Joshua Wilderness Institute

Each year the Joshua Wilderness Institute at Hume Lake awards its graduates with a custom t-shirt and sweatshirt for it’s 60 resident students. They’re more than graduation gifts; they’re wearable certificates of accomplishment that are coveted by campers and other staff, and are treated with care as symbols of an extraordinary year together.

The shirts and sweaters symbolize an accomplishment and are coveted by other camp staff and garner attention even off the hill.

To make each set significant and memorable, the school director and I would theme the garments to make them iconic for the year. Part of our design challenge included fitting the elements of the institute’s branding—namely the burning bush logo and the latin motto: Cruce, Libro, et Atro (the cross, the book and the plow)—into the unique style chosen for each set of gifts.

For the black and red apparel shown, we chose a more formal burning bush as symbol of went with a more formal and detailed theme using ornate scrollwork details. A reference design loved by the director was used as a starting point for colors and layout for the back of the shirts. For the front we went with a seal design overlaid atop a burning bush woodcut illustration (the Joshua logo is a burning bush icon).

Later that winter, I made a midnight trip out to the top of the hill that overlooks the Joshua Wilderness lodge to capture a photo they’ve been using for the last few years now. You can see it on their current website and even buy a copy for your own wall! View it here.