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Conceptualizing T-shirt Designs: How Glen Jones of Glennz Tees does it

If you’re a huge fan of tees, it’s almost impossible that you don’t know Glen Jones of Glennz Tees. He’s a  freelance graphic designer and illustrator from Auckland, New Zealand and is now one of the most famous t-shirt designers. His t-shirt designs are quirky, humorous and mostly about pop culture. After a succession of hit designs for T-shirt” data-label=”Threadless” data-affclick=”true” data-hl-processed=”skimlinks”>Threadless, Glenn went on to create his very own range of T-shirt designs. His t-shirt business success is no surprise since Glen is really a genius when it comes to t-shirt design.

Gathered from different interviews, here are some of his tips on conceptualizing t-shirt design.

What do you think is the single most important ‘muscle’ for design entrepreneurs to build?
From my experience, I think you have to understand the target. So maybe it’s awareness, and definitely a bit of enthusiasm, things don’t always move along the way you want them to, so you just have to keep trying and eventually you look back and see the result of the hard work you’ve put in, That’s how I feel about the last 5 years.
Can you describe the design process? How do you start and end?

It’s fairly simple really – I get an idea when I’m doing something else, and then I usually forget it. Then if I ever remember it again, I just sit down and draw it. I’m fairly impatient so I like to try to finish it ASAP, then I’ll leave it for a day or two, and revisit it. Then I’ll do any refining and if it’s for my tees it usually goes straight here: site.glennz

Your illustrations have a different iconic style. Most of your works have humorous and rational aspects. What is the reason for this kind of drawing?
I think alot of that style was influenced by the jobs I had to do when I first started using Illustrator. Part of my job was to create editorial graphics and graphs. I really like the clean simplicity of info graphics and I think that has followed through into my style today. I often draw something and then when I see it a couple of days later I’ll remove stuff to simplify as much as possible – try to make it clear and easy to get.

Many people believe that you have to know how to draw to be a graphic designer. Do you believe that is true?

Not at all, I think graphic design is about the conceptual thinking, you can call upon the expertise of others to execute those concepts.

Before you begin working on a new project, where do you draw your inspiration?

It can come from anywhere, everyday objects I interact with, TV, or just imagination.

What other elements are important for a successful t-shirt business?

It’s not just about the design on the shirt, its the whole package – shipping, customer service are just as important and we’re always trying to improve what we do.


Glennz Tshirt Design Zombie Treadmill


Glennz Tshirt Design Alien


Glennz Tshirt Design vampire


Glennz Tshirt Design pacman


Glennz Tshirt Design sesame street


Glennz Tshirt Design pacman garden


Glennz Tshirt Design cookie monster


Glennz Tshirt Design ship


Glennz Tshirt Design Swiss Knife


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