Skull Vectors for Days
When we first thought to create a new skull vector pack, we thought we’d simply update some of our older stuff. Perhaps add a few new skulls, refresh them and polish them up like a shiny new pair of shoes.
After all, we have some great stuff and skulls never get old, now do they?
But here’s what happened – We reached out to some really great friends and kind of got carried away.
What came about was a…
BRAND. NEW. SET.
Ninety eight brand new skulls and related vectors. Yes, completely new content created by seven talented folks we know and love, including Jeff Finley, Steve Knerem, Blake Stevenson, Michael Hinkle, Justin Sobota, Scott Fuller and Go Media’s own internal designer Jordan Wong.
With this set, you’ll grab these must-have 98 vectors in total. Here’s how they shake out:
- 10 vectors from Steve
- 12 vectors each from Jeff, Michael, Scott and Jordan
- 20 vectors each from Blake and Justin
Don’t believe me when I say they’re incredible? Well let’s just let the visuals speak for themselves.
…See! Told you they were awesome!
DO. THIS. THING.
Looking for more awesome products? Hop on over to our Arsenal for more!
Design with Ease and Efficiency: Introducing the Shark Attack T-Shirt Vector Pack
What if I told you it was possible to produce a high-quality design minus all of the sweat and seemingly endless hours? It can happen, my friends. (You know I’d never lie to you.) I’d like to introduce you to a magical tool called the T-Shirt Design Pack, now available on the Arsenal! These packs, including today’s release, include everything you need to design the perfect t-shirt (minus the hassle plus all the glory).
It’s really quite simple:
1. Download this baby.
2. Hop into .AI (if you’d like to modify the original file and craft up your own unique design)
3. Dive into Photoshop to mock up your work, further customizing the end result to your heart’s content.
4. Blow people’s minds.
So, if you’d like to save time (without compromising quality), you know what to do.
You can also check out our other t-shirt packs: HERE
Take a glance at the Shark Attack T-Shirt Design Pack:
New T-Shirt Vector Pack Release: Produce an exceptional and unique t-shirt design in moments. (Yes, you!)
New T-Shirt Vector Pack Release: Produce an exceptional and unique t-shirt design in moments. (Yes, you!)
If you’re like me, there are a million things you want to accomplish. Like, today.
But time (and frankly, a tiny bit of skill) have kept me from checking those things off of my ever-growing list.
Thankfully, I have some amazing friends who have hooked me up with the tools I need to not only check off my to-dos, but look like somebody who’s somebody doing them too.
And they’re here to help you as well.
Here we go ya’ll. A way to actually design an exceptional (and unique) t-shirt in moments (little design skill needed…but lots is great, too).
I don’t know about you, but I consider it a miracle.
With today’s release, the Day of the Dead T-Shirt Design Pack by Steve Knerem you’ll get everything you need to design the perfect t-shirt:
- All 10 Haunting Illustrations
- The Original .AI file of this design (allowing you to make it all your own)
- A Men’s Triblend Ghosted Mockup Template to make your final design look professional and realistic
- As well as a sample of Jeff Finley’s popular eBook, Thread’s Not Dead, the Designer’s Guide to the Apparel Industry, so that you can be on your way to apparel industry greatness
So, what do you say? Let’s not waste any more precious time…
How to design a great t-shirt (even with minimal design skills) quickly: The Unleashed T-Shirt Pack by Steve Knerem
In design, it seems, speed and quality rarely go hand in hand.
But there are some instances when you can have it all.
Introducing the T-Shirt Mockup Pack
With our new t-shirt mockup packs, you can design a great t-shirt quickly.
Here’s what happens: we hook you up hard core with all of the artwork and mockup files. You take those files into AI and modify the original illustration (if you so choose). Then, you mockup your design in Photoshop with some of the World’s Best Templates (ours of course). Bada bing, bada boom: you’ve got a t-shirt to call your very own.
You have ultimate creative freedom, giving both you seasoned designers, and those of you with beginner design skills, countless possibilities.
Today we unveil…
The Unleashed T-Shirt Design Pack
- All 9 Vectors created by Steve Knerem
- Both Original .AI files of this design, offering you 2 color variations from which to work
- 2 Mockup PSDs: a Ghosted Long-Sleeve T-Shirt and Zipper Hoodie (Back Version)
As a bonus, we throw in a sample of Steve Knerem’s Video Tutorial: Hand Illustration for T-Shirts: Part 1 of 3
Take a peek at the goods
So, umm. What are you waiting for?
Ladies and gentlemen, the long awaited successor to vector pack 22 is out! And we do have something very new to share. Set 22 was Steve Knerem’s take on a lot of elements of the 1950s and 1960s: cars, pin-ups, rock ‘n’ roll, greasers, etc. It was done in his signature, detailed, illustrative style (you can see much more about set 22 in this Zine post, and you can buy it on the Arsenal).
We teamed up with Steve again for this new release. But this time, we wanted to bring something a bit different. You see, one color vector elements are great and all, but what if we could provide elements that are as detailed if not more, and in color? Well, we did it!
Meet set 23: 7 packs of horror-themed awesomeness!
This new set is comprised of of the usual 7 packs, plus one. Steve focused on an horror theme, with big nods to the zombie and mummy culture. The “plus one pack” is for an experimental pack of vector brushes. They are as follows:
Let’s have a closer look, shall we?
The zombies and mummies vector pack
These are 8 highly detailed and scary zombies, mummies, and other un-dead things. We’ve also added the scrolls and the skull of the sexy zombie as a separate element.
The witches and wolves vector pack
These 8 witches and (were) wolves will make your designs howl (I apologize in advance to the bad pun police). The vectors are constructed in such a manner that makes isolating some of the elements possible, like these scrolls and circle patterns.
The weapons vector pack
Now, there are obvious classics in that anti-zombies weapon pack. The chainsaw and the cross-bow are just a must have in case of an invasion (don’t forget the explosive or incendiary arrows). But for people that would like to be creative, the bear trap, the (probably acid-filled) water gun, and the banjo should expand the horizons quite nicely. And I bet that Brad Pitt wouldn’t have said no to the shotgun in World War Z.
The tombstones vector pack
What’s a horror movie without a cemetery scene? Drop a couple of these tombstones in the background of your scene, and the mood is set. Also, these are made in a way that should allow the more adventurous of you to extract some of that marble grain for other uses. Just saying.
The survival kit vector pack
There you have it! The ultimate package to survive the Zombipocalypse. The compass to plan your route in the wasteland, the everlasting fast food fries and industrial pastries to last until you can replenish the rations, the lighter to start a fire of get your molotov cocktails going (see above), the multi-tool knife, the gourd to hold water or high proof booze for when the hand sanitizer runs out (we don’t want these wounds to get infected), and the backpack to hold it all. And the noose for when everything is lost.
The animals, reptiles, and skeletons vector pack
Now, we can love animals and still be freaked out by some of them. And what would a witch be without a black cat? And bats. Bats are important in the event of a vampire showing up, even if just for ambiance purposes.
The textures vector pack
These textures will be perfect to add some grime to your backgrounds. Or to anything, really. I don’t know about you, but snake skin, while beautiful, gives me the creeps. And I don’t want to know to what creature that fur belongs to.
The brushes vector pack
Now, this is much more experimental for us. Steve wanted to take a stab at vector brushes. Apply these to paths, and you quickly get lines of hair, scratches, stitches, blood drops, and more.
All of these vectors are fully layered elements, which means that you can change colors to adapt them to you own project at will. There are also elements here and there you can extract for other uses. I mentioned a marble texture before, but there are many more: scrolls, banners, small skull, crack texture, etc.
The genesis of the pack
This one was a long time in the making. Because we haven’t done color vectors too much before, we wanted to get it right. Let me show you some of the progression.
See how the level of details evolved over the past couple of months to get from pencil sketch to the final piece? And a similar process happened for all of these! See a couple more sketches and progress images below:
And where can you find it?
On the Arsenal, of course!
It’s Halloween in less than two weeks! An horror-themed tutorial seems in order, don’t you think? More information soon…
In the meantime, get the set!
The very talented Steve Knerem is the guest artist behind a majority of the content of our vector set 22. In this tutorial, he shows us how to assemble a rad rockabilly poster using various elements of the set, a bit like what Jeff did for us when we released Set 18.
In the first part of the tutorial, Steve will be walking you through his process to design the poster, from concept to final piece. In a couple of weeks, we’ll publish the 2nd part, which will infuse the composition with an even stronger rockabilly/1950s feel, by doing some additional research in terms of typefaces by digging at the source: 1950’s/1960’s era gig posters (as well as more contemporary material too). Finally, a few weeks after that, we’ll publish a wrap-up piece that will provide additional tips and tricks to give a vintage finish to the poster, like if you had found it in your parent’s/grandparent’s attic after all these years.
But no more rambling, let’s let Steve have the microphone!
— Simon, Go Media’s Arsenal Manager
Thanks for reading my article on how I built this Rockabilly poster using the Arsenal’s Vector Set 22.
In this set you are going to notice that it’s all revolved around icons from vintage 1950’s U.S.A: hot rods, babes, tattoos and everything in between. As you search through the set notice I threw in a mix of styles from my hand drawn look to straight vector art (done in Illustrator). Have fun with the pack and add it to your own arsenal of goodies!
Let’s have a quick look at the set’s content
So let’s get started!
My thoughts to create this poster are keep it simple within the realms of design and content, yet pack a punch with enthusiasm and detail. When I think of design, I definitely try not to throw in the kitchen sink, but be selective and make sure I have for this project a title focus and an image focus. In addition to that, make sure your eye flows either top to bottom, in the “Z” pattern or in what I think is helpful is a circle pattern. These are the elements the the brain locks into and make the poster reads well, creates good flow and is a successful piece.
Choosing the Color Palette
I need to think about colors. When I thought about my color palette typical Rockabilly/50’s colors seem to be red, black, white, tan and a cool color. This isn’t etched in stone but what seems to be the norm. I know I want to go with a vintage look as it were designed back in this era.
Thinking through the composition
Ok I have my color palette, now for design. I am setting up this design for a 16×20 4-5 color screen printed poster for a fictitious event in my home town Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A. I worked- up a few quick ideas and am going to call this “The Rockabilly Throwdown Fest.” Imagine a huge fest with all your favorite bands, hairdos, pinups and vintage styles for one day, sounds awesome!
I’ll first set up a ½” bleed area around the poster. This guarantees me that anything within these borders will be printed, and I don’t have to worry about it getting cut off. You could probably set up a ¼” in bleed as well.
Looking at Typefaces
I’m going to then move on to the title “The Rockabilly Throwdown Fest” and search for a font. There is an endless supply of possibilities but let’s go with something that feels like it belongs.
Quick note: if I were to choose a font that seemed like it could go with a black death metal fest, it wouldn’t have the right feel. Do your research.
Down to the Nitty-Gritty
Next let’s piece this together.
Choosing the Centerpiece
My initial thought is to utilize one of the pin ups as the main character… Maybe the devil girl.
A Layout Change
Ok, so an interesting turn of design events is taking place. I was originally thinking of placing an image in the center, but because of the title design I am thinking of something else…Let’s see where it goes.
Let’s Change the Centerpiece, and Let’s Add Some Supporting Design Elements
I like this pose better, and I think she goes better with the design. I know I want some sort of starburst in the background to create a sense of depth so I grab the star tool and set it to 75 points.
I want to trim the bottom and left side so I take the pen tool and make three points in at “L” shape. Make sure the color is selected in the stroke color box. Note the purple color “L” at the bottom left of the artboard.
While the “L” shape is selected, I also select the starburst then I go to the pathfinder panel and select the divide button all with my black arrow tool. Both images will look united, but then click on the part that looks cut away with your white arrow tool and delete it. The starburst might spill over the document parameters, so you will have to select those parts and delete. From here select the starburst with your black arrow tool and choose a fill color in the color box. Most likely you will see areas fill in the where your dividing “L” line was.
These are a few extra steps, but this makes the object complete. Click off on a blank area and select the parts that are spilling over and the parts that filled in with your white arrow tool and delete them. Click off on a blank area, then click on the starburst one more time and select unite in the pathfinder panel. I like to do this just to give it a final merge of the object. Now you are all set. Now we can play with different colors of the starburst and create some background texture/depth.
Remember the arrow patterns I drew once I noticed the design took a different direction? Well, I want to keep this design going and incorporate all things related to the fest. So let’s grab a guitar, a microphone, and an old car. I also swapped out the pinstripes at the bottom for some military looking wings. Also, don’t forget to switch the starburst’s color to a red slightly brighter than the background. The yellow was too strong, and overpowered the character.
Adding More Supporting Elements
I have in mind flames also, pretty iconic piece for this scene. But something a little different… like this, from the pinstripes pack.
I know I don’t want to use the whole image, only half. So, I have to cut it in half.
Here’s how I did it:
Select your lasso tool, and draw around the part you DO want to keep.
Cut it and paste it back (CTRL/CMD + X, then CMD/CTRL + V or F). Select the image and select unite from the pathfinder panel. This is so there are no open points and you can select it and change the color any time. Let’s place it on the poster in a few open spots:
Quick note: the one placed left of the pinup had its color changed to the same red as the background. Since it’s overlayed on the starburst that’s lighter, it gives it that sweet punch through effect. One more thing to play with!
Time to Add More Copy!
Quick note: work around the canvas and DO NOT focus in one area for a long period of time. You have to work around the canvas/design and give most areas enough attention. Say I completed this bottom left part completely and came back to it in two days. Well some of those fresh thoughts will be gone and you need to think through the design once again. If you work around the canvas little by little you can give most of it attention and develop those first thoughts.
Alright, back to the game. Keep developing the text, make parts pop, and make the fonts of the bands specific. If you look at any poster the bands will have their own text font.
Time to Make Sense Out of the Mess of Items at the Bottom Left
When coloring for a spot color project such as this poster or a tee shirt, you’re limited to one color choice usually. This is where you need to be selective/creative and think this through.
All I did here is create color shapes and place them behind the character and objects.
Here is another technique that is good to use especially with my hand drawn pieces. If you know my style or if this is the first time seeing it..it’s pretty detailed… Yes? So here is a time saver. Make a copy of the outlined image and place it behind the original piece. Lock the top original piece. Select the car with your white arrow tool. Select merge from the pathfinder panel then add a fill color to the color box then unite it using the pathfinder.
Change color and we just saved 10 minutes of using the pen tool.
Do the same with the microphone and the guitar and now we can take this to the next step.
Adding a Tad More Depth, and Other Refinements
I also wanted more dimension that just the starburst in the background. So I took the flames from the pinstripe pack pack and made this into a solid image by repeating the steps we just did for the car. You just got a free vector! Take a look under the pinup at the light red flames, cool feature and more interesting things going on.
Time to add some finesse to the border. You can taper the edges by expanding the stroke of the frame, then deleting the top point of the square edge.
I also added a stroke to each image. You have to add the stroke to a solid image that is underneath all of your layers. For the car we have two layers. One is the black outlines and one is the green color. Add the stroke to the green color. Make sense? Notice I changed the black lines to red… Looking cool!
Well I’m liking what I see, title reads well, colors look cool, feels like a Rockabilly poster.
Last thing I like to do is add a touch of my own flair. In this case I’ll grab some dot patterns from the symbol box.
I’ll just throw a few down and figure out what I like.
Next I’ll expand it because I don’t want to use the whole pattern just parts. So click on Object > Expand.
I’ll then take the lasso tool and cut out random parts that I want to use.
Cut then paste it then unite with the pathfinder using your black arrow tool.
I like to place these splatters behind the white stroke and make it the color of the stroke, in this case it’s white. So now we have a cool 16″x20″ – 5 color promo poster!
Let me know if you have any questions, go crazy with these vectors and send me your designs: put them in the Go Media Flickr Pool, and/or in the comments! One thing to add is that I illustrated a mix of hand drawn and vector/Illustrator images. This adds a really nice feel of that hand drawn look yet utilizing the strengths of Illustrator.
— Steve Knerem
Note: find Steve online at:
Finally available: the 3rd and final installment Steve Knerem’s “Keep me safe” video tutorial series
I’m very happy to announce that we’re releasing the 3rd part of Steve Knerem‘s video tutorial series today! For those of you that have followed part 1 and part 2, you’re probably jumping with excitement. For the others, I’m inviting you to go read Steve’s “Getting Inked” post for a quick recap.
Also, both Steve and the Arsenal team would like to apologize for the delay, but we’ve had to
slay a few dragons fight some video issues (video flickering and sound track). When a video file doesn’t want to, it doesn’t want to.
So, what’s in the box?
In this last installment, Steve covers his digitization and coloring techniques:
- Color palette choice
- How to use Illustrator’s tools to add various elements that bring the place together:
- Vector brushes
- And more!
The hour-long video is as usual laced with tips, tricks, and cool music. While the tips and tricks might not be the ultimate demystification of the process, they should at least make it more of a relaxing walk than an uphill battle.
A few screenshots
A few notes from Steve
Well if you been following this tutorial you know that it’s a long time coming. We’re finally at the finish line and now you can on the in depth look into how I color and finalize my tees for print. I’m super pumped to get this out to you and a mega props to Go Media for being a great company to do some work for and letting me use their stage to help anyone learn something new and grow as an artist.
If you purchased the first two tutorials, you can expect more awesome music from some awesome metal bands such as Onward to Olympus. I drop a bunch of personal insight that I’ve picked up over the years illustrating that hopefully will help, let you in on some of my technical “secrets,” and show you how I conduct business.
Lastly the tee will be or already is printed! Go to www.establishthefrontline.com. Buy a tee or five and wear it proudly and send me pics of you wearing it to [email protected]. AS A BONUS: the first 50 tees will have a labeled tag with the ETF name on it, my signature and I’ll write in the order # of the tee you purchased it ( i.e. 1/50, 10/50, etc.). Finally I am getting a printed tag made up that on one side shows the final art and the other side shows the making of the art.
Thanks for purchasing and viewing, always let me know what you think, ya’ll are the best!
— Steve Knerem
One, no, two, no, three, last things!
One: again, you should totally go buy that last part of the tutorial on the Arsenal. Also, if you haven’t gotten any of them yet, we’re making the 3 parts available at $69.99. Just buy the 3 parts at the same time. This is a $20 discount, and it won’t last forever. You should totally take advantage of it while it lasts.
Two: if you follow the tutorial, we’d love to see what comes out of it! Don’t hesitate to mock it up, post the result on the interwebs, and to link to your image in the comments below. Or better yet, post it in the Go Media Flickr pool, and you might be featured on our monthly showcase.
Three: like the art Steve has been designing throughout the tutorial? Well, it’s available on shirts, as Steve said! You should totally purchase one in your size on Establish the Front Line, Steve’s apparel line. Also, something tells me that Steve will share a few more things about that shirt yet (like production pictures, etc), so you should totally watch this space.