Architectural T-Shirts

There are currently 58 “draft” articles on my site – some are fairly recent and some go back years. There are any number of reasons why I hadn’t finish writing a particular post:

  1. Lost interest in the topic
  2. I found it boring so assumed everyone else would as well
  3. Didn’t have the images or graphics to support the content
  4. Lost momentum (this accounts for probably one third)
  5. Sometimes the creative process is cathartic and not intended for public consumption

As we creep towards the fall holiday season, life tends to slow down just a bit and I find myself with some spare time on my hands in the evening, as is the case tonight as I write dust this post off (it’s either this or start sanding down bathroom cabinets).

While I don’t plan on finishing most of those posts, there are a couple (mostly those in category #4) that I thought I would finish and push out – consider them a bonus mid-week blog post … which brings us to architectural t-shirts.

Colorful T-Shirts lineup - copyright Bob Borson 2018

I wear a t-shirt every single day and as a result, I have more than my fair share. A long time ago I decided I wanted some architectural t-shirts and almost all of the ones I found online unilaterally stunk, so I thought I would make some for myself since the act of making your own t-shirt is ridiculously easy.

I actually own every single one of the shirts in today’s post and at 6′-1″ and 205lbs I am a comfortable XL.

Skull and T-Square Ink Stamp by Bob Borson

There is a confession to make here – most of these were ideas that turned into a “new skills” exercise in Photoshop – learning how to make patterns that look like wood-cut stamps, getting my graphic to “undulate” with the flow of the fabric of the shirt, that sot of thing.

Skull and T-Square Ink Stamp Red by Bob Borson

Yes, I will admit it – I like my architectural jolly rogers. I will also admit that I might have multiple t-shirts with this design on it … and yes, maybe I am slightly influenced that this is the t-shirt that gets the most response when I wear it.

Architectural Seal by Bob Borson

I also wanted to play around with “decals” as a different sort of graphic stamp.


BIMJA Rectangle by Bob Borson

The irony here is that not only do I have this shirt, but I also have a mug with the same image on it … and I still don’t know Revit. I keep telling myself “one day …” but so far, that day hasn’t come (although if it ever does, I’m not sure I will choose Revit as my platform).

Modular Man cracked ink by Bob Borson

Modular man? Please and thank you.

Vintage Modern Le Corbusier Design by Bob Borson

Come and Take It Ink Stamp by Bob Borson

While the phrase “Come and take it” was first credited to Spartan King Leonidas in the 480BC in the battle with the Persians, since I am a Texan, I associate it, and this basic graphic (substitute the t-square with a canon), more with the Battle of Gonzales where a small contingent of defiant Texans successfully held off Mexican forces who had been ordered to seize the cannon.

Bauhaus cracked ink by Bob Borson

I am actually going to be in Weimar, Germany this next week for what is essentially a week-long celebration of the Bauhaus movement … and I think I’ll have this t-shirt with me. Pretty sure that I’ll be the only one who will have this t-shirt, which I will admit is feeding part of my desire to make it in the first place.

While this post has almost nothing to do with architecture, it does represent a few things that I think are important characteristics about my personality. In my spare time, which is fairly precious, I would still rather develop some new skills and flex some creative muscles (however poorly) than sit around and do something a bit more passive. The fact that I can experiment and make some t-shirts that I actually want to wear is simply a nice bonus.

I’m actually going to give a t-shirt away – simply tell me which one you would want and I will choose some lucky winner at random! Happy hump-day!


Bob signature FAIA

Source: Life of an Architect