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Design the Next Phlearn Shirt Contest!

Category: Business, Contest, Video
Apr 23

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Helpful Hints with the Pen Tool

Although our new contest doesn’t really call for an angry bird, using a reference will help you out a lot if you are using the pen tool. This tool is one of the most underrated and can be difficult but once you get the hang of it you will most likely find yourself using it all the time. You can have much more control over what exactly you are choosing to cut out or draw. Practicing on a simple logo first is a great idea before you try to do your own.

You don’t have to be a professional to design a logo! Anyone can do it using these techniques.

This Week’s Contest

We’re looking for a t-shirt design for our new apparel store on Phlearn!

We will be choosing the winner based on the design that best represents phlearn, something visually interesting- use of color, composition, etc. Something fun and casual!

The winning design will win a Phlearn PRO episode of their choice one week from today, and a shirt of course.

Post your vector file below in a comment below to enter the contest.

Good luck, we can’t wait to see your entries!


  • Daniel Mosley

    that’s a really great tut!
    i foresee one problem that may cause frustration though.  since you’re teaching this in PS, people aren’t going to be making graphics that are scalable after being saved, cuz PS saves raster graphics, not vector graphics.  also, since you used things like marquee tool, and selections to define shapes, and didn’t stick solely to paths for everything, your quality would degrade when enlarged.  you should prolly address this briefly somewhere if you want to save the headache for people who don’t understand fully how vector and raster graphics work.

  • Aaron Nace

    Good point Daniel!

  • John White

    its on ;)  I’ll post my shirt(s) when they’re all done

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  • John White

    entry 1

  • Ben Lundsten

    After an incredibly long day of animation/editing I felt the need to work in a program that doesn’t involve rendering. Hope you guys (and gal) like it! 

  • Aaron Nace

    Love it!

  • Ben Lundsten

    Glad you like it! On my walk home I thought of some changes I want to make. I think you will enjoy them.

  • Jeni

     I love this.  I would definitely wear it.

  • Bryan Dockett

    Here’s my first phlearn shirt ;)

  • Bryan Dockett

    and 2nd shirt 

  • John White

    haha I like this one!!!

  • Mrwan_Sultan

     So here is my design i made one for each gender and for sure it could be in many different ways with many different characters such as an engineer, worker or a bank manager, Also you can change the colors of it, I really hope you like it, Thank you

  •ðisá/1592784472 Andri Gerðisá

    I did´t use much Time on this, but I hope you se the point. (the camera hanging around the neck)

    I think it would be fun to wear somthing like this :)
    Maybe ad the phlearn text somwhere :)

  • Amelia Fletcher

    nice bryan! love it

  • Eleazar Paradise

    This is for the Phamily.  I hope you guys like it.  I like it and I loved making it!  If you like it too Aaron you’ll  need to make it again as a vector because I don’t know nuttin’ about vectors…yet.

  • Cass


  • Jenna Petrone

    I would love to see a simple Phlearn shirt with the spiffy logo large on the front and then PHLEARN on the back. : )

  • Kyle Miller

    should be keep calm and phlearn on.

  • Brian Fisher

    Here’s my shirt submission! I filled the Phlearn logo with many different elements that make up Phlearn/Photography/Photoshop.

    PS. Great work to everyone else! I am the original designer of the Phlearn logo, it’s cool seeing all the different designs with people using it in different ways!

  • Ben Lundsten

    Love it! I 

  • Ben Lundsten

    Brian a combination of ours would be perfect too! I should have used images like yours instead of text for the see n’ say.

  • Jeremy Cupp

    EPIC. I want in grey. 

  • Jeremy Cupp

    Also, a great one. 

  • Jeremy Cupp

    Nice one!

  • Jeremy Cupp

    Another one that is great!

  • Jeremy Cupp

    Some great designs going on here. 

  • Jeremy Cupp


  • Bryan Dockett

    I like this Brian, I thought of doing the same I glad you did it. sweet

  • Mrwan_Sultan

    Amazing (Y)

  • Rubén Chase

     Really stunning, congrats man

  • Kyle Simpson

    Probably too late, but I worked on this too hard to care. Not even sure if it’s right! This was my first time using the pen tool after watching the video and damn it took forever!
    Let me know what you think?

  • Kyle

    Crap, I don’t know what happened. Not sure what file type to save it as.
    Anybody fill me in?

  • Kyle Simpson

    Ok, here is a jpeg

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  • Sespider Productions

    I’m late to the party, but I don’t see a due date for submissions.

    There are much faster ways of going about using the pen tool. One thing
    to note is that Photoshop doesn’t keep colors attached to paths as
    Illustrator does. At least not if one goes the route as shown, And
    clothing printers don’t like that. If you insist on using Photoshop then
    create each path as if it was a mask. Sub-paths can be added to “cut”
    out shapes from the main path. Going this route allows the artist to
    resize the entire file and not loose vector details/sharpness. But I
    suggest using Illustrator for Vector instead. Most clothing companies
    prefer it over Photoshop. However, if the printer supports
    micro-dot-printing, then it’s not likely to be a big issue.

     Trust me on this. I’ve been designing for clothing for years now.
    Threadless is one of the companies that support micro printing but avoid
    it as much as possible. It’s why they have a 6 color limit for
    submitted designs. They also ask for AI files over PSD files.

     With respect, Threadless’s submission process is a joke. Regardless of
    how great your art is, you have slim to no chance of getting it printed
    by Threadless. They require the community to vote on what should be
    printed. But unless you’re already popular out the wazoo, your
    submissions quickly and easily get buried. Although they are better made
    and cheaper through Threadless, I’ve never been successful at getting
    designs printed by Threadless. The “Popularity Vote” system of their is
    NOT your friend. Find your own vender or start off with Redbubble.
    Redbubble doesn’t currently support full shirt printing, but at least
    you know you can get it printed. I’ve made hundreds off of one design at
    RB and zero off of all of my submissions to Threadless.

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