Music Merchandise Design: Thought + Process

, Graphic Designer & Band Tee Artist

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Maddie Harbert

Maddie Harbert


Juan Pilar

Juan Pilar


Ralph Pierre-Louis

Ralph Pierre-Louis


Class Project

Design a Band Tee

About the Class

In this class, I cover how to absorb your clients’ direction thoughtfully, and execute an end product that fills their need, as well as the needs of their fan base. I will be letting the student into my thought process behind each decision. While the skills are important, it’s the thought behind the action thatwill set you apart from your peers.

With over a decade in the music merchandising industry, I have watched trends in band tees come and go. While the aesthetic of these pop culture staples is ever-changing, my process and techniques remain consistent. I create band tee graphics for a living, and have managed to stay passionate about it for quite some time. I have developed streamlined processes that allow me to work quickly and effectively, allowing myself to enjoy each project.

What You'll Learn

  • Introduction. We will cover the basics of the t-shirt project and how it functions as a  
  • Client Interview. We will chat with the client and identify themes for the design. 
  • Research & Brainstorming. I will walk you through an effective brainstorm and research collection process.
  • Sketches. You will sketch ideas for your band tee.
  • Initial execution in Adobe Illustrator. I will walk youthrough the digitization process in Illustrator.
  • Finalizing in Adobe Photoshop. We will bring the image into Photoshop to add finishing touches.
  • Mocking Concepts for Presentation. You will create concept mockups for the client presentation.

What You'll Make

You will design a graphic tee for a band. You will follow along through interview, research, brainstorming, sketches, execution, and presentation. All the while, as an added bonus, I will be accepting submissions from the students that will also be submitted to the band. The band will choose one of the student-submitted designs to put into production, and sell on tour.

More Information

This is an intermediate level class because prior knowledge of Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop is required. Students should have access to Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop which you can download a free trial of at

Level: Beginner

School: Design

Related Subjects: Logo Design, Illustration, Lettering, Digital Illustration, T-Shirt Design, Graphics

At a Glance

  • 9 Video Lessons (2h 7m)
  • 603 Students
  • 100% Positive Reviews (19)
  • Self-Paced Online Class

About the Teacher

Brandon Rike

Brandon Rike

Graphic Designer & Band Tee Artist

Dribbble Twitter Portfolio Website It takes a higher level of dedication and tenacity to have a successful career as a freelance graphic designer. For the past ten years, I’ve been abl...

100% Positive Reviews

Peter Woodward

Peter Woodward

I enjoyed the videos a lot. However, I get the feeling like I walked into class after class was finished. I saw a lot of interaction with everyone early on, but it seems like I missed ...

View all reviews