If you've ever seen one of your t-shirts out "in the wild," than you know it's an amazing feeling. Spotting them at an airport or at your local coffee shop sparks an excitement that we wish on all of our customers! Unfortunately, there are 5 big mistakes a lot of brands make that will keep them from experiencing that moment.
1. Cheap Shirts
Let's get real. When was the last time you chose to wear a t-shirt you were not comfortable in? Soft, quality t-shirts are no longer considered a luxury by t-shirt wearers -- it's the norm. Lucky for you, the market for quality t-shirts is huge!
Long gone are the days where you had to choose between Gildan and American Apparel. There are now many styles that offer affordable, mid-level, and high-level quality shirts. Some of our favorites are Bella+Canvas, Next Level, and Comfort Colors. Whichever brand and style you choose, just remember this helpful tip -- better is better.
2. Too Many Ink Colors
If your budget is a little strapped from choosing a quality shirt, you will love this helpful tip. When it comes to screen printing - less is more. While there are exceptions to the rule, some of the most successful shirts only use 1-3 ink colors in the design. Unless you're trying to accomplish photo-realism in the design, a simple print will actually be much more iconic.
(Examples: I <3 NY, Rolling Stones Tongue, Vote For Pedro)
3. Unnecessary Dates in The Design
Putting a date on your shirt isn't always wrong -- but it is most of the time.
- When you should
- Events where the shirt is a souvenir of an accomplishment
- Retail Brands with Notoriety (ex: "Established in 1994")
- When you should not
- Any shirt you plan on selling AFTER your event
- If you brand is younger than 10 years old
One final note -- If you can help it at all, don't print the day or the month! Nothing is more awkward than trying to sell a shirt that says "July 30, 2017" when the event was rained out and moved to the next week.
4. Shirts Are NOT (Just) Billboards
I'll admit -- when I first started my brand, I had the mindset that shirts were like walking billboards. Even starting out as a sales rep at Ink, that was a common metaphor that was thrown around in marketing meetings and sales pitches. Here's the problem -- the secret got out, and now everyone is doing it. In a sea of hundreds of shirts, your "billboard shirt" is going to have a hard time cutting through the noise.
The solution is easy. Change your mindset. Consider the possibility that your "billboard shirt" is having the exact opposite effect as what you'd hoped. Just like real billboards, your brand will most likely be accidentally observed and quickly forgotten.
Instead, get creative. Trade your plain logo tee in for a trendy design on a quality t-shirt. (Need help coming up with a great idea?)
That leads me to the last (and arguably the biggest) mistake.
5. Not Understanding The Trends
Like a lot of people, I have two drawers of t-shirts. The top drawer is a collection of stylish, comfortable t-shirts that I wear often. The bottom drawer contains the shirts I wear when I mow the grass, wash the car, or when I finally get around to painting the guest bathroom.
The best way you can make sure that your shirts wind up in the top drawer is to stay in line with the trends. So, what are they exactly?
Glad you asked. Twice a year, our team releases a free e-book highlighting the current top trends. You can download our Spring/Summer 2017 e-book here!
Remember -- your customers want a great shirt. If you don't offer them one, it will end up in their bottom drawer.