GPL t-shirt design

Amazing Ideas
I’m going full tilt into sourcing enough products to open my store and today I have a new one to share with you.

I really like how it turned out. The GPL is super powerful and I think it deserves some swag of its own.

Also I thought it might be fun to talk about my creation process a bit. There are two main constraints in my process, My small budget and my desire for a variety of styles. There are so many neat art styles that it doesn’t make all that sense to have everything done in the same one.

Also with my budget being quite small, I don’t have the money to hire big names or fancy designers so I have to be a bit creative. One thing I like to do is search message boards looking for already premade designs for sale. Usually designs that were made for fun or rejected by other clients. The people who make these designs are usually students or people just getting started so the prices are really affordable, much more affordable than if I had an established person make the design from scratch.

This process is pretty fun too as retrofitting an existing design for a new purpose is usually a bit more challenging than commissioning a design from scratch. This way also allows you to run across ideas that you likely wouldn’t have thought of without the inspiration of the original piece. The above design was made by a really talented guy from Indonesia that I found on a t-shirt message board.

Projects are Fun

Projects are so much fun. If I had my way my life would be a never ending cycle of new projects. Projects are fun as they usually involve doing something different and you usually learn something new from them. I haven’t had any real meaty projects for a while so I decided to change that.

So yesterday I was working on my Creative Treachery website. This allowed me to learn more about WooCommerce which I have wanted to do for a while now. Today I’ll probably tackling something new and I’ll likely blog about it tomorrow :) .

On Boredom

I say I’m bored alot, I’ll admit it. The funny thing is how it elicits a negative reaction from just about everyone who hears it. Maybe boredom isn’t that common of a problem.

When I say I’m bored it doesn’t mean that I’m sitting and staring at the wall. I can always find things to do, they are just not always things I feel are worth while or meaningful. Things like watching TV or playing video games are something I’ll do but I don’t feel its a very good use of my time. I’ve tried to fill this void with a bunch of random hobbies but none of them really stuck. They are just time fillers.

Haven’t you ever felt that you wanted to tackle something huge, something that encompasses every moment of your life. Haven’t you wanted to build something amazing, something that has never been seen before. I have these types of feelings but I don’t know how to satisfy them.

I don’t know how I’m ever going to solve this boredom problem but I know I can’t stop trying.

The Best Giveaway Shirts

t-shirts are currency in the web world. Anyone who has worked in this industry ends up with a closet full of free t-shirts. One thing I’ve noticed lately is how many bad giveaway shirts are out there. By bad, I mean ineffective in achieving their goal of getting new users/customers. So I thought I would write down some of my random thoughts on crafting effective and desirable shirts.

Make shirts people actually want to wear.

First and foremost you need to make shirts people want to wear. This seems like common sense. What do I mean by this? The design of a shirt has to be so nice and impactful that even if the person doesn’t use your service or know what your service does they will still want to wear the shirt because they like it.

This means putting just your logo on the front of a shirt and giving it away is kinda dumb. No one will wear a shirt with a random logo on it if they aren’t a user of the service or at least like the service. I may wear shirts with the WordPress logo on it but that is because I know and love WordPress. You won’t see me wearing shirts of just logos for any other brand.

MailChimp is a perfect example of this. I have never used MailChimp and I probably will never have the need for it but their shirts are so well done and fun that I still wear them.

You also want to stay away from including marketing language on your shirts. While we want people to advertise for us by wearing the shirts you don’t want them to think/know that is what they are doing. We want the advertising to be more organic and less forced.

Shirt quality matters

If you are thinking of cutting costs and going with a lower quality shirt, don’t. Back to my first point the most important part of shirt giveaways is making shirts people want to wear and people don’t want to wear cheap, crappy shirts. I’m not saying everyone has to use American Apparel. To tell you the truth I don’t really like AA. There are other lesser known shirt companies that make a better product at a cheap price than AA. Look into LAT or Alternative as a couple examples of great shirts at an affordable price.

Forget back prints

I’ve blogged about this before but I’m not a fan of backprints especially if all the pertinent information (company name or url) is on the back. There are some exceptions to this rule but if at all possible I would try to work the company name or url into the front of the design. You have to worry about hair, hoodies and all sorts of other things that would stop people from seeing what is on the back. So if you feel something is really important put it on the front.

Keeping it fresh

It may not seem like it but the conference circuit is smaller than you think. I’ve worked conferences on different sides of the country and the same conference multiple years and I’ve seen some of the same people at all of them. Its important to not get lazy. There is nothing worse than trying to give someone something for free and get told no thank you because they already have it.

Why shirt giveaways are important

Shirts can be a very effective form of long term advertising. For me the target is not the person you are giving the shirt to but its the people who see the shirt being worn after the conference is over. The shirt may get worn hundreds of times to co-working spaces, local events, or even the same conference that they were given out at in future years. If you do your job right and this becomes one of their favorite shirts and not only will people ask them about the shirt but the person wearing it will be able to tell them all about the company who gave it to them.