My customers constantly ask me for general help choosing the right brand, colors, and design trends to use on their t-shirts. Here are 5 tips that we've learned that can help make your next order great!
1. Choose The Right Brand
Arguably the most important advice when ordering t-shirts is to choose a brand people will actually wear! There are literally hundreds of brands out there, so I'll make it simple for you. There are Good, Better, and Best styles. Here are my favorites:
Good: Gildan 2000
AKA: “The Promo Tee I Got Free From That Event”
The Gildan 2000 has become the standard in promotional tees, and for good reason. They’re affordable, and they are heavy in weight. Similar to the Hanes Beefy Tee, but it’ll be better for your budget. They also have a great color selection.
Better: Canvas 3001
AKA: “The Cake You Can Have & Eat Too”
The Canvas 3001 is the entry level into the more premium brands. You get a shirt that feels and fits great, but you don’t have to worry about breaking your bank account. This shirt is perfect for you if you want to try out something better than the norm, but you don’t want to take a huge financial risk.
Best: Comfort Colors 1717
AKA: “That Shirt Everyone Keeps Talking About”
They’re everywhere. College campuses, boutiques, outdoor outfitters, and students everywhere are going crazy over these shirts. Why? Well, it’s in the name. These shirts have become famous for 2 things: a comfortable fit, and a huge color selection. They are definitely one of the most expensive brands, but that’s not stopping the craze. They fly off the shelves, even when commonly retailed for over $30. (For a t-shirt!)
2. Pick Some Trendy Colors
Picking a good color of shirt can be crucial. Consider your audience. Women or men? Kids or adults? You don’t have to complicate it. Neutrals are almost always a safe bet (black and various grays). Kids tend to love bright colors and adults tend to like darker colors. Teenagers and college kids are easy, because they look good in all of them.
Current trending colors:Coral, Mint, Seafoam, Crimson, Heather Grey.
Pro Tip:Heather colors are very popular! They look like blended threads (because that’s what they are). They are also typically softer because they’re commonly cotton/poly blended.
3. Have A Great Design
Similar to choosing the right brand - the design is everything! Having a good design makes the difference between someone wearing your shirt to mow the grass in OR someone wearing it on a Friday night in public. Your order shirts because you want them to be seen, right? Don’t skimp on design. It can be simple or complex - all that matters is that it’s going to look awesome with your favorite pair of jeans.
Need help with artwork? I was hoping you’d ask. We have 4 in-house graphic artists that create daily designs for retail, events, businesses, non-profits, ministries, schools, and anything else thrown at us. Trust us - we’ll make it look great. Don't believe me? Check out our portfolio.
4. Know Where To Spend Your Money
If you’ve made it this far in your quest for a great shirt, then you might be asking “how much does all this cost?” Great question. It depends. The top factors that determine your cost are listed below in the order that they affect the price.
What STYLE will you print on? (brand, short sleeve, long sleeve, hoodie, etc)
How many LOCATIONS of ink? (front, back, sleeve, etc)
How many COLORS of ink per location? (1 color front, 4 color back, etc)
How many QUANTITY? (price breaks are at 36, 72, 144, 288, 576, 1000, etc)
Sometimes you want a high quality shirt, but you’re constricted in your budget. Easy! Do a 1 color front only on a premium brand. Sometimes you have a 6 color design, but your boss is asking you to keep it under $8 per shirt. No problem! Consider an entry-level brand like Gildan, Hanes, or Fruit Of The Loom. It's all about what's most important to you.
5. Talk To An Expert
My 5th tip is short and sweet - just contact us. Call or email us to walk through all of this with one of our experts. We’ve been doing this since 1988 and we’ve followed the trends through decades of fads and styles. We know what’s trending AND what’s timeless.
This is going to be fun.