a hand-painted image and translating it for screen print could not have been easy, but from the looks of the final print, our in-house halftone hero Imri nailed it!

To find out more about The Vizzening, read this feature from the Texas A&M College of Architecture news, or check out the event’s Facebook page!

C.D.O.T.W: SFWDA Trailfest 2016

Trailfest 2016

Three days of camping, live music, and thrilling off-road trail riding sounds like one heck of a way to spend a weekend, and it’s just what the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association members will be doing from April 20 to May 1 at Trailfest 2016. When you picture the experience of four-wheel drive trail riding, you probably picture jeeps thrashing through mud. SFWDA’s design made us feel like we were doing just that. We saw no choice but to choose this impressive design, created by Haris Safari, for our Customer Design of the Week.

Aside from being one of the coolest organizations we’ve come across and organizing one of the most fun-sounding events we’ve encountered, their design is dynamic and awesome, too. If the very idea of whipping through the muddy, rocky woods for three days doesn’t get your adrenaline pumping, SFWDA’s design surely will. It may just have you looking up ways you can experience your own off-road excursion.

Let’s hear more about this artwork from our design panel:

SFWDA T-shirt Design

Stephanie: SFWDA requested custom Pantones on this design to get the ink colors on the t-shirts to match their design exactly. There were a lot of fine details in the original design the customer sent us, and luckily we were able to keep almost all of them in the printing process. We had to do some work with the lines to prevent some of them from running together and messing up the gradient effect they create. The combination of that and the layered textures really makes the jeeps and trucks pop off the shirt. Overall, the artwork on this t-shirt is really fun to look at.

SFWDA Trailfest

Mike: Sometimes screen printing can be a bit restrictive in regards to how many colors you can use. For this week’s design, we see that by using texture and line weight, it’s possible to get much more depth than one might expect. Notice the parallel lines in the text and in the Jeep. These not only create an interesting aesthetic, but also serve the practical purpose of creating depth.

More texture can be found in the background, which really pushes the Jeeps off the shirt and makes them pop. Also serving this purpose is the carefully-placed lighter areas of tan, which add a shine and even more depth to the design. To top off the high-quality piece of art, the design includes great typography and a relevant color palette, which really brings everything together to create a great t-shirt.

Trailfest 2016

Joe: This is a very interesting illustration, depicting the three day excursion where 4-wheeled monsters fight gravity and nature in an uphill battle royale. Trailfest 2016 puts man and machine against Mother Nature and the laws of physics. The three-color print defies natural laws itself–it tricks the eye and appears to have more depth of color then it actually does. There are parts of this design that utilize the spacing between the repeating lines to create an almost gradient effect, for example, in the front fender of the Jeep and the bottom half section of the word “Trailfest.” Intentional or not, it is a striking way to add depth to the design.

The distressed pattern in the background behind the trucks lends itself as a representation of the mud that I’m sure will adorn these shirts soon enough–it may actually act as camouflage if things get truly messy. An ironically clean illustration and inviting font choice help take this design to the top of the mountain at record pace.

For more about the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association and Trailfest 2016, check out their website!

C.D.O.T.W: Littlstar

Design of the Week--Littlstar

We all go about escaping reality in our own ways–for some of us it’s a good movie, others take a trip to a new place. But there’s something about traveling to a different, virtual reality that combines all of our creative visions and fantasies into an experience unmatched.

This week’s design of the week, created by graphic designer Konstantin Bratishko, captivated us with a little bit of that power. With its vibrant color layers and bold contrasts, the image perfectly portrayed the vibrant and thrilling experience of virtual reality. The design was sent to us from our friends at Littlstar, who specialize in immersive VR experiences and equipment, creating life-like 360 virtual experiences.

While there’s more we could say, we’ll let our design pro’s take it from here:

Littlstar Design

Imri: Here’s a bold, fun design that captures the excitement of virtual reality gaming. A great illustration combined with strong color combinations and a modest layout gives this shirt the high score. The shading is excellent, creating a sense of depth, and the light blue highlights are nice touch, hinting at some glowing electronics nearby.

The logo is simple and understated, with spaced out letters that allow the whole thing to breath. The combination of all of these things makes this one a winner. And it looks like this kid is the winner at whatever he is playing, although it’s probably not fair that he has extra arms.

Littlstar T-Shirt Design

Mike: This week’s CDOTW reminds me of a modern comic book illustration style. The figure’s anatomy is not 100% realistic, instead drawing from cartoon and comic influence. This really fits the modern and virtual reality aspects of the brand. The typography at the top is clever and conceptual, using various characters in different ways and challenging the viewer.

Perhaps the strongest facet of this piece is the color palette. The designer uses oranges, reds, and yellows to pop the color forward on the navy blue shirt, and makes an interesting choice to use light blue as a highlight, really drawing the palette together and making it cohesive.

Joe: Great Goro’s ghost! Does that kid have four arms? This week’s awesome art belongs to Littlstar, who is helping to produce what may be some of the most interesting technology emerging right now. Their virtual reality software is capable of immersing you into the worlds created in video and photo. I just watched a live band play as I sat here and was able to spin around 360 degrees, as if I was truly there in the crowd! Pretty amazing, and the possibilities and applications are endless. The only downside is I was unable to tell the guy standing on my heels to back up.

Littlstar’s t-shirt design is equally as interesting. The endless possibilities are represented by the character’s four arms, all holding a different interactive controller. This technology is definitely a hot new ticket– maybe that’s why this guy is on fire. The sans serif font is clean and easy to read, and the addition of the star substituted for the “A” in star is an interesting touch to the brand’s logo.

To learn more about the virtual reality experiences Littlstar’s churning out, check out their Facebook page!

C.D.O.T.W: FourTillFour Coffee

FourTillFour Banner

This week’s Customer Design of the Week came out of Scottsdale, Arizona. The first and only Porsche-inspired coffee shop, FourTillFour’s t-shirt design and logo were created by renowned branding pro Christian Watson, and convey the cool, smooth look of the Porsche 356, which the cafe is named after.

We admired the simple and classic feeling the of the design, as well as how well the shirts, which are going to be the new FourTillFour staff t-shirts, enhance the branding of FourTillFour so well.

Let’s hear from our judges for more about these designs:


Michel: I love simple logos, and FourTillFour is a great example. You can never go wrong with a simple type logo tee, but I especially like how this one uses a hand written typeface as opposed to a generic one. When it came to getting this design ready for print, the files the customer sent were high quality, so there were no big problems in creating the art files.

This design was also great to work with when it came to printing this design. The fact that it was small, simple, and one color made it the best. When you’re working with a small area like the left chest, details can sometimes get lost in the printing process, but this one stayed clear and easy to see, even from far away.

Overall I was mostly impressed with the unique branding of FourTillFour. I love the combination of coffee and Porsches–drinking coffee while you fix and drive the cars you love adds life to your days.

Mike: This week’s design is a simple, yet perfectly executed illustration for a car-inspired coffee shop. The script that has been whipped up is clever and dainty, coming across folksy in just the right way.

The concept here is very strong. Gas is a clear symbol that unites coffee and cars. Coffee is often considered fuel for people, so this design captures what this cafe has to offer and represents their brand and their mission in a complete way. The simplistic design is easy to digest and works on multiple levels.

FourTillFour Shirt

Joe: This car-inspired coffee shop really embodies a rustic, hands-on attitude. Between the vintage Porsche parked out front, the glass-paned garage door entryway, and the classic Snap-On tool cab repurposed as a sugar and cream caddy, this brand really puts a new spin on the local coffee bar. The company name, “FourTillFour” is also a throw to the Porsche 356, which obviously helped inspire this little pit stop.

Inside the shop, the dark stained wood floors and counter really juxtapose the industrial feel of the garage door entryway and black metal stools, and the hand drawn aesthetic of the logo really accents that. The logo looks as though it could have been penned on a napkin or chalk board over a cup-o-joe in the shop itself.

The back image of a gas nozzle with the company name on the spout is indicative of all the things this company represents: good coffee and fast cars. Oregon native designer Christian Watson’s simple, hand-drawn branding of this company combined with the store’s aesthetics truly make what could have been a run-of-the-mill coffee shop into a unique cafe that stands out from the rest.

Check out more of Fourtillfour’s and Christian Watson’s inspiring stuff on Instagram.

C.D.O.T.W: Them Howling Bones

Them Howling Bones Banner

Another one out of Los Angeles, the customer with our favorite design this week also happens to churn out some killer tunes. The L.A.-based blues rock band Them Howling Bones used this design for the cover of their second EP Dolores before printing it to t-shirts for their fans. If you’re imagining this image hand-stitched into a leather jacket, you’re not far off. The original design, created by artists Sharmae CaCeres and Iving Torbay, was stitched into leather before it was photographed in high-res for the cover of the band’s EP, and later translated to print here at Rush Order Tees for the band’s t-shirts.

The t-shirt design combines bold, funky type with an abstract, catchy graphic and perfectly conveys the vibe of the band’s rocky-Southwestern blues sound. For more on the excellence of this design, let’s hear from our in-house design experts:

Them Howling Bones Design


Stephanie: This artwork for this t-shirt was a recreation of an image that had been previously embroidered. The colors were easy to match up with our house inks, which helped out a lot. This meant that the most time was spent on the design’s clean-up. The challenge with working from non-digital sources–such as a photograph of an existing garment–is finding ways to recreate crisp, clean edges. We do our best to match the original design as much as possible, but there is always a certain amount of detail lost in the clean-up and simplification process. We try to get the edges smooth and the colors solid, especially when translating an embroidered piece into ink spot colors, AKA flattening.

Luckily, the design the band submitted had a black background, which allowed for a good amount of contrast when picking out the individual colors. The design was printed on both white and black shirts, and the artwork colors translated well onto both. We spent time making sure that the important details printed clearly, and this design had a lot of easy, thick lines, so there was little to no risk of inks closing up, which often happens on designs with very fine lines.

Mike: Here we have a great band shirt that manages to be just the right level of fun while keeping its’ punk rock edge. The drawing, intentionally rough and laden with traditional tattoo imagery, perfectly fits this band’s style. Thats the key, right? The shirt should reflect the product it’s representing, and this flashy, rough, and mysterious design pulls that off. The color palette works perfectly with the style to translate the design to an awesome band t-shirt.

Joe: It is plain to see that this week’s awesome art is pure rock and roll. The art used to create these tees was a photo of an embroidered version of the design. Our Rush Order Tees artist, Stephanie, did a great job of taking an untraditional starting point and transforming it into a crisp and clean version of the design that was ready for screen printing. Translating the jagged sewn lines of an embroidery into a clean version can be tedious. However, as you can see from the end result, it turned out to be a beautiful simplified version that left us howling for more.

To check out more on Them Howling Bones, follow their shows and music on their Facebook page!

C.D.O.T.W: The Loved Dog

You Are Loved Banner

It’s hard not to love anything involving a man’s best friend. That’s why when we came across this design, it was an easy pick for our Design of the Week. Aside from bringing up the happy, well-trained pups that they are known for, the sunny L.A.-based kennel The Loved Dog produced this adorable t-shirt design. We loved it for its playful typography and classic feeling, almost as much as we love the fluffy friends themselves.

Here’s more from the judging panel:

You Are Loved Design

Tyler: In the custom t-shirt industry, we get a lot of low-resolution images that are very difficult for us to use. The Loved Dog was not one of those cases. We can usually work with most files sent to us with some effort, but the Loved Dog’s artwork was what some in my field may refer to as a “dream job”. Not only did they send us a .png file with just the artwork and no background to delete, but they also sent us a Photoshop file, which made things even easier to work with.

When working on the artwork, I noticed there were some details in the letters that wouldn’t render well when simplified. The Loved Dog crew was very understanding of this and was very satisfied with the edits we made to help improve the artwork to their likings.

This was definitely an awesome print to work on. Besides sending great files, the customer was easy to work with, and there were zero art changes requested. This was a print that came in, was designed, and got printed all within the same day. Obviously, that isn’t how all cases go, so it was a very pleasant experience. 

You Are Loved T-Shirt


Joe: This week, we sorted through a large pack of shirt designs to fetch one we truly loved. Our winning design has a simple layout that uses a fun set of sans serif fonts, and a simple silhouette of a playful dog to translate the importance of the relationship between man and his best friend. The artist had to make some simplifications to the original gradient three-color artwork that the customer submitted, in order to make it into a single-color print. I feel that this was done expertly and without sacrificing any of the whimsy of the original. It is nice to feel love, and over here at Rush Order Tees, we love dogs and fun designs on t-shirts. This design has it all–we refuse to just roll over and not speak about it.

Mike: As a general rule, if you put a dog on something, I’m going to love it. Even aside from that, this design has a lot going for it. The typography is just cute enough to play well with the dog silhouette, but still come across as strong and professional. I really appreciate the detailed lines and the slight texture on the type when it’s paired with simple shapes, such as the dog shape and the circle. There’s a call and response happening between these shapes and the typography they are interacting with, and that amplifies the impact of this design. Also, I just love dogs and things that remind me of dogs, so overall this shirt is great!

 Check out more of what The Loved Dog does on their Facebook page!

C.D.O.T.W. Illuminati Tattoo

Illuminati Tattoo Parlor Banner Photo

This week’s Customer Design of the Week came to us from Vancouver, WA from the incredible artists at Illuminati Tattoo Parlor. Although great work should be expected from tattoo artists, this one blew our team away with its unbelievably intricate details and clean precision. While this print is different from our design team’s usual top picks, the complexity of the design made it stand out among the other thousand or so orders this week. Illuminati Tattoo’s design goes to prove that memorable designs and quality work can come from anyone, anywhere.

Here are our judges on why they couldn’t resist this design:
Illuminati Tattoo Design

Mike: A design for a tattoo shop needs to stand out to represent the shop and act as an advertisement for the type of work that can be expected there. This design benefits from being intricate and detailed. Like a great tattoo, the image is classic. The part that stands out is how much detail there is no matter where you look. The intertwining details and the semi-realistic forms make it apparent that the artists at this shop have skill and an unmatched ability to compose images.

Illuminati Shirts

Joe: Skulls, wings, and filigree are some of the most cliched symbols used in the tattoo world, however, Illuminati Tattoo takes the timeless imagery and spins it into a beautiful set of illustrations worthy of being tattooed on any shirt. Aside from creating a couple of killer illustrations, the next best thing Illuminati Tattoo did was that they were sure to send us a file large enough to retain all the detail. This is necessary to translate these designs to print, and is a crucial oversight which drastically effects the print in many of the orders we work on here . The original art was simplified from a 5 color image to a 2 color image, utilizing halftones to ensure the images popped right off the shirt, which they did. A true sense of depth is prevalent here, and the design really guides your eye around the entire print.

Imri: When great designs like this come across my desk, I’m always excited to work on them. What really sets these apart are the absence of gradients, giving them a clean, bold look. The first design is more classic with it’s symmetrical pattern and intricate, ornamental flourishes, while sharing some of the bold character of the second design. The second design has an interesting angle to it that is not typical, drawing in the eye. The background swirls and splatters add dimension, filling out the design with a burst of movement. The artists ink lines are excellent, the way they taper off, giving it an overall sharpness and dynamic look.  There’s one word that sums up both of them: badass. If you see them worn in public, it will most likely be by a tattoo artist, heavy metal guitarist, or MMA fighter. AKA some of our best customers.

Awesome design work comes from all over. Prepare to be even more impressed and check out Illuminati Tattoo’s work on their Facebook page!