There’s few things that feel as good as seeing your own project or name on a custom band T-shirt. Wearing it on-stage; selling them to your adoring fans, fueling the fire and actually making some decent money while on the road – c’mon! you can’t beat it.
Despite all the fun there’s something to be said for planning an order of custom band T-shirts properly. We’ve found there’s some key choices you can make that have big impact on how fast they’ll sell through and how well they’ll be received.
The age old dillema! Do you go with top of the line quality or affordable pricing, or maybe somewhere in the middle?
We’ve seen success with bands slogging plenty of economy products at discount prices, and we’ve also seen high quality custom band T-shirts do well too.
They both CAN work – but you should think about who listens to your music and how print and product specs can effect your costs.
You know who listens to your music better than anyone, so think about what kind of budget your fans actually have for your custom band shirts and what kind of quality they want.
As a custom T-shirt printer, a lot of musicians come to us with visions of artwork with lots of colors slapped on both front and backs of shirts in small order sizes. There’s a lot to be said for correct color use and nice artwork, but you need to realize:
We’ve processed a lot of orders and our thought is that unlike shirts for corporations and businesses, there’s a huge branding element associated with printed band shirts. After all – It’s your band.
People who see your t-shirt will ask about it, and when they see it in their wardrobe they’ll think to attend your next show or even tell their friends.
So, while it’s great to do your custom t-shirts with top shelf artwork with all those colors, over-sized prints and multiple print locations… it can get pricey, and it’s usually a good idea to save where you can to get the most t-shirts out into the music community.
Here’s some industry advice for musicians that are looking to get great custom T-shirts done but are focused on making a good purchase and getting exposure.
These are quality tips and tricks which the result of decades of industry experience so ignore them at your own risk!
A typical screen printer is pricing based on colors and volume. This means that print size is usually not a factor in price unless we’re talking artwork larger than 11×17 inches. A great way to get some extra attention on your shirt is to make good use of your print area.
Two-sided printing, (or 2-3-4 location printing if you’re considering sleeve prints) will double or triple your printing costs. I’m a huge fan of sleeve prints myself and there are times when 2-3 location printing defines the shirt and makes the sale, but think hard about whether the extra locations are worth it in the end.
Many printers work set-up costs into unit cost so setting up colors will add to your price. Think about getting creative with colors to save money. Can the shirt color be outlined to act as a color within the design? Maybe there’s colors you don’t need in our artwork and can replace them with colors we’re using already to save on costs.
Halftones are a great way to add interest and depth to an image without breaking the bank. Many black and white photographs can be produced using just 1 screen which can mean a shirt with high perceived value for a low price tag. Be aware that half-tone images will never turn out just like the photo but can have artistic and powerful results if the right image is chosen.
A great way to save money on production runs is to order in volume. Once a job is running on press it takes very little time to throw another 24, 48 or even 100 more shirts through in the grand scheme of things. Your printer will be able to cut you a good deal when you order in bulk and your unit cost could easily be half price on 10 for what you’d pay on 100.
Consider the shirt itself. Do you want the latest fashion fit American Apparel Tee at a premium or something more economical. Are you going to be ordering different styles? Mens, womens, tank tops, hoodies? Your printer should be able to put different products toward volume discounts if your artwork stays the same so why not have some variety and see what sells best to your fans. Ask about your options.
Another consideration is shirt color – as long as the ink color stays the same different colored shirts can be part of an order at no extra cost. If you want to change ink colors during a run most printers will charge a small service fee but in certain circumstances it’s well worth it to create a range of different colors your fans can pick from.
The last consideration here is sizes. Your audience is different depending on your style of music, location, if your fans are women or men and so on. Everyone has a different audience. Size 2XL and above are typically billed at a premium by screen printers because they cost more to purchase. If you don’t need them and it’s your first order of product, consider saving some money by testing the waters. After your first round of sales you’ll be more informed about what sizing is your top seller and which ones are slow to move.
YOU KNOW YOUR FANS THE BEST! You know their interests, tastes, size, gender and how much they’ll pay for shirts more than anyone, so cater to them and you’ll see success.
We know there’s a lot of time that goes into practicing, lining up gigs, and traveling – but don’t forget to merchandise your custom band shirts properly! It fuels the fire.
When you’ve got great artwork and nice T-shirts fans can’t help but scoop them up from shows, facebook promotion and even through your website. Remember, it’s not selling out – your fans are buying a shirt to express their love for music – your music – and we think that’s a beautiful thing.
Our printed shirt design studio makes it fast and simple to order your custom shirts.
Just select your product / colours and get your estimate.
Easy as can be and hassle free!
It’s possible you’re local to us and have seen our team in person, but since we service all of Canada there’s a chance we won’t have the opportunity to meet you… but we still want to show that we are experts who process orders securely and efficiently.
We want to use our skill and knowledge to help as many Canadians as possible receive cool custom shirts, uniforms, sportswear and whatever other apparel they might be looking for. We are excited and passionate to be a guiding force in how our country looks and what clothing they wear.
At the end of the day the first order is the hardest to give the go-ahead on for customers, once we get through that then we can grow together!
If there’s any questions you have about placing an order we’d be happy to help!