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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cafe Press shirts

I previously wrote about my experience of ordering shirts from Cafe Press.  I designed and ordered a shirt from my personal store, after receiving it I had a chance to wear and wash it a few times.  So far the shirt is holding up well to washing with no noticeable fading of the colors.  I think the shirt shrank a bit after washing it once so I should have got a larger size but that's not a big issue.  I do recommend ordering shirts from Cafe Press, but can only recommend lighter shirts with printing for now since I have not ordered a dark shirt.
I had ordered from zazzle a dark shirt with printing and that experience was not so great for the person I got it for. They say the printing came off after the first wash, Zazzle says there must have been  a printing error and would replace it.  That situation is still pending a pic from the recipient.  I can not recommend dark shirts at Zazzle for now and have no experience with light shirts either.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

New website

I was impressed to create a stand alone site.   The purpose is to direct potential customers to the items of interest.  I've now taken over the domain I created for Cafe Press and directed it towards my own site Military Vectors.  On Military Vectors, you can look for a unit, badge or particular product.  You can see examples of graphics work as well as designs that can be customized for your use.  My Facebook is also more active with almost 450 "fans" seeing new designs coming out.  I've recently filled a few design requests for US Cavalry and Explosive Specialists.  I had designed the Homeland Security logo and TSA logo for their Bomb Technicians but after speaking with PR, found out I couldn't use them.
Many of our military members have multiple badges and one of the things I'm doing is keeping a running list of combinations I put together with either a CIB, EIB, CAB group 1 badge or combinations with groups 2-5.
If you want a customized display or have any ideas, send me a note.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cafe Press shirt

In my previous post, I was talking about ordering a shirt from my Cafe Press store.  Got my shirt last night in the mail box.  It was folded up and wrapped with a brown paper band.  The design had a lot of small printed areas so the printing quality wasn't that bad.  If you look at my design I have the Special Forces patch at the bottom as an example, the SF tab is not that sharp and the CFMB, CAB and Airborne wings aren't either.  I can understand since they print the ink directly on the shirt, the shirt being absorbent and all, that fine detail would be difficult to obtain.  All in all, taking into consideration the direct printing, the qualities of tshirts, and the fine detail I would normally not have on a design, I think the shirt came out pretty well.

I don't know the quality of their other products, but the shirts don't seem to be worth the money that I have to charge to make any type of living.

I'm looking into selling silk-screened shirts through so stay tuned for updates.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cafe Press

I've decided to order a t-shirt from to test the quality of the product I'm offering with my designs.  I designed a shirt that I can wear to advertise my page which is the link to my Cafe Press online store.  The product is an Organic Men's shirt size Medium.   I've heard a few negative things so I want to check for myself.  I've heard the direct printing fades quickly, I've heard they use iron-ons and they peel.  I would offer screen printing, which would be a higher quality product but the cost is up front and so sizes and quantities are limited to what I set up.  

The shirt I designed is 2-sided with my EOD badge and Veteran on the front.  On the back, I've put my website and a bunch of other badges and patches as examples.  I've put a "I didn't earn these" disclaimer since I don't want to misrepresent my military career. 

I placed my order on Wednesday and I've already got word that it is on the way.  About a 4 day production time, I'll post a new blog once it arrives to comment on my new shirt. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Military Vectors and Graphics

Today I got a call from a lady looking for an EOD badge vector that her son could use in a foam board cutout.  The format he needed was EPS which is a vector format available on most CAD programs and Adobe Illustrator which I use to create my designs.  The benefit of vector art is that its scalability is limitless.  Properly constructed, vector art can be shrank or enlarged with no loss of resolution and no distortion, everything stays in place with relation to everything else.  I'm writing about this since all of my illustrations can be purchased as vector art, the fee is higher since the options are much greater.  An EPS file is the blueprint for the drawing and at that point can be edited and changed freely.  Of course, you need the program and knowledge on how it works.

What I have so far in military badges:
Airborne - Basic, Senior, Master and 1-5 Combat Jumps for each
Air Assault
Army Aviation - Basic, Senior and Master
Army Aviator - Basic, Senior and Master
Army Flight Surgeon - Basic, Senior and Master
Combat Infantry Badge (CIB) - 1st through 4th Award
Combat Action Badge (CAB) - 1st through 4th Award
Diver - 2nd Class, 1st Class and Master
Expert Field Medical Badge
Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) - Basic, Advanced and Master
Freefall (HALO) - Basic and Jump Master
Naval Parachutist
Purple Heart - with and without ribbon
South Korean Jump Wings - Basic, Senior, Master and Gold

More info can be found on my website I also have a Bomb Suit and AH-64 Apache illustrated

Army Unit Patches and new badges

I've recently been illustrating unit patches, these are all or will be available through my online stores.
So far I have:
Airborne - 82nd, 101st and 173rd
Armor - 1st, 2nd and 3rd
Cavalry - 1st and 11th
Infantry - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 24th, 25th, 34th, 196th
Special Forces - Airborne, Ranger and SF tabs
Support - 1st TSC and 20th CBRNE
10th Mountain
52nd Group

Plus 6 Marine patches available only through Cafe Press.
They are relatively easy to draw out but there are so many and I don't really have any way of knowing which ones will be popular to customers.  I've been sticking to the larger units plus adding in the few recommendations I get through Facebook.  Would you email me the units you would recommend?
I try to maintain a high quality level on all my designs and the patches are no different.  

I just finished 3 of the Diver badges, 2nd Class, 1st Class and Master Diver.  They look awesome, not just because I illustrated them but they are an impressive badge design.  I'm going to do the Spec Op diver as well as the scuba badge next.   I also have planned the CFMB.

I finally got a sale on Spread Shirt, my designs are in the Marketplace which is where you design your own.  After I got my first sale, I started loading the rest of my designs and have had at least one each day the last few days.  I don't have too many products in that store since I don't want to manage too many stores.

Don't hesitate to contact me with suggestions, comments, critiques or questions about my designs.

Thank you,
Jason Meyer

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Designs with Patches and Badges

Now that I have a good set of badges and patches, I've started putting together more elaborate designs.  Soldiers in Airborne units almost always have earned the badge and now I've combined the 101st (which isn't Airborne anymore but still), 82nd and 173rd Airborne units along with the badge and where they are located.  Infantry unit members would most likely earn a CIB during sometime in their military career and now they can get their unit patch along with the CIB for the 1st ID, 2nd ID, 4th ID and 10th Mountain.   Since the 101st is more an Air Assault unit now, I've included the badge and patch combination.

I tend to find most of my source material for the illustrations online that I run across a lot of different photos of the different badges, patches and military emblems.  I see a lot of them taken directly from online and thrown on products within the online shops.  There's also a lot of quickly created illustrations of the same items.  I pride myself in taking the time to create an impressive representation of the items I illustrate.  If you visit my designs, please hit like or comment on them (if you do) so my designs can get pushed ahead.

As always, if you have a combination or design you want to suggest (no obligation to buy), send it to 

Thank you

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Finally got my first sale on SpreadShirt.  I have 12 designs on there now and customers are able to create their own product using my designs and add text.  It's another option besides Zazzle, which allows customers to customize products, Cafe Press which offers a lot of different products and my Piki Central store.  Since I did make a sale, I know people actually use the site and will load up the rest of my designs (eventually). 

I prefer the ease of use I get with Cafe Press's store but don't like the slow uploading process.   Zazzle allows easier uploading of designs but is slower in the designing of products.  I like Piki Central and Spreadshirt since I can just upload designs and customers do the rest but I'm not sure if they'll take that time if they can find it already designed.   No online shop has all the answers, so I leave it up to the customer as to who they want to use by putting my designs everywhere.

Post your comments if you've used any of these stores with feedback on what you like about your favorite.

If you have shopped at one of my stores, thank you for your support.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Marines and Air Force designs

The Marines have recently completed an agreement with one of my online stores to allow sellers to use USMC themes on their products.  Cafe Press is now an authorized seller of USMC items as long as they meet respectable criteria.  I'll soon be designing the EAG design and getting some things posted on my Cafe Press store.  I already have some EOD themes with the badge, text, a list of all the different types of explosive ordnance handled by EOD personnel.

For the Air Force, they are very strict on what is put out there and so far are only authorizing direct.  Unlicensed designers can not include U.S. or United States in describing the Air Force or it's a violation of their rights.  So basically, I kept the same designs but removed the U.S. to make it legit.  I believe all of their insignia are also off limits, or at least the use is frowned upon, but I need to verify that.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Illustrated Military insignia

I've been illustrating military insignia (mainly U.S. Army) for a few months now.  I started with the badge I earned while serving, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal "crab".  It turned out pretty nice so I started doing other badges that were the more widely worn, such as the Airborne wings, Air Assault and the Combat Infantry Badge (EIB and CIB).  I now have 11 total badges including the Combat Action Badge (CAB), Freefall (HALO), Pathfinder, Aviation, Aviator, Flight Surgeon, and the Navy SEALs trident.   I also illustrated the complete set of Ribbons for the U.S. Army as well as the full Purple Heart medal.   The unit patches I've completed include 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Armor, 1st Cavalry, 1st, 2nd and 4th Infantry, 101st Airborne, 10th Mountain, and the 52nd Ordnance Group (EOD).

You can go to the sections of a few of my stores by clicking the particular badge or patch.