Nacho Libre T-Shirt

About Project: Create a t-shirt design which follows The Narrative Image guidelines.  Since the design will ultimately be screen printed, I was limited to just 4 colors(5 if you include the color of the shirt).

Step 1: Sketching

I started out just putting as many ideas on paper as I could.  At first I wanted to do something related to Mythbusters.  I sketched out Jammie, one of the hosts of the show holding a giant hammer with a unicorn in the background to see if something like that would work as a stand-alone design, and then tried adding text to it.

I also played around with some Star Wars ideas – Luke and Leia over a planet(Alderaan) with text reading “Looking for love in Alderaan places”.  So punny.


Next I started doing Nacho Libre sketches.  I watched it for the first time in a few years and laughed my head off.  Jack Black is a comedic genius.


First Digital Draft

I finally decided on doing a draft of a bowl of “De Lord’s Chips” from that scene where Nacho gets in trouble for letting Steven steal the chips and is asked “Did you not tell him that they were the Lord’s chips???”.

I distressed all the layers with a vector texture I made from a picture I took of a rusted tractor.

Note On Vector Textures

Here’s a great tutorial on how to create a vector texture from a photograph using photoshop and illustrator: Cory Kerr Vector Texture Tutorial

This was really freaking time consuming to do.  Probably due in part to the fact that I was doing some of this on my Macbook Air.  The pathfinder pallet came in handy, but illustrator had an aneurysm every time I tried to get it to distress more than one object at a time.


Final Version

This is the final version.  I re-arranged the elements and scaled up the chips and the halo so the layout is more oval instead of hourglass shaped.

There are two layers to the halo, one yellow and one orange, to give it a bit more depth.  I did the same thing with the chips.  There are two orange layers behind the front yellow layer you see.

The font I ended up using was Impact – I know, I know.  Normally I avoid using Impact, but because I was distressing it with a texture the size of each letter Impact gave me just worked.  I tried Helvetica bold and a few others, but I couldn’t get the right blend of texture and letter integrity with it.

I threw my illustrator design into a photoshop template I found on Graphic Burger to get an idea of what it’ll look like printed.  The colors are probably a little darker here than they’ll be when it’s printed because of the blending modes I used to get the wrinkles and shirt texture to show through, but I really like it.


Credit: T-shirt mock up template from Graphic Burger


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