Here’s How To Come Up With T-Shirt Slogans That Kick Ass!

The world is absolutely full of slogans. Customers are addicted to them and clever marketers use them to dominate their industries.

Although trends come and go, slogan t-shirts as a whole have been around for as long as many of us can remember. And there’s no sign of them dying out anytime soon, people are always going to want to express themselves with their clothing. Get this right and not only will people want to buy your t-shirts, they will proudly wear them as free advertising, double win!

So what’s the secret to crafting a winning slogan that flies off the shelves? What’s the difference between a weak boring slogan and a cool, funny or catchy one? We’re going back to the basics so you can formulate your own killer t-shirt slogan to suit your brand.

What Exactly is a Slogan?


Let’s start with the dictionary definition:





a short and striking or memorable phrase.

If ever there was a formula for a money-making slogan, this is it. Short, catches your attention and stays in your mind.

The best slogans can be funny, witty, raise awareness, or express individuality or a belonging to a specific group. Slogans are often centered around key events, topics or interests such as:

  • Birthdays, parties, celebrations
  • Events, gathering, clubs
  • Interests, hobbies, fan clubs, movies
  • Charities
  • Celebrities
  • Humour across all spectrums, from light-hearted to dark and twisted

Coming Up With Winning T-Shirt Slogans That Will Sell Like Hot Cakes


Now no-one ever said this would be easy. In fact, such a simple thing can feel pretty difficult. There’s a very hit or miss nature of slogans which means you could be one word away from a dud or a goldmine! Here’s how to put yourself into the best frame of mind to create a wicked t-shirt slogan.

1. Research & Know Your Market

The key to creating an awesome slogan is creating an emotional connection with the wearer. You need to understand their wants/needs/desires and the reason for buying a t-shirt like this. You can’t fly in blindly and fluke it, you’ve got to understand their interests and align your slogan with them.

It’s something that’s almost impossible to pull off if you have no interest in the subject or target audience yourself. So try starting with something you or your friends would be interested in. If you are the target audience you’ll be in a much better position to relate and understand them. To find the inspiration you’ve got to be enthusiastic yourself, otherwise, you’ll be taking shots in the dark.

It’s essential to identify and align yourself with a cause, interest, group or demographic of some kind. Make sure you know your audience well!

2. Brainstorm & Get Creative Juices Flowing

Once you have initial ideas of subjects or a target audience you’re trying to attract, it’s time to get the juices flowing. Get brainstorming by searching the internet, Facebook groups, forums and merchandise stores. You can use slogan generators to start you off, but don’t expect to find the million dollar slogan here (but who knows!).

Look for something that really resonates, then start refining these ideas into your own. By the end of this stage, you should have a list of potential slogans.

3. Get Feedback From Your Target Audience

It’s essential that you test the waters with your slogans to see if you’re on the right wavelength as your audience. You may even consider running a small private poll, or ask people within your target audience for feedback. You’ll very quickly know what works and what doesn’t!

Follow These 8 Top Tips For an Attractive T-Shirt Slogan

To get you well on the way to creating a catchy slogan, here are 8 top tips for you to follow:

1. Don’t Try Too Hard, Just Be Cool

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If you can make your customers feel cool by wearing and owning your t-shirts, you’ll hit a goldmine. Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact formula to be “cool”, otherwise, it would be a license to print money!

2. Know the Trends, Surf Them!


If you ride on the wave of the moment and what’s trending, you can catapult yourself to success in no time. Get this right and you can leverage something that’s already blowing up.

Look at what’s trending, current events, sports, social conventions, popular so you can catch the wave.

3. Clever Mash-Up Parodies


Want to double or triple the market for your slogan t-shirts? Why not create a clever mash-up parody or cross-over? This way you can create something unique while attracting a wider variety of people.

4. Leverage Influencers & Celebrities


Another way to hack your way to the top selling t-shirt, celebrity (or micro-celebrity) endorsements. Anyone that stands as an authoritative figure in your target audience’s niche could power your traffic and sales for months!

5. Try Keeping it Short & Sweet



Remember, our attention spans are getting increasingly short in this day and age. Long slogans, no matter how clever or funny they are, are likely to get glazed over. If you really want to go for a longer slogan, make sure it’s easy to scan and make the keywords stand out.

On the whole, popular slogans targeting women tend to be shorter and snappier. Whereas men’s slogan t-shirts are often a little longer, more complex or geeky.

6. Bring People Together


If you can create a feeling of togetherness or unity you’ll be on to a winner. Sometimes people want to loudly and proudly display their beliefs, interests or opinions. Whereas others might get a kick out of being part of an exclusive club.

7. Consider Using Graphics

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Just because your making a slogan t-shirt doesn’t mean you can’t consider enhancing it with an illustration. If plain and simple won’t cut it, try experimenting with pictograms.

8. Create a Strong Emotional Reaction

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People often wear these slogan t-shirts to spark a reaction, so why not crank it up a notch? Humour is the biggest seller, raising smiles and sometimes combined with a little shock!

Just remember not to go too overboard. No matter how tempting it may be, try and stay on the right side of political correctness. 

How to Protect Your Slogan With a Trademark

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Let’s just say you happen to discover a slogan that’s going to change the face of the t-shirt market this year. You’ll be damned if others start to cash in on it too. If you’ve gone unique, bleed your heart and soul into your brand, then you should protect it as such.

If you’re selling in the UK or EU, you should send your application the IPO

If you’re selling in the US markets, head to the USPTO

The process is as follows:

  1. Once you’ve handled the online forms and payments, your application must be cleared by the official representatives.
  2. If it’s within the guidelines you will move to a consultation stage, where others can object if it encroaches upon their intellectual property
  3. After any objects and appeals have been resolved, you can then receive your Trademark – the slogan is yours and yours alone
  4. You’ll receive a load of spam letters from random Eastern European countries asking for phony registration fees. You can ignore all of these!

Did this article get your creative juices following? We’d love to hear about your personal experiences with t-shirt slogans. Please comment below and let us know!

How to Choose the Right T-Shirt Printing Company – The Checklist

One of the most important things to consider when looking to find a way to make your wardrobe more personalized is the amount of competition that can be found in online fashion. This can be a good thing, however; with higher competition comes plenty of printing businesses who can fulfill any of your needs, be them promotional in nature, clothing for work, or even launch your own clothing store.

However, the downside to such a large amount of options is struggling to separate the “good” printers from the “bad”. That’s why we’re going to briefly discuss things to look for when shopping around for your printing needs.

1. Support/Customer Service

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Anyone who has had to call a support line knows how important customer service is. Unfortunately, good customer service is difficult to come by today, as companies seem to just no longer care. Many customer service lines simply don’t uphold the “customer is right” attitude any longer. And while this may not always be the case, it helps to associate yourself with companies who still make customer service a priority.

So how can you tell if a company has good customer service? It goes back to what sort of values they operate with. Things to ask is:

  • Do they effectively communicate well, or do they make a bad situation worse from not conveying their message clearly?
  • Are they attentive to details, or do they only offer general vague fixes?
  • Do they offer creative solutions, or rigidly stick to a prompt?
  • Are they upfront and honest, or do they fall back on excuses?

Customer service should go beyond the basic, but there is a fine line. Although the customer should leave feeling satisfied with the solution presented to them, it can’t come at the expensive of reducing the company’s level of overall quality.

2. Communication

Communication shouldn’t just apply to customer service, however. The cornerstone for any group, team, or company should be effective communication. This means more than just people talking, however; communication means being able to listen intently and offering an empathetic ear. This should be seen not just from the company’s employees to the customer, but from management to the rest of the organization as well.

For example, a good leader will keep a good attitude up, not just for themselves, but in an attempt to have everyone remain working in good spirits. You should never feel like you’re working harder than your boss, and it should be apparent that they are matching the level of work everyone else is doing.

They should be as understanding as possible, but without falling into the “yes man” trap so many do. This includes being able to listen to ideas objectively without comparing them to their own ideas. Finally, they should be able to respond to any question that anyone has, just as they would expect of you.

3. Attention to Detail

When someone gives you their full attention, you know that they are being earnest. Typically, however, having a strong attention to detail isn’t so much a skill that you can learn, but is usually simply something that you’re born with. And when a printing company actively is pursuing your business, they will make you feel like you’re the only one who matters.

4. Taking Creative Steps

Creative actions should extend well beyond the design room. Creativity is more than finding colors that play nicely together; solving customer problems sometimes requires a little “outside the box” thinking as well. The difference between a good company and a great one is having a support team that is willing to try something a little more unorthodox than their original course of action.

5. Experienced Team

Experience is another thing that can’t be faked. The more experienced a company is, the better chance they have at solving most, if not all, of your needs. The best way to gauge a company’s experience is to look over any sort of portfolio they may have built up. Customer testimonials are important, as are any testimonials you can find from their employees, past or present.

6. Portfolios

While it’s easy to get caught up in what they can do, a portfolio that displays projects similar to your own is what you should be seeking. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t be able to accomplish your job if they don’t; it just merely helps reassure you that they have the right mix of skills to pull it off. It should also be noted how closely the projects of their past customers correlate to yours to better gauge whether or not you’re talking to the right company.

7. The Right Shirt Printing

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Once you’ve found a company you’re getting serious about using, it’s time to look at two main options most people find themselves in; one, the printing company has an impressive portfolio with a few shirts, but striking designs, or the two, it’s a much larger portfolio full of more subdued work, covering a variety of different printing jobs. Preferably, the company you choose will have a portfolio somewhere in the middle, demonstrating that they can achieve great results with anything you throw at them.

8. Customer Testimonials: Can You Trust Them?

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Although testimonials should be reviewed during the process, just read them with a grain of salt. It’s become trendy for many companies to use partial testimonials with statements taken out of context. Or, worse yet, the testimonial is completely fake. One thing to look for is specific remarks; if they all read “great service!” without any deeper details, it could be a warning that it isn’t a sincere testimonial.

9. Ask for Proof

Any serious company will be ready and willing to answer any question, and back it up with as much information as they can show you. This should include offering ways to contact a past customer to see firsthand what they truly thought of their service.

10. Knowledge is Power

An experienced company doesn’t just achieve good results, but they have created a certain insider knowledge about how their industry operates. This should mean that they know who their top competitors are, and how they can outpace them. They need to be able to tell you not just how they’re the best choice, but why.

11. They Don’t Oversell Themselves

While in the moment it may be nice to be told that they can solve all of your problems, in actuality it’s better if they set the bar for more reasonable expectations. If there is an aspect that they may not be able to do as well, they should be upfront about it as well as what they do succeed at. Owning their limitations ties back into being an honest agency.

12. Ready to Help

Part of what helps build a professional relationship is their readiness to help you with their design. This should include specific guidelines that they print with, some form of image database, or even consulting. They know their printing techniques better than anyone and should be able to help set you up for success.

13. Quality, Not Quantity

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It’s easy to initially become carried away with ordering shirts, and it doesn’t help if they are unable or unwilling to make small batch orders, although this may be a limitation of the type of printing that they do. For example, due to printing costs, it’s typical that a screen printing company will take a minimum order of 25 shirts; anything less, and they lose money on the order. It’s best to figure out whether or not they’re right for your budget as well as your printing needs.

14. Jack of all Trades

A top printing agency won’t just use one type of printing, but multiple printing types. This way it won’t matter what your design is; they’ll still have a way to assist you. It’s also helpful if they offer other services as well, such as CAD, embroidery, transfer printing, direct to garment, and even newer printing types. This way, you can trust that you’re always in good hands and won’t need to waste time finding a secondary company.

15. Professional and Promotional

The obvious need is an agency that can print your designs, but what about the easy stuff? They should be able to handle your promotional items and allow for growth by offering different types of clothing like shirts of different sleeve lengths, hats, vests, even purses and handbags. They should also be able to guide you towards what types of clothing and colors get the best results when they print on them.

16. Faithful Samples

It’s understandable that a real print job isn’t going to look completely identical to the design. However, they should be able to get as close as physically possible. It isn’t enough to hear them say that they can, though. They need to be able to show you. They should also be prepared to give you a visual sample before producing each and every order to ensure that you’re satisfied with the end result.

17. Convenient Delivery

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You shouldn’t have to wait for weeks on end to get your order. If they quote you 3-5 business days, but you don’t see it for almost a month, they aren’t worth your time. They should offer convenient standard and express shipping options.

18. Will They Take it Back?

While no one loves taking an order back, it’s pretty fishy when an agency doesn’t offer a return policy. If they won’t take it back, it probably means they know it’s not a great finished product.

19. More Than Printing

If the only thing that they offer is printing services, you may not be getting your money’s worth out of them. In fact, you shouldn’t think of them as a service, but rather, as someone you’re building a business relationship with. If they constantly act aloof and offer nothing above what you’re paying them, it’s probably time to keep looking.

20.Dedicated Marketing Department

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Sales are only one piece of the puzzle. If they utilize a dedicated marketing team or even a separate marketing firm, it means that they’re in business for the long haul. When they’re serious about marketing themselves, it means they are a truly professional company and not just a simple printing business.


It may be difficult, and even time consuming, to find a company that hits all of these marks, but at the end of the day, aren’t you worth it? If you want the best printing possible, you have to find someone who puts your designs front and center.

Need some suggestions on where to start looking? Here’s some of the most popular t-shirt printing companies, in no particular order:

Design A Shirt







16 Awesomely Creative T-Shirt Marketing Campaigns To Learn From

While most of the times shirts have little to no message at all, other shirts become iconic marketing campaigns. In the 1980s Frankie was telling everyone to “relax”, while it’s hard to go a day without someone displaying how much that they “Love NY”. It’s interesting to note that out of all the clothing and accessories out there, the simple t-shirt is the item that makes a lasting impression.

From the birth of new pop culture sayings and memes to making hard political stances, printed tee shirts can make your message a reality. Effective, inexpensive, and versatile, printed shirts have some of the most successful ad campaigns, and some even span decades.

Why do so many people use shirts for their promotional needs? Because with just a small budget, shirts offer so many benefits, including:

  • Economies of Scale in Bulk Orders
  • Versatility
  • Easy Customization Options
  • Relatively Fast Production Times
  • Simple to Implement
  • Well Established as a Marketing Tool
  • Usually Outlasts the Brand Campaign
  • Wide-Reaching Appeal
  • Simple ROI Analysis

Start with a Creative Idea

Because shirts are so easy and cost effective to produce, it’s easy to see the same message made by dozens of different designers. For every one unique campaign message there are numerous “Keep Calm and Carry On” variations, or rip offs of “I <3 NY” for whichever city they’re being sold in. Adding to these messages simply becomes white noise; if you want your message to have an impact, it has to be stand out. Creative ideas don’t have to be difficult, either; at minimum, the best shirt designs take a playful or unique look at the brand’s logo and use the shirt as their personal blank canvas.

That said, there’s a lot to be learned from the more successful marketing shirts.

Reversible Shirts

No, these aren’t the ones you buy to avoid washing them. This simple, yet effective, design features a drawn face of some kind so that when the wearer pulls the shirt up over their face, it’s almost like a mask. This was first introduced for the 201 World Cup, but has been used across the Internet for many different types of shirts.

Measuring Body Sweat

One of the more unique offerings in the world of athletic wear are shirts that are said to “measure” how much of a workout you’ve had based on the amount of sweat that forms on the shirt. Many attribute the first of these designs to GLP Advertising and Design for a marketing campaign to promote a personal trainer service in Toronto and has spurred many copycats.

Make a Motion Picture Shirt

No, not a shirt promoting a movie; a shirt that is the movie. Just a few years ago in 2013, soda giant Coca-Cola sent out hundreds of shirts all around the world to their most loyal fans, employees, and others. They didn’t just pass out free shirts – when you have Coca-Cola money, you include a piece of special software.

Each of the 600 recipients made a short video that lasted a little more than a minute, which was edited together to make one big marketing movie. And while not everyone has this kind of budget, you could make a similar attempt with Instagram or even Snapchat.

International Awareness

While the campaign wound up becoming a flop and the creator of the movement subsequently arrested, there’s no denying the fifteen minutes of fame/infamy that surrounded the viral Kony 2012 message. This documentary was produced by the nonprofit group Invisible Children, which hoped to raise awareness about child soldiers throughout the world. And although the video went viral at the time, most people only remember the message “Kony 2012”.

The group did succeed in having the dictator arrested, and the movement did build enough attention that the US did take some action in the region. However, the controversy surrounding merchandise sales and the film’s director wound up hurting more than helping. Still, from a marketing perspective alone, it’s hard to deny the level of attention such a simple integrated message formed.

I <3 New York


Even if you’ve never been to NYC, chances are you’ve seen someone wearing the original shirt design or some variation thereof. And while this might be the most iconic shirt campaign in marketing history, very few know about its origins. The shirt is more than a catchy design to be sold in tourist gift shops; believe it or not, it was made spearheaded by the New York State Department of Commerce in an effort to rebuild the local tourism industry.

The design itself came from Wells Rich Green and Milton Glaser, who didn’t even charge for the design, thinking it would be a flash in the pan. Today, the message is still going strong, lasting well over 40 years.

Band Shirts


While diehard music fanatics quickly become enraged by those wearing shirts representing bands they’ve never even heard of, there’s no denying how cool classic bands featured on shirts are. And among all of the more famous classic rockers, this trend is largely attributed to none other than the Ramones.

The iconic punk group used a reimagining of the classic United States Presidential Shield logo, unaware that it would become their defining logo. In fact, despite the band not having any more surviving members, the shirt design continues to sell, and helped kick off the trend of other bands trying to find similar merchandise success.

Cancer Awareness

Even important messages as raising cancer awareness can benefit from a strong t-shirt campaign. Marc Jacobs helped launch this celebrity-driven campaign to “Protect the Skin You’re In” and “Protect Your Largest Organ”. Despite much of the campaign featuring nude shoots, the accompanying shirts helped grab a large amount of media attention.

Cross Promotion and New Audiences

The UK doesn’t seem as fond as guzzling artificial energy drinks as their American counterparts are. However, in conjunction with the UK premier of the movie Entourage, Rockstar Energy Drink seized the moment with just a simple logo shirt. They didn’t have to take any especially creative steps; simply show up. By using the large crowd already gathered for the movie, they were able to directly market to a group that they otherwise wouldn’t have had an in with.

Surprising Success

When the Hard Rock Café chain of restaurants first entered the scene in the early ‘70s, no one knew that they would find such a huge following with their brand. In fact, their shirts, among other memorabilia, have become collector’s items. In fact, it may be these very printed shirts and other knickknacks that have helped spur the company to the success it has today. In addition to its iconic logo, the shirts receive a location-specific branding no matter where the local store and eatery is found.

Bottled Water and Babies


For whatever reason, using babies in marketing seems like an odd choice, and yet, campaigns that use them see at the very least a moderate amount of success. Evian originally launched their “Live Young” campaign back in 1998, but it has seen different iterations. The most recent version, lead by supermodel Gigi Hadid, featured tee shirts with stylized babies performing activities such as dancing, skating, surfing, and others. This is meant to represent everyone’s “inner child”, and it obviously resonated with many.

Female Empowerment in Sports

As Under Armour continued to find increased popularity, it did the wise thing and launched a celebrity campaign. And while the obvious choice would have been to use famous NFL players, the company took a different approach that struck a chord. The “I Will What I Want” launched in New York City and featured the empowering stories of five female celebrities, one of which being the well-known supermodel Giselle Bündchen, and how they overcame adversity to find success.

Feminism and Advertising

Many products designed for female use only seem to have an all-male driven marketing team. As a result, the brand message is usually nothing short of missing the mark. To counteract this trend, feminine hygiene brand Always launched #LikeAGirl, a campaign that went after stereotypes surrounding women. This isn’t the first time a company has attempted a marketing campaign like this, but it did feel like one of the more honest and sincere ones in recent history.

Launching a Movie with a Meme

Memes are perfect for gaining a lot of viral attention fast, making it an ideal choice for advertising a movie. Universal Pictures and headphone partners Beats advertised the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton by releasing many materials with the “Straight outta” line and filling it in with a number of different locations. This helped inspire a brief online trend, both comedic in nature as well as allowing others to tell their own stories.

Unity Through Shirts

While the idea of earth being a single republic has been featured in a number of sci-fi books, movies, and shows, the idea has been seeing a revival now that the U.S. and other countries have a renewed interest in space exploration. Currently, an astronaut usually takes with them a flag of the nation that they are from, while this campaign wants the entire planet represented as one.

Using Established Hashtags


The #NoFilter tag has been used for a long time on social media, especially Instagram, to celebrate natural beauty without using the plethora of picture filters available. However, this tag can do more than offer up a #HumbleBrag by bringing awareness to those without clean drinking water around the world. By having users submit a #NoFilter image for the campaign, the organization was able to bring much needed awareness with ease.


Because shirts offer such versatility, as well as low production costs and ease of creation, they can be invaluable for a strong marketing campaign. This is especially true if the shirts themselves don’t compromise quality, balancing awareness and functionality. In fact, years after the campaign has ended these shirts can continue to find awareness for their cause as long as they remain wearable.

Even if a campaign has been done before, there’s no reason an organization can’t relaunch it. And when that happens, it helps bring awareness with both the new and old shirts. And as was the case with Coca-Cola, despite a huge price tag, it was little more than an expensive flipbook; ideas don’t have to be difficult, just engaging. And that’s why the simple t-shirt will always be the preferred method of marketing; it’s simple, yet creative, and fun for everyone involved.



A Lesson in Color – Best Color Combinations For T-Shirts

Whether or not you are going to be designing your t-shirts yourself, buffing up your artistic theory can go a long way. Those who know how to successfully apply color theory will take designs FAR beyond the usual expectations.

Thankfully, there’s no need to go back to school to major in Art! Almost anyone can get to grips with color combinations to create highly attractive designs. You’ll be amazed something as simple as changing the hues or combining certain colors can transform your t-shirts.

What’s more, this is an awesome way to out do your competition, and the buyers WILL notice. Now, class is in session!

Key Types of Color Combination

The Basic Color Wheel


Whether you’re aware of them or not, there are several types of well-known color wheels that artists utilize. In fact, even without color training, you probably know of at least one color wheel. Red and blues, for instance, are commonly featured on a color wheel together to form different shades of purples, oranges, and other color combinations. But this same basic principle goes far behind red and blue.

Monochrome Colors


Monochromatic colors combine different shades of white and black, as well as other dark colors. While many would see gray as a boring color, look at the difference between brighter grays and almost black darker ones. Even without bright colors, a designer can get creative with these shades.

Complimentary Colors


They say that opposites attract, and nowhere is that more obvious than with complimentary colors. Experiment by using clashing colors, it will become obvious which colors can’t play nice, and which ones do. Find two primary colors you like and match them together with different shades.

Split-complimentary Colors


By focusing on one specific hue of color and utilizing the colors on either side of it, it can create a palette that’s safer and more user-friendly. These colors already exist close to one another, eliminating most of the clashing characteristics of complimentary wheels. Because they are neighbors, these color wheels typically take the shape of a triangle or pyramid.

Double Complementary Colors


If you’re looking to double down on your color choices, then how about double complementary colors?  This takes the form of a rectangle, and uses two different hues instead of one. This leads to even more choices, as well as helps see how the different colors act as a whole.

Analogous Colors


When adjacent colors are needed but you don’t necessarily need more options, then analogous combinations are helpful. One core color is chosen, with the other being adjacent to it. While this may be similar to monochromatic color wheels, but these types go beyond light and dark or black and white.

Triad Colors


When the attitude is the more the merrier, consider using a triad color wheel. In this case, three primary hues are used, giving far more combinations to experiment with.

Combining Colors Effectively

The good news is that if you wind up going too avant-garde it isn’t the end of the world. In fact, some people deliberately utilize colors that don’t work together to intentionally so that they invoke feels of unrest, or to be provocative.

One the other hand, even the most intentional use (or abuse) of colors can fall flat. If people can’t stomach the way some colors come together, they probably aren’t going to pay to have them on their person. There’s always a fine line between making a statement and not making the sort of sales that you would need. But follow these best practices and you won’t go far wrong!

1. Have One Color Shine Through

Although finding the craziest colors possible makes for a fun afternoon art project, it doesn’t help when designing a profitable shirt. No matter how creative you plan on going, focusing on one core color to work around. In this way, your colors can show support towards one another, and at least some form of cohesion can come through. This is simpler than trying to develop an entire palette, saving you time in the process.

2. Stick With Four Colors

Other designers try to add as many colors as possible. However, more isn’t always best. Some shoppers simply don’t like seeing that many colors at once, while others are concerned about the ease of washing it later on. No matter what the reason, it’s a good idea to limit your selection to fewer than about four different colors. Utilizing white and black is also an option, as some don’t consider them colors so much as an abundance of or absence of color. This allows up to six different hues to mix and match, giving plenty of combinations that are printing-friendly.

3. Leverage Online Palette Tools


Sometimes, time is a factor when it comes developing a color palette, and that is time better spent on the business matters that make money. One way to do this is to utilize online tools which can speed up the process. Some tools, such as Adobe Color CC not only helps make a color palette but also includes other composition matches, as well as those created by others in the easy-to-use library.

4. Draw Inspiration From Photographs

Other tools can utilize photographs to craft a color palette for you, enabling you to find cohesive groups of colors that work well together. This is perfect for trying to tap into a certain emotion or childhood memory. Most tools also allow for a user to do this manually, allowing only certain colors from the image to be used.

Colors and Styles

Once you’ve mastered a few different color palettes, it’s easy to start developing certain color styles. Doing this opens many doors, allowing you dive further into colors and seeing how different themes come about. The same process is at play here, by beginning with a base color and seeing how they invoke certain feelings or images.


This is especially useful when developing costumes; for instance, to invoke a more vintage style, more pastel-based colors are used and given little to no saturation, giving it a softer look and feel.


To go for a more timeless style, neutral monochromatic colors like whites, blacks, and beiges can create a sense of a sepia town. Darker earth-based tones may also work, although it runs the risk of looking like camouflage.


If you like a Victorian-style but want something a little more modern and whimsical, going the Steampunk route is a great choice. This style uses metallic colors, specifically coppers, and balances it with deeper hues such as darker reds, blues, and yellows. It should be noted, however, that colors achieving a Steampunk motif are never brighter than the metals used, moving them to the background.


If you’re working with a more fantastical palette, like trying to work with a comic book or superheroes as inspiration, anything can look like a superhero costume as long as it’s bold. For instance, many superheroes in comic books have costumes that use bright reds, blues, and yellows, while darker colors like black are used as outlines and for contrasts. In this way, even if you don’t have a particular hero in mind, you can still play to the theme.

Finally, the last of the more popular themes regarding an older palette is the university look. This doesn’t mean airbrushed shirts for your favorite football team, but rather, with more subdued hues of darker colors, like gold and crimson, they can look like an official school shirt. And once you find fonts and typefaces that look like the ones a school would use, you’re in business.

Lucrative Revenue Stream- Selling Promotional T-Shirts

Promotional shirts are as popular as ever! From clever guerilla marketing tactics to business team building days, they are still a marketing weapon to be reckoned with.

For us t-shirt selling hustlers, this presents us with a incredible opportunity to generate additional revenue, recognition and brand exposure. If you can get in with the right companies and supply them with awesome promotional t-shirts, you’ll be laughing.

Working with company names and logos may be tricky, but it isn’t impossible. Whether you need to include a team or group name, a corporate image, or other moderately complex designs, there are some best practices to follow for your promotion design needs.

10 Best Practices for Creating Kick-ass Promotional T-Shirts

1. Mindset Shift: Think Promotion, Not Fashion


While the printing process remains the same, it’s important to remember from the design side that these shirts are for promotional use, not so make a fashion statement. This may not be the most exciting set of shirts ever made, but at the end of the day, it needs to get a message across. Your job is to ensure that it effectively markets the brand without going over the top with distracting design choices.

Before working with the client’s order, it’s best to discuss which designs they would like. Sometimes companies don’t know any better and want loud, busy designs; others simply want a cheap white shirt with their logo on the chest. But by nailing them down for specific design choices now, you can avoid having to redo the shirts later.

By coming to an agreement regarding styles, colors, and images you can help them out by removing most of the guesswork. Companies always think they want an artistic and edgy design until they see the end result. It may hurt creatively to keep the design so simple, but in the end the customer is always right.

2. Mindset Shift: Working with Your Client, Not For Them


Understanding the client’s needs goes beyond shirt colors and styles. By getting a complete picture as to what sort of promotion they are looking to achieve, you can develop a better overall plan to create their shirt. By knowing the specific target audience, what they’re looking to achieve from others wearing it, and why they’re holding the promotion in the first place, you can better develop a design that will solve all of their needs.

Another factor to consider is what sort of turnaround they are expecting. Obviously, more complicated designs are going to take longer, but that doesn’t mean that they understand the printing process. Explain to them what sort of timetable you would require for each type of design and they should be more understanding. If time is a more valuable factor for them, try to sketch out a scaled down version of their design and find some middle ground.

Finally, as anyone who has ever worked with a corporate client will tell you, what they want and what is physically possible are usually two separate things. Advise them on what you are able to do with their time restraints and budget, as well as things that are simply impossible to do under the circumstances. Ask them if they’re basing their decisions off of existing designs, and if so, ask them to show you so can help them understand the project from your side.

If possible, once they’ve shown you what they would like, try and sketch out some rough ideas on the spot. This way they can better guide you towards the finished project they are expecting, and they can have a more concrete idea of what is and isn’t possible.

3. Handle Creativity With Care


In some cases, your promotional customer will give you carte blanch in terms of creativity, and other times they want nothing more than what they’ve given you. Ask up front about creative restraints, because more often than not they haven’t even considered that as an option. The last thing you want is to completely redo a shirt, all because a simple question went unasked.

If you have what you believe to be a winning idea but they don’t want to budge off of their bland design, try making one of each, if possible. While it is double work, it can really help you pursue a long-lasting client relationship, as well as give you an opportunity to show off your skills. And since you still have the design that they want front and center, you won’t have to start all over again. Just be sure that they understand that they are in full control of the design choice and that you merely are offering the more artistic design as an option.

4. Work With Their Fonts


While by now you’re probably already familiar with which fonts you can print with, as well as which ones are easier to work with than others, some company reps are just married to certain fonts. One of the best things you can do to make the relationship work is to go over which fonts you can and cannot work with, especially with the constraints that their job has.

Other clients are going to be completely oblivious to different fonts. If they give you the green light to use whichever ones are easiest, take them up on it; just be sure to show them first. The last thing any corporate client will want is a shirt covered in Comic Sans.

If their company utilizes a custom font, make sure they have enough materials that you can work with. It may seem tedious, but if they have a specific typeface they will immediately know the difference between it and simply “close enough”. Also, now is a good time to let them know if working with their typeface is going to be too expensive or not. While this may be a deal breaker, most will value the heads up and will be willing to work with you.

5. Adopt Their Color Palette


Another sticking point is which colors that they require, as well as ones that they absolutely will not allow. The good news is many corporate logos use the same color palettes as other logos, while other logos will be more complex. The other problem is that some clients are too vague with their preferred color palette, simply referring to colors by their vaguest names; other clients may have complicated colors and Pantone codes, which may be difficult to obtain.

This stage is crucial for both sides to understand each other. Chances are, no matter how specific or vague their color needs are, some compromises will need to be made. If you’re able to, show them how certain colors look when printed, and try to push them towards colors you can print with.

Sometimes they want you to create a palette for them. Although at first it may seem like you have free range, chances are they still have certain colors that they would prefer you to use. When choosing colors for a client, it’s important to understand what those colors represent, how they work together in the printing process, and how close/opposite they are to their logo.

6. Don’t Mess With Their Logos


Speaking of logos, it’s important to keep in mind how to work with a company’s logo. This isn’t just another image; this is what defines and represents their company as a whole. No matter how much creative leeway you may have, the logo is more likely than not off limits. When working with someone else’s logo, the colors, sizing, and placement needs to be discussed before it goes to printing.

7. Keep Graphics & Illustrations Simple


Chances are you’ll be able to use some degree of pictures or illustrations in addition to the logos that they provide. But the true mark of a professional will go deeper than treating it as clipart. By understanding any and all representations or meanings behind these graphics, you can avoid any accidental gaffes later on. As long as an image can play nice with their brand, it shouldn’t be an issue.

There are many examples of well-known multinational corporations utilizing promotional tee shirt designs for specialized marketing needs. But most of the time these companies want simple illustrations used so that it doesn’t distract from the company’s logo. It’s best to balance eye-catching designs and simplicity to easily make a win-win situation.

8. Ensure Proper Image Formatting

Even the world’s best design is rendered useless if it’s incompatible with the client’s preferred printing tactics. This is another reason to keep images simple; when a big name company orders shirts, the last thing they want to hear is that their order was too complex. Honesty is always the best policy, even if you have to tell them that what they want and what you can do are two separate things.

This doesn’t just pertain to images, either. If your client wants a specific type of printing technique and you aren’t well-versed enough in it, let them know up front. They may opt to go with a different printer because of this, but they will appreciate you forewarning them. If you can explain why you avoid that type of printing, simply explain your reasons why – they may just rely on your judgment and expertise.

9. Lock Down Your Printing Process

Once your initial designs have been approved, it’s time to get to work! Just be sure that you have everything you need to complete it properly; the more items you can be sure of now, the fewer issues you’ll run into later. This includes colors, proper printing formats, font types, and images and ensuring that they are all compatible with your process.

Any shirt design printer will rely on CMYK printing formats, but the client’s design is looking for an RBG format. Sometimes your CMYK printer can tackle it without issue, and other times it’s a complete mess. The first step is to make sure you have the correct Pantone codes, and that the images used will take with both the color palette and printer.

The best way to head off printing issues at the pass is to provide the client with previous works in different printing techniques. His way they can physically see the difference, and not just try to understand what you are telling them.

Another area everyone forgets at one point or another is simple mistakes utilizing fonts. Fonts always need to be converted to outlines, but it’s easy to forget this step. This is especially true as you aren’t completely handling the design, but utilizing fonts and images already created.

Finally, watch the design file types. Sometimes you need it saved as a PDF, and other times other formats are better. If you aren’t quite sure which is best for your specific situation, utilizing PDF is generally pretty safe, so long as it’s a high-quality sample. Anything less and the design risks coming out blurry.

10. Create and Supply Samples

Chances are if you’re crafting a promotional shirt for someone, it’s a pretty major client. The last thing you need is a surprise. One of the best things you can do is to order a sample run; this way you can know exactly how the batch will turn out. Most printing companies will be more than happy to ship a sample, knowing that it’s in their best interest because of the larger order that will be placed later on.

Design Inspiration


If your client is willing, you can take your simple shirt design and transform it into a powerful eye-catching shirt. From utilizing colorful, cute corporate mascots in a fun design or even going for unique optical illusions, there is a lot of room to play with simple designs that are still effective. For instance, shipping companies such as FedEx have used simple designs that make it seem as if someone is holding one of their packages against their side.


Companies such as Marshall Music have used hyper-realistic images to create the illusions that are specific to their industry. This includes headphones, microphones, musical instruments, and others.


These Apple promotional t-shirts are a great example of harnessing nostalgic power to market their brand. By using a company’s original logo and font, they can created a limited-run promotional shirt design that captures a retro spirit. If there’s a rich history behind your client’s brand or business, this could be an interesting avenue to explore.


Other companies have partnered with sports teams and other organizations, utilizing a cross between their own logos, colors, and fonts and crafting sports jerseys, hats, and other memorabilia. Not only is this an easy fit, but one that can be sold in many different regions and locations.

Tying it All Together

When creating promotional shirts, it’s important to make sure all the separate details tie together and flow as one. Ensure the brand takes center stage and staying within the lines of what the company gave you to work with. If you plan on going off the menu creatively, remember to keep it professional and in line with their brand.

Before sending the design off to print, make sure you have everything squared away, including color codes and CMYK compatibility, proper font types that are outlined, and the right file type for your design. By ensuring all of these items now, you can reduce the risk of issues and have your shirt designed as efficiently as possible.

Now get out their and start generating an additional revenue stream by making kickass promotional t-shirts!

Launch an Irresistible T-Shirt Selling Brand in 6 Simple Steps

In the beginning, we know we want to launch their own t-shirt business, but it’s easy to become overwhelmed with everything that needs to happen to make that dream a reality.

What a lot of new brand designers don’t understand is that it’s okay to start out small. In fact, online indie shirt brands are king, and they’re some of the easiest businesses to start right now. Although it’s going to take time, work, money, and other resources, it isn’t nearly as impossible to launch a brand as it may seem at first.

To those who find the idea of building a t-shirt or apparel brand too momentous, try breaking it down into these 6 actionable stages:

1. Start with a VISION (Not Just an Idea)


While it’s understandable that you may think that your brand’s driving idea is selling tee shirt designs, that isn’t a specific enough idea. Many people sell shirts online, and trying to leap off of that thought is only going to become white noise lost among everyone else. You have to have an original, defining idea behind your brand before it can be considered uniquely yours.

In fact, if you keep your idea too broad and generic, it’ll only open you up to getting your idea stolen by a bigger, more established brand who can do it better and cheaper than you can. It’s in your best interest to be unique, in more ways than one.

Visions are more than just a simple idea. They are a complete landscape, that includes designs right down to the feelings they will provoke. You have to have an original, defining vision behind your brand before it can be considered uniquely yours.

Start by finding audiences of like-minded individuals, then consider what kind of brand they would be interested in. How can you identify with them, show you understand them and allow them to express themselves?

Once you’ve developed your defining audience or theme, then it’s time to shift gears and think about how the heck you’re going to make this vision a reality

2. Develop Your Branding and Logo


First of dedicated post for naming a new t-shirt brand.

Once you have a name secured, it’s time to mark it up with a defining logo. This task can be a daunting one as not everyone is able to sketch a logo out. However, you can always find an affordable freelance artist to help you out, especially if you can find one that has a background in branding design.

If you want the best results, you need to help them help you; have specific ideas, notes, concepts or rough sketches you can send them. If all you give them is a very vague idea, the logo design stage will go on far longer than it needs to and you’re unlikely to get the results you were dreaming one. Unless, of course, you pay a professional ALOT of money to do all the creative thinking!

Remember, an effective logo does more than just look cool. It will be the defining symbol that fully represents what your company is about. It has to be eye-catching without being too flashy; unique, but not confusing; and finally, simple, but striking.

Luckily, there are many options to choose from and mix and match until you find the perfect combination of fonts, typography, colors, and images that will tell your story before they even buy a shirt.

3. Create Brand-Defining Designs


It may seem obvious, but it’s also easy to get so wrapped up in launching the company that you’ve completely forgotten to carefully focus on making your designs. Your new fans need shirts to buy, and they need to be as unique as your name is. Artistically-inclined brand owners can do this portion themselves; less talented brand owners will probably need to recruit some artists to do it for them.

One word of warning, however; if you intend on hiring artists, either full-time, part-time or freelance, their styles need to easily blend with those of the other artists. It can be incredibly jarring to see one shirt looking wildly different from another, even when they’re by the same brand. By choosing an overarching style, it can help solidify your brand with a concrete look and feel.

You don’t exactly need a ton of initial designs. In fact, it’s common for new brands to launch with just a handful. This is actually a little easier to do than other companies, as you at least have the advantage of obviously being a small designer and the fact that you’re selling casual everyday wear tee-shirts and not more complicated inventory items.

Just make sure that you have enough inventory in stock before opening your doors, including having designs printed on different colors of shirts, as well as sizes. You don’t want to wind up with a ton of orders, only to have them professionally printed one by one. While you don’t want to have a ton of inventory to warehouse, it’s a great idea to set yourself up for success for the first wave of orders.

4. Plant the Seeds and Grow Your Online Presence


Now that you have a vision, name, branding, logo and handful of designs, it’s time to put it to work for you. Your first step should be securing a website that users can learn about your brand, view your designs, and most importantly, purchase from you.

Many newcomers will begin with t-shirt fulfillment website such as TeeSpring. This is fine, but don’t understate the value of having your own professional brand website in place.

Many new brand owners think that they have to spend thousands of dollars on a website at the forefront of their company launch. While a professional website from the ground up is the most effective site to have for the future, you can still have access to a considerable amount of features on basic blogging platforms.

In fact, the bigger names in blogging, such as WordPress, Blog Spot, and others, have integrated e-store tools that allow you to set up your blog as if it were an online store, allowing users to add items to a shopping cart and pay with secure checkouts. And the best part is, once you make a little money, you can always have a web designer fine tune these tools until you’re able to transition to a real website.

With a website is in order, you should now set up social media pages, score t-shirt reviews on blogs and  work on boosting your web presence. This way, you’ll have an easier time boosting your search rankings as you can be found across multiple platforms online.

5. Get Professional With Lifestyle Shots


You wouldn’t buy a shirt online without having a clear idea of what it looks like, and neither will your customers. Even the most detailed text descriptions benefit from high quality accompanying images. Take the time to find the best shots possible of your shirts before attempting to sell them. Your customers should have the same experience they would have in a physical clothing store, save for the dressing rooms.

Don’t just post boring product photos either. Bring in some models, and show your customers what your shirts look like when worn. This is crucial as they won’t be able to try your shirt on themselves. Make sure you have enough photos on your website that it leaves customers feeling confident that they can trust them; too few photos may make it seem like you’re trying to hide what they really look like. The good news is, even though you’ll wind up with a ton of unused pictures, you can always recycle them on Flickr or Instagram.

If you don’t have a great camera, don’t know how to take pictures beyond beach vacation shots, or just can’t find the time to do it yourself, a freelance photographer is easy enough to find. Keep an eye on local classifieds and professional freelance sites, or see if any photographers from Instagram or Flickr are near you. Remember, first impressions are the most important.

Now obviously, these shirts aren’t going to sell themselves. And while there are numerous avenues you could take to sell your shirts, some methods work better than others. When trying to drum up more sales across your online pages, try creating:

  • Promotional Videos
  • Environment Photos
  • Photos with Relevant Models
  • Pictures That Keep it Simple

Promotional videos can go above and beyond what pictures can do. And honestly, between how easy it is to shoot and post a short video from your phone is, this should be a top priority. Show some behind the scenes work, or short interviews with your team. Let your customers get to know the real you, so long as it helps the brand.

Environment photos have nothing to do with saving the rainforest. Rather, these are pictures of people wearing your shirts as intended. If you’re focusing on the skater crowd, show off your shirts at the skate park. If you’re going for an edgier look, make sure your models can look tough and mean in an urban environment. You could also use the seasons to your advantage, as the natural landscape matches the emotions you’re trying to convey.

Chances are, your friends will be more than happy to model some shirts for you, but you, as the boss, need to make sure you’re choosing the right person for the job. You probably don’t want your younger sister modeling shirts for an edgy audience, and you don’t need your army friend trying to sell the delicate or cute stuff.

Finally, if you can’t seem to find anyone to model for you, or you’re going for a more industrial or simplified style, trying photographing just the shirt. Different from pictures to sell them on the site, these are more artistic in nature, allowing the shirts to basically model themselves. They can be draped over a chair or hanging on a hangar somewhere unexpected.

6. Double Down Marketing On the Right Social Media Sites


There’s seemingly a new social media site popping up every week, and if you try and join each and every single one, you’ll drive yourself nuts. Stick to the ones that will give you the most bang for your buck. Twitter and Facebook still remain the kings of social media, and now that Facebook has purchased Instagram, they’re almost a packaged deal at this point.

We’ve already written a few posts on using Facebook marketingInstagram sponsored ads and underrated social platforms such as Pinterest, Vine, and Snapchat.

Once you’ve figured out which platforms to focus on, it’ll be time to make regular postings that are relevant to your brand. Try to avoid too controversial of topics, and remember that your brand isn’t necessarily the same person as you are. Rather than making vague posts, try and create fun interaction with your fans. When all you do is sell to people, they stop listening to what you’re saying.

See which apps are most easily integrated with your platform. Some apps work better with specific sites, and simply finding this information out now can lead to exciting contests and giveaways later on. Let your sites do the heavy lifting while you focus on developing customer relationships.

While larger companies and celebrities may not respond to each and every comment or question, you’re still small time at this point. Take the time to respond to every message and inquiry, and try not to come off too robotic. Just make sure to respond soon after they reached out, otherwise, it’ll make for an awkward interaction later. No one wants to see a response to their Tweet after two weeks.

If you’re trying to have a platform that more resembles a blog, Tumblr is a good, and free, option for social media. Flickr, like Instagram, allows easy photo sharing and out media options, allowing you to quickly post smaller updates and reserving your blog for the bigger ones. Just note that for the pictures that you want to get the most attention from, it’s best to rely on Instagram.

Make A Killing Selling T-Shirts Through Merch By Amazon

Undoubtedly, you’ve witnessed Amazon’s insane market growth, and with it, FBA/private label sellers have been making money hand over first. Now with Merch by Amazon, it’s time for us t-shirt sellers to get a juicy piece of Amazon’s pie!

Amazon’s newest offering makes it astonishingly easy to design and sell shirts, in great quantities. In fact, a quick “merch by amazon” search on YouTube and other social media sites show an encouraging number of individuals making thousands of dollars using this method. Most notably, the story of two t-shirt sellers making over $150K together!

Should I Join Merch By Amazon?


Amazon has completely streamlined the shirt design process for you. All you have to do is make the design and earn the sales; Amazon does all of the work for you, including printing, screening, and shipping, for their portion of the sale.

Compared to “regular” t-shirt fulfillment website such as TeeSpring, it’s a familiar process. So what’s the advantage you ask- Amazon’s gold-plated reputation, marketplace, and traffic. Not only do you have an almighty storm of visitors with credit cards loaded and trusted Amazon prime accounts, you have Amazon’s marketing on your side. If there’s anything that can be done to increase sales of their products, by god, Amazon will be using it!

There’s one small bump at this time, Merch by Amazon is an invitation-only program. The form is not complicated, with only a few fields to fill out, but it must be approved by Amazon before you get going. If you are fortunate enough to be given the all clear, you can then start uploading PNG files and start cranking out shirt designs.

The catch here is that at this time, there’s no real safeguard against intellectual property theft; you can bet that as the service expands, you and others will face far greater scrutiny in the future. It’s best to go ahead and adopt as many best practices now to avoid a huge headache later on (the Amazon ban hammers will be falling).

Selling on Merch By Amazon- Finer Details


How Many Designs Can I Upload?

As of right now, Merch by Amazon is going to limit you to 25 designs. The upside is they offer easy-to-use templates to allow you to adjust image position, sizing, and other options. Luckily, as your sales climb, they will allow you to offer more designs. Think of it as proving yourself to be a professional seller. This is a great program to use to see if designing shirts are a viable choice for you.

At least initially, you’ll want to stick to simpler design choices. Amazon will allow you to choose whether or not your shirts have designs on just the front, or the front and back; however, the front and back design choice will cost more, eating into your already smaller profit margins.

What Are the Profit Margins?


Amazon has done so incredibly well financially for a reason, so don’t be surprised to see them taking most of your profits. In essence, Amazon is simply paying you royalties to use and sell your designs. Let’s say you were selling t-shirts at $16, you may only end up with around $5 per t-shirt.

But before you get too disheartened, your increased selling power makes up for it. Let’s say you’re doing well and sold 145 t-shirts over a week. That might be $2320 for Amazon and $725 for you, still not bad at all!

It’s fairer than it sounds as they’re taking all the of the workload, warehousing, logistics and providing a bustling marketplace. Learn more about the Royalties from Amazon.

What Types of T-shirt Can I Sell?

CurrentlyAmazon will give you two shirt options, a relaxed fit by Anvil and a tighter athletic fit by Abercrombie and Fitch, both with separate costs. It’s likely that this will expand as this sector continues to grow.

In an effort to maximize your potential profits, you’ll need to make some smart design choices. While you have access to many different colors, Amazon recommends limiting this to just three color options per shirt. You’ll also want to make sure each shirt has a quality description attached to it to set yourself up for success later.

What’s the Process For Uploading Designs?

6 Considerations and Tips For Merch By Amazon

1. Understand That Competition is Already High

As with anything that’s relatively easy to get into, there’s going to be a fair amount of competition. People are beginning to catch to Merch by Amazon, so you’ll still need to put in the work to differentiate yourself in a positive way. Although Amazon will help you to sell more, they’re helping everyone else too. In fact, they will prioritize those who generate the most interest and ultimately, money for Amazon.

Because this is more or less a stream of passive income, it’s really up to you to determine how much you’ll make, based on how much time you want to put into this project. You can go the obsessive route, studying Google trends and current popular culture topics, or you can simply keep your shirts more generic and hope for the best. If you already have some form of a fan or customer base, you could use this for a slight edge; otherwise, it’s going to be a little more difficult to move the sort of inventory you’re trying to.

2. Stand Out from the Crowd

One of the biggest complaints from users and sellers alike, including real shirt designers with their own brands, is that Merch by Amazon has already been flooded with thousands of copycats. From ripping off third part designers to simply copying every other Merch by Amazon user, customers are having to wade through thousands of the same boring, uninspired designs, making them leave in frustration before making a purchase.

Before launching into creating a design, take a few moments to see what everyone else is designing in that particular keyword or theme. The last thing you want to do is simply add to the overwhelming pile that people are already not buying. But if you can come up with an effective design that’s hard to replicate, you just might be able to cut through all of the white noise.

3. Be Aware of CopyCats (and Don’t Become One!)

As discussed earlier, too many of these low-quality designers are actively ripping off brands, images, and other intellectually property they do not have the rights to. Much of these types of sellers seem to be Chinese brands looking to make a quick buck, although these scammers are popping up from all over. As a result, Amazon is actively looking for those in violation.

While they may not catch you today or even tomorrow, it’s only a matter of time before you get flagged. As we said before, do yourself a favor and don’t get into these bad habits.

Unfortunately, if you find yourself on the receiving end of getting your designs stolen, there aren’t a whole lot of options available to you. Amazon probably won’t give them the boot simply because they used your design, and unless they see shutting down a t-shirt seller from the other side of the world as a priority, they’ll take care of it whenever the feel like it.

You’ll have the option to set keywords for your shirts. However, unless you want to look like you’re a spammy designer, make sure these keywords are relevant. In addition to setting proper keywords, do yourself a favor and set your shirts as available to the public; otherwise, no one will find them.

Using free use images for your design will help you avoid a potential copyright problems later down the line. If you can find a free to use an image that requires no royalties, you’re essentially getting someone designing your shirt for free. This will save even more time and money for you, making that meager profit margin work a little harder for you.

4. Use Supplemental Programs and Tools

Templates are great and all, but only using them is a great way to have your shirts look like an amateur designed them. Even though this is more than likely your first foray into the shirt design world, it’s best to have some sort of third-party design software to give your shirts a more professional-looking finish.

If you are going to use PhotoShop or other design software, just be sure to use their design templates; otherwise, you risk your shirts winding up looking disfigured or the image not being set on straight.

If you find yourself struggling to design images via software, consider hiring a cheap freelancer to do it for you off of Fiverr, Upwork, or some other affordable site for finding contract work. As long as they give you a PNG file, you’ll be able to upload it on Amazon.

And if you find yourself being unable to stop making designs, keep them in your notebook; once you’ve moved past the initial design cap of 25 shirts, you could be selling 100 designs, 500 designs, or even more if you wish.

5. Learn as you Go

The chances of you making a handful of initial designs and simply sitting back as the sales roll in are slim. Like any business, you’ll need to test and adjust your inventory as time goes on. Because your inventory will be limited, don’t hesitate to give an underperforming design the axe. It’s also a good idea to see who the Best Sellers are.

Amazon gives out a Best Seller Rank, abbreviated BSR, to do exactly what it sounds like; rank in descending order the top sellers on Merch by Amazon. They didn’t get there accidentally, and if you can learn anything at all about how they’re making so many sales, it’s best to legally and ethically copy their lead. If your shirt is being ranked as a #10,000 or higher, for example, it’s probably not a great selling shirt. You want that sales rank to be as small as possible, with shirts in the low thousands churning out solid profits for their designers. At the same time, you could form a niche from poor ranking design topics by finding a search term that isn’t doing well in general and producing a great shirt in that topic field.

If your shirt is being ranked as a #10,000 or higher, for example, it’s probably not a great selling shirt. You want that sales rank to be as small as possible, with shirts in the low thousands churning out solid profits for their designers. At the same time, you could form a niche from poor ranking design topics by finding a search term that isn’t doing well in general and producing a great shirt in that topic field.

Tip: Consider running promotions and other marketing strategies to boost your sales and help reach greater ranks.

6. Use Your Fans to Your Advantage

If you’ve hit a creative wall and don’t know what your design should be next, ask your fans. You can easily create a poll on several different social media sites, giving users several options and finding out which one has the best review. This way you can at least have a better chance of people being willing to make a purchase on a shirt they really want.

This technique has been effective, especially with those who have their own mobile game franchise. Players who are already fans of the game will be eager to pick up some merch to show their support. This can also help create cross-promotion and boost sales as you can link the shirt to where people can download your game.

Get Your Creative Juices Following – T-Shirt & Apparel Brand Names

Struggling to come up with a name for your new t-shirt or apparel brand? Well, this is actually the easiest part of starting your own brand!

Our creatively just seems to dry up when it comes to this seemingly momentous task. And unfortunately, without knowing what to call yourself, you really can’t move too far forward without a solid name in place.

It can become so frustrating that many wish to give up entirely. However, it’s often a lot easier to come up with a brand name than people make it out to be, especially if you follow a systematic approach.

And while everyone must choose their own route, there are a number of general principles that will help you craft your ideal brand name. So before you let writer’s block get the better of you, you need to check out this amazing infographic from the Printsome team:


Further Considerations For Naming Your Brand

1. Borrow Inspiration From Others

While it wouldn’t be recommended to “steal” names from existing brands, you can certainly piggyback on the inspiration they provide. If you start poking around the “About Us” page they may even discuss where their name comes from. This simple process alone could flood your mind with plenty of interesting ideas.

Look for brands that catch your eye, and more importantly, will also catch your audience’s eyes. You can take a similar word or a name that they did, or zero in on the subject that they based their name off of. Play a little word association to find a combination of similar words that reflects your own brand.

If you’re still at a loss, take a moment to think about what celebrities or target groups you want to see wearing your brand. Draw up a list of keywords that best represent these people as a whole. Feel free to use a thesaurus or word bank, but just be careful that you don’t overdo it and choose words no one can even pronounce or understand!

2. Make Sure You Can Use It

After you’ve just spent several hours uncovering awesome names, you’ll need to check if other websites and brands are already them. This part is probably the most infuriating part of choosing a name, it often seems every single brand name has already been taken by someone else.

If it’s a unique name, chances are the domain or one close similar enough, will be available. Or if someone else is already using a brand name your dead set on using, you might still be able to, as long as you aren’t both selling in the same industry.

Another factor to consider is the region and countries you will be operating out of. For instance, in the United States, if a company is specific to a certain area, you may still be able to use the same name in another region.

While you probably wouldn’t be able to call yourself Wal-Mart Tees, as they are an international brand; if you wanted to launch Ted’s Shirts in Minneapolis and there’s a Ted’s Shirts that only sell within Alaska, you’re probably alright to do so.

Other things to consider after you’ve found a name is whether the internet domain is available. You want to keep it to be easy and memorable, that way it’ll be easier for others to access. If, however, the only domain available is a little long or cumbersome, you may want to simplify it, even if doesn’t completely reflect your name.

Before going any further, find out now if you can get the necessary trademarks in place. Depending on what country you are operating out of, you will have a different set of policies to follow. Be prepared to drop some money, as trademarking isn’t the cheapest thing to do. However, it’s truly an investment and the best way to protect others from using the name you spent so much time working to develop.

3. Bring in Your Squad

Like with any important undertaking, the friend test often proves to be invaluable. But rather than just asking whether or not they think it’s a good name and/or domain, see if it survives a night out.

Try bringing up your new business name and domain in a loud place. If you and your buds are going bowling or to catch a game at the local bar, see if they can understand what you’re saying despite the amount of noise. If they can’t make out the name in a couple of tries, it may not be the easiest name to understand.

Try scribbling the name out on a bar napkin while you’re out and about. While some people do have the penmanship of a chicken, the name should still be fairly easy to read in plain black and white. If your name can be mistaken for multiple other names or words, it will more than likely confuse others.

Finally, just how avant-garde did you go with it? Does it make sense at all? Is it too ironic? Too complex? Did you find the biggest word in the thesaurus even though we already said not to? If your closest friends can’t wrap their heads around your brand name, chances are, your future won’t be able to either.

4. Imagine Your Name as a Tattoo

While you certainly shouldn’t run out and get the name inked onto your arm, you should think of your brand name in these terms. The name of a brand will, for all intents and purposes, be a name that must withstand the tests of time. This isn’t something you can change weekly, monthly, or even yearly. A brand, even without a permanent building, is itself permanent. As a result, if you have any qualms about the name at all, go back to square one until you’re satisfied.

Do people enjoy the way your brand name sounds, or does it turn them off? If you can run a poll to your target audience, you’ll learn a lot about their perception of names.  This is a great way to find out if there’s some inappropriate slang term you hadn’t heard of or other disparaging remarks concerning the name, allowing you to change it before it gets set in stone.

Go Get Those Creative Juices Flowing!

Names start out simply enough; researching brands you like and brainstorming relevant keywords and similar terms you can use based off of your favorite brands. Then find out if it’s useable online by checking domains, looking up any and all definitions of the word, seeing how many other companies are using the name, and even checking to see if it sounds better in one language over another.

Next, you have to make sure your immediate circle can understand and pronounce your name, even in a busy and loud environment. If your name is easily readable, it’s probably a solid choice. Finally, remember to keep it short, sweet and maybe a little quirky. People always remember “Ebay”, but they didn’t remember “AuctionWeb” (it’s original name).

Finally, it’s best to protect your name now with relevant trademarks and drawing up your first logo, so long as you know this is the name you are going to stick with.

6 Ways to Find Designers and Create T-Shirt Designs That Rock

After seeing an online tee shirt store once, it’s easy for most people to get swept up into the idea of “Hey, I could probably do that!” Many love the idea of launching that one great shirt that everyone loves and that the shop can’t seem to keep in stock. And all the while you just keep raking in the money for your sweet designs!

But it quickly becomes apparent that you have little to no artistic talent, or you’re lacking inspiration. Sometimes the easiest way to do something is to have someone else handle it for you, and that’s never been as accessible as it is right now. Just about every industry imaginable relies on independent contractors or freelance workers to handle their needs, and more often than not, they work better and cheaper than going through traditional firms.

There’s a variety of different ways to go about this, each option with its own pros and cons. Not every choice will be the right fit for your needs, while others may find that multiple options may work. We’re going to explore a number of choices, starting with performing the design work yourself.

The One Man Army- Making Designs Yourself


Even if you struggle with drawing a stick figure, many programs are available at little to no cost. And although Photoshop is the granddaddy of all image editing software, who has the budget for buying it? Luckily, many alternative programs (such as

Luckily, many alternative programs (such as Gimp) with similar layouts and can be found for free; some users even prefer them over Photoshop itself. Whether you’re able to sketch it out on the program or merely combine other images and shapes that you’ve found, digitally designing shirts without a dedicated shop is easier than ever before.

Unfortunately, if you don’t have experience in digital photography or haven’t had the time to get acquainted with the software they downloaded. Chances are, you’ve found yourself putting off developing your design more and more, and now you’re worried it’ll never get finished. If you lack the time, money, or experience to develop a design on your own, it’s probably time to hire a professional.

Outsourcing your design work frees your time and energy to spend on scaling your operation. By decreasing your own labor hours and keeping hiring costs low, you stand to save quite a bit of money, and make more!

Calling in the Professionals- Outsourcing Your Designs

1. Crowdsource Your Project


Crowdsourcing is an increasingly popular way to raise funds for something buyers are already interested in, all without the hassle of trying to convince the local bank to loan you money. Everything from books to full-length movies and even video games have been funded using crowdsourcing techniques.

It’s an easy and effective way to generate funding and social media buzz simultaneously. By finding interested investors who like what you’re pitching, you can have a base of buyers already putting money up before the final product has been finished. This way you already know that the design sells, and you already have some sales in place. All that’s left to do is use the money wisely and deliver a killer final product.

Not all crowdsourcing sites are created equally. Some force you to do all of the legwork by uploading your own initial sketches and plans to help coax buyers to invest. Other sites will only allow you to pitch to family and friends, and most sites have strict rules to follow. If you aren’t careful, you may lose all the money you’ve raised, or worse, have to pay even more back in return.

Some sites, like 99designs, allow “designers” to pitch the idea of their shirt. In return, the artists that frequent their site agree to design the shirt for you for a predetermined agreed upon set price. It works a little like an auction site; you set your price and product description, and the artists bid to fulfill the job requirements.

Just know that many sites that follow this method allow an entire pool of designs to be submitted by various artists at the same time, and not all of them have the same price. You may want a more expensive design, but your wallet will force you to take a lesser quality one.

2. Hire a Dedicated Designer


If you wanted to build a house, you would go to where the home builders were, right? Well, the same logic applies here. You have the shirt design concepts, so you now you just need an artist to bring them to life. Some sites are communities of experienced and establish shirt design artists that are ready and willing to work for you.

Although many of these types of sites exist, one of the more popular ones is Dribble. Dribble combines artist portfolios with the option of hiring freelance labor. Some artists are merely there to show off their work, although you may still be able to inquire about them potentially working on your project. Others will have an obvious “hire me” button illuminated on their profile page, letting you know that they are actively looking for design work.

3. Search On Freelancer Sites


While freelancing websites may or may not have available designers, they act as marketplaces for any and all freelance workers. This includes creative professionals, such as artists, musicians, and writers, and more traditional temp workers for office and business needs. But in our experience, there is always designers and artists hungry to expand their portfolio with freelance contracts here.

The process is much simpler than many would suspect at first. Simply make a job posting describing your project, and set your deadline and price. Many freelancers are usually eager to find the next available job, and you’ll probably start receiving responses faster than you were expecting.

Just be sure to use common sense when choosing a freelance worker. While they are typically much more affordable, choosing cheap labor from another country is usually a surefire way of winding up with a low-quality final product. Some freelancers sub out their work, even when they insist that they do it themselves. Others will talk a big game to get your business, only to wind up failing to deliver in the end. Mediation actions are usually lengthy, and since most sites require escrow payments up front, the money may be out of your hands for a while.

The good news is that freelance workers need good ratings to get work, so most are reliable. Freelancing is no longer considered a fad or a trend, it’s an industry in its own right. Some of the more common freelance marketplaces include Upwork,, and Elance. There are also many more options out there, and some are certainly better than others. Be sure that, like any job, you give them an interview process, asking for portfolios and previous work samples before agreeing to use them.

4. Try Cheap Options for Quick Designs


Everyone knows that you get what you pay for, so using a cheap freelance site, such as Fiverr, comes with the inherent risk of your finished project being hit or miss. But Fiverr is a reputable discount freelance marketplace, but each user has a dedicated rating, as well as other metrics such as how many jobs are completed on time, and how quickly they respond to messages.

As long as your design isn’t too terribly complex, Fiverr could be an effective way to save you some money. Just be sure to set realistic deadlines; chances are, no matter how good the artist may be, they’ll probably need longer than a day to finish your design.

Fiverr gets its name from prices running as low as just $5 per job. There are more expensive options, and sellers are encouraged to price each additional option on every job for an additional fee. Be sure to fully read everything as a $5 job can quickly snowball into a much pricier one. But as long as you find someone who knows what they’re doing and is charging a fair price, you can avoid hiring an expensive digital artist.
Other marketplaces are dedicated shirt design sites, such as Graphic River, Creative Market, and others.

They’re always worth checking out, even if you find yourself on a budget. You never know where a great deal is going to be lurking, and knowing that you’re getting someone with experience is worth every cent. Other sites, like T-Shirt Factory, use templates to easily create a shirt design. The only downside is that it becomes easy for multiple users to be selling similar or identical designs.

5. Sell a Second Hand Design

Believe it or not, there are a ton of designs floating around the Internet that are just collecting dust. Others designs haven’t been made yet, but exist in the form of popular images, TV shows, and other entertainment offerings. It’s big business now for many companies to sell graphic design shirts, and that opportunity exists for you as well. If you find an image, poster, or other design you’d like to display, go for it! Just be sure to obtain the proper commercial license so as to not accidentally commit copyright and trademark infractions.

If you see a design by an artist that currently isn’t being sold, send them a message. You can always offer to put their design on a shirt on your online store in exchange for a cut of the profits. The worst thing that can happen is that they will say no, and at best, you just found yourself a new design partner.

Designs don’t have to be from shirt designers, either. It’s not uncommon to see striking designs from budding artists within their portfolios. Seeing one of their images can come a Eureka moment of how great it would look on a shirt, and chances are, depending on what sort of medium they use, it may have never been displayed on a shirt before.

6. Find and Hire Local Talent

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Conducting business with complete strangers isn’t for everyone. Whether it be the fear of getting taken advantage of, or simply not being able to properly convey your needs and desires online, it may be best to seek out a local designer in your area. This gives you the benefit of speaking face to face with a professional designer, getting you one step closer to being on the same page with your artist.

Going this avenue is surprisingly easy. You can always check classified sites and newspaper sections, especially for those artists looking to get started. Craigslist is always a mixed bag, but since it’s free to use it’s always worth a peek. Other websites, such as, show you local and highly-relevant events. By finding a nearby shirt expo or design club, you’ll have more designers available to you than you know what to do with.

Now that you know that you have options, it’s time to get to work. Don’t have time (or effort) to design your shirt yourself, get professional help. Your imagination, creativity or mental capacity be damned, you’ll have killer designs in no time!

Going the Extra Mile – Design an Awesome Online T-Shirt Catalog

If you’ve finally decided that it’s time to launch your very own online shirt shop, then chances are you’ve prepared everything except your catalog. After all, your shirts are just so awesome that they’ll sell themselves, right? Actually, it’s not quite that simple. Your going to need every advantage you can over other sellers and brands if you want the lion’s share.

As a savvy t-shirt seller with the bigger picture in mind, you’ll be carefully building your brand on your own website from the get-go. This is where having an awesome cataglog to showcase your merchanise will be worth it’s digital weight in dollars!

Like with many things in your online arsenal, you have a few different options when it comes to creating a t-shirt or clothing catalog. While you may want to simply jump right in and get your catalog in place, there are a few things worth considering.

Why Should You Invest Time Into Creating a Catalog?

While the ulimate reason is to generate more sales, building a professional company and crafting an attractive brand should be the main motivating factor. Whether you’re trying to make a killer first impression or liven up an existing catalog, a fresh t-shirt can work wonders for your brand image.

But these explanations aren’t arbitrary, either; making design decisions for a catalog relaunch are vastly different than the choices made in creating a brand new launch catalog.

10 Steps to Map Out Your New T-Shirt Catalog


Just as you’ve carefully planned, plotted, and sketched your tee shirt designs, it’s time to do the same with your catalog. Once your catalog has a reason for existing in the first place, it needs to be brought to life.

Unfortunately, it will more than likely take more time, especially depending on the amount of inventory being represented. Be sure to work around anything with a pressing deadline as this will take a lot of free time.

1. Who Are Your Customers?

Chances are, unless your catalog is being directed towards your specific target audience, it’s going to fall on its face. These target customers should dictate all aspects of the catalog’s design, from the colors, fonts, images, language used, and even the specific gender your brand caters to.

For instance, a shirt line for women should not accidently feel like a brand for dads instead.

2. Make Your Brand the Star of the Show

Many buisness owners think that as long as they have their name and logo at the top of the page, they’ve branded their shop. However, every pixel of the screen needs to incorporate the brand, at least in some small way.

If your brand has a specific color scheme or motif, use it for each page and every subsection. There has to be some underlying brand message or story that links back to the products. The personality of the company has to shine through in the text used. And most importantly, it all has to make sense.

3. Carefully Draft Out Your Pages

What makes page designing take forever is struggling to figure out how and where to add images that you just thought of a moment ago. Rather than wind up pulling your hair out over where to stick that picture you just noticed, make a detailed list of everything that will be going onto the page. This includes the featured products, their descriptions, any images or other media files that will accompany them, and any other section or page.

If you intend to include it, write it down now. It’s easier to erase something off of a notebook than struggle with it in the design space.

4. Get Sketching


Even if you don’t have a web designing background and intend to hire one, it’s still a good idea to draw your dream catalog out. Many creative types, including web designers, are visual people, so having a rough sketch of what you’re looking for will help get your message across. This way, both sides wind up on the same page.

Even if you don’t know how to draw it out, you can, at a minimum, find other shop’s catalogs as a reference point. Chances are, either with a drawing or an existing catalog, the designer will make edits and let you know what will and won’t work for your brand. It will, however, make the process much easier on everyone.

5. Make Wise Design Choices

Many think that experimenting with colors and layouts is best done with their catalogs. And those people are wrong. Shoppers are accustomed to how a catalog “should” feel, and when your deviates from that preferred design, it frustrates them and forces them to go elsewhere.

Catalogs are a little boring because that’s what people want – an easy-to-use cluster of products for sale. And if the buying process is going to be difficult, they’ll find a store where it isn’t.

6. Get Professional Product Pictures


While you’ve no doubt taken pictures of your shirts already, your catalog shouldn’t look like an eBay listing. You should have professionally photographed images showing your products as best that you can. When you begin with a super high-quality image, they’ll stay looking great, even after taking a dip in quality after being put online. It will cost more to have a professional, but it’s often worth it.

If you are going to take the shots yourself to save some money, make sure it’s with a good quality camera. There is a chance that, depending on your inventory, that your supplier has product images. Go ahead and use them, as the supplier has already spent the money on making them look good.

7. Use Attractive, Attention-Grabbing Fonts

Again, your catalog is not the place to try out crazy looking fonts. Stick to a basic, easy-to-read sans-serif that everyone already knows. Some of the more common ones are Helvetica, Arial, and Verdana, although there are certainly others.

Rather than using fonts that are harder to read, create heading levels and hierarchies. You can also rely on font options like bolding or underlining text, using caps, or using different sans-serif fonts for different levels.

8. Quality is King When it Comes to Content

Yes, search engines and users alike are looking for great quality images that are relevant and eye-catching. However, if you paid someone a dollar online to write the text for your pages, it probably isn’t going to hold many people’s attention. Even if the text is legible, if it’s boring or just a list made of other lists, chances are no-one is going to stick around long enough to read it.

Online, suddenly everyone is an English major, and they won’t hold back about even the simplest typos. Make sure that you proofread your copy first, or if you wrote it yourself, have someone else read it.
Don’t edit all in one sitting, either; make sure you take a couple of passes at it, and then come back to it later. Otherwise, your brain may become blind to certain mistakes.

It’s also a good idea that you and any other proofreaders do it when you’re the most alert; when you’re tired, you’ll only put in so much effort into proofreading. Also keep in mind that this should be short, concise product descriptions and not a novel; a long description means bored readers.

9. Leverage Design Tools


Whether you’re on a shoestring budget or need to be a control freak with your catalog, there are plenty of inexpensive and possibly even free tools to help you design your catalog. Using them are usually simple, require no prior knowledge or experience, and still come out with a professional-looking catalog space.

While you’ll always get a better result by hiring a professional designer, templates and tools are a great alternative that won’t necessarily scream “amateur”. And while no two design tools are created equally, there are plenty of reliable ones out there. Some of my favorites are Canva, Shopify, Catalog Machine, FlippingBook, and Supadupa. With a little research, you can find the best fit for your needs.

10. Perform a Cold Analysis

For better or worse, a catalog launch will show changes in buyer behavior. When a new design, or an initial one, is launched, it’s best to run some analyses to see the changes. The most pertinent things to watch for would include bounce rates, sales changes, and click through rates. If they’ve stagnated or decreased, then additional changes are certainly needed.

You can always run a questionnaire or survey to customers. Who better to ask than the ones using it? And when asked online, customers are usually brutally honest.

If you’ve recently made a catalog or have any tips that work for you, we’d love to hear them. Sound off in the comments below or hit us up on our social media pages.