Monday, February 1, 2010

There's more to it than you think...

The following post was originally published as a newsletter article for our graphic design business, Military Vet Shop. I thought I'd share it with you here, along with another appeal for you veterans to get your story and pictures into an archive or at least up on the web! Read what I've said about that in an older post. As always, I invite your comments.

Does making t-shirt graphics have anything to do with history? You bet it does. We thought it might be appropriate to share with our friends and fellow veterans what the process is for making our designs and in what order.

Let us say again that it is our goal to provide every veteran with the shirt or coffee mug that they want to honor their service to our country. That’s a pretty big goal considering the time limitations that we have. Military Vet Shop is our favorite pursuit. Unfortunately, it is not our only one. Sheila and Jim have a “day job” running Wave of the Future, our website development business. Moreover, Jim recently completed his MA in applied history and is researching a book length project: a history of the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion. You’ll be able to read more about it on his blog, The Roving Historian, in the near future.

So how do we choose what to create, given the limited time available? Remember the old Burger King™ commercial with the song “hold the pickles, hold the lettuce...special orders don’t upset us...” You’re singing it right now, aren’t you? Well, that’s us. We love special requests. A request was behind the new badges section and the branches section. A request was made for the 30th Medical Command patch. A request was made for the CH-46, CH-47, and the M551 Sheridan. We figure that if you want it, there must be others out there that want it. Hopefully, you know some folks who want it and will tell them about it. For that reason, requests automatically go to the top of the “to-do” list.

Now here is where the history comes in. After the request list, we are then prioritizing a list of every major unit patch that was in Vietnam. For each patch that we choose to create a set of graphics for, while Sheila (the graphics artist) is making the patch object, Jim is researching the history of the patch. We have to determine if the patch was in Vietnam, or Iraq, or Afghanistan. Then we need to determine what vehicles the veterans who wore that patch used. It is in this task that veteran’s websites and the pictures posted on the web are invaluable. If enough information is available, we’ll even produce a summary history of the unit patch on our website.

Making patches is a relatively quick task, but making an original, photo-realistic, graphic image of a vehicle or aircraft is a time intensive project. Sheila puts hours of work into these projects. That’s why it takes a few weeks for requests of vehicle graphics to be fulfilled. Moreover, the operative word here is original. We completely respect the work of others and are careful not to violate the copyrights of any artist. We will not cut corners by copying from others. That is also why you won’t find the image you buy from us on any other site. (If you do, please let us know for obvious reasons!)

As you can see, you the veteran, our customers, are a crucial player in obtaining our goal of getting every veteran the design they want. We welcome your input!

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