Skip to main content

The Fine Print: Let's talk about tees!

Organ Donor T-Shirts Save Lives

never lose hope

We first learned of someone using t-shirts to advertise for an organ donor from a story in a local newspaper. Some college age kids saw a man walking around in a Costco with a t-shirt that read, “Kidney donor needed, Type B+, Ask me how.” They were moved by this and asked the man to tell them about his story, and what happened next is amazing.

The man in need of the kidney had the t-shirts made for himself and members of his family when he had already been on the donor waiting list for a year. A post of him wearing the t-shirt with the request for a matching donor was shared on Twitter by the college kids and it has been retweeted 240,000 times at the date of this post. The collective efforts to spread awareness certainly made an impact and the gentleman has had many people reach out to see how they can help.

organ donor t-shirt template

Although the angle of wearing a t-shirt is unique, the need for organ donors is not. We at DesignAShirt were inspired by this story and being custom t-shirt printers, we want to help where we can. We will offer up to five free organ donor t-shirts for you and members of your family to bring about awareness with the hope of finding an organ donor match. Please contact our customer service reps and read more details here.

Helping to further awareness of organ donation in a broader scope is another goal we hope to achieve through organ donor t-shirt giveaways. The necessity for organ donors is something we’re all aware of but rarely do we actually look at the stats or comprehend the challenges individuals and their families face.

Kidney donations have the highest demand but at any given time there are 116,000+ people on the waiting list for organ donations in the U.S. alone. These include liver, heart, lung, pancreas, intestines as well as muscle and tissues. The demand grows steadily every year while the number of willing donors does not.

A striking number of people believe in organ donation, 95%, but only 54% of people have opted in as potential organ donors. With 20 people dying each day while awaiting a donor, it’s a sobering statistic.

Myths surrounding organ donation may be one of the culprits that prevent people who actually support the idea of being an organ donor from registering. Some of these myths include age or medical factors causing automatic exclusion. According to OrganDonor.gov, the key issue is the health of the organ.

Even for people that do register, only 3 in 1000 will actually meet all the stringent requirements and be a match for someone on the waiting list. Fortunately there is a system in place for matching patients with donors created by . They have a database where details of patients and potential donors are kept to streamline the time sensitive process when an opportunity arises.United Network for Organ Sharing

While great sadness comes from the loss of a loved one, the gift of life that comes through organ donation can mean a new era of happiness for someone else’s family.

Not all organ donation scenarios require the donor to be deceased. There is a living donation process that can save lives through kidney donation and partial lung and liver, as well as tissue donations. Some of which can either regenerate or provide the donor normal function post-operation.

If you know of someone in need of an organ donation, please share this story with them. We sincerely hope through the gift of organ donor request t-shirts we can make a profound difference and be a small part in the continuance of someone’s life story.

Should you Consider your T-shirt Printer a Business Partner?

screen printer header

You have a lot of options when it comes to finding professional t-shirt printers that can provide printing services for your custom apparel job. We understand there are lots of competitors that are able to perform the same services we do, but having the capability to produce and deliver under demanding circumstances makes the difference between offering a printing service and offering a partnership.

If you’re in promotions, event planning, or own a clothing brand, a large part of your business relies on printed apparel. Being able to depend on your printer as part of your team is a valuable asset. Creating a relationship with the right printer can have a big impact on your ability to do your job effectively and reduce worry and stress under tight deadlines.

t-shirt printing deadline

Even if you don’t depend on printed apparel as part of your job, it’s great to have a dependable resource for occasions that call for custom garments from special corporate events right down to birthday parties. And having a printer that’s been in the business for decades offers a measure of reassurance that isn’t always apparent with any old printer you find on the Internet.

We’ve tested lots of our competitors on the sly to see what kind of quality they deliver. We’ve received product and service that has caused us to be respectfully impressed. On the other hand we’ve also had experiences that left us in utter shock that any company would deliver such a poor product and user experience. It can be a crap shoot when searching for a t-shirt printer that can check off all of the boxes.

Because we have our own experience and have tested others, we’ve compiled a list of qualities you should look for when looking for a screen printer partner. We want you achieve your goals whether bulk scale and professional or for personal single t-shirt orders.

Dependability- Lots of screen printers are very dependable both large and small. However we’ve heard plenty of stories from customers that became our customers after being turned away at the last minute or money being taken and the job never delivered. Some shops are simply poorly run. They may not be able to handle large quantities or tight deadlines. Or they may not have the processes in place to run a smooth operation. While they may have a creative staff and offer a friendly smile, if they fall apart at the last minute and leave you hanging because they lose track and don’t have the skill of time management, it does little good for your needs.

Quality- When you receive a product, the garments you receive should reflect the product you agreed upon and the promise the printer made about their capabilities. A sale should never be just about getting the sale and then delivering a shoddy product to fulfill the order. If you are price conscience, you should be able to discuss the best options available for your budget and the customer service person should be able to describe the pros and cons of your options to create expectations.

Quality extends to the capability of your printer too. There are techniques that should be used that will impact the feel of your screen print. Not all prints are the same. Poor methods can make it feel like you’re wearing an uncomfortable badge on your t-shirt if an excess of ink is used to compensate for poor craftsmanship.

five star service

Attention to detail is a must as a simple piece of lint on a printer’s screen can cause the same flaw to be duplicated across your entire bulk t-shirt order.

Consistency-If you reorder the same design on t-shirts monthly, quarterly, or yearly, consistency is going to be quite important to you. While maroon just looks like maroon when you look at a shirt on its own, if you put it next to another shirt that was printed with a slight variation, it becomes very visible. Imagine trying to create uniformity in a business with staff wearing slightly different hues of your corporate colors. Consistency is executed by using precise techniques, keeping detailed records of orders, and having a system in place to recreate art, reorder product, and reprint using the same method. Expertise goes well beyond being a good record keeper though. An expert screen printer will even take the temperature of the room into consideration when printing a reorder to ensure consistency.

attention to details

Details-We’ve learned that even little details really matter. For a t-shirt printer that allows users to design and place orders online on their own, the need for clarification in some instances can’t be ignored. We don’t just accept orders at face value and leave the blame in the hands of the consumer if they didn’t spell something right or chose a color combination that won’t produce a legible print. In these cases we reach out to our customer to either ask the questions or provide helpful suggestions to ensure our customers will be thrilled with the product they receive.

More than anything else we understand how the product your receive makes you feel. We want to be part of a positive experience all the way around and make you proud that you chose to work with us over anyone else. That’s how any business maintains relationships and grows their business. We want you to feel like you have a partner in the t-shirt printing business even if you only need our services from time-to-time.

Is Your Corporate Swag On-Trend?

corporate swag header

If you offer an interesting service or product you’ve probably already experienced inquiries for your corporate swag. These kinds of fun promotional giveaways are a great way to make an emotional connection with your existing customers and make a quality impression on new customers and leads.

Many people that receive branded promotional items have a high level of recall for that company and hold a positive opinion for that business. However younger consumers have increasingly higher standards and expectations for companies they do business with. That’s why it’s more important than ever to evaluate how your brands reputation is reflected in the corporate swag you intend to giveaway for promotions.

corporate swag

While it’s true that corporate giveaways draw crowds at events and conventions, making sure your corporate swag is on trend and high quality will help build your brand identity. The core concept here is quality and how that relates to the perception of your brand. People are gravitating towards brands that are genuine and display core values that reflect their own aspirations.

To make sure your swag echoes the perception you’re trying to build you need to figure out what your customer’s value most. If you’re business is like ours, custom t-shirt printing, your customer could be literally anyone. To meet that challenge, you can look at society as a whole and the trends that are leading consumer intentions.

U.S. consumers in aggregate are looking for meaning and experience in their lives. The recession took its toll on American consumers and the volatility of the political and economic climate in the last decade has had an impact as well. People are responding to brands that have high standards. This means the corporate swag you choose needs to project these ideals.

discussing details

The demand for quality and authenticity is not restricted to gender either. Men are becoming more fashion conscience and women that usually were the purchasers are supporting this. Even if your ideal customer are primarily men, when considering a unisex option for corporate swag, don’t make the mistake of thinking any old t-shirt will do. It’s simply not true. In fact online forums dedicated to men’s fashion like Styleforum and MaleFashionAdvice have hundreds of thousands of active members seeking to learn about fashionable male clothing.

You should also put yourself in their shoes, or in this case, their t-shirt and reflect objectively how you feel about that product. Don’t approach this with a price per t-shirt mindset. Think about the cut, quality, and feel of the t-shirt. Is it something you’d feel comfortable in all day? Is it itchy, too heavy, or too thin for comfort? Does it stretch or is it stiff? Is it a t-shirt product that is currently trendy like heathered tees or triblends? Is it a brand that your customers would recognize and associate with value like Bella + Canvas or Next Level?

create a great design

Quality and value should be easy to recognize in the development of your design and messaging on the print of the t-shirt. Take time to create a design that will be appealing to your customers. This means considering how much information you will put on the t-shirts. If you do a two-sided print obviously you’ll have twice the space but it is more costly. Don’t get carried away with the self-promotion either. Adding too much to the design can detract from would otherwise be a beautifully branded tee. Do you really need all your social handles, email address, website address, phone number, and physical address on a t-shirt? Pick a few of your most important channels of contact or the channels you’re really trying to grow and leave it at that.

Will your t-shirt giveaway be useful to the recipient? People have tons of choices when it comes to apparel so when you give someone branded corporate swag, it has to be exceptional for it to be worn. In most cases there has to be some emotional connection to your brand in the first place. However, if your design is amazing and the t-shirt products you choose to have us print it on is top quality, you have the chance to have non-customers market for you.

You may have heard about the fashion phenomena sparked by the DHL logo in 2016. All of sudden it was a must have and legitimate DHL delivery men were in danger of getting rolled for their uniform. While your branded t-shirt might not reach that level of demand, trends on the runway have a trickle-down effect to the streets and corporate swag has gained a whole new spectrum of interest and desirability. That is of course, if it’s produced as high quality merchandise.

When you provide something that is useful and on trend, sentiment towards your brand is reinforced. You make a statement about your company with the swag you give. You are saying to the world that your company cares about its reputation.

Another aspect to consider is how your customer sees your company’s impact on the environment. If you choose t-shirts products that are sustainable like American Apparel’s Unisex Organic Fine Jersey Classic T-shirt or Alternative Apparel’s Organic Cotton Basic Crew you are demonstrating that your company is responsible and takes initiative to lead the way towards a sustainable future.

Marketing your company appropriately to the desired audience requires more than a last minute brainstorm for swag giveaway ideas. When you choose to promote your business with custom printed t-shirts it’s essential to consider how your company will be regarded. Precisely, if you want to be perceived as a quality company that is interested in authenticity and provides a useful service or product, make sure your corporate swag acts as an ambassador for your company.

Try these 12 Unexpected Ways to Increase your Creativity

creativity header

Everybody experiences periods where their reservoir of creativity dries up. If you’re embarking on a career as a t-shirt artist having a wealth of artistic ideas at hand is going to be very important to your career. Even those of us that are bursting at the seams with creativity need to take a moment to clarify our vision and interpret through different eyes occasionally. Here are some unexpected ways to increase your creativity and keep your artistic aesthetic fresh and flowing.

Keep a box of treasured items– Have you ever been simply drawn to some trinket, toy, or literary quote that you find meaningful? Everybody gets enamored by objects or bits of whimsy so why not collect the things that inspire you and keep them in an inspiration box? When you feel stuck, open up the box and mediate on what attracted you to the memento originally. It will bring you to a happy place and help press the reset button on your creativity.

walking alone

Walk by yourself- Exercise and solitary thought can help you refocus on the task at hand. Having to entertain someone else with conversation can be distracting. Getting out and stretching your legs while breathing in fresh air has a soothing impact while also making you feel better about yourself as you’re improving upon your health and physique.

Make a handmade item- Sure, creating t-shirt designs is making something by hand but step out of your comfort zone and create with a medium you don’t normally use. Consider a do it yourself home improvement project, a sewing project, or even arranging flowers or creating a miniature succulent garden.

gardening

Grow something- There is something to be said about gardening. Cultivating and watching something grow from seed provides a wonderful sense of accomplishment. The physical labor involved in keeping a garden also helps to clear your head and create room for artistic inspiration. Lots of inspiration can be found in the natural world too. Think about the wonder of Fibonacci sequences that exist throughout the world of botany and how that symmetry can be incorporated into design.

listen to music

Listen to meta music- You don’t have to believe in the manipulation of alpha waves to gain an appreciation for music that is orchestrated to enhance concentration and creativity. If nothing else, it can be very calming which is great when you’re stressing about a deadline. Even ambient noise recordings can help you gain focus and energy that is needed when trying to channel your creative side.

talking to friend

Run your idea by a friend- Do you have a friend that’s always opinionated? Ask them about your project and see what they have to say. Even if their input isn’t the direction you want to go just having someone else to bounce ideas off of can help to reposition your thought process.

reimagine reality

Dissect and mutate an idea- There are creative games you can play that force you to push the boundaries of what an object is supposed to look like. Imagine this. You can start with a mountain but instead of drawing peaks with snowy tops, the layer that covers the peaks has the consistency of coral, the roots of the mountain are jellyfish tendrils and the clouds are waves instead of vapor. You can play this game by mixing forms, playing with size and scale, and replacing traditional patterns and surfaces with the totally unexpected ones. Even visualizing what an emotion looks like on paper can help. Going through practices such as this help your brain to escape the narrow construct of what the world is supposed to look like.

Zentangle

Try Zentangle- This is really great, it’s doodling but on a more elevated level. There are tons of pattern examples online and just giving your mind a rest while still “creating” can help you to break out of creative rut. Sometimes just forcing yourself to create can break the ice and help you to keep going in a more concentrated direction.

Drink up- We’re not exactly advocating that you get hammered but a lunchtime beer or wine can loosen up your mind just enough to get past whatever is constricting your creative flow.

laughter

Laughter is the best medicine- Feeling good makes everything better, even your creativity. Having a good laugh increases the release of endorphins which are nature’s happy pills. Happy people typically get more done but they are also more creative. Watch a funny movie or listen to a comedian and let loose with the laughter.

daydream

Daydream- As we grow up and the pressure of everyday life looms over our heads we forget how much inspiration comes when our heads are stuck up in the clouds. Daydreaming is the font of imagination and it not only helps with creativity, it can be therapeutic as well because we allow ourselves an escape from the burdens we face. Notice colors and textures when you daydream about your happy place.

Let go of the perfectionism- This is probably one of the hardest things t-shirt artists have to face when actually designing a shirt. Perfection is taught in art school as part of the learning process, and then only later are you allowed to explore deconstruction. It can be a challenge to let go and let it flow which is an integral aspect of creativity. Leave the perfection to your t-shirt screen printer when you have your finalized design.

How to Discover Inspiration for a Killer T-shirt Brand

find your design inspiration

Fashion is a billion dollar business whether you’re are self-styled indie designer, interested in streetwear, or trying to make designs that are mainstream, ideas are bound to trickle down from the catwalks. Reimagining the familiar and reinventing retro fashion styles are themes we commonly see. But with every collection, the designer has put countless hours into study, introspection, and labor to come up with looks that are worthy to be showcased.

Even if you’re not into high fashion, ideas have to come from somewhere. There isn’t any shame in building upon the ideas of others because we all do it. As Meryl Streep’s character in the Devil Wears Prada stated, "OK, I see. You think this has nothing to do with you," she says, sounding exhausted. "You go to your closet and you select that lumpy, loose sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back, but what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue. It's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually cerulean."

She continues: "And you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns, and then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent who showed cerulean military jackets, and then cerulean quickly shot up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it filtered down through department stores, and then trickled on down onto some tragic Casual Corner where you no doubt fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs, and it's sort of comical how you think you made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff."

via GIPHY

New design ideas rarely come out of thin air. There are steps that can help organize and inspire your journey when designing t-shirts or any other type of clothing line ambitions you may have.

gathering inspiration

Start out by assessing the current atmosphere in the fashion world. This is literally paying attention to what’s on point and what’s losing its luster in design trends. How fashion is expressed nowadays has been utterly impacted by the rise and use of social media and other emerging technologies. This is how the public consumes information. When designing always keep the big picture in mind including how well your collection will translate to social media and the Internet at large. This includes imaging how it will photograph.

Look at influencers for direction, what are they wearing? Can you gain any insight from styles they are favoring? People that have a lot of followers on Instagram or YouTube can be every bit as relevant as major fashion designers when it comes to dictating trends.

Consumers have become accustomed to purchasing products immediately when something catches their eye. Would you be ready for such a demand? Do you have a custom apparel printer in place that you trust to do the job right and deliver your product on time? Are they flexible enough to offer different categories of decoration like embroidery and specialty effect inks like glitter, puff, and glow-in-the-dark?

Being on trend is not the only facet of being a fashion designer, you need to be able to add an element of the unexpected and show something new to be considered a true designer.

organize ideas for designs

Understanding your target consumer is critical to providing designs that will appeal to them. Create a persona of who this individual is. To do this you need to figure out what is important to your ideal customer, what are their values, how old are they, what are their genders, and geographical location? Are they wealthy or middle class? Are they students, mothers? Most importantly, what activities, events, or functions are they involved with. Does your clothing line fit in with that lifestyle and those destinations?

You don’t have to design with just one buyer in mind. Some designs can appeal to many segments of society.

street inspiration

Great designers immerse themselves in the subject matter of their ideas. They go where their imagined persona goes; they look for striking elements in those environments and expand upon what they see to incorporate it in their designs. Take lots of pictures for reference and use these images for inspiration. Reorganize your collection for a different perspective when you get hung up. These collections can be physical or you can organize them online on mood boards. Canva.com is a great resource for creating mood boards for free.

t-shirt line mood board

Designers gain inspiration from all sorts of avenues, it could be an author, a genre of music, a particular landscape or geography, even sciences like botany or entomology. Sometimes two different fields can be grafted together design wise to create a totally new concept. These are the building blocks of creativity.

Expecting thunder bolts of creativity to be going off constantly is not a realistic expectation. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment and frustration by having this assumption. Much of what happens in any creative field is simply working hard and being consistent with your efforts.

Many times bursts of creative thought happen when you take yourself out of the situation and pay attention to something else. Go for a walk or watch a video, play with your pets.

When you’re ready to put your design into production, connect with us to discuss options for printing your clothing line or t-shirt brand. We’ve worked with high-end clothing lines that have high expectations for their screen printer and their retail ready product. After all, it’s what you’ve worked so hard for. Why not partner with professionals that have an equal respect for your brand’s reputation and an appreciation for your design aesthetic?