Who Designed It?This Year’s Mountain Day T-Shirt

Lining up to receive a damp white t-shirt, students are often too preoccupied with their tie-dye game plan to wonder who created this year’s Mountain Day t-shirt design. After the rubber banded shirts have been precisely dipped, sprayed, and splattered; after they have been quarantined in a plastic bag for 24 hours and rinsed until the water runs clear; after they have been cycled through the washer and dryer (without any other clothes), only then, once the students reveal their own tie-dye designs, do they really start asking who designed the graphic displayed on their shirts.

One only needs to look as far as the creator of last year’s Mountain Day t-shirt, senior graphic design major Sam Thomas, resident designer for the Student Activities Office. Last year was the first time Sam created a Mountain Day graphic, and he focused on a simple vector design that did not entirely align with his personal style. This year, Sam spent his summer designing something more akin to his taste--something bold and grand, reminiscent of an album cover or movie title. Given complete creative freedom, he aimed to produce a design more inclusive and representative of Colby-Sawyer. With a curved title above the Chargers flag and a ponytailed figure claiming the mountain top, Sam achieved just that. He mentioned receiving some pushback on the ponytail, but his vision was a gender neutral figure, and the subtle hairstyle allowed for people of any gender identity to see themselves in this graphic.

When Sam sees someone wearing his design, he experiences a feeling he can only describe as “weird.” “It’s an honor,” he added, and as he trekked up Mt. Kearsarge amongst the hundreds of people wearing his logo, he felt that indescribable feeling, that shock and honor of witnessing people interact with his own creation. More than anything, Sam hoped people liked the design, that it was a shirt they would choose to wear long after its intended day passed.

One might say that Sam Thomas is known for his graphic design skills at Colby-Sawyer College. He designs everything marketed by the Student Activities Office, including posters for featured musicians, poets, and speakers. One of Sam’s favorite projects was the t-shirt and posters he designed for 2019 Senior Week. In addition, he also works on anything involving the CSC Players (the theater club on campus) such as improv, SNAFU, and performance posters. Over the summer, he completed an internship with Doug Harp, adjunct graphic design professor and owner of Harp and Company Graphic Design.

If you’d like to see more of Sam Thomas’ designs, check out his website: samthomas.co or follow his instagram: @samthomasdesign.

by Ashley Vajentic ’21