The Three T-Shirts of Ploughshares

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After tossing t-shirt ideas around the office for some time, we decided that the best course of action was to have some options to choose from and let our readers decide. After all, we don’t want to make 300 t-shirts that only we’ll wear, and that’s what might have happened if we had gone ahead with my favorite t-shirt idea (image: “Pegasus reading Ploughshares,” text: “Even magical creatures enjoy reading Ploughshares.”)

And so I am proud to present to you our three t-shirt ideas. Each was designed by a different graphic designer or artist. Once you’ve perused the options, I ask that you place your vote here. Below I’ll briefly explain the idea for the t-shirt, and tell you about who designed it.

The above t-shirt was designed by: Ashley Muehlbauer

Design inspiration: Ploughshares is “the triton among the minnows.” The New York Times once said something really nice about us, and we don’t mean to brag, but we think it’s pretty cool.

Ashley Muehlbauer is a freelance graphic designer and book designer. While earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Nebraska, she was introduced to the world of book design through an internship at the University of Nebraska Press. She has been working in the field ever since, and after moving to the Kansas City area in 2009 has been freelance designing for several university presses across the country. Her work has been included in the 2009, 2010, and 2011 Association of American University Presses Book, Jacket, and Journal Show. (Editor’s Note: Ashley is also Ploughshares’ cover designer.)

The above t-shirt was designed by: Shannon Snow

Design inspiration: We found this awesome illustration on Shannon Snow’s website, and she kindly altered it slightly to be more Ploughshares-related. Writers represented (clockwise from top left): Shakespeare, Allen Ginsberg, Elizabeth Barret Browning, Edgar Allen Poe, and Emily Dickinson. Shannon also hand-lettered our logo and name.

A SCAD graduate with a BFA in Illustration, Shannon Snow currently works as a freelance illustrator and chalkboard artist located in Savannah, GA.  Her work takes direct inspiration from the bold, ornate architecture of this Southern city and the colorful characters that inhabit it.  Being a native Southerner (and possibly one of those colorful characters herself), she strongly believes that no Sunday is complete without a bloody mary.


The above t-shirt was designed by: Dana Martin

Design inspiration: “A flock of pink flamingos moved in across the street, and set up plastic people on the lawn.” These are the first couple lines of Brendan Constantine’s poem “Difficult Listening Time,” published in Terrance Hayes’ Winter 2010-11 issue of Ploughshares. We thought it was particularly vivid imagery, and commissioned Dana to paint a watercolor scene to represent it. You can read the poem in its entirety here.

When she isn’t covered in ink and watercolor, Dana Martin can probably be found reading novels, newspapers, or the atlas. Her first illustrated story, written at the tender age of seven, was published in the readers’ contributions section of Highlights Magazine; thus encouraged, she has been scribbling out stories and pictures ever since. She is a graduate of the Montserrat College of Art. To view more of her art, visit

Those are our three options. You can Vote Here!