I’m sure that many of our readers would like to participate but are not feeling confident enough with their “graphic manipulation skill”.
Even though being a Photoshop ace would be a real advantage; anybody with a browser, a screen capture tool, and any application with the ability to insert image and edit text, could come up with a cool geeky t-shirt design.
Cooking Up The Idea
The first thing that you need to design your own t-shirt is a good idea. Don’t wander too far from your idea, find something related to your life. Think of a design that you would want to wear yourself.
The good news is, if you are reading this article right now, chances are your life is already filled with geeky ideas that you can turn into a design. Armed with the idea, you are ready to look for raw materials for your design.
I myself started with the idea of a “404 Error Page“. To avoid the trap of being too obvious and ordinary, I added the ingredients with my wish to make fun of the mighty Google. Then I mixed a little bit of Make Use Of spice to the recipe.
The Process Of Baking The Design
We already know that if you write down a wrong sub-address to a valid domain, you’ll get the famous error page message. So what do you think will happen if we do it deliberately to a Google address? We’ll get a great image for our T-Shirt design.
I opened my browser and pasted the Make Use Of motto at the end of the Google URL. It went something like this: “http://www.google.com/cool_websites,_software_and_internet_tips“. I hit enter and got the error page.
Then I hid everything from view using the “View – Hide” menu to get a cleaner look.
I also enlarged the page view using the “View – Zoom In” menu to get a higher resolution image.
I captured the browser window using a screen capture tool. I used Jing on my Mac, but this tool is also available for Windows. Another alternative that you can use is Screenpresso (Windows), Skitch (Mac) and Shutter (Linux).
Just to prove that you can use almost any application – as long as it can handle text and image – to come up with the final design, I dragged and dropped the captured image to TextEdit – basic word processing for Mac (similar to Notepad for Windows – but more full featured). Of course you can use Word, PowerPoint, or a dedicated graphic application like Photoshop and the alternatives like Acorn for Mac.
I added some text and inserted a high resolution [NO LONGER WORKS] Make Use Of logo (you can also get the logo in vector format). Then I recaptured the image using a screen capture tool to get the final design.
This is what my final design looked like.
The End Is Near
What are you waiting for? The deadline for the contest is April 30th 2010. Submit your cool and geeky design before the end of this month and see whether you have what it takes to win.
But even if the deadline has passed, you can use the method explained here to create other designs for your own use. Just be sure to stay within the line and not break the law by using copyrighted materials.