Filmmakers Drinking Bourbon Hand-Lettered Shirt

Client: Filmmakers Drinking Bourbon 

Created: August 2015

Industry: Podcast, film, video & audio, entertainment.

Project Duties: Hand lettering, T-shirt design.


Filmmakers Drinking Bourbon is a relaxed podcast about the art and business of filmmaking. This hand-lettered shirt was created to be a form of identity for the brand and authentic expression of the podcast.

Brandon Faris and Alex Elkins, hosts of the Filmmakers Drinking Bourbon podcast were looking for an original typographic based design to promote the podcast. Stylistically they were interested in brush script lettering with original characteristics and edgy expression.

Research & Inspiration

I began the process by tuning into the podcast. Brandon and Alex Elkins let me inside their discussion in the many aspects of the everyday life of a filmmaker. The episodes share real stories on the beliefs of a filmmaker and the passion behind making films. I wanted the lettering to communicate and express the same characteristics — attracting and connecting with like-minded individuals.


Hosts of the FDB Podcast. Brandon Faris & Alex Elkins.




From early on, we discussed the idea of film directors wearing the hand-lettered shirt on set. I scavenge the internet to find images and inspiration from film sets and vintage bourbon labels to see how the lettering could work in context. Hand-drawn scripts and solid colored lettering were common characteristics observed from the images.  



I like writing the words over and over to get comfortable with the letterforms and come up with a approximate layout. The process is quick and organic, just writing in my natural style using a brush pen to create the first round of concepts. At this stage, I was exploring the possibilities to create a more casual lettering style with distinctive characteristics. 


A video posted by Leo Gomez (@leogomezstudio) on


Digital Version

The rough sketches and brush pen renderings created the skeleton for the lettering. After many rounds of tweaking and perfecting the letterforms the final sketch was inked, traced and formatted in illustrator.

Refined Sketches

Refined Sketches


Revisions and Finalizing The Design

Once the lettering was completely traced, it was time to critique the work and make final adjustments. The original version looked good on its own but I knew there was room for improvement. The curves, size and weight of the characters were adjusted, improving the overall balance of the design and maintaining consistency. Details matter.

At first glance, the changes may seem quite minor within the context of the full piece, but become more evident when looking close up, as highlighted below.



The goal was to keep the lettering simple in terms of color. We envisioned the lettering to work on a black shirt­ — The classic looks for a film director. An additional shadowed version of the lettering was created for use in different contexts like promotional items for the podcast and the website.


Final Thoughts

The original characteristics of the lettering design expresses the podcast's personality. The lettering introduced a new typographic style to the brand, something Brandon and Alex were looking for. The new t-shirt helped create stronger relationships with the podcast fans and opened up opportunities of growth and expansion for the brand. With the new hand-lettered t-shirt design, Brandon and Alex opened the Filmmakers Drinking Bourbon store. The shirts can be purchased here.