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shirt hive

This is a project that I have been thinking about for quite some time. If you follow my tweets and read Emptees you’ll know that I floated this idea months ago, but now things are becoming a lot clearer, and we (yes, we) shouldn’t be too far off deciding upon a launch date. What the hell am I talking about you may ask if you aren’t an Andy stalker? Well, ShirtHive is going to be the best place on the web connecting t-shirt brands with amazing t-shirt designers.

At the heart of it, if you just wanted a bullet-point version, it’s going to be a t-shirt industry job board, and a t-shirt design marketplace, but I’d like to think that in reality it will feel like a lot more. New brands don’t have all the contacts they need, they could come to ShirtHive, post a listing saying what kind of designs they’d like creating for them, designers check it out (and have posted jobs e-mailed straight to them) and if they think the job suits their style they can submit their resume/portfolio and send a message to the poster. We’ll also be providing guidelines to brands and designers telling them the best practices in the industry, so that everyone gets treated fairly and with respect, ShirtHive will not be home to lowballers, design has value and we’ll be treating it that way.

But what if a brand doesn’t need something specific created for their line, what if they want some pre-made designs? Well, we’re going to offer that too, in the form of a curated marketplace. High-quality designers will have their t-shirt designs on sale in the marketplace, which can be purchased by brand owners, with print-ready files being available to download immediately. Currently we haven’t approached any designers for the marketplace but are drawing up a list of designers we would like to have on there, like I said, it will be a curated marketplace to ensure that there is quality across the board, but if you would like to be considered for the marketplace please leave a comment on this post (using your portfolio as the URL linked to your name), or send me a tweet/e-mail.

At the moment is just a holding page where you can leave your e-mail address which we will hold to give you updates when the site gets going, but it shouldn’t be too long before we’re open for business, and I will be giving you status reports over the coming weeks and months with how the site is going. I could go on and on about this project, I’m really excited about it, but I don’t want this article to run long, so if you have any questions, concerns, or feedback of any kind please leave a comment on this post and I will answer them all as fully as I can. Your feedback is very important at this stage and will be very much appreciated.


This is actually pretty cool. Yes, you could pretty easily do this in Photoshop but some people don’t have Photoshop, and this is a very quick process if you want to mockup a shirt in about a minute. You upload a jpg, scale it, rotate it, refine the colour of your shirt, and you’re done, a near instant mockup.

There is one problem for me in that if you use a jpg file then it isn’t transparent, so you end up with a white box around the edge of your graphic, but you can of course work around this by matching the colour of your graphic to that of your intended tee colour, or by using a transparent gif.

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Coloured Pencils by No Star Clothing

by Andy on August 6, 2010

coloured pencils by no star clothing

This is one of those simple tees that it’s very hard not to like, and it would be very easy to wear (wow, that was a really wanky-fashiony sentence, wasn’t it?).

Costiness=$24 Buy it at No Star Clothing Mens/Womens [via ATB]


How To Create A Balanced T-shirt Graphic

One of the artists that I always like to see work from is J3concepts, so it’s good to see him spreading the wealth with this tutorial about how to create a balanced t-shirt graphic on Computer Arts. I’m not sure how much help it will be to seasoned designers, but some of you might find it useful.

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cx city screen printing texture pack

I know that there are more than one or two designers reading this, and that everyone likes free stuff, so you’ll probably want to download this free high-res (300dpi) texture pack from a brand I hadn’t heard of before called CX City (free stuff is always a nice way to say hello!).


A4 T-Shirt by Little Factory

by Andy on January 13, 2010


I was under the impression that Americans didn’t use the same standardised sizes of paper that we do here in Britain and Europe, where we have a letter then a number to denote sizes, but this shop sells items in dollars, so I’m more than a little bit confused. Whatever, this is still a damn fine looking minimalist tee.

Costiness=$30 Available from Little Factory


Ha, a T-Shirt Sketchbook!

by Andy on April 11, 2009


Unfortunately it’s not on sale, but it is a very cool idea. Good spot, Coty.


Form Matters by Artefacture [Review]

by Andy on November 1, 2008

There’s something about artefacture’s text tees, I don’t think I can really put my finger on it, I can’t work out why a text tee that is so simple can end up being so effective. I guess that on a basic level you could say that these are text tees ‘done right’, but there does seem to be something more to it than that. I’m not a designer, so I can’t get too deep into truly understanding why ‘form matters’, I feel as if all the design people are having a meeting about form and I’m peeking over a fence trying to work out what they mean, but its probably safe to say that it has something to do with designs continuing work in attempting to save the world.

I know that there are people out there that don’t care for Artefacture’s design series, the text/slogan-based tees aimed squarely at designers, they find them a bit pretentious, and I can understand why. A text tee with a message on it like this just begs to be judged, you can’t really look at it and remain entirely neutral. Something that always intrigues me about Artefacture is that they make tees that are intended to be sold to the design community. I imagine that designing tees for designers is about as nerve-wracking as when the guy in Dominos notices that the next pizza he’s making up is being delivered to Mr. G. Ramsay or Mr. A. Bourdain, if you fail then you’re going to be panned by your own peers, but if they like it, well, its going to make success taste all that much sweeter, isn’t it?

One area where I feel Artefacture couldn’t possible be accused of failing in is the quality of their garments. The blank tee is by American Apparel, so you know the drill; it feels good, lasts well, and is cut slightly slimmer than a ‘normal’ tee. I like the little touch of the red hang tag in the back of the tee with just the name on it, that looks cool (even if the AA tag behind it ruins the effect a bit), and its nice to get a tee delivered in a clear plastic bag too, it makes it feel fresher somehow.

Costiness=$28 Buy it from Artefacture

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Are you a t-shirt designer? Read this.

by Andy on August 1, 2008

I think its well established that I’m not good at drawing (see), but I know that there’s a fair few designers amongst you, so I thought that you guys might benefit from checking out a series on Go Mediazine called ’15 Awful Mistakes Made by Designers in the Music & Apparel Industry’ especially if you’re just starting out in the industry and aren’t too sure about how everything works. There’s insight and advice from designers such as Rob Dobi (Full Bleed), Jimiyo, Derek Deal, and Jimmy Heartcore, amongst others, so I guess you could say these guys have been there, done that, and designed the t-shirt…. ha!

15 Awful Mistakes Made by Designers in the Music & Apparel Industry [thanks notcot]


Here’s a story from laFraise that doesn’t leave the North American contingent of the readership feeling left out. Their Seattle-based (IIRC) blogger, J3concepts, has put together a nice round-up of Adobe Illustrator tutorials he’s found on the tutorial website Tutorialized. The tutorials aren’t necessarily geared towards t-shirt design, but they could be pretty helpful if you’re still getting to grips with the features in Illustrator. Heck, these tuts may even turn me into a t-shirt designer!

And don’t forget, you can still get 25% off your order at LaFraise by entering the coupon code LFSALES08 in the checkout.

Illustrator Tutorials Roundup @ LaFraise



If you’re starting out in the tee game, and you’ve got ideas but don’t know how to get them onto your computer screen, then A Better Tomorrow (the German design contest and streetwear store) are here to help you. Andre (which is so much cooler than my way of spelling our name) has compiled a list of t-shirt design tutorials that should be able to getting you on track to creating a design that will be horribly mocked by people in Threadless submission critiques.

Google translate has actually done a pretty good job of converting this from ABTs native German, so it doesn’t read like an abstract poem.

Shirt design tutorials on the A Better Tomorrow Blog


Some bloggy goings on

by Andy on June 26, 2008


[Picture unrelated to anything, I just think that Ames Rooms are cool]
  • T-shirt Island has changed its name to Cottonable, which doesn’t really change anything in terms of the blog, but it is a pretty cool name.
  • Shirtlog, who had their first birthday recently (huzzah!), held an interview with Filip from Allmightys recently, check it out here.
  • Subtraction, which is a very nicely designed blog, has posted a great description of Rumplo, in case you don’t know what it is yet.
  • Atticus (the brand founded by Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge of Blink 182, though Hoppus doesn’t have anything to do with it now) and Ebtm (a British clothing site) have launched a fashion blog that I imagine British emo and scene kids might like.
  • Continuing the music theme, Ian Watkins, who is the singer/frontman of the Lostprophets, a band who are big in the UK (I’ve seen ‘em twice), has moved on from designing the bands album covers and merch, and released his own line of t-shirts with the brand name of Made In Hell, which are actually pretty good, and to prove that he’s keeping it indie and not selling out to ‘the man’ the store is powered by Big Cartel. If you’re wondering how I’m shoehorning this piece of news into a post about blogs… ummm… here’s an interview he did with Punktastic.
  • You The Designer wrote up a great tutorial last year (and I just re-found it in my bookmarks) that they’ve called “The Ultimate Guide to Designing Your Own Custom T-Shirts“, that’s a pretty lofty claim, but it is a pretty good guide to be fair to them.

    graniph design award.2

    by Andy on February 19, 2008

    Graniph, the t-shirt company who have the rather prodigious honour of being the only shop I actually bought a t-shirt from last year (and it wasn’t even for me!), are following up on last years design competition with… well, another design competition. I know that t-shirt design competitions are ten a penny nowadays, but there’s something a bit special about Graniph, their t-shirts are amazing, and they’re Japanese, which we all know makes things cooler by a factor of about seven (seriously, have you seen the Beams T store in Harajuku?). Here’s the details:

    graniph design award. 2 Application Guidelines

    Application Requirements
    The application process is open to anybody regardless of age, nationality, or sex.

    Application Designs
    Design Tshirts Store graniph wants tshirt designs from around the world.
    Pictures, illustrations, graphics, and photographs are limited to flat surfaces, but there is no limit on the type of design.

    Entry Period
    February 1 – March 31, 2008

    Gold Prize for one design, 1 million yen (9,000 US$) + Commercialization of the design by Graniph
    Silver Prizes for 10 designs, 100,000 yen (900 US$) + Commercialization of the designs by Graniph
    Bronze Prizes for 20 designs, 50,000 yen (450 US$) + Commercialization of the designs by Graniph

    Yeah, I know, 1 million yen sounds a lot more exciting that $9000, doesn’t it?

    If you’re interested in giving it a shot, here’s the link.


    Derbz Submission

    by Andy on July 31, 2006

    I don’t mean to make a habit of this, but someone e-mailed me asking for support of their entry into the Spreadshirt Derby, and I just can’t say no to people. So take a look at the naked running man (gonna click now aren’t cha!) and rate it how you judge.

    Take a look.


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