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The Fine Print: Let's talk about tees!

Should you be Selling Personalized Children’s Apparel?

Personalized children’s apparel is an attractive market that isn’t as saturated as graphic tees for adults leaving plenty of room for growth. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and family friends are eager to offer a unique gift to the newest member of the community. The events that mark the journey of a child into adulthood provide plenty of opportunity for repeat sales and even referral business from community mommy groups and neighbors that notice on your children’s wear designs.

hey girl baby example

Experiment with different design styles to see which get the most attention. Some popular trends in infant and toddler designs include monograms, slogans, and family status identification like “Big Sister” in text or “My Little Brother is a Cat” in text. Even if you find many instances of your idea already for sale, you can stand apart from the competition with your choice of fonts or combinations of fonts and artistic style.

Typography is the visual representation of your text. There is a ton of opportunity when you play with typography in your design. Although for certain t-shirt or onesie designs plainly formatted words work well.

Typography Example
typography example

When designing infant and toddler wear or anything that is intended for children 12 years of age or under, it’s the law that the products you print the design on have a Children's Product Certificate (CPC). This is the portion of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) governing products intended for children. Fortunately, if you’re using the children’s products we feature on our t-shirt printing website, you don’t need to worry about this since our baby apparel products have already been vetted and cleared.

cute baby model

Coming up with outstanding designs is just part of the process. Once you have your garments printed, it’s time to test the market to see if everyone else is just as impressed. Fortunately, you don’t have to print a lot of samples simply to test the viability of the design. Our no minimum required toddler t-shirts and infant onesies are ideal for test printing. We currently carry Rabbit Skins infant and toddler tees plus bodysuits. We offer youth size no minimum required products as well including Hanes, Augusta, and Rabbit Skins.

What’s the difference between these products and products that require six or more in the order? The apparel items featured on our t-shirt printing website are comprised of many different blends of fabric. Some are suitable for both screen printing and digital printing but some are only suitable for screen printing at our facility. Digital printing, perfect for single orders or test prints require apparel made from 100% cotton.

baby model

If you believe through your market testing that you’ve come up with a winning design for large scale production, our bulk pricing on screen printed apparel is very advantageous for your profitability. Selling uniquely designed garments online is one way to gain a lot of exposure but taking on the building and maintenance of a website might not be your thing. Here are some alternative options to marketing and selling your design without the hassle of building your own website.

miss muscles

The Etsy marketplace is ideal for uniquely made items. The makeup of Etsy’s traffic is 86% women and since women account for 85% of all consumer purchases, this is a fantastic market. A tremendous amount of the referral traffic Etsy receives is from Pinterest, so make sure to pin your designs and include a generous description of the product in the pin.

Artfire is another indie style marketplace that puts buyers and sellers together. You are able to create an account and sell your decorated apparel as long as it’s your custom design and does not include any licensed imagery. If you are using any licensed imagery there is a commercial option as well.

eBay isn’t just for used stuff, anyone can create and sell on eBay. The beauty of using a site like this is you don’t have to drive traffic yourself. There is a lot of competition of course, so you’re design, presentation, and of course garment pricing needs to be competitive.

Another advantage to using already established online marketplaces is you may be less susceptible to swings in search engine placement. Obviously you can test an established online marketplace and create your own website to see which channel is more profitable.

snakes and snails

Partnering with local businesses to display your offerings is another way to generate sales of your designed baby apparel. Independently owned and operated businesses are recommended because they don’t have to go through corporate approval to feature your works. Expect to pay a commission on sales or a small rental space fee. Baby apparel compliments some types of businesses more than others.

When soliciting for a place to feature your clothing, think about the type of foot traffic the business attracts and ask yourself if this is your target audience. Here are some recommendations:

  • Coffee Houses
  • Flower Shops
  • Yoga Studios
  • Beauty and Hair Salons

Learn How to Design a Vintage Style Tee with Design A Shirt

It's hard to say vintage style t-shirts are making a comeback since the design style has never really gone away. Trends come and go but none has stood the test of time quite like vintage styling along with the distressed look. We happily buy expensive jeans with tears and distress already added because it's the look we're after; relaxed and unassuming yet fashionable.

Why is the vintage look so appealing?

Blame on the hippies in the 60's. Prior to that era, wearing used, poor looking clothing was not something people aspired to do. Those that survived the turmoil of the Great Depression were not keen to continue living the Spartan lifestyle that was forced upon them during harder times. People wearing worn or used clothing were deemed tragic because it meant they could not afford to dress in new apparel.

However, the mindset of hippies in the 60's was to be unusual and original. This meant combing the secondhand stores and combining styles from different era's to create a wholly unique look. Rejecting the modern aesthetic, they looked for throwbacks from bygone days particularly Edwardian fashion.

As with most trends, the popularity of being different made the accessibility of true vintage pieces increasingly scarce and it was necessary for niche apparel makers to make new clothes look old and period correct. This is known as "repro" fashion and it’s the focus of this tutorial.

Defining vintage or retro is typically done by either the condition of the garment or the design. It can also be defined by the color of the garment that the design is printed on. A lot of manufactures identify these colors as “heather” or simply “vintage.”

Adjusting the fiber’s texture is a big part of the vintage movement. To make the look realistic, you can either buy the repro version or do it yourself with some common household tools like sandpaper, scissors and common ingredients like salt and bleach. Here is video that details how to achieve the look on any t-shirt:

Colors in a vintage or retro palette will range from dark browns, oranges, tangerines, soft to electric blues, and mellow reds. Here are some examples of retro color palettes in some of the most desirable eras:

Fifties Color Palette
fifties palette
Sixties Color Palette
sixties palette
Seventies Color Palette
seventies palette

Vintage shirt styles include the Ringer tee, the baseball tee, the crop top, and of course the basic tee. For women only, there’s the spaghetti strap tank top.

ringer tee
baseball tee
crop top
spaghetti strap

There are certain design styles that are more authentic to the vintage look like variegated stripes. Here are a few examples of vintage graphic tees designs:

graphic tee designs

Vintage style fonts are an important aspect to incorporate if you’re intent is to design a shirt that remains true to the era. Here are some examples available for use in our custom tee shirt design studio:

vintage fonts

And additional retro and vintage style font resources if you’re making your t-shirt design in a program like Photoshop, Illustrator, or Corel Draw. Be sure to check terms of use on these, some are free for personal use only, so if you intend to sell your design, look for commercial use approved.

CSS Author
Creativebloq
Retro Vectors

And finally here are some of our very own designs for repro wear:

fifties design
sixties design
seventies design

Custom Hats – How to use them for Business and Pleasure

Custom hats are a huge deal for a lot of men. They’re as attached to a man’s identity as they are to their heads, or if you’re not a hat guy for pleasure, you might be wearing them for business purposes.

embroidered hats

If your hat is a daily fixture, you might be wearing it because it identifies your favorite team with a logo or maybe your favorite designer’s logo. While these hats are available in a lot of colors and styles through licensed resellers, some guys that wear hats for style purposes might be more interested in a custom look that describes the more intimate details of their psyche. In these cases it’s popular to resell these customized hats in a retail environment or to give as gifts to friends and family. That’s where getting a custom hat printed comes into play.

Custom embroidery on hats can be applied to literally tons of different styles of hats which we have access to beyond the products listed on our custom print website. We have access to snapback, fitted caps, 5 panel, 6 panel, structured, unstructured, low profile, trucker, mesh trucker...pretty much anything a customer needs we can get and in all the colors!

We'd recommend embroidery for anything 6 panel or structured, otherwise the ink can bunch at the seam running down the middle and may not lay consistently on structured hats since they're difficult to bend against our hat boards. It's possible, but embroidery would have a much cleaner outcome on this style of hat.

The other option to personalize hats is screen print. It’s highly wearable and durable, and in some cases more cost effective depending on the purpose of the cap. With either option, simplicity is recommended since the available real estate is limited.

But why do men love these types of hats so much and are there any rules that should be adhered to? Functionality has turned into fashion. The original baseball cap style was simply a means to keep the sun out of the player’s eyes. Some men still use it for just this purpose or to keep longer hair contained in the wind. But many men will agree that it’s also a fashion statement which has been propelled not-only by sports, but also by genres of music including hip-hop, and country & western.

up-close hat

To attract the ladies, there are certain fashion faux paus that should not be made. For instance, never, ever, wear a hat on a first date, especially if you’re taking her to a nice restaurant. The exceptions would be if your first date is an outdoor sporting event, or fishing, or hiking. If you asked her on one of these dates and she accepted, well-done, you’ve found yourself a keeper. Additionally, never is a shabby, dirty hat appropriate. Even if it’s your favorite, time to customize a new piece of headwear. Don’t hold onto a style for too long either. If you haven’t seen the style of cap you’re wearing on anyone else for a really long time, maybe check out what the male fashion blogs are saying about the latest and greatest.

The baseball cap is one of American’s most identifiable fashion exports along with jeans, t-shirts, and tennis shoes. Can anyone say Forrest Gump? In fact, some estimate that at least 80% of hats sold are of the baseball variety or its close cousin, the snapback.

We love them for their promotional product appeal. That’s why logoed caps are the go to for many businesses as a means of providing a functional (and therefore appreciated,) promotional giveaway. Another trend in corporate giveaway and promotional hats are performance wear. This type of hat is ideal for activity related promotions like charity walks, runs, and outdoor team-building exercises. But most important of all, if you personalize a hat that people love, they’ll wear it frequently if not every day. This isn’t going to be the case with t-shirts or polos unless it’s part of a uniform. To increase perceived value of a giveaway, you can combine a custom t-shirt and cap, now that’s the gold standard of promotional giveaways and it’s a unique selling point of the highly versatile custom cap.

10 Family Reunion Souvenirs under $10 Dollars

June, July and August are the most popular months for family reunions because kids are out of school and summer temperatures allow for outdoor activities. Planning a family get together of this magnitude is a big task for anyone and finding affordable resources that will accommodate everyone’s budget is important.

After the venue is booked, menus are planned, invitations sent out and an activity itinerary formulated, you still have one task as part of a family reunion planning committee. Besides the pictures and memories your attendees will take home with them, what else can you do to commemorate this happy occasion? Personalized souvenirs are a fantastic way to capture the moment and bring cheer to family members until the next reunion can take place.

Here is a list of our top 10 favorite pics for family reunion souvenirs that won’t break the bank! All under $10 per unit!

1. Custom Family Reunion T-Shirts!

Custom Family Reunion T-Shirts

Of course this is our number one pick, we’re DesignAShirt! Did you know you can get a custom tees for the whole family reunion for as little as $5.04 a piece when you order 50? Plus, we've got over 100 design templates ready for you to customize with your family name and information. If you’re the creative type, you can also upload your own graphics or use our design studio to come up with something completely unique to your family.

2. Personalized Tote Bags

Family Reunion Tote Bags

Want your souvenirs to be used year round? Personalized tote bags are a fantastic way for your family to show off their family pride. Tote bags can be used in place of grocery bags for trips to the store, or to pack your sunscreen and extra water bottles for trips to the beach or park. They’re great for packing extra toys for the kids or even collecting items from a scavenger hunt!

3. Custom Visors

Personalized Family Reunion Visors

We can print a fun family saying or just your family name and the location and dates of your family reunion. These are sure to be a hit during outdoor activities and family member can make use of these mementos all year long. You need to order at least 10 to make it under the threshold of $10. The more you order, the lower the cost per visor. 

4. Mini Koozie Coolers

Personalized Family Reunion Coolers

These 8”x10” coolers will be used immediately by family members wishing to keep their drinks and snacks cool. The best part is you can get 50 of them customized for under $10 apiece. Have more than 50 guests coming? Order a greater quantity for even steeper discounts.

5. Custom Bike Bottles

Custom Family Reunion Bike Bottles

No spill, 20oz bike bottles are a sure winner. Enjoy BPA free, made in the USA, and personalized mementos. Another guaranteed popular choice for family reunion memorabilia. This choice is very affordable with minimum quantities of 50.

6. Multi-colored Beach Balls 

Multi-Colored Family Reunion Beach Balls

These cheap and fun mementos will get action as soon as you hand them out. Create an instant party whether your family reunion is being held at the beach, a park or in the woods! Get 50 customized for WAY under $10 each.

7. Frisbees

Personalized Family Reunion Frisbees

Frisbees are another party waiting to happen when they get into the hands of your family reunion attendees. Keep the kids and the adults active and occupied for much less than $10 apiece when you buy 50 or more.

8. Yo-Yo's

Expect furious competitions to erupt when you pass our customized family reunion Yo-Yo's. Kids young and old can't resist these classic favorites.

9. Personalized Plastic Cups

These are really practical family reunion souvenirs that serve as both keepsakes and can keep a whole family load of plastics and styrofoam out of the landfills for the ecoconscious family reunion planners.

10. Can Coolies

Last but not least, these can coolies help your attendees keep a firm grip on their drinks while retaining the chill inside. Plus they come in way under budget when you order 50 or more.

Customized Family Reunion Can Coolies

Who said family reunions have to be pricey, we've got you covered in the family reunion keepsakes and mementos category. Items 1-3 are available for customization on www.DesignAShirt.com. For items 4-10, give us a call and we'll give you a custom quote on any of these fun alternatives. 888-487-4478.

Screen Printing on Nano Tees and other Ring Spun Apparel

Hanes Nano brand was released to appeal to a fashion-forward audience. The ring spun cotton makes it ideal because of its soft nature and introduces a vintage feel reminiscent of a favorite old t-shirt. Many t-shirts that are 100% cotton or a cotton polyester blend can feel a little rougher on the skin. Cotton fibers are twisted together to make yarn and then woven into cloth. When creating ring spun yarn, the process is different in that as the yarn is being twisted, it is also continuously thinned. The diameter of the ring spun yarn will determine how strong and soft the final woven material will be. 

Ring spun yarn also makes the short fibers of the cotton stick out which introduces a challenge to screen printers known as fibrillation. These fuzzy fibers go mostly unnoticed until you try to lay ink down and the customer washes the product a few times.  Not enough ink and the result will be a furry look and quickly fading color vibrancy. Too much ink and the printed area will feel like a lightweight plastic badge. This is where experience and smart judgment calls come into place. 

When a customer chooses a product and finalizes the design, the artist and the screen printer must collaborate on what screen printing mesh size to use and the methodology of the actual print. A lot of technicalities have to be considered to achieve a great screen print including the mesh tension, proper calibration of the press, angle of the squeegee, and even speed of application. The mechanics can be further complicated by the number of colors required to complete the design. 

A delicate balance must be struck. Today’s custom t-shirt consumer demands what the Hanes Nano tee satisfies, a soft and stylish tee. And the best screen printers understand the complexities of printing on ring-spun materials and succeed in printing a long lasting and great looking design. 

We've retained many of our highly qualified screen printers for five or more years. The sharing of knowledge and ongoing education fosters a top notch crew that consistently produces exceptional screen printed apparel for our clients. Choosing the Nano tee does not mean trading comfort for a quality screen printed design and the color selection is impressive.