500,000+ Customers Nationwide w/ 99.7% Satisfaction

my accountMy Account

Login to Your Account

  • Access your saved designs
  • Track your orders
  • Easily place a reorder
Sign In
shopping cartCart0


Design Makeover: La Veta Colorado

Imri Merritt

January 18, 2021

This order was marked for a standard repair/recreate, which usually means exact. After calling the customer and learning about the purpose of these T-shirts, I wanted to give her something better.

Over the summer, you might have heard about those crazy Colorado wildfires that burned over 100,000 acres. That included almost half the small town of La Veta. Luckily, everyone had been evacuated, and firefighters worked non-stop to get the fires under control.

She explained that the idea behind this order was to sell the 300 T-shirts locally to raise funds for helping people who lost their homes. She also wanted them to be morale boosters; a walking reminder to everyone that their town was “Still Here, Still Beautiful”.

Here is her original design, which she put together herself.

customer t-shirt design

Take a close look at this file and you see that it’s very low resolution. All the edges are “pixelated” and some of the parts of the image have major “artifacts” from being compressed.

customer t-shirt art closeup customer t-shirt art closeup

Aside from the poor quality, the design itself could use some help. I asked about her intentions; about which elements were important to her and why. She gave me free reign to change her design as needed, but I told her my goal was to rebuild and improve it, while preserving her original concept. She loved that idea, so I got to work.

After searching online, I was able to find a better photo of the mountain range (if you notice that her mountain range is taller than mine, it’s because she stretched her photo). In the photos that I came across, the colors of this mountain range appeared differently, depending on the time of year, so I went with a purplish-gray tint that I knew would go well with the shirt color.

I was also able to find better versions of the clip-art animals she chose, and I switched out the background for a more pleasant sky, complete with fluffy clouds. To make the sun, I used a combination of vector shape and gradient, for a warm, stylized look. For the fireman silhouette I used two firemen, representing teamwork. Also because I couldn’t find the same one she used.

custom art


Finally I chose a similar font, applied some typesetting tricks, and added a wavy border to avoid a plain edge crop, and to give the feel of a postcard, without being too literal. The separation was super easy, as is usual when I can create the artwork from scratch. We contracted out this 7-color simulated process job to a printer who is local to the customer called Denver Print house, who always do great work.

The customer was thrilled with the design makeover, as well as the finished product, and from what I understand all the T-shirts have been sold.

custom art

before and after art

Impressed with the craftsmanship and creativity of our team? We encourage you to put them to work in bringing your own custom apparel vision to life! Just give one of our Product & Design Specialists a call at (800) 620-1233 to get started.

Happy designing!
– M

Imri Merritt

About the Author

A graduate of the Multimedia program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Imri Merritt is an industry veteran with over 10 years of graphic design and color separations experience in the screen printing industry.