Branded t-shirts can be a useful tool for showcasing your business. Employees, friends, or loyal patrons wearing branded shirts can create awareness and conversation surrounding your brand. Luckily, printing t-shirts doesn’t have to be a daunting project. There are plenty of platforms readily available to help create this inexpensive, versatile marketing tool for your business.
Identify the Use of Your Shirts
There are plenty of good reasons to make t-shirts for your business. Before designing your shirts, consider how they will be used. Some examples of uses include events, employee uniforms, showcasing new promotions or trying to raise brand awareness via merchandise for customers to buy. The list of options is endless! Identifying the goals of your efforts will help guide the design process.
Designing Your Shirts
The next task is finding what kind of shirt works best for the desired use and design. There are a variety of shirt options to choose from including crew neck, V-neck, long-sleeved, short-sleeved and more! People are more likely to wear long sleeves in the winter or tank tops in the summer, for reasons that should be self-explanatory. If you want people to wear them year-round, it may be a good idea to go with a classic short sleeve. Each type of shirt presents its own opportunities for different designs, so be mindful of this when moving on to creating the imagery and style for the shirt.
When it comes to designing a t-shirt, it is best practice to keep designs fluid and have purpose when adding different colors. Complex designs might look visually appealing on the computer or in print, but they often do not translate well to fabric printing. To ensure the best quality for your t-shirt design, the design should be created in the best image quality possible. When saving and sharing your design with the printer, be aware of the dots per inch (DPI) of the design graphic. For dark designs on a light shirt, the minimum DPI should be about 72. For light colored designs on a dark shirt, the minimum DPI should be about 120. A safe measure is to keep your DIP around 300.
During the design stage of the process, it would be beneficial to reach out to the vendor or someone with graphic design experience to help save your design in the correct format and quality.
If you do not have a designer on hand to help, there are tools online to help you create promotional t-shirts. Custom Ink can be used to design and print t-shirts. Additionally, they offer users a portal to edit and share designs easily through email and onto print on their website. Canva is also a great site to create easy graphic designs for free. It is simple enough for everyone to use and highly intuitive. This is just one potential platform to help and can even be used when not ordering through there site. Credible online vendors are a great place to start and finish swiftly while working with local vendors often offers you more personalized service, better pricing and an easier opportunity to reorder more product if needed.
Placing Your Order
Once your design is complete and you’re ready to order your shirts, you first should find a few reputable vendors, whether it be online or local, to get quotes from. You will be presented with a variety of print options, including screen printing, vinyl graphics, print-on-demand, and even embroidery. Screen-printing is generally the way to go when creating a simple promotional t-shirt. It can be surprising how affordable printing can be when ordering large batches of high-quality screen-printed t-shirts. It is important to be realistic on the quantity you will need and consider that your shirts will take up inventory space.
It may be beneficial to research different quality options for the type of shirt you chose. Vendors will have a multitude of shirts to choose from ranging in price, style and material type. Going local often gives you the ability to be more hands on with the process and can often mean shorter wait time for shipping and delivery.
The last step is a simple one. All you need to do is send over the chosen high-resolution graphics and get a confirmation from the vendor. They should send you a proof of what the final product will look like, which will be your final design so be sure it is correct! The wait time to have these in hand can vary depending on the time of year and quantity of the order, so ask your vendor for an estimate on when you will be receiving your products.
Though it may be a bit tedious, printing t-shirts can be easy, fun and pay dividends when marketing your business. A little research can go a long way in getting quality, personalized merchandise for your business. This does not have to stop at t-shirts either, there are plenty of items such as sweatshirts, polos, hats, sweatpants and more that can have you brand on them! The process for ordering these types of materials is similar to the one you just read. If you need any help, Accel Entertainment is here for you. Contact us today with any questions you may have!
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