The Insider: Beefcake Design Setting Standard for T-Shirt Design

Ever since we started working in the monster truck industry over six years ago, we have met many incredible people who use their talents to work in the industry they love. That’s really the story of many of the best people working in the industry – a love of monster trucks since childhood and the use of their own personal skill sets to provide useful services to others in the industry.

We at TMB are proud to work with such people and recommend such services, whether it be vinyl wraps and services from our friends at Steel Skinz Graphics, parts from the folks at AA Speed & Custom and even full on chassis and turn key monster trucks from Patrick Enterprises, Racesource Inc and Concussion Engineering. The people behind these organizations are monster truck fans first and they work to provide services that will improve the industry they love.

One area we had yet to run across someone who exceeded all our expectations was in the area of t-shirt design. This is one of the most in demand services in the monster truck industry. Merchandise sales are a huge part of a monster truck owner/operator or event promoter’s revenue streams and historically, there is no bigger seller than the t-shirt.

Every big monster truck fan has the dual purpose collection/wardrobe of monster truck t-shirts they have collected over the years. And let’s face it, the selection of which shirts they end up purchasing is not solely based on who their favorite truck is – it’s very much about the design.

We at TMB have been through the first time client experience in having t-shirts done before and as we are beginning our second project, we thought we would share some of our experiences and make a pitch for a fellow monster truck enthusiast who is doing the work that so many in the industry need done.

Spend Money to Make Money – Don’t Skimp on the Design

One of the biggest mistakes monster truck owner/operator and promoters make is to try and save money by spending less on the design. The cost savings realized from having cheaper, lower quality illustrated artwork instead of using a slightly more expensive professional who understands the monster truck industry may be somewhere in the range of $300-$500 at the time of making the order; however it will end up being the difference between walking away at the end of any given weekend having sold a mere handful of shirts versus having up to several thousand dollars worth of extra income from t-shirt sales.

This one is a no-brainer – the fans may love your truck but if you have a simple or amateurish design, they’re not going to spend the money on one of your shirts. Trying to save a couple hundred dollars on production could cost you thousands in sales later on.

OWN Your Design – Use an Independent Designer Who Loves Monster Trucks

You need to find a designer who knows and loves monster trucks – they will be more passionate about the job and they will work harder to create a design that is unique to your brand. Now we’re not recommending using someone who doesn’t know t-shirt design – there are many ins and outs to designing a t-shirt because of they way they are printed that even a great graphic designer may not handle properly (using proper PMS colors, etc). This could end up costing you more money when you take the design to have it printed.

A general staff designer for the t-shirt printing company you’re using may be very talented and do great artwork, but you are just another job to them and in most cases – this is VERY important to note – they co-own your design with you, so that you will only be able to have that design printed if you use that company. This also allows them to duplicate elements of the artwork you paid to have created in another client’s project! Case in point comes from TMB’s own first time t-shirt design client experience.

Our first project was handled by the $2.95 Guys, who are a great t-shirt printer that we would recommend to anyone for the actual printing of the t-shirts. However, we used one of their staff designers and even chose the most expensive level of design, following the advice above. The designer did a great job on the shirt and we were happy with the experience at the time. But later on, we found out that our design that we paid full price for, which was created directly from a TMB taken photo, had been taken and minimally modified for another client, who was also charged full price!

The lesson is OWN your t-shirt design. Have it done by an independent professional and then take it to the t-shirt printing company of your choice. Go even further and use someone passionate about monster trucks so that you are sure to receive a unique, well thought out design by someone who understands your brand and what your target market wants.

TMB Recommendation – Beefcake Design

In our search for a designer for our second t-shirt project – new TMB TV shirts which will be coming out later this year – we were lucky enough to meet a fellow monster truck enthusiast who is setting the standard by which monster truck t-shirt artwork is measured.

Jason Becker is from Hutchinson, Kansas and has been a monster truck fan all his life. Always having had that “artistic touch”, he went to school for to pursue graphic design and became a school teacher instructing in that field.

As a monster truck fan, he always attended events in his area and as a hobby, would do illustrations of trucks and have them autographed by drivers at the events. While attending a ProMT event at Kansas Speedway, Jason met Team Scream drivers Jim Koehler and Chris Bergeron. They were so impressed with his illustrations that they enlisted his help in coming up with a 3D dog body concept they wanted to do for Chris’ Brutus truck.

Never having had experience with such a thing, Jason worked with them and came up with a concept drawing for the new body. They were so pleased with the concept, they then enlisted Jason’s help in building it. An S10 body was sent to Jason’s house and with the help and advice of the folks at GTS Fiberglass and lots of collaboration with Team Scream, Jason was able to create what is now one of the most recognizable 3D bodies in all of monster trucks.

Jason Becker works on transforming an S10 body into one of the most recognizable 3D body styles in all of monster trucks.

After creating several t-shirt designs for Team Scream, Steve Koehler recommended Jason to the folks at Feld Entertainment, as they were looking for an additional designer for some of their t-shirt projects. After creating a well received Blue Thunder design, Feld also used Jason’s talents to create t-shirts for trucks including Air Force Afterburner, TMNT, Captain’s Curse, Donkey Kong, El Toro Loco, Maximum Destruction, Taz and Superman.

Jason has also worked with independent teams, doing t-shirt designs for Equalizer, Amsoil Shock Therapy, Excaliber and Bad News Travels Fast.

Examples of some of the great t-shirt designs done by Beefcake Design.

Now Becker has started his own design company and is looking to expand his work to more clients in the monster truck industry. The Beefcake Design philosophy is that each design is much more than just artwork, its a branding of what your team is all about and how you run. Jason strives to create artwork that is unique to each client and communicates the driver or team’s personality and attitude. Becker would also be open to working on another 3D body concept project and is even expanding his services to include designing full truck wraps.

We are very excited to unveil the new TMB TV t-shirt that Beefcake Design is currently working on for us and we are very happy to have found a monster truck t-shirt designer we can recommend to all our friends in the industry. Check out their portfolio at and feel free to give Jason a call at (316) 648-8165 or shoot him an email at for more information how he can work with you on your next project.

Check out the full Beefcake Designs portfolio at

We hope you’ve found this edition of The Insider to be an informative look at the monster truck t-shirt design process and that some of the tips included will help you avoid a bad experience in your t-shirt projects. Whether you end up using our friends at Beefcake Design or not, remember not to skimp on the design and to use someone who will create a design unique to you and your team – it will pay off in the end!