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The Fine Print: Let's talk about tees!

Valentine's Day Proposals - From Pagan to Pop Culture

Valentine’s Day as we know it presently is alleged to be made up by the greeting card industry. Whether you love it or hate, it’s a social fixture that’s here to stay. What most people don’t know is the historical origins did not involve the exchange of gifts like flowers and candy. In fact, it had zero resemblance to what we celebrate today.

It most likely started with the Romans as the feast of Lupercalia. This involved the sacrificing of a goat and a dog, then the sacrificial animals would be skinned and women would line up to be whipped with these hides in an effort to enhance fertility.

During this festival, the men would choose their mate for the duration of the celebration from a lottery of names. If the couple found the match appealing, the relationship may have been extended.

The naming of Valentine’s Day is likewise less romantic than we would wish. On February 14, in the 3rd Century A.D., Roman Emperor Claudius II executed two men by the name of Valentine. Their martyrdom was romanticized by the Catholic Church by elevating the men to sainthood and remembering their sacrifice with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day.

As happened frequently during the early indoctrination of a new religion over indigenous belief systems, the Pagan holiday of Lupercalia was absorbed and combined with the Catholic celebration of St. Valentine.

The evolution of St. Valentine’s Day was further propelled by Chaucer in his 14th century poem, Parliament of Fowls, (perhaps the origin of the term lovebirds,) where he names St. Valentine’s Day as the day when birds choose their mate.


Shakespeare relates St. Valentine’s Day to a day of love in the play Hamlet:

Ophelia sings,

Tomorrow is St. Valentine’s Day

And early in the morning

I’m a girl below your window

Waiting to be your Valentine.

With two of the day’s most celebrated authors associating Valentine’s with romantic imagery, the movement of exchanging handmade cards and tokens of love spread from Britain to the whole of Europe and eventually made it to the New World.

Valentine’s Day has now become big business with a projected spend of 17.6 billion dollars in 2015. It is also one of the most popular days for proposals. A recent American Express Spending and Saving Tracker survey found that six million American’s are going to pop the big question. Don’t get too excited though ladies, 48% of consumers feel that an engagement ring should be between $1,000 and $5,000. 22% feel that $1,000 to $1,999 is sufficient and 21% feel less than $500 is appropriate. So the mega-carat, take-you-to-the-bottom-of-the-sea-should-you-fall-overboard ring may be out of the question.

Of course the means of the proposal could take myriad shapes and forms. Obviously one of our favorites involves the use of personalized tees. We received a recent order from a gentleman getting ready to propose to his beloved via t-shirt! Obviously he planned to recruit some friends in this romantic venture. We’ll share the design, but not the name of his intended. We wish him luck!

Customer Service Challenges for Custom Screen Printers

Some of the most difficult challenges we face as professional screen printers is handling touchy situations that arise from attempts to use protected artwork for personalized apparel. Having had to fight plenty of times to protect our trademarked name and images, we take legal issues like this very seriously. When we work with clients on a new clothing line, we want them to feel secure in the fact that we would protect their designs to prevent loss of revenue and marketshare too.

With an online design studio which allows customers to design or upload art for printing customized shirts, it may not be apparent to some that what they are endeavoring to do is illegal. We try to be as transparent about our business practices as possible but since the ordering process is designed to be self-serve, the best we can do to thwart an attempt to have protected graphics or designs printed is to include notification that we won’t print those items unless with permission.

Our goal as custom t-shirt printers is to provide total freedom during the design and ordering process, that’s why we allow clients to complete the entire transaction independently. This works beautifully for 99% of our customers. We further understand in 2015, customers want their commerce experience in their hands. However, on occasion we run into issues where someone uploads protected art.

When this happens, we contact the client and alert them that we will not be able to fulfill their order and issue a refund to the card they used to purchase the service. Very recently we made one client very upset when we cancelled their order for a t-shirt that infringed upon Disney’s designs.

Here are excerpts from the email correspondence: 

Yes, we are afraid of a mouse, a lot of people are. Disney strikes fear into the heart of many designers, screen printers, muralists, children’s event entertainers, cake makers, day cares and more. That’s because they do not mess around when it comes to protecting their property and they don’t mouse around with making examples of people. For some, it may seem ridiculous to worry about the printing of one little shirt that uses Disney imagery (or any other protected artwork,) but the reality for companies is this, if they allow for little infractions they put their entire right to protect their property at risk during more serious matters

Although we really hate to turn down orders and upset customers, we try to operate a lawful business and have further responsibility to stay in business as we have more than 40 employees that count on us for their continued livelihood. We make every effort to delight our customers and meet the needs of everyone in the market for personalized apparel, but sometimes we just have to say no.


Design Ideas for Class T-Shirts

It’s here, finally! Senior year or junior year or even sophomore year and you’re ready to class it up with a personalized tee that expresses your elation from having made it this far.  We’re with you and have prepared some new class t-shirt templates to give you oodles of design ideas for the perfect class t-shirt.

The usage of emblems and royal imagery in U.S. scholastic designs goes back to 1836 as the oldest Ivy League School, Harvard, officially designated the College arms. But in fact, the design including the Latin motto, “VERITAS” dates from as far back as 1644.

Today, it’s unheard of for a school to not have an official seal, motto or simple logo. You can announce your school and class pride with a design of your choice. Look for images in our clipart gallery under the categories of Mascot, Greek and Graduation. You can also search by keywords for additional school t-shirt ideas using words and phrases like badge, banner, coat of arms, crests, crowns, and royalty. Here are a few design ideas to start the creative process at!

Team Building Tees for Tough Mudder Endurance Event

Is your team ready to get their Tough Mudder on this spring? If you’re looking to build team spirit, this endurance event has been totally themed around team building, developing trust and commitment to partnership…and overcoming fears. Getting the troops rallied behind the concept maybe the toughest part once they know about such obstacles as the Arctic Enema and Electroshock Therapy. Once you recruit your fearless competitors, you could really go the distance with personalized team t-shirts. We came up with a few team themed t-shirt ideas to stimulate your crew, they’ll need it! 

Whether you're a team of one or have a big crew, we've got you covered with digital printing methods or screen printing for bulk discounts!