Printerly Press | Skillshare Projects

Judith Mayer

Illustrator, Lettering Artist, Designer



Printerly Press

My brand is Printerly Press. I am a lettering artist, illustator and letterpress printer in Chicago. I have just started making paper goods this year under this label and have a desire expand and create hand lettered designs for fabric goods—like tshirts, hats and bags. I would really like to print the lettering large scale to wrap around the shirts or cover the entire width of the front. 

I started by vectorizing the sketches I was lettering, but had a thought that these might stand out in the market a bit more if they retained the rough, imperfect quality of the lines made by hand, so for this project I chose one of my designs and sent it off to print with only clean up in photoshop, not a redraw. I can't wait to get my sample back to see how it looks. 

I have included below many of the sketches I have made with the idea that they will be applied to shirts and/or bags. 


Concept - Choose short (1-4 word) messages and communicate them with large hand lettering. Make them oversize so that the letters start to read as shapes and design. Make them large enough to cover the entire width of the front of the shirt or bag so they take on an abstract quality.

Type of shirt - For now, my production is limited to online vendors as I have not gotten beyond the designing stage. I need to find an indpendent printer that can do the full front of the shirts. I would like to make fitted shirts, especially for the women's sizes. I don't see these as black or white shirts, but want to make them in interesting colors. I could see the colors of the lettering and the shirt being unusual combos.

Creative execution - My dream would be to make these with screenprinting and explore fluorescents and metallic inks. They are set up to be only 1 or 2 color designs with screenprinting in mind.

Cost - RIght now I am at the samples stage, so I have not priced vendors for a batch. I have only found online vendors like JakPrints that will make 24 for $7 each. And the pricing goes down as you increase quantity. They don't print as wide on the front as I would like, but I could afford some inventory to start selling with this company. This pricing is for American Apparel Unisex, one color imprint on colored shirt.
24= $7.70 each 
72= $6.01 each 
144= $5.06 each


My logo was designed to contrast with the scripty lettering I tend toward, and I think it will make great bold hang tags if they are cut to fit the logo exactly and look great as a sleeve imprint. Here again my aesthetic is presenting the lettering large or bleeding the edges so it takes on an abstract feel. You start to see the negative shapes as well as the positive.














Here are some of the lettering pieces that I vectorized:





As you can see below in a screen shot from Redbubble, the place I am ordering from, it doesn't have oversize/wrapping printing. I am limited to the center of the shirt.



I got my printed tshirt in the post today. Yay! I am pleased with the line quality (it is not vectorized, so it has some personality and variation). I think not cleaning the type up by redrawing is a good choice. I also think I can extend the art wide when there are flourishes that don't need to show for legibility, but maybe not extend to the edge when the letters might be lost after trying on the fitted version.

Here are shots of the shirt off, on, and I included a detail shot to show the line quality.





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