Last night I had the opportunity to take the Letterpress T-shirts workshop at WNYBAC with Melisa.

The class was amazing. It was so nice to actually design, build, and create something you can hold in your hand. It’s such a contrast to the digital world I live in each and every day. I definitely want to do more, and luckily they have plenty of workshops options to attend. If you live in Buffalo, I highly recommend checking out WNYBAC.

For my shirt design, I used words from a great Dalai Lama quote I posted a few months back:

Take care of your Thoughts because they become Words. Take care of your Words because they will become Actions. Take care of your Actions because they will become Habits. Take care of your Habits because they will form your Character. Take care of your Character because it will form your Destiny, and your Destiny will be your Life. – The Dalai Lama

The words conveniently fit in a scrabble-type format that build off each other, just like the quote. I really like the idea. I only wish I took a little extra time to embellish the design a little with some of the great wood blocks from the WNYBAC collection. Next time!

Here’s my setup on the press:

Letterpress t-shirt setup

I decided to use a dark blue ink on a grey t-shirt. Here is the final result:

Final letterpress t-shirt design


p id=”yui_3_17_2_1_1407674114902_331936″>Since I was the first one done, I was able to watch Melisa design and build a great looking t-shirt based around the quote, “Change is the only constant” (originally by Heraclitus.)It was interesting to watch her work and make decisions. I came in with an idea and was super focused on executing it (thus the lack of embellishment), where she came in with a couple vague ideas and did a lot of exploring in workshop. Then she took the time to play with different elements as she built out an idea. Whereas I found two fonts that worked fairly well together (and had all the necessary letters) and went to work. I certainly enjoyed my work — it was relaxing to piece together the movable type, spacers, and furniture to build out my design. I definitely want to go with a more “free” approach next time to see what happens.


I am a patient boy.

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