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Graphic Design - T-Shirt Design & Branding

Discussion in 'Graphic Design' started by CoriZiD, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. CoriZiD

    CoriZiD Newbie

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    Hey guys, I have been around this forum now for almost 2 years now off and on and I felt that I was ready to register to the site and start asking questions about designing shirts sweat-shirts ect. My plan so far is to start photoshopping designs, start putting my designs on a shirt and start advertising. Now, I understand there is a lot more to it than just photoshop and a t-shirt. Some money will have to be put down towards a website SEO stuff and legal stuff as well.

    My first question is, I am going to create my own logo for my distinct clothing line, sorta like (ApeX DesignZ). Will I have to copyright my logo/name of the clothing line to help keep lawsuits from spurring up?
    My second question is, I have a friend that owns her own shop that sells cloths, should I start there with the lesser legal stuff, like just design a few shirts, order them and see if they sell?
    My third question is, when is the best time to start using social media to start branding my cloths? Should I get everything legalized first then push towards advertising.

    Thank you so much guys for the help. Since I am new here, I hope this was the correct section to post this topic in,
    Cheers
    Cori
     
  2. Kronic

    Kronic Registered Member

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    I've looked into this a decent amount myself. From what I know, its target market, design, create, distribute, reap rewards.

    You have photoshop for the design, but how are you creating the products? Are you having someone else print it, screen printing, vinyl and heat press, or direct to garment printing? Each method has its ups and downs, and has different start up costs. Having it printed by another company saves you from having to purchase equipment to do it yourself, but you pay a premium for this. that results in either lower profit margins, or higher list price and usually in turn less product moves. Vinyl seems to be the easiest entry level to get into. You can get a plotter and press on ebay for under $1000 for both. Screen printing may be had somewhat cheaper for a single screen setup, but this is time consuming. direct to garment printing provides great results, but is highly expensive. Once you know the method of production, you can work on the design. Example: vinyl printing will need to be done one layer at a time per color, then pressed on one at a time. The method of production must be taken into account in the design process.

    Creating your own logo and copyrighting it is a good idea. Until you get big, i dont think there is much to worry about. But preventative measures is a good idea. The shit thing about copyright and patents are the money it takes to defend them. My company's lawyer said its all good to pay for one, but you best have the capital to take it to court and defend it. A cheapo method is printing off your logo and mailing it to yourself so you have a government time stamp as claim to when you had it and addressed to you and from you, showing ownership. i'd do this before ever showing it online or printing it.

    marketing can be done a few ways. if you have a local shop you can push them in, thats a great start. one thing you're going to have to consider is the difference sizes, if the design needs to be increased over the different sizes (ie a small vs a xxl). and the stock required for this. For your plain shirts, if you dont have access to cheap blank shirts, look to china. aliexpress is a good place to start and you can get small qty orders this way. always shop around and compare prices to make sure you're getting a good deal though. another alternative market would be online sites like etsy, ebay, and amazon. the benefit of the two former is you can create a sample product, display it online, then create more once its sold. that way you dont have to have stock of a slow moving design or sizes that no one ever buys. and if a design just blows and has no interest, you only had to create one for yourself. i've seen some on ebay that are a photoshopped design that was photoshopped onto a stock shirt photo and no real one was created.

    another method of advertisement is sponsorship. i cant remember the name of the site, but when i was racing i signed up to different sport sponsorship sites. on one of them, i picked up sponsorship from a clothing company called six feet deep. the deal was, i display their logo on my car and wear their shirts, they'd put pictures of me and my car on their site saying they sponsor me. i also got a 20% discount on their product line. the catch though, i had to buy $xx product each year to keep the entry level sponsorship. supposedly when i created more interest, they'd send me stuff for free. this is a genius marketing strategy and something you should look into.

    to answer your third question, i would get the designs and company name setup and established. at minimum the self mailing copyright. you dont want a bigger company taking the designs from you and you not get credit. on the bright side, if your designs are good, you may attract interest of a larger company and they may pay you for the designs. never know what may happen.

    good luck on your venture. hope it all works out. oh, and if you do get a good design and you start moving large amounts of product, i'd seriously look into having them made in china to maximize your profits. its a pretty simple process, but requires a minimum order of xx units. for shirts, you're probably looking at 200+ units. but you may be able to have them do 25-50 units in a single run for one design, and just need 4-8 designs to meet the minimum order. then do a few different sizes and you're looking at 10 or so shirts in each size. decent amount of product to sell locally at least.
     
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  3. GeniusAL

    GeniusAL Newbie

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    Excellent work guys.
     
  4. CoriZiD

    CoriZiD Newbie

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    Thank you so much for all your advice sir. I have been asking questions, doing a lot of research. Your advice will be noted.
     
  5. animalchin

    animalchin Newbie

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    This is all great info! I'd also add that, currently, Instagram is a huge tool for everyone I know with labels, more than any other digital/social channel.
     
  6. CoriZiD

    CoriZiD Newbie

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    Yea, I am pushing on Instagram marketing at the moment. I feel that once I get a good follow base going, I'll be able to start pushing my T-Shirt designs out and getting some monetization. I'm going to connect multiple Instagram accounts together so that every niche is separated and people can buy based on ether current or global interest.
     
  7. chrisinfect

    chrisinfect Newbie

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    out of topic, popculture band tshirt designs for tshirts are selling like crazy. goodluck on this.