On paper, to design your own t-shirt is actually something that’s pretty easy. After all, the fact that the whole point of DIY garment printing is to come up with something totally unique means that in a technical sense, there’s no such thing as getting it wrong. Or at least that’s the case if you are creating your own garments simply for personal or private use – promotional garments and those for business purposes are an entirely different story.
Regardless of what area of business you may be in, promotion and marketing are undoubtedly of paramount importance to you. As competition intensifies across largely every sector worldwide, getting the right message out to the right audience has never been more important or challenging. As such, turning to things like promotional t-shirts is becoming more of an everyday decision by a variety of brands and businesses at all levels. But even in instances where you plan to give away a rather generous number of garments 100% free of charge, it’s of absolutely pivotal importance to get things right in order to avoid harming your brand’s reputation.
So for those considering an investment in promotional custom garment, how can you be sure to keep things on the straight and narrow?
1 – Printing Quality
Well, perhaps the single most important requirement to nail is that of outstanding quality printing. The reason being that the quality of the print/transfer job carried out will speak volumes for you as a brand, giving everybody laying eyes on it their first impression of who you are, what you do and how well you do it. If the design is faded, warped, blurred or generally poor in quality, what do you think this says about you as a brand? By contrast, if the printing job is absolutely flawless…well, you get the idea!
2 – Garment Quality
The same also goes for the quality of the garments you choose as while it may be difficult to identify a genuinely barrel-bottom t-shirts at a glance, the same cannot be said for those wearing them. It may look the part, but if the moment the garment is donned it becomes clear you’ve been seriously penny-pinching, this again doesn’t speak volumes for you as a brand. As such, it is a case of insisting on high quality garments, or simply not bothering with the endeavour in the first place.
3 – Inspiration
How to come up with a promotional design or slogan that’s a million-dollar idea? Well, that’s the million-dollar question in its own right and exactly why the world’s marketing gurus charge seven-figure sums for their services. If you already have something in mind, fantastic. If you’re able to sit around with others from the business and brainstorm some basic ideas, great. If on the other hand you have absolutely no idea what you are doing and have hit something of a creative brick wall, this is exactly the time to consider involving the experts. Or if not the experts, maybe hit the web and tap into the army of freelancers out there, ready and waiting to get involved in your project for minimal costs. Long story short, don’t force it and don’t settle for second-best.
4 – Validate Designs
Just because you’ve come up with what you think is a fantastic promotional design for your garment doesn’t mean for one second that even 1% of your target audience will agree with you. And if they don’t, you’re in trouble. The good news however is that the web has made it easier than ever before to validate and test your promotional designs, long before even considering ordering so much as a handful of garments. Get yourself on Reddit to pull in some opinions, spread the word on social media and generally go fishing for some impartial feedback. It’s unlikely you’ll please 100% of the people, but find something that hits home with the majority and you’re golden.
5 – Variety…Spice of Life…You Know?
Last but not least, just because the design you come up with looks perfectly fine on a plain white t-shirt doesn’t necessarily mean that you should stick only with plain white shirts. This is one of the biggest mistakes amateur garment designers make – they seem to completely forget that t-shirts, vests, crop tops and the likes are both available and available in an infinite variety of different colours. So if you really want to get your message out to the masses and appeal to as many people as possible with the garments you produce, don’t fall into the trap of assuming that every single person out there is equally in love with one very specific, very plain and perhaps very boring t-shirt design/colour/specification.