David K. Smith

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UCMP art

Raising the rex tee shirt design

1994 • Raising the rex: My very first volunteer project for UCMP was this brochure graphic for the "Own a piece of the rex" campaign, a fund-raising effort to help pay for the T. rex cast that now graces the Valley Life Science Building's Wallace Atrium. The text you see in this image was added when the design was adapted for use on a tee shirt in 1995.

UCMP logo design

1995? • UCMP logo: On short notice, I was asked to come up with something that might serve as a temporary UCMP logo until the museum could find time to discuss the matter in more depth and review logo options. The museum never found the time — this design hung around, it continues to be used, and has become the UCMP logo by default.

First T. rex tee shirt design

1995 • Tyrannosaurus rex 1: This T. rex skull drawing (based on the then unmounted cast skull of the T. rex standing in VLSB) found many uses: it was made into a poster, was used on tee shirts, and was integrated into the header of the museum's UCMP News newsletter (print version).

Reconstructing the past tee shirt design

1995? • Reconstructing the past: This tee shirt design was based on UCMP's skeleton of the plesiosaur Hydrotherosaurus alexandrae, discovered by Sam Welles in 1937. The wall-mounted skeleton had been on exhibit for over 50 years in the Hearst Mining Building and then McCone Hall before it was taken down for UCMP's move to VLSB in 1995.

Yin and yang of Hydrotherosaurus tee shirt design

1995? • The yin and yang of Hydrotherosaurus: Created as an alternative to the "Reconstructing the past" design above, this drawing (suggested by Museum Associate Howard Schorn), contrasting the skeleton of Hydrotherosaurus with its reconstruction, was never used.

T. rex and mistletoe holiday card design

1997 • UCMP holiday card: This drawing of T. rex waiting beneath a sprig of mistletoe was used on a holiday card that was sent out to Friends of UCMP, donors, and campus offices. This T. rex skull is now used in the header for the online version of the UCMP News newsletter.

Hadrosaur by river graphic

1999 • Hadrosaur by river: I can't remember why I made this graphic (it was never used) but I've always liked it. It was made using Macromedia FreeHand.

Learning from the Fossil Record web graphic

2000 • Learning from the Fossil Record: This reclining T. rex pondering past life was created for the Learning from the Fossil Record website and has been one of my more popular drawings, based on the number of requests we get to use it. It was also adapted for a tee shirt design.

NAPC logo

2001 • NAPC meeting: I designed this logo for the North American Paleontology Convention that UCMP hosted that year. Apart from the printed materials for the meeting, the logo was used on mugs, tee shirts, tote bags, and even wine labels.

2001 • Gomphotherium: Originally drawn for the Museums at Blackhawk back in the mid-1990s, this skull of an extinct elephant relative was printed as a three-color UCMP tee shirt.

T. rex tee shirt design

2004 • Tyrannosaurus rex 2: Never really happy with my original T. rex shirt design, in 2004 I came up with this "new and improved" version for UCMP. It is my favorite to date. I adapted it for my own purposes and used it in two beer labels for a friend's homebrewed stout.

Crinoid tee shirt design

2006 • Pellecrinus hexadactylus: We wanted to show the public that we weren't only about vertebrates so I decided to do this drawing of a crinoid from our collection of Crawfordsville crinoids. This collection was one of the museum's early acquisitions, purchased in 1883.

Triceratops tee shirt design

2007 • Triceratops: Assistant Director for Collections and Research Mark Goodwin had asked that I do a reconstruction of a Triceratops skull for a paper he was submitting to the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology so we saw this as an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. The drawing was completed, then modified to make this tee shirt design.

Radiolarians tee shirt design

2008 • Radiolarians: Though vertebrates tend to hog the spotlight, in terms of sheer numbers, UCMP's microfossil collection dwarfs all our other collections combined. Therefore, we decided to feature microfossils on the 2008 shirt. The design is actually not my artwork at all but photographs of some attractive radiolarians. It was printed in lavender ink on dark blue and proved to be one of our more popular shirts. In fact, it was reprinted in 2013.

Juvenile Triceratops tee shirt design

2010 • Triceratops: Although we had done a Triceratops shirt design just three years earlier, this drawing of a juvenile was executed in my "traditional" style, unlike the other.

Metasequoia tee shirt design

2011 • Metasequoia: By this time, we had done shirt designs featuring vertebrates, an invertebrate, and microfossils. The only collection not represented in a tee shirt design was plants, therefore, Senior Museum Scientist Diane Erwin — she manages the plant collections — selected Metasequoia as the subject matter. As one might expect, this one was very popular with the folks in the Looy Lab (plant people).

Smilodon tee shirt design

2012 • Smilodon: It was time to do another tee shirt design featuring a vertebrate with big sharp teeth and Smilodon fit the bill.

Trilobite tee shirt design

2014 • Olenellus: We had not done an invertebrate design since 2006 so I sought out a good trilobite specimen. The actual fossil — maybe two inches long — was not especially interesting, but someone had taken some excellent photographs of it with good contrast and a lot of detail, so I used one to create this drawing.


Intro  |   UCMP art  |   CNR art  |   Other UC art  |   Field work art