Buy my Books!

The Sketchnote Workbook is a fully-illustrated book and video, showing how to use sketchnotes in new ways, along with advanced tips and techniques.
Learn about and buy the book →
Download a FREE chapter →
Watch a FREE video sample →

The Sketchnote Handbook is a fully-illustrated book and video, designed to teach regular people how to create sketchnotes.
Learn about and buy the book →
Download a FREE chapter →

Mike Rohde (Color - Square)

ROHDESIGN is the website of designer Mike Rohde, who writes on design, sketching, drawing, sketchnotes, technology, travel, cycling, books & coffee.
Read more about Mike →

SIGN UP! Get the Rohdesign Newsletter.

Entries in T-Shirts (16)


Sketchnote Icon Hoodies & Aqua Black Tees!

THE COTtON BUREAU has invited me to re-run my popular Sketchnote Icon artwork on zippered hoodies and new t-shirt colors and and 3x-5x sized tees!


Get the same aqua icon design design on a zippered, Tri-Blend Charcoal hoodie with white details. These are $48 plus shipping:

Sketchnote icon hoodie


We've added a new Black Aqua tee option (love how it looks with the aqua icons) as well as the original Tri-Black tee, each color is $28 plus shipping:

Black aqua tri combo


Check out the new women's cut Navy tee for $28 plus shipping:

Sketchnote w navy


We've heard lots of requests for larger sizes, so Cotton Bureau is offering 3x-5X shirt sizes if you like your tees with xxx-tra room.

As of this post you have until NOVEMBER 6TH to pre-order your hoodies and tees! Don't miss this opportunity to get the sketchnote icons in your favorite color, size or in a cool looking hoodie!

Order here before pre-ordering closes on November 6th!


New Sketchnote Apparel

The Sketchnote Workbook is done and off to the printer and set to release on August 18th. I have two apparel tidbits to share:

1. The Sketchnote Icon T-Shirt is back!

70 Sketchnote Icon t-shirts were created with Cotton Bureau in May. As of today, 64 people have requested a re-print, so we're pre-ordering a new run, starting next week: Monday, July 28th.

MikeRohde Sketchnotes

If you missed ordering this shirt in May, or are just seeing these now, sign up on the top right side of the shirt page to have Cotton Bureau email you when ordering begins next Monday:

Screen Shot 2014 07 21 at 7 53 35 PM

2. Sketchnote Icon Hoodies

Friends have told me they like the hoodie I wear in the The Sketchnote Workbook video. I'm gauging interest in creating a run of these for the fall.

If you'd like one, let me know if you would prefer in this Google form:

I'll tally your emails up and determine whether to run these, and which to create.


P.S. Please pre-order The Sketchnote Workbook so that is sent to you as soon as it's ready. I can't wait for you to see and hold it!

Sketchnote Workbook


Play Hard Do Good T-Shirt Design

DESIGNING T-SHIRTS is a challenge I enjoy, so when I was commissioned to design and illustrate the 2012 Beacon Lounge t-shirt, I was ready for some fun.

The Beacon Lounge is a quiet, relaxing and recharging space, nestled amid the chaos and activity of SXSW. It's the place you can take a break, meet people, eat tasty food, hear good tunes and help create lasting social good in the world.

Concept Sketches

Eve Simon, my friend and Beaconfire creative director, hired me to design this year's t-shirt. She provided the Play Hard Do Good theme and shirt specs. With this info, I began sketching ideas for a type treatment in pencil, shown below:

Play Hard Do Good: First Sketches

The initial sketch concepts for the t-shirt illustration were more along the lines of a simple type treatment, reflected in the pencil sketches above.

In the second sketch below, you can see I've expanded the simple type treatment from the first sketches to a complete and more detailed illustration using the Play Hard Do Good type treatment with supporting elements:

Play Hard Do Good: Final Sketch

I aimed to capture a lounge-like late 50s / early 60s feel with the typography on this piece, having fun with the modern couch and other retro touches.

Inking, Scanning and Vectorizing

Once I had an approved concept sketch, I inked various design elements in my large Moleskine sketchbook and scanned them in. Once the elements were open in Photoshop, I was able to edit flaws, tweak details and prepare each piece for vectorization using VectorMagic — a key piece of my illustration toolkit.

Below you can see and in-progress version of the black and white illustration being built in Adobe Illustrator. Notice the additional horizontal rules in the center of the piece — those were simplified in the final version:

Play Hard Do Good: In-Progress B&W

Time for Color

Once the black and white illustration was approved, I explored color. I knew I had a brown t-shirt as a base color, so I selected bright aqua and vibrant orange to compliment each other and the base white ink.

This combination created a color palette suggesting both a lounge feel and the Texas hill country around Austin:

Play Hard Do Good: T-Shirt Detail

Here is the final illustration shown in context on a brown t-shirt:

Play Hard Do Good: T-Shirt Overview

T-Shirts Supporting Sweet Relief

The team at GoodThreads and Beaconfire sponsored the t-shirt design and printing — I can't wait to see these shirts on Beacon Lounge guests!

These custom illustrated t-shirts will be available to Beacon Lounge guests with a donation to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund. It's great to be part of the Beacon in this way, giving back and making a difference in the lives of people.

Come to the Beacon during SXSW, say hello and pick up your shirt.


Madison Ruby Logo & T-Shirt Designs

IT'S ALWAYS FUN to see a logo and t-shirt design in use. Last weekend I had the pleasure of paying a visit to Madison Ruby conference, where the logo I designed and t-shirt I illustrated were in heavy use.

Here are samples of the logo and shirt graphics:

Madison Ruby Logo Madison Ruby T-Shirt (Ashe)
Madison Ruby Pin & Sticker

I've created a Flickr set for Madison Ruby, with all of my sketches and in-progress vector art if you're curious how a logo is created from concept sketch to final art.

Madison Ruby Logo Sketches Round 1

Thank You

Thank you Jim and Jen Remsik for the opportunity to help brand Madison Ruby. I had a great time working with you and heard great things about the event.

Well done!

Photo: Ashe Dryden


Winterblast 2009 T-Shirt Design

I've just received a box of freshly printed t-shirts I've designed for Winterblast, our church youth group's yearly winter retreat. As with the 2008 t-shirt design, I'd like to share a little more about the design process along with imagery of the final design.

Maintaining the Winterblast Identity

Since 2007, I've been working with a few constant specifications when designing the Winterblast t-shirt — a solid color, long sleeve shirt, white ink Winterblast 2007 & 2008 T-Shirt Designson the front only and a stylized wintertime animal in the artwork.

For the 2007 design I created a snow monster with two broom ball sticks on a navy shirt to start this series. In 2008, I chose a polar bear with a winter hat and sunglasses on a forest green shirt.

For 2009 I selected a penguin on a snowboard as the cold-weather animal to stylize for the shirt design.

Sketching the Snowboarding Penguin

With that general direction in mind, and the word FOLLOW as the 2009 theme, I began sketching ideas of penguins on snowboards, flipping over the typography:


Tom the youth pastor wanted simplify the FOLLOW type so the double LLs wouldn't tuck together, and we both agreed that having the FOLLOW type tilting downhill (rather than uphill) with the penguin grabbing air over the type worked best.

Color Mockup

Next, I prepared a color mockup for Tom in Adobe Illustrator, to show how the design would appear on an indigo blue long-sleeved t-shirt:
Winterblast 2009 T-Shirt Design
The font used for FOLLOW was based on Oxide Solid Light, with the strokes of the letters bolded manually, a customized W to match the style I wanted to see, and a custom explanation point added to round out the typographic details.

Tom liked this look and shirt color, so I sent shirt sizes and final artwork to MJM Screen Print & Embroidery Studio in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin for final printing.

Finished Design

The final, finished design turned out great, and I especially love the indigo blue shirt color, which fits in well compared to the shirts from 2007 and 2008:

Winterblast '09 T-Shirt: Full Graphic 3

Winterblast '09 T-Shirt: Full Graphic

Winterblast '09 T-Shirt: Penguin 3

Once again, the shirts turned out well, thanks to the great work by MJM on printing. I'm looking forward to handing these out to our students at Winterblast this weekend.