Posts tagged as:

print on demand

bird t-shirt

The new tee from laFraise this week is nice, but not too exciting, it definitely fits with their style though and I’m sure it would be pretty wearable, but the new shirt isn’t the most interesting thing happening at LaFraise at the moment.

They’ve just introduced ‘LaFraise Unlimited’, which is a fancy way of saying that everything in their back catalogue will be made available via print-on-demand (which makes sense as they are owned by Spreadshirt), although rather confusingly they will only be making designs available when they’ve had enough requests for a reprint, which reduces the ‘on demand’ aspect somewhat, but it is still a cool way of making some of their older designs available that aren’t quite popular enough to require a full reprint.


RedBubble [Review]

by Andy on January 20, 2009


A few months ago I was contacted by Print-On-Demand/Store-front/Design Community site RedBubble to check out their service, unfortunately with me going to France it took me a while to actually make an order, and then there was a backlog of other reviews to do, and then the Christmas break, and then I left my homework on the school bus… which my dog then ate.


RedBubble have got a lot of great artists using their services, so you can find a lot of great tees and pieces of art (they do prints) just by using the browse function, or by looking at the best selling products for that week/month/all time, in fact one of the reasons why it took me so long to make an order was because I was struggling to pick which artists I should treat myself to (I don’t usually pick out the samples that come to HYAHQ). When I eventually did make my choices, Danger! by J3concepts, and Brain Tumor by bahgoesthesheep (to really test out their printing technique), I managed to make an error in my order.

With the Brain Tumor tee instead of being set to mens t-shirts by default as most of the other tees I looked at were, the artist had set women’s t-shirt options to be the default and I managed to miss it all the way through the ordering process. Is this a failing on my part, or do they really need to make the default options changeable by artists? Personally I don’t think it’s particularly necessary, but that’s probably because I don’t want to feel stupid. Mere minutes after I’d made the order and noticed the error I fired an e-mail off to customer support about it, but by the time they replied a few hours later my order was already being processed, which I guess shows how quickly they want to get orders out and remove the stigma that it can take a long time for an order to hit your door when you buy from a print-on-demand company. The customer service rep, Rhana, was absolutely excellent, and said that I should just give the girls tee to a friend and they’d send out the mens version to me free of charge. That kind of service is pretty incredible, and I feel it’s important to point out that there was no way Rhana could know that I was going to be reviewing their service as I didn’t disclose that until after the issue was resolved, and I used my Gmail e-mail address rather than my HYA one to ensure I was treated the same as someone who doesn’t review t-shirts. Oh, and I didn’t make the error on purpose so that I could test customer service, though it did work out rather well in terms of creating a more complete review, didn’t it?


Of course, when it comes to print-on-demand, the issue that most people are worried about is the quality of the product. Yes, it’s nice that you can upload a design and buy it (and other people can too), or support other artists that are using the platfrom, but if the tees suck then you might as well not bother. Happily, the tees do not suck, I don’t think you’d be able to guess that they came from a POD company, and they really show off the merits of direct-to-garment printing. I’ll let RedBubble explain the DTG process.

Direct to garment printing is a style of printing where designs are printed directly onto the t-shirts. The direct to garment printer is an industrial version of traditonal ink jet printing technology (think of the ink jet printer you have at home). This allows a wide range of colours to be laid down very quickly. One of the things we really like about this printing technology is that the t-shirts retain their soft feel – they don’t have that plastic feel that some printing processes can leave.

The t-shirts themselves are from AA stock, which is so ubiquitous in the industry that it’s getting pretty silly me even telling you about them. Basically, they’re good shirts and you don’t have to worry about kids in Asia being chained to sewing machines to make them since they’re produced in downtown LA, the only thing you really need to worry about is the guy in charge of AA being a bit creepy, but we can hardly blame RedBubble for that.

Each tee comes with a fabric tag (held on by a cute little clothes peg) with the name of the product and artist stuck on it, which again helps to personalise a service which I think some people build up as being very much unpersonal.


This experience with RedBubble has left me impressed, I’d happily use them again, and at ~£15 for a t-shirt they’re not too bad cost-wise either, though obviously the eventual price is dependent upon what the artist wants to earn from each sale.

Lots more images can be found in the gallery.

[click to continue…]


Love and Hate on Valentine’s Day

by Andy on January 11, 2009


[You don’t want to know what happened next]

According to our man in Japan (who, by the way, is in now way ‘ours’), the guys over at Spreadshirt are all about the love, holding a contest with for lovey-dovey designs, with 2 $500 prizes up for grabs. You have until January 15th to get your designs in.

In contrast, the Cafepress crew are bitter and presumably have no one to wine & dine on Valentines (not that I do either, mind you… ladies of Philly, interested?), and are holding an anti-Valentines design competition, with a total prize fund of of $400 worth of gift certificates and an American Express Gift Card up for grabs. The competition is open to US residents only (boo!) and submissions need to be tagged by January 22nd.


Ok, so you’ve got Cafepress, Zazzle, Spreadshirt, ShirtCity and a whole host of others that I’m forgetting, but you know what Wordans has that the others don’t? They’re Canadian!

I guess I’m being a bit flippant, Wordans do appear to offer a good service, plenty of high quality products, direct to garment printing for regular orders, screen printing for orders of more than 35 tees and the usual ‘design it yourself’ features that you’ve come to expect from the print-on-demand industry. Oh, and their blog is pretty cool too, its not all ‘look at us, look at us, look at us’, its more like ‘look at us, look at our competitors, look what our community did’.



Irregular Times, who don’t appear to spend all that much time talking about tees normally, have taken a look at print on demand companies and judged them based upon where the stock tees come from, and how ‘ethical’ those suppliers are (American Apparel = good, Gildan = bad, for example) . I don’t know if its the best metric for judging where you set up your virtual shop, but it is certainly something that you should think about when using a POD website.

Irregular Time: Review of Eleven Websites To Design and Sell Your Own T-Shirts, Considering Shirt Source [via that other t-shirt blog]


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