Another day, another startup shirt. But some clearly standout from the rest. Check out these awesome startup threads, found through a quick search on the Internet this week:
1. Loggly’s t-shirt via Loggly. Love how this shirt shows their true fun character and features a catchy saying.
Because this shirt doesn’t just feature a boring logo, people are stoked to wear it. Loggly even had this to say, “We are proud to say that people actually wear our swag out and about, track us down at events specifically to get their hands on it, and tweet at us to ask about how they can get it. We’ve even been offered money for the shirts off our backs, no joke.”
2. Wander‘s t-shirt via Keenan Cummings. Great illustration, particularly set against the beautiful blue shirt too.
“Here is the final Wander T-Shirt. I’m not much of a t-shirt guy so the bar was set at ‘would I wear this?’. Happy with how it turned out.”
3. Foodspotting’s t-shirt via Foodspotting. This shirt is cool because it’s all about the person wearing it- you can show off your passion.
4. Tikly‘s tees via Silicon Prairie News. This shirt caught my interest because I had to do a double-take and re-read it.
5. 9Clouds t-shirt via Silicon Prairie News. Love the playful adorable clouds on this shirt.
6. Don’t Panic Labs tees via Silicon Prairie News. Wow! Love the colors and the design- a great way to stand out from the crowd.
7. (Warning shameless self-promotion ahead) The Denver Startup Week tshirt, available now for only $5 (model and sunset not included). Sharp-lookin’ contrast between the logo and charcoal coloring of the shirt. And it speaks to the customer’s passion and location.
Do you have a favorite? Please share any startup t-shirts you’ve spotted!
Let’s end the week with something easy on the eyes, shall we? Check out these awesome startup threads, found through a quick search on the Internet:
1. Path’s t-shirt
This shirt shows a range of emotions, making it fun and elegantly simple. Definitely more exciting than just featuring a company logo.
via Robert Scoble
2. SeatGeek’s t-shirt
What a happy shirt! It’s a great way to show off their company while creating an image people find agreeable.
3. TinyPay’s t-shirt
Lovin’ the robot spunk which will totally resonate with the digital crowd.
4. Glomper’s t-shirt
This shirt features a funny phrase with an eye-catching creature- making the people wearing it feel awesome. It’s all about the customer.
5. Rackspace’s t-shirt
By featuring a product benefit Rackspace effectively speaks it’s audience’s language.
6. Weekenture’s t-shirt
This fun shirt makes me curious about what the service has to offer. I like the design’s whimsical flow.
7. TaskRabbit’s t-shirt
Love how they included the adorable bunny mascot. Makes the shirt super cute, while also practical because it includes the tagline too.
8. Play.fm’s t-shirt
Charcoal looks good on everyone; great color choice.
9. Bump’s t-shirt
It’s nice that this shirt includes a clear graphic showing what their product does- instead of spelling it out in words.
10. Disqus t-shirt
Great use of contrasting light and dark colors to help these shirts stand out in a crowd.
Do you have a favorite? Share any startup t-shirts you’ve spotted!
And if you’re ready to get some printed up for your company, head here.
Designing good swag can be a challenge but it’s important to dig deeper than a logo if you want folks to be excited to sport your threads. We’re ready to help you get your creative juices flowing with this month’s featured t-shirt design.
The Company: Foursquare, started in 2009 by Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai, is a location-based social networking service for mobile devices. Users “check in” at venues based on their physical location using GPS hardware in the mobile device. Each check-in awards the user points and sometimes “badges”, so you can compete against your friends.
The Customers: Foursquare’s customers are tech-savvy, as they generally have smartphones. Beyond that they enjoy gaming and they’re competitive! Also they’re split pretty evenly between male and female.
The Swag: Foursquare’s t-shirts were originally created for SXSW 2010. At the time they had 3 designs (logo, mayor crown, and heart badges) and printed 100 of each. The mayor crown was by far the fans’ favorite. It was simple and iconic and let people support the company without feeling like a walking ad. It’s become their un-official company logo thanks to the popularity of the t-shirts. People were originally drawn to the shirts because it was a physical item to represent something they had earned in the digital realm (the mayor crown is won when you check into a place more than anyone else). Also, they liked the clean stylish design itself.
The Success: Everyone wanted one. Shortly after the event, they were getting requests from users all over the world for the shirts. As a result they were personally hand mailing them out to anyone who emailed someone on the team and asked for one. They even had a little spreadsheet of sizes and addresses. (Sidenote: Printfection’s store and giveaway campaigns can totally eliminate this painful process. We can handle everything from ordering, through printing, to fulfillment without you ever having to touch a shirt.)
So what are your thoughts, would you wear it? Maybe the better question is, would you ever take it off to wash it?
(If you’d like to submit a design your startup created for t-shirt of the month please write to firstname.lastname@example.org)
So you’re ready to create some sweet swag but you don’t have a design locked down yet? Don’t worry, if you aren’t a designer or don’t have one on staff here are a couple ideas for getting the design you need to get your swag-a-liciousness on.
1. Ask your community for help
Ask for help from your customers on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, or email. Who better to come up with a design than the people you want to give it to? You’d be surprised at the artistic talent lurking in your social networks. For example a fan volunteered to create some artwork for the blog You Suck at Craigslist’s tees and mugs. It was a sweet deal for everyone as the fan got some YSaC branded gear and the blog made their community happy.
2. Hold a contest
Increase buzz while getting a design by using a contest. Run a contest using a service like Wildfire to solicit entries from your existing customers (who are great resources since they know you best and will design something they’d actually wear) or run a contest on a crowd-sourced design community like 99designs. For example Big Commerce wanted to do a giveaway to fans, but at the time only had a logo to put on a tee. So they held a contest on 99designs and ended up with three ballin’ designs to giveaway to customers and employees.
3. Hire a designer
Find creatives to outsource the design to using networks like The Creative Finder, Crowdspring, Etsy Graphic Designers, and 99designs. Or ask a friend for a referral.
For additional ways to get a design head here or check out our image requirements and get the ball rollin!
We know that it can be challenging to design good swag. But it’s important to dig deeper than a plain old logo. Push beyond the basics and create some threads that your customers will be proud to wear. That way, rather than being cooped up in a dresser drawer, your brand will reach even more corners of the world as people sport your swag while out and about.
To get your creative juices flowing, we’ll be featuring a different t-shirt design each month on our blog. This month’s example hits a little close to home– as it’s one of our very own.
The Company: Oh hey! We’re Printfection. You might have heard of us since you’re reading our blog. But in case you don’t already know, basically we put your startup swag on autopilot.
The Customers: We realized that part of our target audience is the marketing crowd. More specifically folks who work in the marketing departments at startups- like Marketing Directors and Marketing Associates. We also recognized that our shirts need to have unisex friendly designs.
The Swag: Meet the unicorn t-shirt (below). With our design we wanted to create something that spoke to what marketers do every day, that they’d be proud to show off- while still including some humor. The result was the saying “Unicorns are just horses with good marketing.” But text alone seemed a little boring, so we added a horse image to bring it to life. We made the front all about our customers, and included our logo on the back (with a small “powered by” because we’d like to think we’re helping!).
Thanks for checking it out. We would love to hear your thoughts! Oh and the even more exciting news: the first 10 people who share this post on Twitter including the hashtag “#printfection” will receive a unicorn shirt!
Stay tuned for next month’s shirt.
(If you’d like to submit a shirt design your startup created please write to email@example.com)
So you’re ready to create some t-shirts but you’re not sure which method of printing you should go with? No worries mate, I’ve got you covered with a quick run-down on the pros and cons of each style dispelling information about quality and durability of both silk screen printing and digital direct-to-garment. Based on what you’re trying to accomplish you’ll find that one style might be more suitable than the other. Here are the dirty details on each option so that you can pick the right one for your swag…
What’s Screen Printing?
Screen printing uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink can be pressed through to create a sharp-edged image onto a shirt. A fill blade or squeegee is moved across the screen stencil forcing ink into the mesh openings for transfer during the squeegee stroke.
Pros & Cons of Silk Screen Printing
Screen Printing Pros
- Common, you’ve probably seen and owned a silk screened shirt
- Cost effective for large orders
- Color matching i.e. exact match of your logo colors
- Versatile placement of designs
Screen Printing Cons
- Limited by designs and traditionally products
- Not cost effective for lots of colors, designs or products
- Longer turn around time
- Specialized artwork/pantone colors
Direct-to-Garment printing is a process of printing on shirts using specialized or modified inkjet technology. The two key requirements of a DTG printer are a transport mechanism for the shirt and specialty inks that are applied to the textile directly and are absorbed by the fibers.
Pros & Cons of Digital Direct-to-Garment
- Cost effective for lots of colors in the design/lots of different designs/products
- Great for detail or photos
- Quick turn around on an order
- On-demand – no upfront investment
- No specialized artwork required
- Not common – if you’re expecting silk screen and get DTG you may be surprised a bit by the print
- Not cost effective for large orders
- No color matching
- Limited placement of designs
Now that you’re armed with the right printing choice for your swag, head on over to create t-shirts for your staff, or an upcoming event, or to giveaway directly to customers!
When we launched our t-shirt giveaway service the first thing I wanted to do was launch an official Printfection giveaway. Except our classic Printfection shirt left a lot to be desired. Nobody at our office even wears the shirt!
Giving a t-shirt away and having it relegated to the bottom of the dresser drawer defeats the whole idea behind giving away free swag. Receiving a bland t-shirt for free is nice, but receiving an awesome free t-shirt is way better.
Instead of giving away our existing, boring t-shirt I managed to create three new, exiciting designs. And I have absolutely no artistic ability! So how’d I do it? A t-shirt design contest!