From the category archives:

Advice

Daily T-shirt Roundup for January 9th

by Andy on January 9, 2012

sloth goonies t-shirt

I’m not too excited by the Sloth & Crossbones Goonies shirt at TeeFury today, you?

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Very cute illustration style on this Shirt.Woot tee, maybe this shirt will perk you up to stick with your New Year’s resolutions?

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Not the kind of Star Wars t-shirt that I’d wear, but a pretty cool concept from RIPT nonetheless.

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Can anyone explain to me why The Yetee are describing this felines as pizzacats?

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Very cool Fantastic Mr. Fox inspired t-shirt at Shirt Punch today.

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GraphicLab have a shirt that is a little lost on me, it’s a mashup of The Impossible Man from the Marvel universe and Magnitude from Community.

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Star Trek inspired visual pun from TeeMinus24 today.

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I’m fairly sure that this TeeRaiders design is the first Warehouse 13 shirt that I’ve seen.

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Stupidhurts.us give this well worn phrase another run out.

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OtherTees have a Doctor Who shirt that I’m sure I’ve seen before.

productimage picture in the event of zombies use portals 4999 480x480 Daily T shirt Roundup for January 9th
Qwertee make a connection between Portal and zombies.

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We don’t have Fresca over here in the UK, so this 24tee shirt is wasted on me.

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Cool new shirt at DBH today.

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There’s a couple of new shirts up on pre-order at Goodjoe.

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Loviu reiterate their ‘barbie is a slut’ stance.

b646fe76932cf2800d458fbc5f20b43cf016436b Daily T shirt Roundup for January 9th
Tilteed have their boomerang-based design up again.

COTDT Catch Of The Day Tee 1326108398493 480x147 Daily T shirt Roundup for January 9th
Catch of the Day Tee have nothing for us, again.

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Tee Gazette has an update on the Boston Tee Party event being held in the summer.

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I saw this t-shirt on Flickr months ago and it’s taken me until now to remember to post it.

Co-Tee TV Episode 88: Moustardche, Javaboi Industries, and Hot Dogs from Coty Gonzales on Vimeo.

Coty has a new episode of Co-Tee TV up, featuring Moustardache, Javaboi Industries, and Hot Dogs.

The 21 Most Important T Shirt Blogs of 2011 1326111709916 Daily T shirt Roundup for January 9th
The selection process may have been unscientific, but it’s nice to see HYA at the top (the position may or may not mean anything) of this list of the “21 Most Important t-shirt blogs of 2011.”

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Tee Hunter take a look at the A Bathing Ape x Star Wars collection.

fyc banner 480x160 Daily T shirt Roundup for January 9th
Fuel Your Creativity have an article about starting a clothing line with no money. It does make it all seems a little easy in my eyes, but there are worse stepping off points.

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Here’s another t-shirt from PalmerCash I bookmarked ages ago but never got around to posting about.

2SB BoxingFlyer 2 480x338 Daily T shirt Roundup for January 9th
2sickbastards have got up to 50% off their art prints until January 13th.

snapbacks MAILINGLIST 480x610 Daily T shirt Roundup for January 9th
Snapback hats are now in store at Glamour Kills.

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Did you know that howies was part of Timberland? I say was because as of the start of this year they bought themselves out and are now an independent business again.

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Terratag‘s up to 50% off sale has hit it’s final week, ends on Friday.

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Sleepy Dan: Creation of the Pillow Monster

by Sleepy Dan on December 16, 2011

After the inauguration of the Pillow Monster character at Artopia for the t shirt battle with Fur Face Boy, the design has been getting great reviews. Dallas Observer sponsors this annual event as their birthday party and I was proud to have their help bringing the Pillow Monster Lightning Strike design to life in the true nature of Frankenstein! So continuing with the success of this behind the design column, I decided to share the whole design process for this new character. The Pillow Monster will be involved in another design this coming year, so I am going to show how the idea began from concept, then sketching, then inking the layout, then vector the art for production of the printing.
6437081861 be51a9eaf7 Sleepy Dan: Creation of the Pillow Monster
The first step of the process is creating the concept. The Sleepy Dan branding has been so much fun to design for because there is a wide range of possible ideas that fall in line with the sleep theme. The Alarm Clock character was the beginning of the character side of the branding, reminding fans of our youthful side that used to be afraid of the dark and the possibility of things coming to life when you are unable to see them… Remember the clown doll from Poltergeist under the bed? Thanks, now I can’t even look at clowns any more!
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Illustrating a complete character design for the brand, is a more complex project than people realize. But it’s the passion for the brand that keeps me going! Pencil sketching the concept takes several attempts to get the look right. Keeping in mind that the design needs to have more of a vertical layout to take advantage of the printable surface area of the shirt.
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Making friends in the arts community is easy when you are giving back at the same time. Having friends with ill skills like Rico Ultraelectromagnetico to help with the character style was the first step to the Pillow Monster. I want to make sure that all my characters have the same appearance so they are easily understood to be a Sleepy Dan character, even if the design has no displayed type.
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After making several sketches, better parts of the character will be remade in the next sketch. There is a constant improvement for the problem areas, till the whole design has the perfect layout. This is the fun part of the process but usually takes the longest, so you can’t get frustrated with levels of failure. Just gotta work thru them till you find successful revisions. Ask friends for constructive criticism, you have to learn to take the good advice with the bad, create a thick skin for necessary revisions cause this is the best time to make them…
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I am sharing less than half of the sketching process for this project, so you can understand there are so many versions of progression for this design you can almost look at them like a flip book! Eventually you get to a sketched layout that best suits your concept vision from the start. All parts suddenly fit perfectly into place, then you can move onto revising the smaller details thru the inking process and using Adobe Photoshop.
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Inking over the sketch allows you to see a clearer design layout, while creating deeper levels of detail. Usually after the first inking designs, you are confident to almost be there. But treat this stage just like the sketching stage, revision is still easily done now that details are clear, so get some more constructive criticism from your friends that you know will not leak the secret just yet…
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Making final inking revisions gives you goosebumps! You wind up staring at the design for a couple days, 30 minutes at a time to make sure there is nothing else that needs to be changed. Then you can decide how many colors you want this design to be printed with, then create color layers of detail for the character scene. Inking new layers can be done in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, I prefer to use Illustrator because it makes the color separation so much easier to manipulate and revise.
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Usually I start this stage, not by looking at the color I want, rather looking at the color details I want to involve, so use crazy contrasting colors… The Pantone colors used can be revised after the levels of detail are finished. The best way to decide colors of the print is to decide shirt color first. Figure out the background color of the design, then the character colors can easily be picked knowing what shirt trends are most successful. Research shirt brands over the web, see what colors are selling best for the season. You’d be surprised what a little research can tell you!
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Printing shirts for your brand in this economy means planning out the profitability of the design. The more color you print, the more the shirt will cost, and shirts just don’t sell well the closer to $30 each you get. I advise to keep even the most complex designs to a maximum of four printed colors. There is no reason for you to use more color than that, also fans will have a harder time matching up their gear to the shirt, secretly all guys love to do this…
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Any printer you use, will appreciate you color separating the art before you give to them. This means separating each color, so the printer knows what colors to put on each film layer they print, which will be used to make screens for your printing. Remove the questions from the process for the printer and your project will turn out the same way you give it to them. I prefer to have a design with the darkest color as the top detail. It’s easiest for the printing process to have the color layers beneath the darkest layer, that way the bottom layer edged are covered with the darker layer, insuring there will be no offset printing problems.
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Give the printer the exact Pantone colors you want used in your design, they will be mixing ink to match the Pantone colors you give them. If you don’t give them exact colors, then you are opening the possibility they will not mix the right color you want to use. For the Pillow Monster design, I had to see the shirt color to pick printing colors since there is one tonal color specified in the shirt. The print might have looked weird if the navy color was too much of a red tone rather than a blue tone…
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After the Artopia event, the extra shirts were added to the Sleepy Dan web shop. Check out the Artopia event blog posting and friends links on the posting to see lots of pics of the event! Maybe we will see you at Artopia 2012?

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Life Offline for Online Brands (Part Two)

by LadyUmbrella on December 15, 2011

Pop Up Style Shop 480x675 Life Offline for Online Brands (Part Two)

LadyUmbrella at the Pop Up Style Swap Shop

Andy: Here’s part two of Rob from LadyUmbrella’s column about ways that t-shirt brands that are more used to online business can extend themselves in the real world.

Something to try look out for in the offline world of t-shirts is pop up shops.. I don’t know how it is in your town but right now Ireland is thriving with pop up shops..The idea of a pop up shop is simple – a group of brands or retailers team up together, pool resources and acquire a premises for a very short term let.. All the brands involved then work together to promote the life out of the pop up shop and they can be quite beneficial.. We’ve done a few pop ups in the past and I’m currently working on another one, The Blind Tiger Collective, which hopefully might become a more long term thing..And, therein lies the other advantage of doing pop ups..You get to meet lots of other brands in your area and I’ll tell you what, when you put a bunch of motivated dreamers together ideas can flow..

Another avenue for an offline t-shirt life is doing fairs..Now, these can be hit and miss, some of them might be good for your brand and some just might not work..We’ve done a few of them in the past and have sold in random places like Microsoft and a hospital here in Dublin, as well as in pubs and festivals – not all of them were homeruns but they were all enjoyable..And they do spur your on to “double down” your efforts, both online and offline..

The other thing I really like about the t-shirt life offline is that it gives you great online fodder like this video or the picture below to the right.

Elena in Microsoft Life Offline for Online Brands (Part Two)

Elena Selling in Microsoft

Every event you attend will give you a photo opp to showcase your t-shirts – like the picture from Project 51 above..It’ll give you something to let your facebook/twitter friends and followers know about which will ultimately feed into you online activities.. Also, attending offline events should go some way to help build up the “trust factor” for potential online customers..I don’t know about you but I’m still apprehensive about buying online and so it’s logical to assume that some potential customers might also be..Now, if these potential customers see that you’ve been doing X, Y and Z and realise that you’re not some dodgy site your chances of getting a sale have just shot up dramatically.. Or, that’s my take on it anyway..

And so, to conclude, if things aren’t going as swimmingly as you want online don’t box yourself into maniacal tweeting (believe me, I’ve done it) but take a step back and see if there is anything that can be done offline.. There are lots of options out there like pop up shops, fairs and wholesale deals and by just partaking in them, even if they aren’t homeruns, you’ll get a renewed umph and motivation to push on and keep going.. And, ultimately, I think that pushing on is what is vital – nothing happens overnight ..Maybe a little flirt with life offline might give you the pep in the step you need to keep going until you get to where you want to go..

Anyway, thank you for reading and I want to hear your thoughts..Are you at times fed up with online life too? Have you been a part of any offline events? If so, any do’s or don’ts to share? (Um, that could be another blog post maybe if anyone is interested?) Speak freely…Ole!

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Daily Tees & News for December 13th

by Andy on December 13, 2011

my little pony pokemon t-shirt

I don’t really understand the crossover between My Little Pony and Pokemon, but I’m sure some of you will.

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Having never watched Venture Bros I’m not particularly enamored with today’s shirt at RIPT.

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Nice 8-bit tee at Shirt.Woot today.
[click to continue…]

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Life Offline for Online T-Shirt Brands (Part One)

by LadyUmbrella on December 12, 2011

Project 51 LadyUmbrella 480x640 Life Offline for Online T Shirt Brands (Part One)

LadyUmbrella in Project 51 Pop Up Shop

So, first things first, I better briefly introduce myself, I’m Rob from LadyUmbrella, a ladies t-shirt company based in Ireland..Andy, from this globally renowned site HYA asked me to write a blog post about our offline life and I’m all to happy to oblige..Now, that concludes the intro, lets get to the meat and potatoes…

Now, I think we’ll all be in agreement when I say selling t-shirts online isn’t easy! God, how I wish it was but the reality is that it isn’t easy.. I have embraced the grind with LadyUmbrella, facebooking daily and tweeting til my fingers bleed..Putting in the hard yards to try get a slice out of the online t-shirt sales pie..No doubt, we’ve been fortunate enough to get a taste and in no way am I saying that being a social media soldier won’t give you some joy but lots of times it is joyless..Perhaps it’s just me or maybe you feel it too – when you put in a truckload of effort into online promotion and see very little coming back..It can suck the life out of you and get you down..And, at times like these it is useful to consider leading a “double life” and trying to get some action offline via wholesale deals, fairs and pop up shops..

Now, I think we’ll all be in agreement when I say selling t-shirts offline isn’t easy! Sound familiar? And, whilst it isn’t easy there can be more joy to it..The reason for this is the interaction, the human interaction, the face to face stuff that gets lost in the 140 character online melee, is refreshing and can be invigorating.. When you can see the happiness people derive from your designs as the try them on and buy them it really gives you a shot in the arm – especially compared to tweeting to, at times, an empty room..

So, now, how to try find retail deals or fairs or pop ups.. One thing I’ve done to try find wholesale deals is to ask our facebook/twitter friends if they know of any shops in their area that might be interested in stocking our brand..This has yielded some leads for us and is worth giving a shot..Another way to try get some wholesale business is to step away from the computer for a bit and, with t-shirts and products in hand, call in to whatever shop you want to try get stocked in and sweet talk as best you can..Now, this approach won’t work for big shops as you’ll have to go through the “proper buying channels” but for independent boutiques and the likes where the buyer is the person behind the counter (or in the back room) you just might get some important face time to make your pitch.. Important thing here is to make sure you know your numbers – how many of each style can you sell and at what price? will you give a discount over a certain amount? do you give credit? what payment terms will you accept? By knowing your numbers you’ll be able show that, whilst you just came in off the street, you’re not a mickey mouse outfit.. Obviously, make sure to have a business card or lookbook or something to leave with the shop owner if they express an interest – or a notepad to jot down their order icon wink Life Offline for Online T Shirt Brands (Part One)

Andy: Thanks for Rob for putting together this advice column, the second half will be posted later in the week.

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adam hendle

I’m sure that the vast majority of HYA readers will be well aware of Adam, he runs popular indie clothing blog IAMTHETREND and has recently assumed the exciting-sounding position of Special Ops at Storenvy. Surely his greatest position to date though will be coming up over the coming weeks as he becomes a guest blogger on HYA, talking about goings on behind the scenes at Storenvy explaining what life is like at the rapidly moving startup.

I asked Adam a few questions about three things we both enjoy, tees, taking on more tasks than we can handle, and life.

Congratulations on the new job, can you fill in my readers on what your role is at Storenvy?
Thanks a ton Andy! My official title at Storenvy is Storenvy Special Ops, which probably sounds a little more like I will be in charge of kicking doors own and fighting bad guys, but honestly I wear a ton of different hats for Storenvy so putting one job title on it didn’t really work. As of right now I am in charge of our social media platforms, answering customer support, reaching out to our individual stores for feedback/insight, recruiting new stores to join the site, helping manage and grow the Storenvy community, writing for the blog and whatever else we can throw on my plate!

IAMTHETREND IATT Your Guide For All Things Indie 1323190006302 480x396 Interview with Adam Hendle of IAMTHETREND and Storenvy
Does this mean we’ll be seeing less content on IATT?
Unfortunately yes. Working for a startup is basically the equivalent of working two or three jobs, so my time has been pretty limited outside of work. That being said IAMTHETREND is my baby which I have raised for over three years now and you won’t see it dying anytime soon. I have had some more guest bloggers pitch in to the site which has been fantastic and I have just had to be a lot more selective with the posts that I make as well as scheduling posts out throughout the week instead of just unleashing them as I write them.

Storenvy seems to be getting a lot of attention at the moment, and clearly they’re growing, what do you think sets it apart from other hosted store platforms that explains the growing popularity?
Storenvy has a ton of momentum right now and for good reason. Everyone who uses it, loves it. I’ve been on the phone with dozens of Storenvy users and every single one of them loves how easy is to use the site. And another thing that sets it apart is that it’s the only hosted store platform that also has a marketplace. Marketplaces are huge. It means that you have built-in traffic and shoppers have one destination where they can discover stuff from all the shores in one place. And I can already tell you that the marketplace is what makes the Storenvy community. Our merchants really get a sense that they’re not on their own and can connect with other users. I think the emphasis on community has been a real driving factor of Storenvy’s growth.

I’ve noticed a few articles on the Storenvy blog giving advice to store owners about product photography, can we expect more of this kind of ‘how to’ content?
Of course since I am an avid blogger I wanted to jump right in and start posting lists and resource articles and store interviews trying to gain momentum again for the blog. I really want to turn the blog from an afterthought to a place that people check daily for resources and insight.

Social Shopping Marketplace Free Online Stores · Storenvy 1323190077590 480x349 Interview with Adam Hendle of IAMTHETREND and Storenvy
Personally, I’ve never really used the ‘social marketplace’ aspect of Storenvy, am I in the minority and what am I missing out on? And will your role involve growing that side of the site?
Storenvy was really designed for 2 purposes — (1.) hosted, customizable online stores (2.) and a big marketplace made up of all the stuff from the stores. It’s totally cool to just head into your favorite stores and check out their stuff without going through the marketplace. Loads of other shoppers come through the marketplace. Each person is different in what their looking for. Some know exactly where to go for what they want and others want to browse a bigger selection. We just don’t think merchants should have to choose between having their own store and being in a marketplace which is why we put the two together.

The Marketplace is honestly a great place to find out about brands and products that you may never have stumbled on before. I highly recommend checking out and browsing the Markets page as you never know what you are going to find around the corner!

How can Storenvy survive without moving to a paid-for or freemium model?
On ramen noodles, tears and hardwork! Ha! But honestly at this moment we have two freemium features on the site, most recently of which we just launched called “Super Discounts”. That extra allows store owners to offer four types of discounts including $-off, %-off, free shipping and ‘buy n get m free’, which is perfect for offering great holiday deals to customers. On Black Friday we saw over 40% of the transactions going through Storenvy including some type of discount with shoppers spending an average of 15% more when they had a discount vs when they did not. Other than that we have a custom url option and also have some other freemium features in mind for the future.

Luckily, we’ve been fortunate enough to pair up with some investors that understand our vision and who have put some substantial financial backing into the business. These are the same guys who have funded other web startups like Twitter, Groupon, Tumblr, and even Google.

A couple of years ago Big Cartel was the de facto choice of platform for creating a quick store, is your job to make Storenvy the first thing that people think of when they want to make a store?
Absolutely! We still feel that there is no one clear choice in people’s minds when it comes to choosing an online storefront. There are some nice platforms out there but everyone is pretty well spread out with no real clear cut winner. Sure sites like Etsy and BigCartel, Shopify have a nice following but there still hasn’t been that household name that has emerged.

I WILL PONG YOU TEE 20BIG original 480x480 Interview with Adam Hendle of IAMTHETREND and Storenvy
How is Pongdeck going?
Ahhhh Pong Deck, what could have been… Lol. Honestly if you were to say a project was to be taking a backseat I would have to say that Pong Deck is riding in the trailer right now. We had some early success with it getting it into Spencer’s gifts for a trial run as well as sponsoring last years World Series of Beer Pong, but unfortunately myself and my partner were not able to truly devote the time that it takes to get a first of it’s kind product off the ground. That being said we haven’t pulled the plug on it, it’s just on cruise control. Speaking of which if you like beer pong or know someone that does we just put them on sale for $5.99 with tees at $13.99 on iwillpongyou.storenvy.com! (shameless self plug).

312639 2423697071315 1218143683 33121161 4904761 n 480x497 Interview with Adam Hendle of IAMTHETREND and Storenvy
How’s married life treating you?
I always say to people that ask me how life has been since getting married that it is the same! Which I think is beautiful thing. Really nothing has changed in our lives except we now wear wedding rings and can call each other dorky names like “wifey” and “hubby”. I am truly blessed to have such a supportive and amazing women by my side!

Do you hate getting e-mails that start “Dear Journalist” as much as I do? And do you have any pet peeves when brands send you pitches?
Haha absolutely! Don’t ever send me an email saying “Dear Journalist”. As far as pet peeves go, I really do not have too many. I prefer a short and personal email. Please do not send me a zip file including forty images that is going to take me an hour to open, I am sure they look great but I usually can tell in one or two pictures if I am going to write about the line.

How many tees do you have in your closet?
Great question! Honestly I have no idea, but I can tell you that I have a closet, a few drawers and even some totes full of tees and I still buy tees! I think I have a problem… If I had to absolutely take a guess I’d say 246 and a half. icon smile Interview with Adam Hendle of IAMTHETREND and Storenvy

I notice that you don’t post about daily sites such as TeeFury, why is this? Wary of the here today, gone tomorrow nature of some of the newer sites?
I just have really never been a fan of the tees that are usually on those sites. I would rather post about a brand that is trying to build something over just one t-shirt that is up for 24 hours.

Are you good at switching off from the Internet and unwinding? I feel like I’m constantly tethered to my emails.
I am the absolute worst at this, my iPhone is always in my hand and I am constantly checking emails. I have a very hard time turning it off and just unwinding, I get this overwhelming feeling of guilt like I should be doing some more productive with my time, especially on nights when my wife isn’t home as she bartends three nights a week. I feel like if she is out of the house I need to be working on something.

For any new projects in the pipeline or are you busy enough?
I always have ideas, it’s just the time that is the issue!

Thanks a lot to Adam for answering my not-particularly-exciting questions, but I found that really interesting. There aren’t many people out there that write about t-shirts as much as I do, so to get an insight from a fellow tee blogger is fascinating to me. it also sounds like Adam is in charge of quite a lot at Storenvy, which bodes well for some great posts when he guest blogs here at HYA.

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Teehunter Winter Style Guide 2011

by Andy on December 2, 2011

teehunter winter style guide

WSG Preview 3 580x409 480x338 Teehunter Winter Style Guide 2011
WSG Preview 2 580x411 480x340 Teehunter Winter Style Guide 2011
I need to go and put a cap on just so that I can take it off to Teehunter, the amount of work that has gone into this style guide is really impressive.

Liam has been very busy putting this guide together, and it shows, he’s featured more than 45 established and emerging brands in this gorgeous PDF. Here’s a list of the brands involved.

10deep, 2 Many Printers, Acrylick, Afends, ALIFE, Ambig, Animal, ASOS, Atticus, Bemused, Brixton, Bush + Leavenworth, Converse, Cuppa-Ts, CXXVI, Dance Party Massacre, Das Monk, Diesel, Dojo, Dunkelvolke, E The Real, Exit Left Apparel, howies, HUF, Ignite, Killbrand, King Apparel, Macbeth, Marshall Artist, Neighbourhood, New Gotham NYC, Norse Projects, Ontour, Palladium, Rapanui, Reason, River Island, Skull & Bones Boys Club, Social Freak, Supremebeing, Sutsu, The Imaginary Zebra, Topshop, Ugmonk, Victate, Volcom, WeSC.

If you like any of those then I recommend that you check out the guide, in fact, I recommend everyone downloads it, I really am blown away with this guide, hopefully Liam will receive all the traffic and interest he deserves for the amount of effort that has gone into it.

Teehunter Winter Style Guide 2011

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Daily Tee & News Roundup for November 23rd

by Andy on November 23, 2011

star trek t-shirt

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s amazing that there aren’t more Star Trek t-shirts around. $10 today at TeeFury.

vinyl 960 480x160 Daily Tee & News Roundup for November 23rd
I like the name of this shirt, ‘Vinyl Frontier,’ almost as much as I like the design. $10 today at Tilteed.

ProductLRGexterminators 480x568 Daily Tee & News Roundup for November 23rd
Very nice Doctor Who t-shirt from Nowhere Bad today.

shm 4ec701bf78f18 zoom 480x640 Daily Tee & News Roundup for November 23rd
I’m not sure if this shirt at Stupidhurts.us is a Deadmau5 reference or not, but I like it.

Flow Chart of Life6mtDetail 480x360 Daily Tee & News Roundup for November 23rd
Not my favourite Shirt.Woot design ever but it definitely fits with their style.

detail 111123 480x360 Daily Tee & News Roundup for November 23rd
I’m fairly sure there are a lot of people that would like this RIPT version of Battlestar Battleship to be a real thing.

PageImage 494390 2617174 Hoth 480x266 Daily Tee & News Roundup for November 23rd
Awesome shirt at The Yetee today, who would have thought that “Star Wars x crappy Christmas sweaters” would be such a good concept for a design?

tony1 480x293 Daily Tee & News Roundup for November 23rd
And here I was thinking that all the “people whose names are also a state” had been done, well done 24tee.

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TeeRaiders are dropping a Firefly design today.

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Loviu really liked The Dark Knight, presumably.

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Catch of the Day Tee provide us with our second Doctor Who shirt for Wednesday.

November23b 480x280 Daily Tee & News Roundup for November 23rd
Shirt Punch seem to be the only company that have realised The Muppets are really popular at the moment.

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Very pretty design from DBH today.

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Let me remind you that Rigu is a thing I launched last week and it would be brilliant if you could check it out.

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Glennz has released a desktop calendar for 2012 featuring some of his favourite designs.

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80sTees satisfy my thirst for Seinfeld t-shirts with this George Costanza ‘Professional Hand Model’ tee. for $22.

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Monsieur Steve is offering 20% off in his store today only with the coupon code onlytoday, though you do have to spend €70 to qualify for the saving.

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PLNDR have up to 55% off goods from Mishka NYC.

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A few months back on I Am The Trend Monique from Antisparkle featured “3 Affordable and Creative Branded Packaging Ideas” that I’m sure store owners will want to take a look at.

I didn’t mean for this to turn into a daily roundup for store owner resources, but I’ve been finding some good stuff recently, here’s “Five Copywriting Errors That Can Ruin A Company’s Website” from Smashing Magazine.

Mashable have 7 Tips to Make Your Blog Stickier. A lot of shirt brands have a blog that this info can apply to, but it’s important to note that a lot of the tips apply to non-blog content too.

Kissmetrics have a super guide to marketing using Twitter, and also a post with a guy claiming to have a 2% bounce rate which if you know your bounce rates you know is astoundingly low.

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I Am The Trend’s Black Friday List is up and it has more than 80 brands on it, crazy! My initial list will be up in a few hours.

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How to remove your t-shirt… like a boss!

by Andy on November 22, 2011


I, for one, am impressed.

Any of you guys tried this now that you’ve seen the vid. I gave it a go and I don’t think I was nearly as elegant as the fellow in the video.

{ 2 comments }

Sleepy Dan: Printing SnapBacks

by Sleepy Dan on November 6, 2011

Sleepy Dan snapback hats released this week! Screen printing on shirts has been so much fun so I am working to print on new apparel bodies too. This is the first part of the Fall line addition, the second half will release by the end of November. These hats are USA made and printed at Classic Cap & Embroidery with a high density ink to give the graphic some texture. There are several types of printing texture you can use, but all are able to be printed thru a normal silk screen. Using a dense ink for printing, means using a lower count screen mesh to let the ink easily pass thru the screen onto your material.
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This is a 95 count mesh attached to a small metal frame, custom made for printing on headwear. The emulsified screen has the new wake up graphic burned into it the same way a larger screen is made for printing on t shirts.
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The thin flat metal frame is bendable and slides into this form shape. The form gives the screen a stable arch that matches the shape of the hat crown, so an even transfer of ink goes onto a non-level surface.
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After the frame is secured into the form, the screen is taped off just like a larger t shirt frame. This makes sure no ink will leak around the edges of the emulsified screen.
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The form is secured into the specialty headwear manual printing press. This setup is used with specialty headwear dryer, which is taller to fit hats and has the heating coil on the side rather than on the top like a t shirt dryer. This makes sure the ink printed on front of the hat is properly cured.
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Normal ink can be combined with several different types of textured materials, to create a different texture print. The amount of ink has to be precisely combined with the correct amount of high density material to create the desired look during printing.
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The headwear printing press looks very similar to a t shirt press, but the pallets are curved just like the screen and hat crown. A hat is positioned on the pallet and secured with a spring mechanism at the back, then the press is operated like this — LIVE PRINTING
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After printing, the hat takes a 15 second run thru the dryer which activates the high density material and cures the ink to the hat.
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Each hat has to be positioned perfectly on the small pallet surface so all graphics are printed in the correct area of the front crown. This process is tested several times till the desired graphic position is perfected for the project. The hats I printed have a five panel crown, so there is one front panel of the hat.
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I tested the printing on some Flex Fit six panel hats, but not all of the prints came out well because the seam at the front of the hat did not allow perfect printing every time. The printing surface has to be perfectly flat for printing success. As with all printing, some mistakes happen and then some mistakes are a surprise success… Screen printing is an art form, so have fun with it!
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The Classic Cap & Embroidery sewing team is amazing, the side woven label is attached with precise placement every time like this — LIVE SEWING
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I made some interior woven labels for extra detail. They are again attached with amazing placement like this — LIVE SEWING
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I hope this insight helps you design a better project, knowing how easy it is to get it done. I made this hat printing a limited edition only printing 30 khaki and 30 navy hats. Creating something original is so much fun, so I’m looking forward to making some new snapbacks for Spring 2012…
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Daily Tees and News for November 5th

by Andy on November 5, 2011

coffee-aid t-shirt

Oh yeah! TeeFury

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Were Tilteed not selling this design just a couple of weeks ago?

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Nice Zelda shirt (right reference?) at Shirt.Woot today.

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RIPT bring us a Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure mashup today.

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It always amazes me how few Simpsons t-shirts there are out there. The Yetee.

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Was someone else selling this Buffy the Vampire Slayer t-shirt recently? No matter, it’s available at OtherTees now.

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I don’t know what or if there is a reference on this 24tee shirt, but it’s a pretty cool design either way.

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A quick Google tells me that this TeeRaiders ‘Miranda Reavers’ design is something to do with Firefly.

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At first I was like, “oh, that’s nice” then I looked at this Loviu design a little closer.

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Oh man, I’d just written a whole thing about not getting the reference on this Shirt Punch tee, then it hit me, Marty McFly from Back To The Future?

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Coty of CotyGonzales.com fame has a new-ish site called Exploration Hawaii all about hiking around Hawaii. We have some stunning walks around where I live (it may be called the Lake District, but there are hills around all those lakes), but the places he’s going look amazing. He’s running a little competition to win a $25 gift certificate from Threadless that I’m sure you’ll want to enter before November 10th.

Kissmetrics have a viral marketing cheat sheet that brand owners may want to check out.

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Cuppa-T have put up their Christmas shipping dates.

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PalmerCash are doing their bit for Movember.

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Urban Outfitters (in the UK/Europe at least) are offering free shipping this weekend.

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Hot Topic have updated their monthly coupon code, you can get 20% off with HTA20NOV providing you spend at least $60. Coupon expires December 2nd.

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HYA blogger Sleepy Dan has added some snap back hats to his store, expect a behind the scenes look at how they were printed here in the next day or so.

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Threadless have added some gorgeous (and massive) graphics to their partnership with Blik.


Make Believe have released a short but delightful video that really captures the spirit of their brand.

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Terratag have got a grab bag offer going on that I think gives really good value. They’re mystery tees or sweats/hoodies, so you’ll have to be a big fan of Terratag, but since they have a fairly cohesive range, I think if you like one of their shirts you’ll probably like most of them.

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Shirt designers always need more textures right? Apparently this free texture pack at Mintees is mighty fine.

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Looks like Mintees are going to be opening a marketplace, which is going to be another nail in the coffin of ShirtHive (another idea I had but couldn’t find the time for).

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There’s a really funny interview with former HYA blogger Randyotter at TheShirtList.

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Daily Tee & News Roundup October 28th

by Andy on October 28, 2011

panda astronaut t-shirt

Very nice Panda/astronaut t-shirt from TeeFury today.

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Another oldie-but-goodie from Greg Abbott at Tilteed today, it’s a really lovely design.

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Weren’t you always a little disappointed when you had to play as Luigi? Stupidhurts.us

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Hahaha, silly owl. Shirt.Woot

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Nice tribute to A Clockwork Orange at RIPT today.

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If a single one of you gets the reference on this TeeMinus24 design I will be amazed.

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Fairly creepy looking Doctor Who design at OtherTees today.

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24tee bring us a classic Halloween design.

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I didn’t like this Donald Duck shirt when Loviu first released it, and on the second viewing my opinion has not changed.

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I have no clue what is going on in this Catch of the Day Tee shirt.

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Nice Doctor Who design from Shirt Punch, I think it’s fair to say those guys have had a pretty decent first week.

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I stumbled upon this fantastic tutorial by Natalie Jost detailing several ways that you can customize your Big Cartel store to give it features which you would usually expect to see in a standalone ecommerce solution.

Urban Clothing shop for urban clothes UK streetwear skate clothes hip hop clothing giving you street style and appeal 1319800984440 480x361 Daily Tee & News Roundup October 28th
Sturban are offering free delivery in the UK on all orders until the end of the month.

Gmail 14 Fall Recap Sale bigguybigcity@gmail.com 1319800967026 480x404 Daily Tee & News Roundup October 28th
BustedTees have put all their fall releases on sale for $14 a piece until noon (EST) on October 31st.

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Dephect are offering 25% off all their tees with the coupon code HALLOWEEN11 until November 3rd.

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I’ve never heard of Kii Arens before, but their shirts are on Fab.com now, $19.50 down from $35, and they’re looking mighty fine.

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Digital Gravel have knocked 50% off everything, which is pretty huge, all you have to do is use the coupon code THX2011, the infographic says 3 days, but it’s now more like two and a half.

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T-Post, the Swedish t-shirt subscription service, are going to stop using a wholesale blank (I’m fairly sure they were using American Apparel) and produce their own shirts, and they want feedback from you to help make it ‘the best t-shirt the world has ever seen.’

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That above is a relaunch teaser for PPRHRT, I was unaware that they were in need of a relaunch but there you go, like their Facebook page to keep up to date with their relaunch progress.

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A reminder that Urban Industry‘s big Halloween sale is ongoing.

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PLNDR are giving away a $250 gift pack from Breezy Excursion, who I’ve never heard of so I presume that means they’re popular.

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don't start a clothing company

These two articles are a few weeks apart, but they tread a lot of the same ground so there’s not much point posting them separately. Ray from Lowdtown (who is in the process of relaunching the brand and is documenting the journey) has posted an article explaining just how much it costs to start a brand the proper way. People think that you can just put anything on a shirt, print 50 as cheaply as possible, open a Big Cartel store, and you’ll be the next Johnny Cupcakes. It doesn’t work that way and Ray tries to give you a bit of perspective, of course there a some people that do start out with one design and work their way up to being the next Bape, but they’re probably less than one in a million.

Jon Kruse over at How To Start A Clothing Company makes some good point in an article simply called “Don’t start a clothing company.” His site is dedicated to starting and running a clothing company, and he gets 25,000 unique visitors a month, which is 25,000 people either already making strides in the world of clothing or trying to start their own brand, and that’s 25,000 people every month. That’s a lot of people trying to get into a market that I felt was saturated when I started writing HYA almost 6 years ago, and it has grown exponentially since then.

Of course, these guys don’t really want you to not start your company, they just really want you to think about what you’re doing, consider all the angles, think not just about your first release but what happens after that. How are you going to market? Who are your potential customers? What is your price point and potential profit? How many shirts do you need to sell to fund your next release? Are you going to sell online, at craft fairs, open a pop-up shop, a permanent store, wholesale, a combination of these? Who will print your shirts? What printing method will they use? What blank shirts will you use? How much does shipping cost? How will you package your shirts? What happens if someone wants a refund? Who will design your shirts and branding? Who will design your website? There are literally hundreds more questions that you need to ask yourself, I just thought of those in a minute or two as a few examples. By all means, if you have a vision, go with it, but please be aware that t-shirts are not a path to riches for the vast majority.

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Sleepy Dan: Printing Bed Bugs

by Sleepy Dan on October 20, 2011

Great to see you back at the Behind the Design column! The purpose of the column this week is to give you a behind the scenes look at the complete process for printing a shirt. It can be complicated and not many designers know all the steps that go into printing their creations, but the Sleepy Dan column aims to help by sharing experience. I work as the Creative Director for a domestic manufacturing company in Dallas called Classic Cap & Embroidery. Several of my projects will be made here so you can see the production being made on the factory floor. Being a better designer means understanding the production process you intend to use, then creating and laying out your design in a way that makes it easiest for the production to be successful. If you are not well informed, there is a good chance the printing company will not share your vision for the design, or have to charge you more to set up the art correctly for them to print. In this column, I intend to share the point of view for every type of production that Sleepy Dan uses. This week we printed the Halloween design which is the first of the Monster Under the Bed series!
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The Sleepy Dan series one was printed on TulTex shirts because they are based in Texas, but moving forward I will be using Next Level shirts which is a step up in quality. I prefer a better quality shirt than all the name brands out there, but price is the battlefront for a sale so I am sure there are several shirt qualities as good as this or better, like American Apparel. The type of shirt and color you intend to use should be well planned out. Quality and price of the shirts you use is an overlooked detail when screen printing because you are so focused on the printing, you can forget that if the shirt is not comfortable and fits well, you will have trouble selling it no matter how cool the art is. Get to know all the shirt companies out there and what other brands are using. Look at shirt brands like types of cars, because there are so many different qualities and colors, then salesmen you have to purchase them from… All printing companies allow you to purchase outside shirts to ship to them for printing, or will help purchase the shirts for your project. But you must understand that if you purchase your shirts thru anyone other than the manufacturer, they will be marked up a little bit for each wholesaler, so I always suggest you purchasing directly thru the manufacturer. Just gotta allow for ordering and shipping time.
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The first step to printing your design is making the films. A film is basically a dense black print on top of a transparent vellum. It’s printed with registration marks for each color you intend to use in your shirt. There is a setup fee for every color you print, so if you want to print more colors the shirt will cost more. A good design will not use more than several colors so the project can be profitable. The setup fee includes printing the film and burning the film image into the screen that will be used to make the printed shirt. The film can be stored for future reprinting, but reprinting is a sign of an uncreative brand. Make new designs cause there is lots of competition out there…
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The film is carefully measured out to for center placement on the emulsified screen, so all screens made can keep good registration and all colors line up perfectly during printing so there is no offset printing of the colors. The film is scotch taped to the emulsified screen to keep placement for the burning process inside the exposure unit.
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The “burning” process is basically like creating a photo. The screen is first thinly coated in a light sensitive photo emulsion liquid, dried in a dark room so the emulsion is not exposed, then the film attached to the screen is put into this vacuum sealed exposure unit for the process that exposes the image into the emulsion. The screen is not harmed in this “burning” process, so the screen can be reclaimed after printing for hundreds of future printing projects.
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After exposure, a pressure washer is used to spray out the unexposed emulsified screen area. It easily washes out because the UV light did not hit this area. The exposed emulsion is hard and the unexposed emulsion is still water soluble. The exposed area is well adhered for the printing process and will need special chemicals to be removed from the screen after the printing is complete. This type of wash out booth is necessary for all burning and reclaiming of screens, it always creates a huge mess…
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After wash out the screens are checked for perfect image translation and need to dry out completely. Screen sizes needed for your printing project depend on the art you want to use, up charges for larger or jumbo screens are an industry standard, so try to keep your art to a maximum 13 inch width size. The screens are basically a metal or wood frame with a screen permanently stretched over it. Screens have a mesh count which describes the amount of threads in a square inch size. The lower the thread count, the wider the holes in the screen, which means lower image resolution and more ink being pushed thru the screen onto your shirt. The higher the thread count, the smaller the holes, which means higher image resolution and less ink being pushed thru the screen to your shirt. The low side of a mesh count will be 80, which is what is used on large letters making a thick print. The higher side of a mesh count will be 305, which is what is used on a very fine detail image making a thin print. Normally I prefer to use a 195.
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A dry screen means it can be taped off and made ready for printing. The bottom side border of the frame needs to be taped off so there’s no bleeding around the emulsion edges. Registration marks are left un-taped till after the frame is set into the press and first printing on a shirt is checked for screen alignment of all colors. Then you’re ready for production!
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Working with an automatic press means much quicker production. There were only 60 shirts for this project printed, so it took about an hour to finish up the printing. This is a 10 color automatic and when properly run can output thousands of shirts a day, depending on how many people are running the machine.
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Printing any project means you have to be able to create any color requested, so Classic Cap & Embroidery has a huge color mixing department. When sending your art to print, it’s helpful for you to pick the Pantone color you want to see on your shirt. This will help insure the color they mix will match exactly to the color you want. If you don’t pick the Pantone color, there is a higher probability for mismatch.
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Using an automatic press means all the prints will have a machine’s perfect consistency. The press allows for adjusting the pressure used by the squeegee on the screen, so you can put more or less ink thru the screen. Check out a short video of the Bed Bugs shirt printing at the Sleepy Dan YouTube page.
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The shirt is lined up on the platen board, so the print is centered on the shirt. Then the shirt rotates around to the corresponding color and is printed in order from least detailed layer first, then most fine detail layer last and making it the top layer. Between each color a flash unit will heat the shirt to cure the printed color, before moving onto the next color, so the previous printed color does not adhere to the bottom of the next screen color and make a mess for upcoming shirts.
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The final shirt print runs thru a large conveyer dryer that super heats the shirts to fully cure all colors printed. The dryer is hot enough to cook a steak, but the shirt is in the dryer for about six seconds which will not harm the cotton.
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To print on the back side of the shirt is the same to print on the front, but one side has to be fully cured before moving onto the back print, so the shirts have to be run thru the dryer twice. The Monster Under the Bed series print at the back neck is a simple one color, so the cost is just like printing one more color at the front. But the added value of having a back  design to display the limited edition appeal of the shirt, makes it really special.
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After printing is complete, the screens have to be reclaimed which can be a messy project. Excess ink is removed from the screens, then screens are washed in eco friendly trapping system so the ink is not just washed down the drain. Then the screens are dipped in chemicals, scrubbed, and power washed to remove all emulsion from the screen so it can be used for the next printing process.
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Private labeling your shirt means bringing it to a seamstress so the factory label can be un-stitched, removed, then your label can be sewn back in. It sounds like a simple process but it should be professionally done so the shirt’s factory seam looks unharmed.
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Classic Cap & Embroidery has a screen printing department, embroidery department, and huge factory floor for cut & sew. The employees are very skilled and love working on fun projects like this. Having a cut & sew department means they have all the machine types to create anything out of fabric like headwear, clothing, or accessories. Having their help means that sky is the limit! So you will be seeing them create some great projects for Sleepy Dan.
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Taking the shirts home to my printing lair, I am able to custom number all the shirts, so the Bed Bugs design is individually numbered 1-60. If you get one, your shirt is one of a kind and will not be reprinted! Check out the Sleepy Dan shop to see more images of the Monster Under the Bed series one.

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Sleepy Dan: Behind the Design

by Sleepy Dan on October 12, 2011

Hopefully after you read this posting, you will find yourself checking out the Sleepy Dan link below. I was asked by the Hide Your Arms team to create a column from the perspective of an up-and-coming indie clothing brand. My expectation of this column is to share the behind the scenes of a designer creating seasonal lines of clothing and apparel. Working in the Dallas area as a graphic and apparel designer, I’ve gained great experience as a branding designer since graduating from Ringling College of Art & Design – Yes, I went to clown school… But no, Sleepy Dan is not clowning around!

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Recently the Sleepy Dan signature line was released and already finding many fans that share common bonds with a lack of sleep. Being close to the beginning, I want to share the production journey from the start and help anyone looking for some guidance on their search for a successful project. Success of your project can be broken down into two parts. Making a product that is popular and able to sell for profit, then having fun with the project so you can consistently repeat the process while adding your creativity. I don’t believe success is measured in financial wealth, rather happiness of life while pursuing what you love. So stay sleepy, there is no time to rest because if “You Snooze, You Lose!”

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Starting out means you have minimal money to invest in the project and tons of time to perfect the first line. Around two years ago I decided to learn how to screen print from home so I could cut my overhead. I purchased some screen printing supplies and hardware from craigslist.org, aselart.com and gogsg.com then researched how to complete the process. After a couple months of working out the process, I was able to successfully print 40 shirts in a night, then hand out to new fans at events like Kixpo and Sneaker Summit.

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The purpose was to get some recognition and feedback for the branding direction with only the cost of the shirt, the ink, and my time invested. Taking your time to perfect everything from the trademarking to the clothing and the social media is most important. This is not a race… Get out to local clothing events and make friends with everyone in your city. Knowing the market you are looking to enter is just as important as making product for it. Make sure you understand the quality of product everyone else uses, so you are not considered out of bounds… Invest in a bunch of indie brand shirts you think are cool and represent some other brands. They will be your best allies down the road! You gotta give props to the city you love…

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The finesse of screen printing is just as much an art form as the designs you are printing. Starting from making films, then burning the film image into the emulsified screen for printing, then working the squeegee over the ink filled screen, the process is not complete until a high temperature is used to bind the ink to the apparel threads. Using water based inks is less harmful at home, especially during cleanup. Sorry I can’t share pics of our spare bathroom tub, cleanup has turned it into a scene straight out of Scarface…

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Becoming a recognized brand means being thorough and original with all the smallest details. Coming up with new ways to market your brand is your last step after you have a product ready to distribute. Have fun with the process from start to finish and you will be the wealthiest person you know! Creating more complex designs means you will need help from a local printer, or embroider, or seamstress. They are not difficult to find and work with, but it helps to be confident and understand the process they work with. The Sleepy Dan column will be sharing more of the apparel and accessories production from the line with you along the way, so stay posted! Contact me if you have any questions about your process, help is universal so don’t overlook it.

Thanks to Andrew for letting me become part of the Hide Your Arms team and one of the new featured columns!

http://www.sleepydan.com/

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How to prepare your t-shirt design for printing

by Andy on September 28, 2011

how to prepare artwork for printers

Blake from YouDesignIt (who guest posts here from time to time) has written a guest post over at Design Juices explaining to people that are new to the t-shirt game how to go about preparing your file for the printers, which is something that may not be immediately obvious to everyone. It’s by no means an exhaustive guide, but it definitely sets you along your way.

3 Helpful Tips to Get Your T-Shirt Design Print Ready

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Post image for 5 Tips to improve your product photos and help you sell more t-shirts

One thing that hasn’t change in 5+ years here at HYA is me complaining about people having terrible product photos. There’s no excuse for it these days, you don’t need a DSLR and a studio to take a few decent shots of your items, a little knowledge and a point-and-shoot is enough to showcase your wares to their best ability.

Mashable have put together a post giving 5 simple but easy to follow tips for improving your product shots. There are definitely better tutorials out there, but I’d say that this article is worth a minute or two of your time.

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