Vote Garrett Gastil – 15 May 2010

Vote Garrett Gastil - stencil cut in manila file folder - 8.5"x11"

My nephew, Garrett Gastil, is currently a junior at Laguna Hills High School, and has decided to run for the office of class president. I was down visiting my mom this afternoon, when Garrett’s mother – my sister Liz – mentioned Garrett’s campaign and asked if I would be up for designing his campaign flier and/or T-shirt. It seemed like the easiest solution might be fairly low-tech: to create a stencil that could be spray-painted onto both paper fliers and a few shirts. Spray painted T-shirts aren’t perfect, but they’ll be fine for something cheap, quick and over in a couple weeks.

We purchased a two exacto-knives, and rounded up a couple of file folders that my sister had handy. I drew four quick thumbnails, then got Garrett’s go-ahead on the design I liked best. I sketched it in pencil:

The initial design in pencil

I initially did lettering with small triangular serifs for the entire text. Though I liked the look, there were too many places where the serifs stuck out enough to make me worried about the strength/integrity of the stencil material. If the thing ends up too thin, it can break or bend too easily. So, I ended up with serifs only on Garrett’s name, and there I did a sort of half-serif thing, where I included only one triangle where I initially had two.

Final stencil, resting atop my legs. Note that for this photo and the one at the top, for readability, I've placed a dark folder behind the stencil.

Then I cut out the letters.  Once I finished I wrote a sheet of instructions on how to go about spraying these, including an emphasis on how fragile these stencils are and how sticky they get once one starts to spray paint through them.

Start to finish, it took about 4 or 5 hours. I am looking forward to seeing how the final fliers and shirts look, and how Garrett does with his campaign. I will try to post some photos of the actual finished products.

If any of my readers are or know any seniors at Laguna Hills High School, please cast your vote for Garrett. He’s a great young man… but I may be somewhat biased.

Added – Here’re some photos of the finished T-shirts:

Garrett himself holding up the first trial shirt - done in LHHS colors: yellow and dark brown

more shirts

the overspray was incorporated into the design


Updated 17 May 2o1o  – added photos of the t-shirts.


4 responses to “Vote Garrett Gastil – 15 May 2010

  1. Go Garrett! When is the election??

  2. Speaking as a fellow Gastil (one of the few, the proud) and never having met Garrett (hello, Garrett), such fine stenciling of our rare name gives me some pride. Nice job, esp. the sharp edges on the lettering. You might try experimenting with or another such site to make that into a complete font.

    Good luck in the election! My brother George and I both sought h.s. office back in the day–he earnestly, me tongue-in-cheek. George is now on the Lemon Grove City Council, and I’m sure he’d be happy to talk campaigning/politics. (I now just study those things–don’t do ’em as much as I used to.)


    John — jgastil [at]

  3. Yay – just got the word that Garrett won!

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