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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 ShirtHive.com 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.

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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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List of t-shirt stores

Let’s be honest, I basically had to, right?

The amount of positive (and constructive) feedback that I’ve received since launching t-shirtblo.gs last week has been pretty amazing. There’s been close to 3,000 visits since launch, and the top 10 blogs on the list have way over 1000 votes between them, those are numbers that I’m really happy with. I, and a lot of other people are also finding out about a lot of cool t-shirt blogs as well. I’d like to think that I’m well integrated into the t-shirt community, and that as a group, there is quite a lot of linking and chatter, but these last 7 days have shown me that there’s a lot more people out there writing about shirts and hunting down great brands and designers, and that can only be a good thing for us all, especially now that we have a list where we can find them.

Every morning when I turn on my PC I load up the admin page for t-shirt blo.gs and check out the URLs that have been submitted overnight, and there’s something wrong with some of the links. They aren’t to t-shirt blogs, they’re to t-shirt stores. So, about mentioning it a couple of times on Twitter, some people said “why not make a list for that?” So I did.

If you’ve seen t-shirtblo.gs, ShirtStor.es will be very familiar to you. The premise is the same, sites are listed, voted on, and ranked using a 5 star system. Highest score wins. I’ve added about 50 sites myself to get the ball rolling, but I want t-shirt stores to be adding themselves, to make sure that they get the description of their site they want, since just having a brand name doesn’t necessarily help the reader know what kind of thing a t-shirt brand sells, after all, would you really think that Threadless sold t-shirts if you just heard their name?

I realise that there are A LOT more t-shirt stores than blogs, and that this list could get messy and ridiculously long quite quickly. To comabt this I am looking into whether it is possible to add pages to the list (say, 100 sites per page), or, and I think that this might be a bit more exciting, whether to send brands into “exile” by deleting the bottom 10 brands at the end of every month, then not allowing them to come back for a few months, how does that sound? As ever, thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and care pacakges of delicious fudge are very much appreciated. Now go, check out ShirtStor.es, vote for brands, and suggest some brands!

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Free Mock-Up for T-Shirt Designers by Tom Neal

by Andy on September 9, 2009

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No, you can’t buy this (well, you could, the mockup is of an XS American Apparel 2001 tee), it’s a mockup done by Tom Neal for t-shirt designers to put designs onto so that your mockup looks a bit more realistic. As I don’t design tees I can’t really compre it to other mockups, but the fact that this release includes every colour of tee that AA offer in the pack… well that has to be a good thing. Find the download link at this Emptees Talk thread.

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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

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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

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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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Springleap, the South African t-shirt design competition, has a great post on its blog written by their CEO Eric Edelstein, who is chronicling the the ups and downs that they’re facing throughout their formative months. The account is surprisingly candid, it isn’t all positive anecdotes, but it does make me like Springleap a lot more. I love this kind of stuff, this kind of openness from a company really endears me to them, and having this kind of an insight into the way they work is really interesting to me, and I’m sure it’ll be of interest to some of you guys as well.

Check it out here.

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