Over the years I've been very lucky to have gotten to work with amazing costume designers who needed custom t-shirts designed for various projects. Because of my retro stylings, the requests are usually pretty straight forward, with the goal of hitting a very specific era.
Working with Danny Glicker led to producing an enormous number of shirts for the film Milk, as well as being able to contribute to his much deserved Academy Award Nomination for Costume Design.
We broke down dozens of old photos and located surviving shirts from the political activism of Harvey Milk to recreate things as accurately as possible.
Time magazine's 2009 Oscar Ballot tried to make light of the nomination with a 'Best T-shirts' comment, but we both found it a compliment and as you can see by watching the movie or catching one of the many costume displays at Universal Studios or the Academy Museum, Danny's eclectic body of work on this film was awe-inspiring.
In an unfortunate example of history repeating itself, the film was premiering around the same time as the controversial California ballot initiative 'Proposition 8' was being proposed. As a final contribution to the legacy of the great Harvey Milk I designed new 'No on 8' buttons for the cast and crew to wear to the premier that were in the specific style of his own 'No on 6' campaign buttons.
It started with a call from Costume Designer Danny Glicker, at 11:30 one night: 'Hey, I need a 1990s heavy metal shirt made for a character in a new show about white trash vampires… and I need it tomorrow'.
And there explains the necessity to use my own face to represent the made-up band 'Hellion' on True Blood. It led to a handful of other mock-ups, layouts and explorations of other t-shirt designs over the first few seasons of the immensely popular TV show. It also led to me being able to bookend my cameos from t-shirt face to background pool player with my future wife, in the final season.
The most simple jobs sometimes turn out to be the most time consuming, as I learned by designing a single t-shirt for Barbara Streisand. It was a simple recreation of a generic souvenir t-shirt from the great state of New Jersey, but if you could just buy the right one off the rack you wouldn't need me anyway.
In this case it became a variation on top of variation evolution until the right design and color combinations could be locked down to properly fit one of the iconic scenes from the film.
Click around below to discover the journey!