John Engelman

CREATE. CREATE. RELAX. is the design studio of John Engelman.

From the t-shirts and hats I've worked on, to the 52 page Umphrey's McGee tour program, or the album covers and collectible pins, my goal is to make something I, as a fan, would want or want to see. I hope to keep that vision alive in all of my work, whether it's for your band merchandise or your growing company. 

While I love working on all of the t-shirts, hoodies, lapel pins, band logos, banners, buttons, magazines, posters, album covers, postcards, fliers, stickers, company logos, restaurant menus, DVD covers, and anything else you can throw at me, I'm not much of a web design guy. I can do a lot of things, but web design from scratch is not one of them. Need a Squarespace (it's what this site is built on) or Tumblr site? No problem. Anything else? Let's just say I "may" or "may not" know "a guy" who can "take care" of this "problem" for you... Got that?


You may notice the Create. Create. Relax. website has three sections listed (other than this about page) in the header. WORK is a collection of design work and art I have done for a variety of clients and myself. I'm always picking a few of my favorites to show in the galleries. MIDWESTpeeps is a lifestyle company started I in the mid 2000's with some friends and kept alive here. It's got it's own long history, but that a story for another time. SODAGIANT is a soda review show I started on YouTube in 2009. It isn't something I do as often as I'd like, but video editing is so damn fun I keep coming back.

Designing merchandise has its own set of rules and challenges. When it’s an album cover, it has to be timeless. It is going to sit in someone’s collection for years and be available online forever. When it’s a t-shirt, you want it to be the coolest fucking shirt in someone’s closet. You want them to wear it to the bar or their next show – and when they do wear it to the show, you get to see that shirt, out in the wild, on a kid having the time of his life. Merchandise matters to me. It matters to fans. It holds a special place in someone’s heart, and in my heart. It’s their favorite shirt, their favorite album, their favorite moment. It represents the band in parts of the world I’ve never seen, on people I will never meet. That, my friends, is pretty fucking cool. That is why I design merchandise. That feeling, that knowledge. Knowing that somewhere, someone can’t wait to go to the bar on Friday in their favorite shirt
— John Engelman