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How I Designed Dark Romantix Handwritten T-Shirts for Women

Posted on October 02 2017

How I Designed Dark Romantix Handwritten T-Shirts for Women

Since 1983 when Katharine Hamnett introduced her bold slogan t-shirts, I have wanted to create printed products. It’s a good idea to hold onto your dreams because you never know when they may materialise.

During that long period of over 30 years, there have been a couple times I’ve come close to having a greetings card business, but nothing ever took off!

The idea has never left me. In fact, recently I found an old notebook with drawings for handmade greetings cards, I think I even have sample designs in a box somewhere.

Cycle forward and in those years, I got married, had two children, two careers and now the boys are grown I've launched a t-shirt business, which is more than I ever imagined!

How I came up with the idea for handwritten t-shirts

Vintage lettering, calligraphy and handwritten text are really popular. I love a lot of the posters and memes available, in old school writing.

I experimented with different fonts, shapes and sizes but nothing matched the vision in my head of what I was looking for and using the handwriting of another designer felt impersonal. I wanted to add a touch of myself in my designs.

So one day I played around with my writing and really liked the results.

I love the feeling of writing. Making swirls and swishes with the pen. I love the freedom to create big letters across a blank page and have always admired stylish writing. I’ve practised over the years to make mine beautiful.

At school I was one of those girls who fussed over their writing, doing circles instead of dots over the i’s, colouring different letters to make the words pop and trying out calligraphy. I probably should have concentrated more on the content of the lessons, but at least my exercise books looked good!

Stationery, pens, ink, nibs, colours, paint, acrylic, were the aisles I was drawn to in Paperchase and art shops.

Bringing everything together in one place and launching Dark Romantix online shop has been challenging, exciting, and sometimes a bit overwhelming. I liken it to childbirth. Once the baby’s born…you ask…now what?

Shopify has enabled me to open an online shop. You don’t even have to be a website designer.

That’s the relatively easy part. Now, it’s my job to let people know the shop exists!

On this website I’ll also be blogging about redecorating my Victorian house, going dark, going from a pretty grubby white, to an all dark interior. Again, more excitement mixed with nervew! What if I get it wrong?

I'm also in school, studying for a Professional Certificate in Interior Design, so my plate is well and truly full!

But let’s get back to t-shirts and please do allow me to introduce my two collections.


How I designed my first two collections: Between Friends and Creativitee Shirts

I called the first collection Between Friends because I love the feeling I get when a girlfriend messages me and ends with Mwah! or begins with Hello Treasure! I just love it. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I always use these kind of words with my friends and noticed it was a habit between us. When something good happens, I’ll add Woohoo! to the message or when we're getting stuck in to a conversation, it might beging with, Gurl!…

I thought those words would look cool like hashtag t-shirts! I liked the idea so ran with it.

Looking at my phone conversations between friends I quickly made a list of our most used words:

Mwah! came out on top.

Sugah, Sweetee, Woohoo! Daahling, were also very popular.

When used in messages, which, let’s face it can arrive a bit like being slapped with a cold kipper, these words brighten up and add emotion to electronic conversations.

Mwah! is my favourite, I loved the movement in writing that!

Creativitee Shirt Collection

Here, I’m playing with some of our popular, most used uplifting words ending with tee. I had this idea a long time ago and now have the opportunitee (see what I did there) to bring it life!

Positivitee, Creativitee, Spiritualitee.

The idea is you can wear and share how you’re feeling. Spread the love so to speak.

Imagine a yoga mum wearing a Spritualitee Shirt whilst practising downward dog, an artist slipping into her Creativitee Shirt whilst painting and a Communitee leader wearing our shirt promoting togetherness.

You can wear how you feel!

I hope you love the brightness of these collections. They are a definite nod towards the more romantic side of Dark Romantix. I'm looking forward to exploring the darker side...more for the future.

These collections are fun, thoughtful, creative t-shirts designed for women of all ages.

We hope you love them, let us know your favourite in the comments section below.

And if you’d like to receive news from us, including special offers, new design releases, competitions or you want to keep up with the progress of me redecoring my house, then sign up for our newsletter here.

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