Tips for How to Design Your Own Apparel
In today’s video, we introduce you to Dan Byler, Business Development Guru at Jakprints. Jakprints is a premier print shop here in Cleveland with over a decade of experience in online printing. They specialize in custom full-color offset printing, apparel printing/embroidery and sticker production. Dan really knows his stuff, as evidenced by the video you’ll see below, in which Dan discusses his tips for How to Design Your Own Apparel.
Dan Byler has been happily employed at Jakprints since 2004. He began his career in Apparel Production at Jakprints and over the years worked my way into a Business Development role. He is currently working at the Jakprints Oceanside, California office. He has helped hundreds of clients with thousands of projects during his time at Jakprints.
For more on how to design your own apparel, head to some of our most popular articles on this topic under this category:
How to Start Your Own Clothing Company
Tips for Designing Printed Apparel
My Top Three with Jon Phenom
Jon Phenom, apparel designer and brand director for BLVD Supply, has been advising entrepreneurs on how to create and grow their fashion and clothing lines for over ten years. You can find him doling out advice on YouTube, where he has over 425 free videos for designers looking to grow their clothing lines and launch their businesses into the stratosphere.
Jon’s many passions include brand consultation, design and production work, public speaking, and providing online courses to help other designers launch their clothing lines. His Clothing Brand Academy will be launching soon, so stay tuned to learn how to create an original garment design and learn how to successfully launch your own apparel line.
You can find Jon on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, as well as on his Official Site. Make sure to subscribe to his Official YouTube channel now for all of that free knowledge Jon has blessed us with. It’s truly extraordinary stuff.
After you’ve subscribed to Jon’s channel, check out this video he created exclusively for Go Media, where he gives us:
3 Tips to Approaching Your Design Work
How to Launch an Online T-Shirt Business
Here at Go Media, we receive many fantastic emails from fans and friends who are creating their own online clothing businesses. They write with many questions for us – everything from how to get started through how to launch with a bang. We thought we’d take this opportunity to address some of these great questions and give some advice to the best of our ability. Ready? Let’s get started!
Brand, brand, brand.
To have a successful business, you need to build a strong brand. You need to come to understand what you offer that is unlike any other apparel line, who your target customer is and what makes you stand above others. Keep in mind that there are millions of apparel lines out there. Until you have a compelling story line, you’ll be on a road going straight to nowheresville.
Once you have gotten real with yourself, identified your brand and developed your vision, you can begin to create the assets needed for your business, including your mark, logotype, truly unique apparel, ad material, etc.
Pick your pleasure.
Do some research and choose a site (or multiple sites) where you’ll post and sell your designs. Sites like Teespring, Fabrily (Teespring Europe), FreshMonk, Gooten, GearBubble, Teechip and Teezily are ready-to-use platforms that will help you launch your own web-to-print ecommerce business.
Prefer to run your own store? Try to create your own eCommerce website through sites like Shopify, Wix, Squaespace or Weebly. Fulfill orders through a trusted printer (like Jakprints) or fulfillment sites like Printful.
Another option is to work with marketplaces such as Big Cartel, Etsy, RedBubble, Amazon, Cafe Press, Society6 and Zazzle. The benefit of this is that the marketplaces have not only tools set in place to get you going in a jiffy, but pre-existing customers who are ready and waiting to take a look at (and hopefully purchase) your work.
You can also try submitting a design to a site like Cotton Bureau, but understand that the acceptance of rejection of your design is solely at the discretion of the site.
Set up all of the accounts.
Stake your claim on all of the social media accounts associated with your new brand. Yep, a Facebook page and Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat accounts, a blog – you name it. You will need these to advertise all of your awesome designs and connect with your ever-growing community, so set them up now and get to work on them when the time is right. Depending on which platform you use, you will also want to set up a Mailchimp account. This will be vital in collecting information from and keeping in contact with customers. Email marketing, after all, is free and one of the best, most targeted ways of marketing available.
Nail your photography and copywriting.
Should you need to take your own product photography, make sure it’s on point. Do your research on where it’s being sold, as many retailers will ask for your product to be shot on a plain background. Make sure that you shoot all sides of your product (front, back, various angles and close up shots as needed), so that your customer gets a real life, intimate view of it. Not a professional photographer? iPhones work miracles these days, especially when partnered with time and care.
Better yet, use pre-existing professional, high resolution mockup templates from the Arsenal, Mockup Everything or Shirt Mockup, to ensure that your customers are seeing your designs displayed on the best of the best.
When writing product descriptions, know your stuff. Order the apparel you’ll be selling and give it a test run. How does it feel in the real world? Is it true to size? Does it shrink after washing? What does your design look like on a classic tee versus a tri-blend tee? Do they fade differently? Is it truly something you’d want to wear? If not, start from scratch until you find the perfect t-shirt. You know, the one just like your favorite tee you can’t help to wear over and over again.
You’ll need to test your product on family and friends of all sizes and shapes, so this is a great opportunity to get some modelshot photos in. We suggest taking these photos on both white backgrounds and out in the real world.
Do your research! This will take time, but will pay off in dividends.
Once you’ve nailed the best product and understand how it feels, you’ll really need to sell it in your product description. Read other product descriptions until you’re blue in the face. What do they include that appeals to your senses? Include not only a detailed description of your product, but what makes it unique, how it will benefit the user and how it will improve their life. American Giant is doing a fantastic job of this with their “World’s Best Hoodie” campaign. Consider using testimonials here as well.
Ship it out, keep in contact.
If you’re responsible for shipping out your own product, do so without hesitation. We suggest using a scale and label printer from stamps.com, where you can also print labels. This makes things incredibly simple and allows for the shipment of product immediately. Should you have any difficulty with fulfilling a product or need to delay shipment for any reason, get in contact with your customer immediately and be honest. Customer service is key.
While we’re on the topic of shipping, consider adding your own personal touch when your product is on its way out of the door. Write a personal thank you note to your customer and stop and take the time to make your packaging something to remember.
Get your work out there.
While you’re getting up and running, get your gear out in the real world. Share samples with friends and hit the streets with your designs by participating in flea markets, art shows and other community events where you can sell your merch. Getting your name out will start the momentum you need and can give you some immediate feedback as well.
Starting any new venture takes tenacity. Instant success isn’t guaranteed. You may fall more times than you’ll step forward. The more you count your failures as learning moments, the more you keep pushing towards your goal, the greater the chance you’ll become known. So keep narrowing in on who you are, what unique gifts you can bring your audience and put your best foot forward always. We believe in you!
It seems like everyone is creating a t-shirt line these days. But creating a great t-shirt design is an art few can master. Luckily, the team here at Cleveland graphic, logo, web design studio Go Media has a rich background in apparel design to draw from, as do friends of Go Media, designers Herman Lee, Ed Pincombe and Dan Byler of Jakprints.
Today, we are sharing 7 questions to ask yourself when you aim to create your next tee design. Like any other project, you want to concentrate on designing “an iconic graphic that leaves a great impression to the viewers through all different kinds of medium,” reminds Lee. But when dealing with apparel, your own set of questions will arise.
Seven Questions to Ask Yourself When You Want to Create an Iconic T-Shirt Design
Have you fully immersed yourself into the project?
Know your audience! Like any great project, put your research in before pencil hits paper. Creating a band tee? Familiarize yourself with the band, fans and the merch referenced in the brief. Listen to their music, read their lyrics and come to know what they’re all about. This should all play into your eventual design. Study the brief, ask lots of questions and make changes based on feedback.
Does it highlight your customer?
Companies like Red Bull and Go Pro have done a wonderful job of making their customers feel like rock stars. Who says your t-shirt design can’t accomplish the same thing?
As Jeff notes in Thread’s Not Dead: The Definitive Guide to Starting a Clothing Line, “People still look at t-shirts as a medium for art and for a message. When you wear a t-shirt with an image or text on it, you’re saying something about yourself. You’re sending a message to all who see it. The message may be simple like, ‘I like this band.’ Or ‘I love New York.’ You might also just think that the style or the imagery represents your interests and makes you feel part of something bigger than yourself.”
Your messaging is powerful and the owner of your tee becomes a part of your brand. What do you want your audience to feel, represent, say?
Does it push the envelope?
As Jeff says in Thread’s Not Dead, “good design will blaze new trails in what people are wearing. A good design pushes boundaries and does things differently. It starts new trend, forges new printing solutions, and advances the industry.” A great example of this is Jeff’s Bold is Beautiful design that people said could never be printed.
Is it clear?
“I think a simple, clear concept is most important. Your execution can be detailed and complex but if a viewer doesn’t “get it” in seconds it most likely isn’t going to be that iconic design you are looking for,” says Pincombe.
Does it make great use of space?
“Use the whole t-shirt as your canvas. Your design doesn’t have to be fixated dead center of the t-shirt,” notes Lee.
Did you logo make a prominent appearance?
Sure, you’d like to get that logo front and center. But placing it playfully is part of the fun.
Have you considered the end product?
The t-shirt should speak for itself. Clean, crisp, simple, memorable, timeless. But think outside the box for a moment. How will you deliver the tee to your customer? Will you create custom tags? Special packaging? Will you include freebies to show you know your customer and their quirks? You’ve gone this far. Knock it out of the park and turn your customer into the brand evangelist you want them to be.
Now go for it!
Once you’ve designed and mocked up your tee, it’s time to put it out there for all the world to see.
“All of the most iconic t-shirts have one thing in common, notes Cleveland printing company Jakprint’s Dan Byler. “They started with an idea that someone had and that person acted on their idea. Take the plunge and print your shirt. Yes, it takes time and money to print apparel. No, it’s not a guaranteed success. How else are you going to find out if your idea is any good without putting it out there?”
For more on creating an iconic t-shirt and for all you need to know to create a killer clothing line, pick up Thread’s Not Dead: The Definitive Guide to Starting a Clothing Line by Go Media Partner Jeff Finley
Meet T-Shirt Mockup Tool Mockup Everything
What’s better than a portfolio filled with your best work? Not much, we say. After all, you never know when opportunity is going to come a-knocking.
But this, we know, is much harder than it seems. And as you know, the very last thing you want to do is throw work into your portfolio without the utmost care and consideration.
But guess what! If you are having a difficulty finding the time populating your portfolio, we have the perfect solution.
Our free t-shirt mockup tool, Mockup Everything, will add apparel design work to your portfolio, easily and efficiently – with stunning results. Up the anty when you upgrade to our Pro Account, which offers bonuses such as larger image sizes, no watermarks, a transparency option and hundreds of template options (with a growing library).
Make Magic Happen >
1. Head to our t-shirt mockup tool, MockupEverything.com
2. Select from 7 Main Template Categories, then dive deeper to find the template you’d like to use.
Use the Purple “Select a Template” Button to choose your selection.
3. Click on the template (turning it blue) to select a design for your template.
This design can be minimized, expanded, rotated to fit your design. Use the white button above to change the color of your template. Want your t-shirt color to match your uploaded design? Touch the eyedropper to your design and poof! Use the purple to change the color of your background. Pro Users, click the purple button, then choose the transparent box option to change your background to a transparent png.
4. Crop or just simply continue on to save to your computer. Please note, if you have chosen a transparent background, the screen will go to white briefly while saving.
5. Add it to your portfolio. Last but certainly not least! Post your work. And make sure to share it with us. We’d love to give you a great big like, appreciation, shout-out, tweet, high-five or hug.
Good luck and enjoy Mocking Up Everything!
Pro Tips On Preparing Artwork For T-Shirt Printing
Hey designers, attend our all-inclusive soul-fulfilling three-day design retreat, WMC: Off-The-Grid, this October 5 – 7th. To learn more, head to wmcfest.com.
We are Go Media, Cleveland brand designers (and more), and we hereby decree that best way to ensure fast turnaround times on your custom printed t-shirt order and keep a happy, healthy relationship with your print partner is to deliver correctly prepared art files every time. By following the guidelines in this article, you can avoid unnecessary delays in the process that occur due to common artwork errors.
Tip #1: Start by planning out your color schemes.
This might seem like a strange place to start, but by planning your color palette first, you can avoid details that are often overlooked until it is too late. When creating an apparel order from scratch, it doesn’t necessarily matter whether you pick garment or ink colors first. However, there is an undeniable link between the two that is reflected in the final product. Always simulate every ink and garment color combination by creating mock-ups ahead of time to proof the results on screen.
If designs are already created and you just need to add them to garments, the process is a little easier. It’s important to check if your graphic contains the same color as your shirt. If so, those areas can be used as negative space – the space around and between the subject of an image – in the middle of your print only, as matching colors along the outside edge will not be visible.
Similarly, ink and garment colors close in value will result in low visibility. Sometimes this can produce a cool effect, like when using tonal colors. However, if your intent is to have a logo that is readable from far distances, you may want to consider otherwise. To guarantee your logo can be seen from across the room at corporate events, make sure that you have maximum contrast between the two colors.
If starting from scratch with the ability to choose garment colors before inks, you can design with color harmony in mind. This requires a little more groundwork, but there are tools and resources available to help make this advanced technique easy even for the novice designer. First, you will need to determine the RGB values of the garment color that you have chosen. For our example, we will use the Alstyle 1301 shirt inline (92, 193, 81). Next, plug those values into a Color Palette Generator such as Kuler by Adobe. From there you can apply the different color theory rules to create additional ink color swatches.
With whatever colors you end up choosing, add them to your ”swatches” palette and save them. Create a separate folder for this color scheme, and label each color in a way that makes sense to you. Use these presets as a guide to how you will paint each area of your design and do not stray from your original plan. Just think of this process as if you were picking “paint chips” from the hardware store in preparation to paint the exterior or interior rooms of your house.
Tip #2: Choose Pantone colors (only if you possess a physical color book).
One of the biggest mistakes is improper use of Pantone references. Many times designers will select PMS colors from their graphics applications like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator and expect to see the results as they appear on their screen. This defeats the entire purpose of calling our Pantone references due to the differences in color calibration from one computer monitor to the next. To get an idea of how drastic color, brightness and contrast controls vary on screen, walk the television aisles of any electronics superstore.
The only way that your printer can guarantee a color match is if you both are looking at identical references. This requires both parties to be holding the exact same physical color book in their hands. The Pantone book that you will need for screen printing inks is called the Solid Coated Formula Guide. This color library is generally sold with an Uncoated version and costs around $150 for the pair. So, unless you need to guarantee exact color matching on a regular basis, this may be a bit of an investment for a part-time designer. The good news is that your printer will generally not require PMS colors with your order and will choose the closest available Pantone based on what they see on screen. Count on your local print shop to have correctly calibrated monitors and ideal lighting conditions for viewing color. Just remember that there may be slight variances from your “out of the box” computer that you are working from in your office.
Remember to include your PMS references in your written order submission. If the Pantones are only included in your files, they may be overlooked or assumed as non-pertinent information.
Tip #3: Design in Adobe Illustrator when possible.
If you can control how your graphic assets are created, always do so in vector format, created with Adobe Illustrator. Unlike .JPG, .GIF and .BMP image formats, vector graphics are not made up of a grid of pixels. These files can be resized indefinitely without sacrificing print quality, so if you want to use the same logo for business cards, postcards, t-shirts, banners and billboards, each one of them will print clearly and without the blurriness or pixelation that occurs when resizing images that were created in Photoshop.
When you create your graphics in a raster–based application, such as Photoshop, you are more or less stuck with the original dimensions. Always start your documents from scratch at the intended print size with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch. If you then copy/paste low resolution elements into that workspace, you will notice that it will resize the graphic and will appear much smaller. DO NOT scale these elements any larger, or they will become blurry and will print with poor quality. When in doubt, always create your artwork larger and at a higher resolution than needed, as you can always scale the art down without causing issues. Transforming files to be larger can get you in trouble.
On the condition that your artwork was hand-drawn and you need to digitize the illustration, be sure that you have scanned your artwork at the correct resolution. The general rule of thumb is that if you have drawn the artwork at actual size, then scan it at 300 dpi. If your artwork was created an 50% scale, then you will need to scan the artwork at double the recommended resolution (scan at 600 dpi).
Tip #4: Leave the separations to the professionals.
For t-shirt graphics, your print shop will be creating spot color separations themselves, so there is no need for you to try and divide the ink colors up on your own. Regardless of which program you use, set your color mode to RGB. CMYK, also known as full color, is for process color printing only, where the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black halftones are blended on press to optically create the full color gamut. Instead, think of screen printing inks as pre-mixed paint colors that go straight from the bucket to your t-shirts.
Where a full color image is reproduced on t-shirts, your printer may use 8-12 spot colors printed as halftone screens to reproduce the spectrum of color in your file. This technique enables them to replicate photorealistic prints with more vibrancy, even on black garments, and with greater color consistency from one piece to the next. If the graphic is instead made up of all solid areas of color, the print may not contain any halftones at all.
The color separations that the pre-press department will create from your artwork will be specific to their equipment and workflow. Sometimes, creating your own separations will just be creating extra work for pre-press, as they might have to make corrections. If you are trying to achieve a particular effect, try to mock it up first. Always include instructions in addition to submitting your original untouched print file, and consult your printer ahead of time before submitting your order to confirm that they can produce the results you are looking for.
Tip #4: Save an editable copy for yourself and a second copy for print.
When you have finished your final design, be sure to save an editable file for yourself, just in case you need to make adjustments later. If your printer has issues with any of the things that you have done within your file, you want to be able to go back and make amendments without having to recreate them. Or worse—start from scratch.
Once this safety net is in place, save a final print file to send to your printer using the following guidelines:
-Outline all fonts (convert to vector shapes)
-Embed all raster links
-Save as AI, EPS, PDF
-Rasterize all text layers
-Merge all printable layers
-Save as PSD, TIF, PNG, PDF
*Create a separate layer for your garment color and label it. DO NOT flatten your artwork to your garment color.
How to Brand Your Apparel Line: Keys to Success
“It’s a common misconception that a brand is a company’s logo,” Go Media Partner graphic designer extraordinaire Jeff Finley notes in his book, Thread’s Not Dead. “That’s just part of it. Some experts say that a company’s brand is the “gut feeling” in their audience. The brand is actually a combination of all experiences that a person has with a company. When you think of every interaction as “branding” you can begin to shape the way people feel about your company in a natural way.”
So just how did our favorite clothing brands build their brands and what can you learn from them?
Read on as we talk shop with Jeff and friends Ben Scrivens from popular apparel brand Fright Rags, visual media designer Lain Lee and Hallie Perrin and Chris Miles, both from Cleveland based printing company Jakprints.
Consistency is Key
“The most important thing in branding is consistency. You need consistency in your designs, website, packaging, and social media presence. You need consistency in the way you talk to customers, how you answer the phone, what your email signature says, and the verbiage on your website, etc. The number one thing to remember is you are setting and meeting customer expectations.” – Jeff Finley, Author, Thread’s Not Dead
“It is very important to keep consistency throughout your brand so that the community can recognize it in stores, in the streets, and on social media. My recommendation for keeping this consistency is keeping your logo and the garments you use consistent throughout the merchandise you produce. This helps the community recognize the logo and for the consumer to recognize a high quality product that they love. It will also give them the confidence when purchasing from you.” – Hallie Perrin, Jakprints
“Developing your Mission/Vision Statement in the early stages of planning can help identify who your core demographic is. Staying true to the core values expressed in that document is a sure way to get your customers to identify themselves with your products. Be consistent with these principles when building your brand and you will have longevity in the marketplace.
Fashion is a reflection of our own personal tastes and even the most obscure has a following. Get in touch with those personalities and make them feel like they have a larger sense of community by leveraging social media. By giving them a platform to connect with like-minded individuals, you will gain invaluable advertising through word of mouth. Stick to your ideals and participate in your own forums, with it will come an army of loyal brand patrons.” – Chris Miles, Jakprints
Build a Culture Around your Brand
“It’s all too common for people just starting out to tout themselves as bigger than they are. They use terms like ‘we’ when it’s just one guy in his basement. I did the same exact thing… Ironically, as I really did become a ‘we’ I gravitated to using my own name and identity with my brand. I personalized emails to my customers, and even shot videos of myself talking about how I got into horror and why it means so much to me. Little did I know, I was crafting my story behind our brand and putting a face and voice to the company that customers could relate to. Now I spend a lot of my time cultivating those relationships by doing things like sending surveys, allowing customers to vote on designs, showing them the process of taking a design from sketch to shirt, and even showing them how a shirt is printed.” – Ben Scrivens, Fright Rags
“The first step in building a culture around your brand is to DEFINE the culture you’re seeking to appeal to and develop. A huge mistake a lot of these apparel lines make is not defining their brand – the who, what and why they’re doing it. They start out by making clothes they or their friends want to wear more than anyone else, never really taking the time to do their due diligence and research, making sure that their audience is also looking for what they’re putting out. Without a definition, without a “backstory” to your brand, without understanding the culture you’re seeking to develop around the brand, you’re doomed to just putting designs on clothes (and being stuck with unsold inventory). Building a brand is way too expensive and time consuming to not take the time to define the who, what and why you’re setting out on this journey for.” – Lain Lee, Lain Lee 3 Design
Concentrate on What Makes You Different
“What I believe makes Fright Rags unique is the connection we have to not only the horror genre but to our customers. Everyone who works with us is a fan first. We think like horror fans, and we are active members in the community. Using that as a jumping off point, our sensibilities are already tuned to what other fans might like, which helps guide the types of designs we create. Also, we use original artwork commissioned by artists for our designs. While that is done more and more these days, it was a fairly new thing when we first started as many other companies used poster artwork for their shirts. Our designs are unique artists’ takes on the films we love. Branding is as simple as finding those things you do that sets you apart and honing in on them. It may only be one thing, or a few, but you need to boil it all down to the essentials and build on those. It’s simple – yet also very difficult – because shirt sites are a dime a dozen these days so you have to be very clear with your message or no one will buy from you. In addition, authenticity is also crucial. If you aren’t connected to the types of products you sell in a personal way, it will be much harder to convince others to trust and purchase from you.
I get emails all the time from people who want to create their own brand and they are so fixated on how many designs to release when they start or how many to order for their first run. While those need answering, they are the last things to figure out. If you don’t have customers then it doesn’t matter if you order one shirt or one hundred. What makes you stand out? What is your or your company’s vision? Why would I buy a shirt from you? Answer those questions first, and focus on creating your brand and customer experience around them. The rest will follow.” – Ben Scrivens, Fright Rags
Focus on Customer Service
“Customer service is huge for new clothing lines. The main goal for customer service is to ensure that customer will be be a return customer even if the issue/situation is not in their favor. If that’s a promo code, or an email for them to be the first to know when their out of stock garment is back in stock, it will make that customer feel special and feel like a key asset to that specific clothing line. The possibilities of making that customer feel special are endless, and being resourceful with this is key. – Hallie Perrin, Jakprints
“Customer Service is the key to having repeat customers. If you plan on selling your merchandise online as many independent clothing labels do, be sure to have as much information available about the fit and finish of your garments. You will reduce the amount of returns by simply listing the measurements of each size and by providing a footnotes about the merchandise and models shown on your product pages. When possible, include helpful hints like “sizing runs small”, or “loose fitting”.
Implement Free Shipping and Hassle-Free Returns if possible. By including these costs in your “overhead” before you add markup, online retailers can lower the barrier to entry. Bank on either worst case scenario when building your shipping costs into your pricing or seek out flat-rate mailers to ensure that your operating costs are fixed. 2-way shipping may be too much cost for your product’s price points to absorb, but if on average your customers only return 1 out of every 20 orders then you can build an extra 5% of the shipping fees into your product so that your return will accumulate over time. Be sure to audit the amount of returns vs. the number of shipped orders at least once a year and make adjustments accordingly if necessary.
Last but not least, respond to all comments and complaints promptly. Negative reviews on the internet can be devastating for a company of any size and can be almost impossible to erase from the web. Treat even the most irrational customers with respect and offer them fair resolution, even if it costs you a little extra. The price you pay for “bad press” will far outweigh any spoilage or ruined product that you may have to replace on your own dime. With enough data, this too could be accounted for and added to your operating costs formula.” – Chris Miles, Jakprints
Polarize Your Audience
“It is very important to polarize your brand. Taking a position is what will set you apart. Remaining in the “middle of the road” and trying to appeal to everyone will keep you exactly there – in the middle of the road. If you think of some of the world’s best brands, they always let you know where they stand within their culture and what they represent. Coca Cola, happiness and nostalgia. Apple, quality and innovation. Bad Robot (JJ Abrams production company), mystery and great storytelling. In-N-Out, simple, classic burgers. Remaining marginal will keep you from getting noticed and definitely keep you from standing out in your customers’ minds. To polarize your audience, take a stance and become very vocal about it. If your brand is all about being youthful, fun, and party-hopping, shout it from the mountaintops. If your brand is about clean lines, minimal design, and honoring the spirit of Herman Miller and the Eames, post articles that reflect that mentality and denounce the use of over complicated elements of design. The bottom line, pick a side, then pick a strong subsection of that side, and become very vocal about it’s integral role in your brand.” – Lain Lee, Lain Lee 3 Design
And then…Take it Back to Basics.
“Once you’ve developed your brand, what are the first, most important steps to getting it launched and really seen?,” we asked Lain.
“This is one of my favorite questions that I get asked a lot. And it’s one of my favorites because the answer is the exact opposite of what every article online will tell you. Are you ready?
Make quality, meaningful connections with your audience OFFLINE and use online properties to leverage those relationships. In a world that makes it increasingly easier to connect with people online and never have to touch, talk to, or interact with them, we’ve become way too reliant on the internet and smart phones to handle all of our networking. There is no substitute for shaking someone’s hand and looking them in the eye as you share your passion with them.
People don’t buy your clothes because they’re better than anyone else’s, let’s be honest. Sure, you might have a style that appeals to them. But let’s play a little game really quick: You and another company release the same exact design at the same exact time. You have no followers, you’re just getting started, and you’ve only reached out to your immediate circles through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and email. The other company is just getting started too, but they’ve decided to release their new design at a local sneaker convention (feel free to substitute in here any other type of convention you’d like).
You hear from a few friends about the shirt, and finally your grandma decides to buy one to support you. They get to spend the next 2 days passing out info, shaking hands with like-minded people, and sharing stories, laughs and making real connections with people about their brand. They end up almost selling out of their design. They get home and see that 52% of the people they handed out cards to have started following them on their social media channels, and their mailing list has grown. They also received several inquiries about what else they had in the works. In this scenario, who do you think made the better decision and why? While you chose to solely rely on social media, the other company went out into the “real world” and made genuine connections with their customers.
So what’s the take home here kiddies?
[Tweet “Customers buy from you because of YOU, not just because of what you’re selling them. – Lain Lee”]
They become invested in your company when you show them why you’re doing it. So in summation – define your brand’s culture, polarize your brand’s ideologies and views, and when making connections with your audience, start with why. (PS: Simon Sinek, a world-renowned author and speaker, has a great video on Youtube in which he explains why you should always “Start with Why” when selling, I highly recommend checking it out.)” – Lain Lee
– So why should we buy your tees? Tell us below! –
More about our contributors:
Mockup Everything’s Hoodie Mockup Templates
Mockup Everything provides an easy-to-use online platform for applying your graphic designs to a growing variety of print products. Since all of the work is done right on our homepage, you need not use any fancy software like Photoshop. Just select your template, choose your apparel or print product color, select your background and press save. The result is a jpeg snapshot to share with your marketplace.
If you’re a Pro Member, you will also be granted the option of saving out transparent png snapshots whenever you choose a transparent background for your mockups.
Mockup Everything is a great way to test your product’s market potential as well as explore how it might look before going through the expensive manufacturing process.
Taking these extra steps in your process will save you from what may have been design disaster. So, what are you waiting for?
We’re proud to introduce the newest in our long list of hundreds of templates!
Check out this month’s releases,
which include 5 new Womens Hoodie Mockup Templates:
Women’s Triblend, Ghosted Side View
Women’s Zipper Hoodie, Ghosted Back, Version 2
Women’s Triblend Zipper Hoodie, Ghosted Front
Women’s Triblend Zipper Hoodie, Ghosted Front, Version 1
Women’s Zipper Hoodie, Ghosted Back, Version 1
Check out the rest of our template library:
How to Start Your Own Clothing Company:
a Quick Guide by Your Friends at Go Media
Welcome to the Go Media’s Zine!
Are you a passionate creative, student, designer, entrepreneur?
You’re in the right place.
Inside you’ll find the tools you’ll need to successfully do what you love. We’ll share real-world practical advice, solid business techniques, step-by-step tutorials, as well as educational podcasts and webinars to take you to the next level.
We give all of our secrets away and cultivate an open environment for the sharing of insights and inspiration.
When you’re ready, we would also love for you to be a part of our community. Please comment on posts, become an active member of our social media community and/or email to find out ways you can contribute your own designs or tutorials to the GoMediaZine.
With hundreds of posts in our archives sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. Our Start Here page is a great place to get started. This page holds 7 quick guides to becoming the creative you’ve always dreamed you’d be (brought to you by the best web graphics company in Cleveland, Go Media). You’ve landed on one of these lists so let’s get started, shall we? Read on to learn how you can:
Start Your Own Clothing Company
1. How to Launch a T-Shirt Line in One Day
2. The Fundamentals of Great T-Shirt Design
3. Starting your own shirt line. PART 1
4. Starting your own shirt line. PART 2
5. Apparel Printing: the Designer’s Guide
6. How to Get Your Apparel Line into Retail Stores
7. 15 Awful Mistakes Made by Designers in the Music & Apparel Industry – 1 of 3
8. 15 Awful Mistakes Made by Designers in the Music & Apparel Industry – 2 of 3
9. 15 Awful Mistakes Made by Designers in the Music & Apparel Industry – 3 of 3
10. Pointers for Designers Working with Apparel Companies
11. A Designer’s Guide to Pricing
12. How to Charge For Your Graphic Design Work (& Get What You Deserve)
13. 10 Tips to avoid designer’s block
14. How to Win at Design by Humans
15. Apparel Design: 120+ Inspirations from Go Media’s Portfolio
16. 5 Keys to Branding Your Apparel Line Like a Boss (+1 Top Secret to a Successful Launch)
1. Anatomy of a Band T-Shirt
2. Design Process: “Sick” Metal Band T-Shirt
3. Tutorial: “Lady Luck” T-Shirt Illustration
4. Go Media’s Rapid-Fire Illustration Technique
5. How to Design Your Own Custom Hoodie
6. Sexy Holiday Vector Pin-Up Girl Technique
7. How to design a t-shirt on a budget and a tight deadline
8. Ornate Lettering Process
9. Designing Ultra SceneXCore Apparel!
10. Beautiful Vector Illustration
11. How to Create Vintage T-Shirt Designs with no drawing ability
12. Pro Tips on Preparing Artwork for T-Shirt Printing
13. Keys to Launching an Online T-Shirt Business
Start Your Own Clothing Line with Our Apparel Design Start Here Pack
Want to start your own clothing line? Look no further. Your career starts right here with our Apparel Design Start Here pack. The pack is chock full of the industry’s best tips, tricks, strategies, secrets, tutorials, tools, mockups and other essential weaponry you’ll need to go from novice to top dog in days.
We included 6 of our must-have products together, including:
- How to Launch Your T-Shirt in Less Than a Day Tutorial
- eBook: 15 Awful Mistakes Designers Make in the Music and Apparel Industry
- Thread’s Not Dead: The Definitive Guide to Starting a Clothing Line
- Men’s Crew Neck Ghosted Templates Pack
- Ladies Crew Neck Ghosted Templates Pack
- Awakened T-Shirt Design Pack
Only $65 (originally $175)
Take a peek at what’s included:
If you’ve thought about starting an apparel line, or you have one already, I can guess what you’re thinking: It’s just not possible! And yes, there is a huge list of reasons why it’s not possible to do this – and it’s this list that keeps most people from taking the first steps. This video will break down barriers that we all deal with, and show you how to turn your passion into a concept, come up with a logo, create your first line of tees, get them printed, and finally how to market & get your first sale. It is possible to launch a t-shirt design in less than a day.
One of the most popular and discussed articles on our blog was this three part series by Jeff Finley about mistakes designers make in the music and apparel industry. We feel it has some great information and we’ve consolidated the material and packaged it into a nice ebook for your convenience.
This 40 page ebook is meant to be a quick read. You can finish it quickly, get inspired, and move on with your day.
Learn how to start a clothing line, design better t-shirts, and build a loyal fan base. You can become the next legendary t-shirt designer!
Thread’s Not Dead is the best guide to starting a clothing line. Period.
Written by Jeff Finley of Go Media, learn the secrets and strategies used by the most successful clothing brands.
This download includes:
- .MP3 AUDIOBOOK
- .EPUB (iPad, iPhone, Ipod, Nook)
- .MOBI (Kindle)
- .PDF (desktops and tablets)
- 60 MB of Bonus Files
- Stock Vectors and Textures
- T-Shirt Mockup Templates
- Photoshop Actions and Brushes
Learn how to freelance design for your favorite brands or start your own clothing line. This book covers everything you need to know.
Our goal is to help you create a popular and successful clothing line. Key topics include design, freelancing, band merchandise, personal branding, marketing, sales, printing & production, retail, business strategy, and e-commerce.
The book features contributions from the people behind Threadless, Emptees, DesignByHümans, Big Cartel, I Am The Trend, Go Media, Jakprints, Glamour Kills, Paint the Stars, Cure Apparel, Fright-Rags, and more!
- Designing for Tees
- Design Techniques & Tutorials
- Printing & Production
- Branding & Marketing
- Sales & Fulfillment
- Going Big-Time
- Conclusions & Next Actions
- Case Studies & Interviews
Want to learn more before you buy? This book has its own website with more info on what’s inside.
This crew neck t shirt template pack contains 8 regular men’s crew neck t-shirts that are “ghosted”, or appear to have a body shape. These shirts are squeaky clean (ie, no distressing, like our Distressed Shirt Mockup Templates Pack.) There are four different body shapes, with front and back for each, giving you all of the variety you’ll need. This pack allows total flexibility with the tag. Don’t need it? Click and it’s gone.
All in all you get:
- Men’s Crew Neck T Shirt Templates (4 front views, 4 back views)
- PSDs, all shadowed, highlighted, layered and masked for ease of use
This pack contains 6 regular women’s crew neck t-shirts, all of which are are “ghosted”, or appear to have a body shape. These shirts are clean and crisp (without distressing).
Like the Men’s Crew Neck Ghosted Templates Pack, these templates allow total flexibility with the tag – you can turn the tags on or off.
All in all you get:
- 6 high-resolution mockup template PSDs
- All ghosted, including front and back views
- The masked and layered, fully customizable templates you’ve come to know from us here at Go Media
This “new-age” themed custom shirt design includes everything you need to design a great t-shirt. This pack comes with 6 royalty free vector illustrations. They focus on sacred geometry and enlightenment, a bitmapped wing graphic, a tri-blend t-shirt mockup PSD, and the original vector design completed as you see it here. As a bonus, we throw in a free chapter of our popular ebook Thread’s Not Dead: The Designer’s Guide to the Apparel Industry.
The cool thing about these custom shirt designs is you can mix and match all the images to create your own design.
You’ll need vector graphics software such as Adobe Illustrator to use these designs.
You can either use this design as-is without changing a thing or mix and match. We recommend using some of the awesome geometric patterns to create brand new designs.
That wing graphic is so versatile! We could see that being used on many different styles of t-shirt design.
Only $65 (originally $175)
Wishes Granted: The Kids’ Apparel Essentials Mockup Templates Pack is Here!
Mock up your designs on all of the essential kids’ apparel and pump up your portfolio in an instant with our newest mockup templates pack.
The Kids’ Apparel Essentials Mockup Templates Pack: Kids’ T-Shirt Mockups & More includes 17 high-quality Photoshop templates you’ve come to know and love by your friends here at Go Media’s Arsenal. All for only $35.
Yes, of course.
These kids sweatshirt, hoodie, leotard, tank, thermal, modelshot and t-shirt mockup templates are fully customizable, allowing you to load multiple images onto the apparel pieces, modify the clothing color to whatever you choose and change the background as you wish. The sky is the limit!
Here’s what you’ll get:
- Kids Hoodie (Flat Back)
- Kids Hoodie (Flat Front)
- Kids Leotard (Flat Back)
- Kids Leotard (Flat Front)
- Kids Sweatshirt (Flat Back)
- Kids Sweatshirt (Flat Front)
- Kids Tank (Flat Back)
- Kids Tank (Flat Front)
- Kids Tee Modelshot (Boy)
- Kids Tee Modelshot (Girl)
- Kids Thermal (Flat Back)
- Kids Thermal (Flat Front)
- Kids T-Shirt (Ghosted Front)
- Leggings (Flat Front)
- Leggings (Flat Back)
- Kids T-Shirt (Flat Back)
- Kids T-Shirt (Flat Front)
How to Design the Perfect Rock and Roll T-Shirt
When creating a rock and roll tee, nothing comes to mind more than a perfectly illustrated, bad ass skull and crossbones with snakes and chains thrown in for good measure. Am I right or am I right?
Get ready to craft up your own original masterpiece with a little help from Marketplace Artist, Steve Knerem, rock and roll tee expert. Steve has created this, the Skull and Snake T-Shirt Design Pack to help in your process. The possibilities are endless with this pack!
- All 10 Illustrations including snakes, a skull, angel wings, illuminati eye, flower, brass knuckles, chains, horse head, and more.
- the Original .AI file of this design
- Men’s Triblend Ghosted mockup template
As a bonus, we throw in a sample of Jeff Finley’s popular eBook, Thread’s Not Dead, the Designer’s Guide to the Apparel Industry.
Use the elements in the skull and snake t-shirt design pack in Adobe Illustrator to create your own unique work of art.
You can either use this design as-is without changing a thing or mix and match. We recommend using the detailed snakes, skull and wings to create brand new designs.
Here’s what you get:
Now go off and create something great!
Apparel Design: 120+ Inspirations from Go Media’s Portfolio
Today we’re talking a walk down apparel design memory lane! We’re focusing on the t-shirts we’ve passionately designed over the years.
Take a peek at our apparel archive Bill, our President, has collected below.
Check out more of our work the best in web, print, branding and illustration, as well as apparel design, head to gomedia.us!
And for everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the apparel industry, make sure to pick up Thread’s Not Dead by Go Media Partner Jeff Finley!
Which t-shirt design is your favorite? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Design with Ease and Efficiency: Introducing the Shark Attack T-Shirt Vector Pack
What if I told you it was possible to produce a high-quality design minus all of the sweat and seemingly endless hours? It can happen, my friends. (You know I’d never lie to you.) I’d like to introduce you to a magical tool called the T-Shirt Design Pack, now available on the Arsenal! These packs, including today’s release, include everything you need to design the perfect t-shirt (minus the hassle plus all the glory).
It’s really quite simple:
1. Download this baby.
2. Hop into .AI (if you’d like to modify the original file and craft up your own unique design)
3. Dive into Photoshop to mock up your work, further customizing the end result to your heart’s content.
4. Blow people’s minds.
So, if you’d like to save time (without compromising quality), you know what to do.
You can also check out our other t-shirt packs: HERE
Take a glance at the Shark Attack T-Shirt Design Pack:
Tutorial: Photoshop Mockup Template How-To from Go Media (A Beginner’s Guide)
Hello Rock Star Designer (your name here), I believe a celebration is in order.
You have just purchased the World’s Best Templates on Go Media’s Arsenal! Now you can:
- Present your design to clients in a realistic, 3D setting on an actual product that has been professionally photographed
- Test your product’s market potential as well as explore how it might look before going through the expensive manufacturing process
- Impress and entice family, friends and future clients who’ll drool over your designs
- Fully customize the appearance of your design and end product
- Completely revamp your portfolio
Ain’t messin’ around, are you?
Hold. Stop. Wait a minute.
Need help diving in? You’ve come to the right place! Here is a How-To-Video, helping you newbies feel your way around our mockup PSDs.
Want to grab the amazing design we used? Head to the Arsenal to pick up Steve Knerem’s Day of the Dead T-Shirt Design Pack. Use the design as-is or modify the design in .AI to make it your own!
For a step-by-step written guide, head to our post – Newbie’s Guide to Beautiful T-Shirt Mockups
New T-Shirt Vector Pack Release: Produce an exceptional and unique t-shirt design in moments. (Yes, you!)
New T-Shirt Vector Pack Release: Produce an exceptional and unique t-shirt design in moments. (Yes, you!)
If you’re like me, there are a million things you want to accomplish. Like, today.
But time (and frankly, a tiny bit of skill) have kept me from checking those things off of my ever-growing list.
Thankfully, I have some amazing friends who have hooked me up with the tools I need to not only check off my to-dos, but look like somebody who’s somebody doing them too.
And they’re here to help you as well.
Here we go ya’ll. A way to actually design an exceptional (and unique) t-shirt in moments (little design skill needed…but lots is great, too).
I don’t know about you, but I consider it a miracle.
With today’s release, the Day of the Dead T-Shirt Design Pack by Steve Knerem you’ll get everything you need to design the perfect t-shirt:
- All 10 Haunting Illustrations
- The Original .AI file of this design (allowing you to make it all your own)
- A Men’s Triblend Ghosted Mockup Template to make your final design look professional and realistic
- As well as a sample of Jeff Finley’s popular eBook, Thread’s Not Dead, the Designer’s Guide to the Apparel Industry, so that you can be on your way to apparel industry greatness
So, what do you say? Let’s not waste any more precious time…