T-shirt for The Sword

Here we go. On the list of “cool stuff I hope to do during my career as a designer”, this project lands right at the top, filed under “1. Design a shirt for my favorite metal band”. Enter the heavy as hell, talented Texans known as The Sword.

Back in 2006 or something I came across a link to their Myspace and immediately thought “The Sword, that’s a cool name for a band” and decided to give them a listen. I fired up Iron Swan for the first time, which is a funny introduction to the band’s sound considering the fairly long subdued intro. I was sitting at my desk with headphones on, then the song tore into the heavy and almost took my head clean off. Fan for life, right there. No foolin’. Been listening to the boys consistently ever since, throughout their albums Age of Winters, Gods of the Earth and their most recent space epic Warp Riders.

“Man, I’d love to work with those guys someday.” said James, years ago.

Last February I sit down at my computer and a tweet from the band pops up “Hey, we’re looking for an artist”, or something like that. 20 seconds later I had my website link over to them. 2 minutes later I shot over an email. Suddenly I’m emailing back and forth with the guys in my favorite metal troop, developed a poster that was used on 2 of their tours (Australia and Europe), and now a brand new t-shirt the boys will be having on-hand as they tour with Kyuss Lives this fall. So damn proud.

Shown above is what I created for the guys. Total artistic freedom, they let me run hog wild on this thing and offered some helpful tips along the way. You can definitely hear a vast metal influence in their sound so I wanted this design to be thrown back to the roots of metal … way back, talkin’ Black Sabbath days with a twist of The Sword in there. I used their older logo because it just reeks of old school metal. Love that thing. Shown here are 4 different colorways.

Be sure to check out the tour schedule, and watch for this shirt at their merch table and their online store (I would assume). Also, go listen to them. Now.

Small moral of the story. You never know what will happen when you try and chase down those dream projects. Sometimes it’s just an email away.







16 responses to “T-shirt for The Sword”

  1. GuiHarrison Avatar

    Baad Aaaaass! Really like the green/yellow version.

  2. Jayson Avatar


    Being a fan of the band, that graphic is the prefect visual for them. Translating their brand of metal into a visual, that’s it right there. The second colorway is my fav, for what that’s worth. Great stuff!

  3. Jeff Finley Avatar

    Nicely done James.

  4. Andrew Campbell Avatar
    Andrew Campbell

    James, I don’t even LIKE metal much and I would buy 3 of these. Amazing work man!

  5. Javier Rivero Avatar
    Javier Rivero

    Esta POCAMADRE!!! Thats the spanish for: ITS SO BADASS/AWESOME

  6. John Avatar

    I love the darkish turquoise one. Awesome James.

  7. Alexander Winifred Avatar

    Creating dream lists always rock! You nailed it in this one~

  8. Joseph Cotten Avatar

    So so great, man. Totally suites their sound too. I mean these designs are epic, man! I loved your earlier design too with the alien landscape and massive Lion-O sword. For some reason I didn’t go listen to their music then, but I’ve just started to today.

    You have made me into a fan of The Sword, James! These guys are AWESOME! I’m loving the retro metal sound…it totally honors old school heavy metal, but adds in more modern influences too. Genre-busting stuff, which totally fires me up. Love it.

    Thanks for posting these and introducing us all to some great music!

  9. Dave Behm Avatar

    WOW! Your best work yet! You are on a roll James!!

  10. Stephanie Frankiewicz Avatar

    Absolutely amazing. I dig color variations – great work!

  11. James White Avatar
    James White

    Any chance of these being sold local?? In our favorite little comic shop maybe??

  12. Alison K Avatar
    Alison K

    Haha, now I’ve got Iron Swan stuck in my head. Seriously though, what I like about this super slick design so much is that it’s outside of your poster aesthetic – and you nailed it. Seamless. Those circles around the sun – genius! Pure awesome.

  13. Tom Miatke Avatar

    Absolutely awesome work James, Really fantastic, and your right, It is an awesome name for a band, purely cause I love swords haha. Awesome work, The title is really 70’s psychedelic looking (in my opinion), congrats on getting your dream job mate
    (oh btw, I featured you on my blog, as inspiration, hope thats ok, has links and everything to your site)

  14. Ryan Avatar

    The purple one was cool enough on it’s own – but I really dig each of the different color variations. Hella nice stuff Whites.

    Btw… I hear Sebastian Bach has a new album coming out. You should send him a Tweet to see if he needs any designs. I hear he’s not hard to get a hold of on the internets.

  15. Omar Jones Avatar

    Hey James the t-shirt design is Awesome man! I listened to your radio interview yesterday before you released this posted, congrats! I know this opportunity was a dream come true for you and I wanted you to know I’m happy for buddy. Also, I’m one of those young designers you were speaking about in the interview. You inspire me each and everyday with the work you do. And because of that my company is growing Thank you James!

  16. DAN-O-SAUR Avatar

    Man, I said that a few times before but:
    You totally nailed it fanboy. Great colouring (although I don´t dig the last one) and cool you picked up Conrad Keely´s textlogo.
    I didn´t read all the comments before mine, but if no one mentioned it yet: That dude on the shirt looks very Nazgûl to me ;-)


    Would you agree that The Sword is 60% Stoner Rock and 40% Metal?
    Had a discussion with my wife about that HEHE

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