Senior t-shirts feature original student designs


On the first day of school, the senior class of 2022 could be seen lined up by the front gate in their senior shirts. The black Music Midtown-themed shirt with white writing that incorporated Pressly into the design was one of two shirts that senior Elijah Patterson created, the other being white with a colorful design based on the Disney film Up. Senior shirts are part of a longstanding Westminster tradition, usually involving shirts that closely resemble existing corporate logos. This year, however, Westminster chose to move in a new, more creative direction.

A few years ago, the senior shirt was based on the logo of local soccer team, Atlanta United, and the president of Atlanta United spotted the shirts. Fortunately, Westminster avoided receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Atlanta United to stop wearing the shirts, but the school hoped to prevent possible negative legal entanglements in the future to protect students and the school by not including corporate intellectual property in the senior shirt designs.

“What the school was going for was not to move you all away from a fun tradition,” said former class of 2022 grade chair John Monahan. “What we were going for was a world in which everybody could breathe a little bit easier in regard to dealing with corporate intellectual property.” 

This year’s shirts were still allowed to be inspired by existing ideas, logos, companies, and events, but the design needed to be original enough to avoid legal issues. The move to a more original design allowed Patterson to display his creativity and graphic-design skills.

“The new rules have the added benefit of surfacing incredible artistic talent,” said Monahan. “We killed two birds with one stone by reducing the probability of a worst-case scenario legally while celebrating the creativity of our students.” 

Patterson created interpretations of the Disney movie Up and Atlanta’s music festival, Music Midtown, with his shirt designs, but he combined elements of both the music festival and film with aspects of Westminster. The image of Pressly Hall appears on both shirts, and a list of fun senior traditions is on the back of the Music Midtown-themed shirt. 

“For the first t-shirt, I drew inspiration from the movie Up. I love Disney, and I thought our senior class would really appreciate drawing a design from the movie,” said Patterson. “With the second t-shirt, the design idea was suggested by one of my classmates for one inspired by Music Midtown, and I tried to execute their idea to the best of my ability, with a Westminster spin on it.”

The senior class enjoyed a fun first day of school, and their senior shirts helped unify and bring together the class as they celebrated their final year on Westminster’s campus.

“It was simultaneously very interesting and heartwarming to see some of our fellow peers pour their hearts out into creating the designs,” said senior student government co-chair Stephen Shin. “The fact that we have the creation of one of our peers on our backs truly unifies our grade and is super important to me.” 

The current junior class will start planning their own shirt ideas soon, and the Westminster community looks forward to seeing what they are able to come up with.

“The number one thing for upcoming senior class officers is to really acknowledge the fact that your fellow peers are truly the most creative people that you could have to do something like making these t-shirts,” said Shin. “At other schools, it may be difficult to gather people to come together to make a design on the level of Elijah Patterson’s, so trust the people around you at Westminster.”