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New KUT and KUTX T-shirts show how public radio is woven into our lives

KUT and KUTX 2022 T-shirt Designs
Lauren Ibañez
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Springtime in Central Texas means bluebonnets, SXSW – and new KUT and KUTX T-shirts. We’re especially excited about this year’s design created by artist, illustrator and NPR Next-Gen graduate, Lauren Ibañez.

Springtime in Central Texas means bluebonnets, SXSW – and new KUT and KUTX T-shirts. We’re especially excited about this year’s design created by artist, illustrator and NPR Next-Gen graduate, Lauren Ibañez.

Both T-shirt designs express motion and vibrancy, as well as the diversity people love about public radio. They’re available now as we approach the spring membership drive.

“I wanted movement in each design – like you could imagine what they would sound like,” she explains.

For the KUTX design, Lauren wanted to convey Austin’s diverse, thriving music scene. “I hope people can see themselves in it, perhaps not literally, but that some pieces of it feel familiar,” she says. The design features terracotta, golden yellow and black colors printed on an olive-green T-shirt.

The KUT design, printed on a light blue T-shirt, features vibrant pinks, blues and reds that express energy and KUT’s presence in people’s daily lives. “It’s slightly busier because I wanted to capture what we look like when we listen to public radio. I hope it hits that note!

“I don’t often get to create T-shirt designs. It’s a different headspace than typical editorial illustrations, so I had to keep that in mind throughout the process.”

Lauren discovered KUT when she participated in the NPR Next-Generation Radio training project, in partnership with KUT and KUTX, in fall 2020. She continues to work with the project as a freelance illustrator and has contributed editorial illustrations to KUT News as a freelance artist.

“I became more attuned to public radio after my first project with Next-Gen Radio in 2020,” says the University of Texas at Austin alumna who studied fine and studio art. Since then, public radio has become a thread throughout Lauren’s daily life, whether she’s eating breakfast, driving, working, or drawing. She particularly enjoys NPR’s “Code Switch.” “I learn something new, and it helps me feel more mindful of marginalized stories and histories.”

“I wouldn’t call myself a ‘news junkie,’ but I’ve definitely become more informed, and it has influenced my art as well,” she says. “I feel that after working with Next-Gen and KUT, my work has become more diverse, and I try to advocate for things – like inclusion and voter activism – in my art.”

Both T-shirts are available during the spring membership drive, which runs March 30 through April 6. You can take advantage of the Early Bird special, now through March 30, and receive the T-shirt as a thank-you gift when you donate $8 per month. Starting March 31, you can get the T-shirt when you donate $10 per month.