'Milk' T-shirt Designs

Galleries - Production Design

Milk Movie

T Shirt Design: Feature Film

Groundswell Productions/ Focus Features


Going to art school, the documentary 'The Times of Harvey Milk', was our Citizen Kane. Maybe not studied for craft, but for content, structure, and relevance.


So when I got the call from Danny Glicker, Costume Designer extraordinaire, to help him fill some gaps in his wardrobe for the new Gus Van Sant directing Sean Penn starring movie, I jumped at the chance.


The first time Danny and I tried to collaborate together, he had called me after seeing photos of my Ewok costume. He was interested in a similar style for a football team mascot costume in 'We Are Marshal'. It never panned out, but it sparked the real idea we should work together sometime and confirmed that the Ewok costume was the greatest thing I've ever done with my life.


What 'Milk' needed, were recreations of shirts that actually existed. It was nice not to have to design anything from scratch, but it took a surprisingly long time to meticulously scrutinize exact font structures (which have generally changed since digital font distribution) and examine a multitude of snap shots from the time -- where these t-shirts would be floating around on a stranger in the background.


The most unsettling recreation for the film was the jacket tag from the jacket Harvey Milk was wearing when he got assassinated. I worked from photos from the original jacket. It was very sad.


In the end, I was really happy to see the diversity of shirts we were able to pull together in a short time. Here's hoping the movie makes good use of them!





UPDATE: Ran into one of my shirts in a display case at the Arclight Cinema in Hollywood, along with other props and costumes from the film. Very exciting to see the shirts in the movie. Refreshed my memory as to how damn many we made!