The T-shirt has a Voice – High School Community Project

The Tshirt Has a Voice - Project

The Tshirt Has a Voice - ProjectThe Tshirt Has a Voice - Project

project details

Upward Bound


Stephanie Wong
founder, teacher

Graham James
designer, teacher

Melanie Duerkopp
portrait photographer

Brand + Identity
Web Graphics
Apparel Graphics

My design partner, Stephanie Wong, and I, developed a semester-long program that allowed us to bring our design background directly into the classroom of local San Francisco high school youth. Stephanie created the curriculum and concept for the class, and together we co-taught the students how to capture visual concepts, give/receive constructive criticism, present ideas and evolve speaking skills, digitize sketches, and prepare final t-shirt graphics for production.

TRUE and FTC, two local SF boutiques, were key partners in the project. During the final phases of the class, students presented their ideas to the shop owners who agreed to sell the shirts at no cost, with 100% of the proceeds going directly back to the Upward Bound program.

  • 25% – Curriculum Design
    50% – In-Class Teaching + Mentorship
    25% – Community / Partnership Coordination

  • 1) Creating a curriculum that would be inspiring and informative to the students
    2) Teaching them key design skills within the timeframe of a 12-week period
    3) Coordinating various leaders responsible for approving and funding the project
  • •  Student presentations to contributing stores
    •  Printed t-shirts for sale in each contributing store
    •  Blog
    •  Professional photo shoot of the kids and their shirts

Client Background: Upward Bound is a non-profit, government funded program for inner city high school youth, hosted at various university campuses throughout the United States. The “T-Shirt Has a Voice” class was a semester long program that we designed for the University of San Francisco UB program to help young artists learn the process of developing visual concepts, digitizing hand sketches, t-shirt design and production, and marketing the end-product. 

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