T-shirt Designer

T-shirt Designer

View More Images



Taking on the role of a t-shirt designer— “Keith Haring Style”

The lesson's goal was for students to pretend that they were “reopening” the Pop Shop in NYC that closed in 2005. They were given the challenge to design and showcase new and improved t-shirts that were marketable to sell. They could use any surface application such as dyeing, bleaching, and fabric paint to accomplish the task and it had to be wearable!


TSW: Explore Keith Haring’s graffiti style in while connecting it to personal subject matter
TSW: Take on the role as a t-shirt designer by “reopening” the Pop Shop that closed in 2005


example of Keith Haring’s work
fabric paint/acrylic paint with matte medium in it if fabric paint is not available
fabric dye
cups with water
paper towels
PowerPoint introducing graffiti art and Keith Haring
Smartboard if applicable


FYI to the teacher: Wear something inspired by Keith Haring to connect to the students. I usually wear my dancing figure shirt

Step 1: Start off with motivation: "Can anyone guess who the artist was who used simplified, contour forms mostly in the underground, which is the subway system in New York City? (Keith Haring)

Step 2: Show exemplar of Keith Haring’s work and go through an introduction of graffiti art on the Smart board through a PowerPoint. Students will take notes and jot down questions posed by the slideshow.

Following steps
3. Show tangible examples of Keith Haring's work using prints or student inspired work

4. Based on the prompts from the slides students will come up with 3 rough draft ideas that could be transferred onto shirts. This logo must connect to them while keeping Keith Haring’s style in mind.

5. One on one time will be spent with each student to fully discuss their plan of attack (students may want to use dye, or bleach on their shirts for an added effect that this needs to be accomplished first)

6. Students will transfer images in pencil to shirts, and not to forget putting their name on the tag.

7. Review the painting rules for the class

8. Based on one on one guidance, students will paint using with fabric paint or acrylic paint with matte medium added, using simplified, bold colors.

9. Students will place un-dry and unfinished shirts in the drying rack until the next day

10. Shirts will be ironed to set paint once dry on the reverse side of the shirt.

11. Once finished, students will write one paragraph telling me what does their logo represents to them and how they expanded upon Keith Haring's style. They will also include one positive thing about the artwork and one negative. They will trade and someone will write the same thing underneath their paragraph to turn in. .

12. Students will fill out a self-assessment based on the rubric given for the first day.


-Who is your targeted audience?
-What Keith Haring style subjects would sell best?
-How can you make the subjects different than what he did?
-If words are chosen are they legible from when read far away?


use chalk murals as a followup to the Keith Haring lesson. This incorporates Haring's first style as a subway artist and prompts the arts on campus.