Skip to content

Morss Code: Check Out Todd’s Amazing DIY Hockey Shirseys (and more!)

Posted in:

Greetings and a good Saturday morning to all! Hope everyone has had a good week.

If today’s splash photo looks somewhat familiar to you — it’s because we’ve seen it on Uni Watch before. In fact, that awesome DIY Canadiens jacket was the creation of Todd Morss, and it was featured by Paul in an article about a year and a half ago.

Fast forward to the launch of Uni Watch Plus about a month ago. Todd was one of the first to sign up for our new service, and he immediately began posting in the message boards. There, he showed off some of his creations, the first of which was a Canton Bulldogs shirt:

Todd described it as “Canton Bulldogs champions shirt for a friend. Self fabric cotton shirt patches and lettering, done on an embroidery machine. If you guys don’t want to see the stuff that was more automated, let me know and I won’t show them.”

He added a few more of his creations later in that thread. These next two in particular caught my eye:

“Here are a couple of 60s and 70s tigers shirts. The grey I wanted to have the team issued look, so I used the road jersey lettering and the one year script. On the sleeve is the more flowing D that was used on the caps in the mid 60’s.”

I’ve always loved that one-year-wonder 1960 Detroit Tigers home script. I know the Olde English “D” qualifies as iconic, so I can see how the blowback from fans caused them to return to it, but I always thought it was quite a spiffy looking script.

Within that thread, Todd posted even more of his creations, including the Canadiens jacket that Paul wrote about, as well as a very cool “remake of a shirt that the Dupuis Freres Stores in Quebec sold in the 50’s. At that point, Todd shared some of his “secrets” showing how he does three-color numbers. Needless to say, I was particularly impressed with the vertically arched lettering he produced.

Finally, in a separate post entitled “Christmas/Holiday Cards,” Todd wrote “I haven’t done cards in a few years and for some reason I really feel like doing them this year. Here’s what I came up with. It’s not quite fully polished, but I’d say it’s 90% of the way there. And yes, that’s my daughter’s face in the mask. Let me know what you guys think!”

The accompanying photo blew me away:

At this point, I decided I needed to have Todd give us the rundown on one of his creations and how he went about creating it, as well as how he got started. He chose a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey shirsey, and took us through the process. Here’s Todd:

• • • • •
DIY Hockey Shirseys
by Todd Morss

I’ve been tinkering with jersey design since the first time I could hold a marker. My early working career was spent in sporting goods stores and I gained a working knowledge of how do do jersey lettering and design. I’m a self-taught graphic designer who now does sports design and customization for a successful screen printing company (Liquid Custom Apparel, in Canton, Ohio). I often refer to my job as “What I should have been doing 20 years ago”.

In 2006 I started doing jersey customizations as a side hustle, and over the course of a few years I ended up building a portfolio and skill set that is fairly unique to my area. One of my sources of pride is that the teams we supply are noticed because they aren’t wearing basic stock letters and numbers and always have a more professional look to them.

I started by drawing the stripes for the shirt, which were all cut on the shop vinyl cutter.
I’ve always been drawn to the more handmade look of the 40s-early 60s leaf logo, so I went ahead and made a version of that instead of a sharper version.

Here are the sleeve stripes (not yet taken apart and spaced) along with the unweeded logo.

Application of hem stripes. To apply the stripes properly takes 3 presses for each sleeve and 2-3 presses for each side of the shirt, depending on size.

Number on mylar carrier

Here is the logo on its mylar carrier after weeding away the excess where the shirt will show through

Finished product back!

Finished product front!

• • • • •
Some “tricks” I use to add images to jerseys:

Put the inner color layer down first to make sure my top layer leaves me with absolutely exact outlines. What you see here is an example of kiss-cutting the layer.

Apply top layer, there will be some overlap, but that’s covered by the top layer. In printing, this is called “trapping”.

Top layer applied and ready to press.

Finished product. Because we use a very light, stretchy vinyl, these two color applications are lighter and more flexible than older style vinyl numbers. Since we cut our own vinyl instead of having boxes of precut letters and numbers, we allow our teams to use any font they want, and we’re even happier to customize them like these are.

Just for fun, here’s the same layout on a goalie shirt. I really liked the color change.

• • • • •
Thanks Todd! I love the behind-the-scenes look at how you create these amazing DIY’s. I’ll have more with Todd down the road.

I know Paul talks about the benefits of Uni Watch Plus fairly regularly, but I’m especially loving the message boards — and I’d hope many more of you would make use of them. So many of our readers have incredible stories and talents, and it’s the boards are a great place to share those. Not only that, it’s just a great place to meet and greet your fellow Uni Watchers (let’s face it…we’re a group with a fairly unique set of interests, and there’s no better place to uni-geek out than with others who have a commonality!). Had it not been for the boards, I’d have only known of Todd from his one article with Paul, but through the boards (and now, in our e-mails), I’m getting to know Todd, and he’s a very talented, stand-up guy. I encourage everyone who has signed up for UW+ to visit the message boards, and if you haven’t joined, it’s one of the better benefits!



And Now a Quick Word From Paul

In case you missed it earlier this week, I’m collaborating with longtime Uni Watch reader Austin Chen on the first-ever Uni Watch soccer jerseys! We’re taking pre-orders on them up through next Friday, for delivery around the start of the World Cup. Full details here.

Also: Remember, on any day when we get at least seven new Uni Watch Plus sign-ups, I will continue to send a Uni Watch prize package to a randomly selected person from that day’s new enrollees. Come on, weekend readers — make me proud (and send me to the post office with some prize packages to mail out)!


Uni Tweet of the Day

Yeah…pretty much:


And finally...

…that’s it for the morning article. Big thanks to Todd for sharing his DIY’s and the behind-the-scenes look at his techniques and talents.

Today’s ticker should be published around 9:00 am.

Everyone have a great Saturday and I’ll catch you tomorrow with the SMUW crew!



Comments (5)

    Splendid piece. Todd’s projects look like the stuff I’d surround myself with were I more tech-savvy. I’m a hand-made sort of guy but that’s more circumstance than by design.

    Todd’s work is really terrific. If I had to pick a favorite it would be that Canton Bulldogs shirt.

    All of Todd’s work is outstanding. I especially admire the bespoke design service for teams. It’s one thing to have access to the materials, equipment and software and another to have the inspiration and ability to produce such amazing designs.

Comments are closed.