My Designer Confessions T-Shirts

If you’re a designer like me, you like t-shirts and probably have too many. It’s also quite likely you’ve had a stab at designing your own already or have dreamed of doing so. If this is you, then you’re going to love the new website I’m going to talk about.

It’s called Designer Confessions, a new project inspired by the recent Creative Market blog post confessions of a guilty designer. The website, launched as a side project by a small team of designers, is selling t-shirts with designers confessions beautifully crafted with typography… products for designers by designers.

The team kindly invited me to contribute, and I gladly accepted. Here’s my confessions, and the tee designs I created for each.


Confession 1: I miss pixel perfect web design

A big part of my day job is working on web design. For years I’ve been able to design pixel by pixel. I could create anything, and I felt like I had mastered this skill.

Then one beautiful day, someone came along and created responsive web design, and it changed the internet, and the web design process forever.

I can’t deny it. Responsive is really quite amazing, and probably one of the biggest changes in web design since the internet first began. Regardless of this, there’s part of me that feel it’s taken away some of the freedom and creativity away from designers, and once inspirational websites are now starting to look like a collection of the same thing with different photos.

I miss those intricate details that could be done with pixel artwork. but sadly I can see that this fine art of pixel by pixel design will soon become a thing of the past. This is why I miss pixel perfect web design… and why I designed a t-shirt to express this.


I miss pixel perfect web design - tshirt


Confession 2: Bad kerning kills me (& bothers nobody else)

I really hate bad kerning. For those that don’t know what this is, it’s the spacing between each letter (I wrote a guide to kerning typography when designing a logo for those that need some tips). It’s sadly quite common to see bad kerning…

I was recently in a hotel during a work trip, and their logo had a massive kerning issue. It really bugged me… but nobody else noticed it. I pointed it out to my boss (I couldn’t help it) who only noticed after I pointed it out. It bugs me that nobody else seems to see these glaring issues?? Hopefully, they see it subconsciously as being unprofessional, although I know as a designer I see the world differently.

At first, I wanted to design a tee that made use of bad kerning. Just a simple one, using a commonly used typeface such as Helvetica. But… it looked ugly! My original confession was actually “I hate bad kerning” but… as I genuinely hate bad kerning I needed to work out a way to make the dodgy kerning intentionally part of the design. Below is the t-shirt I ended up designing.


Bad Kerning Kills Me - Tshirt Design


“Bad Kerning” sounds like a bad guy from an old western, so I thought it would be fun to design around that idea. Anyone who’s a designer will get it, but people who have no idea what Kerning is will interpret it in their own way. I think designers will love this tee for that reason.


Confession 3: I drive faster when passing a bad logo

I drive quite a lot and am quite horrified by the terrible logo designs on vans and lorries. Sometimes I wish I had a camera just to document the horror.

Sometimes a design can be so awful it’s easier just to drive a bit faster to pass by before I mentally redesign the whole thing… no idea if anyone else does this?… if you do you’ll love this design.


I drive faster when passing a bad logo - tshirt design


So that’s my t-shirt designs. I had fun making them, so hope you like them! If you’re interested in buying yourself one, simply click on any of the images above to link to each, or check out the full collection in the Designer Confessions shop.


A conversation with the people behind Designer Confessions

I also had the opportunity to have a short interview with Jason at DesignerConfessions to find out a little more about the project for those of you who want to know more and also wish to join in.


I love the idea, tell me a little more about its origins?

A friend and I were chatting about a blog post he had read written by Joshua Johnson over at creative market, called “Designer Confessions”. At the time we had also been saying we should start an e-commerce store as a fun thing to do together and also because we both felt the need for a little ‘creative detour’ from our normal work. So it made sense than to ride the wave of this “Designer Confessions” blog post we had read.

We checked the URL and to our amazement it was available. So too was the Twitter handle. People were already using the hashtag #designerconfession – so I said we could ‘own’ the hashtag as part of our marketing strategy. – meaning every time someone used the hashtag they would inadvertently be helping us with our marketing efforts. So we bought the URL, registered the Twitter handle and began building our ‘side project’ e-commerce store.


Who else is working with you on the #DesignerConfessions project?

Well, it’s me and my close friend Madison (Madi). Then there are 3 of our friends who are all designers by trade. Their names are Fergus, Rocky and Megan, who made the initial launch collection. However we (Madi and I) want this great project not to be about us, but about all designers out there who have a ‘confession’ or ‘anecdote’ they want to get off their chest.


Do you plan to branch out the product range to more than tees?

For sure! At the moment we are thinking about coffee mugs (we know how we all like our coffee) and then posters and canvas prints for your studio / workspace. These make the most sense we feel. We can just imagine a designer somewhere in the world wearing his/her DC t-shirt, drinking from their DC coffee mug with a huge canvas print hanging on the wall. We will start expanding our range slowly as it makes sense to do so.


I know others will love this too. How can other designers help out and join in?

For our launch, the designs were all made by our three designer friends, but I knew going into this that we were going to need designs of all types, and also on a regular basis. As graphic designers, we all have ‘confessions’ so we opened up the ability for any designer anywhere in the world to submit their own designs via the website. This has worked a treat already as we have a good few to choose from. If a design is chosen and put on our site for sale we give 50% of the net profits back to the designer whose designs we use. We hoping to create a whole community around our website, and release one or two new designs every week.

We are amazed at the love we are getting from the design community, I think we have found something that every designer resonates well with. Designers understand designers. If you have a design in mind… send it our way! 🙂

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