Jonathan Berger Interview

Jonathan Berger hails from Saint Louis, Missouri and it is there that he spends hours at his computer coming up with and designing all these cool pop culture mashups.

117 JRBerger t-shirts on the Shirt List.

Jonathan has a background in video but has transitioned mostly to graphic design which he finds a little easier to handle as he grew impatient waiting for video to render. In Illustrator, his tool of choice, the results are instant. Jonathan is quite prolific and to know more about what makes him tick read the interview below.

JRBerger Interview

According to your Facebook page, you are based in Saint Louis, Missouri. Is that where you grew up?
Yes, I have lived here my whole life.

What do you like/dislike about Saint Louis?
I like that there are a lot of great things to do and it’s very far. You can drive downtown and see a baseball game one day and go to a state park the next.
I don’t really dislike anything about the area. I have always enjoyed all the places to visit.

A Last Starfighter t-shirt by JRBerger

What is your typical day like?
I work for a company that installs movie promotional stuff at movie theaters. So, if I have stuff to put up for an upcoming film I do that, but if not I work on new design stuff to add to my store and submit to dailies.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I play video games, watch movies, and do outdoor activities.

About the Artist

When did you start creating art?
I started my path as a designer in 2008. I originally had a degree in video, but the job market was pretty small. So, I decided to go back to school and get a degree in graphic design and have been designing since.

When did you know that you wanted to be an artist?
I knew I wanted to make a living from it back in 2008 when I start making comic strips for fun.


I see a lot of video in your resume. Has this helped in your t-shirt design work?
It has helped. I had to learn the same programs that are used in design. You also have to learn how to get your idea across to someone creatively. But to be honest working in film was much more difficult because I would have to wait hours just to see a film rendered to make changes, but in design I can see those changes instantly.

Apart from t-shirts, what other art/design projects are you involved in?
I have also created logos, posters, postcards, and websites. The usual graphic design stuff.


Can you tell us a little about Design Brothers Productions?
I have my own personal company where I have clients come to me for their design needs. It started out as video services and slowly morphed into graphic design needs.

Where do you usually get your inspiration?
Most of the time it comes from what I have an interest in, but I also look for what is trending right now. I know the dailies like to print stuff that is popular and current.

Could you describe your typical design process from concept to completion?
I think up an idea and then do a lot of research on if it has been done before and what I want it to look like. I then start drawing in the computer. I tend to do everything digitally. I do a general inked outline, color it in and do finishing touches. I spend a lot of time moving things around and with color. I think most graphic designers are taught the importance of the overall look of a design.


Do you have any WIP I can include in the post?
I just finished a new design on my Teepublic site called “Tacovana”. Beyond that, I have ideas that I will get started on but still have some research to do.

About the Tees

How did you first hear about daily t-shirt sites like RIPT and ShirtPunch?
I first started selling through Teepublic and I Googled t-shirt sites and found RIPT.

Sell t-shirts on TeePublic

Do you remember your first print? If so, what was it and how did you feel?
I submitted my first TMNT design to RIPT and by dumb luck it got printed. I had never submitted anything to a daily site before. It was pretty cool when I had my first sale since I didn’t know what to expect.

Turtles as JRBerger’s first print on a daily t-shirt site.

Of the daily t-shirt sites, which you usually submit to first? Why?
I submit to RIPT. I have had a couple t-shirts printed and a coaster set. They are super cool to work with and they can sell a lot of shirts.

Of the tees that you designed which is your favorite?
I designed some Tick shirts that I love. I am a big fan of the character and thought the world needed more Tick in their lives.

TICK & ARTHUR Game of Spoons

Do you wear the t-shirts that you have designed?
I do wear them. It’s great self-promotion and I always said that I would only create designs that I would wear.

Have you seen somebody wearing one of your tees in the real world?
I have not seen anybody with my shirt on. I don’t get to travel a lot and I have had shirts sold all over the world.

About the World

Do you have any role models?
I don’t really have any role models design wise, but personally my parents have always been great because this isn’t a typical job.


What is the most exotic location you have been to?
Sadly, I don’t travel a lot. I don’t take many vacations. Since this isn’t a typical 9-5 job I am always working.

Where would you most like to visit? Why?
If I had the time and money I would love to go to Europe and see different places. I love history and I want to see the places where important events took place.

About Other Designers

Which tee designer(s) do you admire the most?
I am a big fan DJKopet. His work is great and he is a favorite on all the daily sites.


Have you done any collaborations for t-shirts?
I haven’t done any collaborations and to be honest I never would. I think that I would be to picky about what they do to the design.

Who would you like to see featured on the Shirt List next?
You should get DJKopet if you haven’t yet.

About Tee Design

Any advice for other designers/artists?
Always keep designing. Some artists think they can create one design and just make lots of money off it. I have created a lot of designs and some have done great and some have failed. But I always keep working on new stuff.

Photoshop or Illustrator?
I do all t-shirt designs in Illustrator.


Green Arrow or the Flash?
You have to go with the Flash. He’s got a better personality.

What’s the last movie you saw in the theater?
I saw Avengers Age of Ultron.

JRBerger: Website | Facebook

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