Hand Swashed T-shirt
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Product story


Follow the making of the Hand Swashed T-shirt.
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Hand Swashed T-shirt

By: Neil Summerour


We love Neil Summerour’s lettering, we love wordplay, and we love T-shirts. All three of those things in one? Irresistible. Available in two colors: white with black lettering or blue with white lettering.

Product information
Maker Neil Summerour
Material Heather blue tees are American Apparel Tri-Blend (50% polyester / 25% cotton / 25% rayon). White tees are American Apparel 100% cotton.
Care Machine wash cold. Dry flat or tumble dry low.
Additional details The words on the tee are hand-lettered by Neil Summerour, which means they’ve been printed with the nuances and details that come with lettering.
Shipping information Please expect five business days for your T-shirt to ship. We can only ship to the U.S. and Canada for now. We’re sorry.
Return policy We hope you’re not afraid of commitment because this is a final sale.

Hand Swashed T-shirt

By: Neil Summerour


Product story

Start at the beginning

In the works: The Hand Swashed T-shirt

April 23, 2013

By: Fairgoods

We’re big fans of Neil Summerour’s lettering, so when he told us about his idea for the Hand Swashed T-shirt, we were all in.

Fairgoods: Where were you and what were you doing when the idea came to you?

Neil Summerour: I was shopping in the mall one day, listening to the elevator music, bored out of my skull. My mind was wandering and I thought of the wording for it — and a bunch of other phrases. I packed them neatly away in my head and the next chance I was in the studio, documented it on my Letter This list.

Were you inspired by anything in particular?

Inspired, no. Haunted, yes. I was at the mall. It was an attempt to keep my brain from turning to jelly.

So it’s an idea you’ve had for a while?

Yeah, it sat there for a while. Time is the biggest commodity for me, and rarely do I get opportunities just to do personal projects, so it sat in creative purgatory until Fairgoods came along with a cherubic trumpet cry to get off my butt and make pretty things.

The lettering needed to be a one-off — no cut and paste, no collecting pieces and tweaking.

What was your design process like?

I have a tendency to do over-the-top, self-indulgent lettering — something I inevitably pine over instead of embracing the natural calligraphic/expressive/reactive letter form. When I sat down and started sketching, it became apparent I needed to avoid that because earlier attempts at over-dramatizing were, well, boring. So I opted to keep it real, picked up one of my favorite brush marker pens, and just started lettering and lettering and lettering.

Did you encounter any challenges? How did you get past them?

The only challenge I had to overcome was my incessant, anal-retentive affliction to make the perfect letter, the perfect execution. The lettering, in my mind, needed to be a one-off — no cut and paste, no collecting pieces and tweaking. And it had to be imperfect. Drawing imperfectly when your predisposition is to make it perfect is frustrating. So I kept drawing execution after execution until I hit one that I liked and then I stopped, maybe expressed a few expletives, and relaxed.


 The Hand Swashed T-shirts will be finished soon. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates. 

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