- How did you get started in T-shirt Designing and what was your first design?
- Any advice for aspiring designers?
- Any highlights in your career such as prestigious awards, mentions, and recognition?
- Do you have any rivalries friendly or not? If so with who?
- Are you a dog person or a cat person?
- Do you have any other skills or talents besides art?
- Do you look up to any one in the T-shirt Biz?
- If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?
- If you could have one superpower what would it be?
- What would be your mandatory weakness in respect to the one superpower?
- If you could keep one thing about the world what would it be?
- If you have the ability to bring back any T.V. Show with fresh episodes but only one, what would it be?
- Marvel or DC or Other?
- What are your favorite fandoms?
- What Are Your Inspirations?
- What is your favorite accredited charity?
- What software do you use for making designs? Any drawing tablets?
- Would like to shout out to other artists?
Society6 Vs NeatoShop DTG Print Quality Comparison. Two of the top brands in the Pop Culture T-shirt market. I ordered the samples in this comparison myself. As a disclaimer I will state that I am an affiliate of both brands. Both pay their affiliate's close to the same rate for the referrals. I have no grudges against either brand and I am quite fond of both for their services, products and said affiliate programs. This is a Print Quality Only comparison but images of the product tags are shown for informational purposes only.
Society6 Vs NeatoShop.
Society6 uses the Direct to Garment printing technique for this tee being reviewed. They do offer sublimated products as well to their members and customers. Their Sublimation prints are better than their DTG prints (both are Print On Demand). And their DTG prints does not surpass all of their DTG competitors. Most of the time you can usually find the same designs elsewhere such as NeatoShop.
NeatoShop does not have Screen Printed nor Sublimated shirts as they specialize in Direct To Garment printing only. Their DTG printed T-shirts are the best in the Print On Demand industry to date that I have personally seen.
Some of the designs that you see on the Limited Edition Shirt-of-the-Day type sites (featured on the TeeFetch homepage) can be found at NeatoShop and Society6 as well as at other Print On Demand services not shown in this comparison.
This is a side by side Society6 Vs Neatoshop DTG print quality comparison of the same design from these two brands.
NeatoShop seems to have better ink thickness and ink coverage. NeatoShop also prints larger. NeatoShop's pre-treatment chemicals are also coating the tee as you can see on the Black of the fabric. Society6, while still a quality print does not quite equal NeatoShop's in ink. As you can see more threads show through without ink in the Society6 close ups.NeatoShop's color range and contrast levels are also are superior. For instance, the Red is consistent everywhere on the design. Society6 on the other hand, the Red in the border and the letters are weaker than that of the blood and on the hearts. Also, on the Society6 version the Purple actually looks bolder than the NeatoShop version but as mentioned the ink coverage isn't quite as good. NeatoShop's sample comes closer to matching the actual design thumbnail shown on their website where as Society6's does not. Both brands have Black tees to work (Society6's fabric is even darker). So what it comes down to are the brand of Printers, the Printing Technique & Skill, and the Inks themselves.
Society6 Vs NeatoShop Conclusion.
Not all of Society6's shirts are this noticeably different from than their design thumbnails. Usually, I rate their printing from 4 stars up to 5 stars as sometimes there are variations between what you see on the screen and what you actually get on the final product. In this case it is a 4 out of 5 stars as a result of being so different.
Neatoshop is always consistent with their DTG printing and quality control and so far I've always rated their printing 5 out of 5 stars. This is no exception.
I rate DTG on its own merits and I do not compare it to Screen Printing or Sublimation Printing which are also based on their own merits. All three printing methods have their pros and cons. This has been a DTG vs DTG Brand Vs Brand print quality review.
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This a review of the E-Blue Auroza XL Gaming Chair. Now you may be asking yourself "Why the #$%* is a T-shirt Blog reviewing a gaming chair". I sure as Hell would be. And some redneck might be thinking "That's a chair not a T-shirt Mo-Ron". Well that person would be correct at least about it a being a chair. Well good news, it is relevant after all. Please keep in mind that this is not a paid review. In fact, I am writing this for free as a favor to graphic designers everywhere who may need to upgrade their seating arrangements.
As a blogger and a graphic designer, I sit at desk in front of a computer 8 + hours a day just working. And then I dabble in some gaming when I am done with my workload. My old chair was cramping my style... literally. My tailbone, spine, and neck all hurt. I finally decided that needed a new chair. So I researched and researched and well you get the idea. Then it finally dawned on me. Gaming chairs! So I looked into such brands as DXRacer, Arozzi, XRocker, Homall, Merax, and so on and so forth. You know the brands that I am familiar with thanks to my gaming friends. I received mixed reviews from them and via strangers on YouTube. I was leaning towards DXRacer but their pricing was well... not in my range as far as the features that I was looking for (regarding armrests) then I seen the E-Blue Auroza Gaming Chair in the recommended videos section. So I watched the YouTube testimonials and then I went to read some Amazon reviews. As a result I decided to give it a go for myself as every review that I could find had nothing but nice things to say about the seat.
Let me start off by stating that I will not show mundane photos of: the box that the chair came in, the parts, or even the setting up of the chair itself. That was all standard and putting it together was a breeze. Instead I am going to describe the chair.
As for the appearance, this to me, is among the coolest looking chairs of all time (it is shaped like a cobra's head), the coolest being the fictional Iron Throne from Game of Thrones. And trust me, this is far more comfortable than a chair made of swords. But it isn't too comfy if you know what I mean. It isn't overly soft and cushioned. Nothing like memory foam or even the standard padding of typical office chairs. It is a bit on the firmer side. The shape is ERGONOMIC as for the contours of the spine and butt, at least more so than my old standard chair and unlike the old one it is made to last. It can support up to 220 pounds. I feel like baby chick cradled in a hand.
I am 1 inch above the average height for a white male. I am 5' 11" and I weigh 165 lbs. After playing around with the height and back angle adjustment levers for a bit, I eventually found a setting that is suitable. There is plenty of room in the seat as to not feel pinched or squeezed in the legs and whatnot.
*Note: Adjust the back to the upright position before adjusting the height of the chair.
With that mentioned, I have mixed feelings about the headrest. Perhaps it is just because I am not used to a high back chair or perhaps I am just sitting in it wrong. I find my self leaning my head forward while working as due to when I sit up straight against the backrest, the headrest doesn't contour to my neck and head. With the seat reclined it is much better. Which is great for gaming but I prefer to sit up when I work, otherwise I'd want to take a nap. So I took away half a comfort star just for the headrest. Consider E-Blue's Cobra models if you feel that you may run into the same issue. Shorter people are not likely to be bothered at all by the headrest.
The padded armrests are fully adjustable except for the fact that there is no tilt back and tilt forward. The height of the armrests however do go up and down and can swivel in and out. All of which can be locked into place. Making it very versatile when it comes to using drawing tablets especially when they are swivel-arm mounted. You might be wondering "What difference could an armrest make?". Well, for starters the cushioning is great on the elbow while holding a pen or stylus. Being able to adjust the arms is just a bonus that makes finding the right position easier. This is perhaps my favorite feature as it does do more than other brands' models but still not quite what I was hoping for.
The base and wheels are made to last. The casters roll smoothly and are fairly quiet when rolling around. You can do a 360 degree spin like in all office and gaming chairs which is smooth with no wobble and the chair stays in one place while doing so.
E-Blue Auroza XL Gaming Chair
Overall, the E-Blue Auroza XL Gaming Chair is worth it as a gaming chair and doubles as decent graphic designer's office chair. In my case it cost $338 which included shipping. I do wish it had an adjustable headrest like in a car seat though which would had put this chair over the top. E-Blue has another version of this Auroza model that is Red and it lights up for an additional $100 but that seems like a waste to me personally.
Are T-Shirts a good gift item? Despite the posing question, T-shirts make great gifts for practically any occasion. And the affordable price has almost nothing to do with it.
There are graphical and slogan tees for everything under the sun. If the gift recipient is a fan of a game, movie, or a T.V. show then there is a pop culture tee with the perfect reference on it for them. If the recipient Is fond of art or music then again there are artistic tees available. This Drum Machine tee is cool, there is also one of a drum set on it. If the person is passionate about animals, you guessed it there are t-shirts for that as well. These are just a few examples of course but you get the gist.
But what about the harder to shop for type of person? You do not want to come off as cheap or lazy. These are the types of people that slogan tees were made for. Find one that captures their personality to a Tee (Do you see what I did there?). If they have an attitude that is not of the norm, I am willing to bet that somewhere some shop has a shirt that states their mind. Such as the classic "I am only wearing black until they make something darker".
There are also generic tee designs that work well for people with particular interest, hearts, owls, flowers (just keep in mind each flower's symbolic meaning). These are popular but a bit boring in my opinion. If the person you are considering buying a tee for is of the boring type then I say go for it. But I'd look for the more artistic variety such as the ones from DBH.
The trick is to find one that is uniquely targeted towards them. Don't get the Despicable Me fan just any minion shirt, get them the zaniest one that they haven't seen a million times before. You want to show that you put a lot of thought into the gift. If it looks like you just went to Wal-Mart and pulled from a rack then the gift might backfire.
Are T-Shirts a Good Gift Item?
So of course I will say "Yes,T-Shirts are a good gift item" but I am biased the site is called "Tee Fetch" after all. But with that said, I wouldn't buy them as an anniversary present... what guy in his right mind would be that stupid? There better be something else along with that tee is all that I am going to say about that and to that guy. Maybe wrap the real gift inside a tee maybe.
Some of the links above are "affiliate links." This means that TeeFetch will receive a small commission if you click on and purchase the item. Others are paid ads. Nevertheless, TeeFetch will only recommend products and services that We personally believe in and use. This disclosure is in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Tshirts are great conversation starters whether you intend for them to be or not. It doesn't matter where you are. It could be at: school, a bar, a bus stop, a park, a store, wherever. There is a strong chance that someone will comment on your graphic or slogan tee or you will comment on theirs. It's probably happened to you in the past and will probably happen to you again in the future.
There have been friendships and relationships started over a T-Shirt. Humor and bold statements can go a long way when meeting new people. A T-Shirt says a lot about a person. More than any suit and tie ever could. Granted many have broken up over tees too. Not to mention numerous fights because someone doesn't like a political movement or offensive tee in general. See the Controversial Tees Part 1 post for more.
Tshirts Are Great Conversation Starters.
Be it good or bad, happy or offensive, tees get a wide range of reactions from all sorts of folks. But let us focus on the funny and witty tees or even the ones with positive messages or causes. These tees make people laugh or inspire them. For the most part the happier T-shirts bring people together. Regardless of the race, politics, gender, religion, sexual orientation and so on and so forth. Sometimes as a hobby.
Before you quit your day job and spend all of your life's savings to start your own label, first ask yourself one thing, "Am I Ready To Start A T-shirt Brand?"
There are some guidelines you need to know and follow before you can answer that honestly. For starters, if your idea is to start a T-Shirt Label that is nothing but you own logo (especially a generic logo) then the answer is going to be a big fat "NO". Other than yourself, your parents, and perhaps your friends who else is really going to buy them? Is it impossible to be successful doing this... no but it is very unlikely. It would need to be something that really stands out from everything else on the market that looks good and has a relatable or powerful message behind it. Like the Life Is Good label does.
If you only have less than 20 designs in your portfolio, I would hold off on opening a shop. There is no point spending a lot of money for a real life brick and mortar business or an online T-shirt Shop if you only have a few designs to show. People like to browse and enjoy looking at graphic tees. Otherwise the shop would seem empty and incomplete.
Know your market. Who are you selling to? What Gender? What Age? Is it Pop Culture? Is it for the Wealthy or Working class? Do they like the idea? Do you know how to market to those people? If not do that research first. If you don't have a list of places that you can afford to advertise on that fits your targeted demographic then don't waste your time or money on starting a clothing line. This stuff is not easy. The competition is fierce, even for a Niche market. BE ORIGINAL.
Am I Ready To Start A T-shirt Brand?
Now depending on your answer and you must answer truthfully you will find out if your T-shirt Brand idea is good enough. If you feel that you are indeed ready to give it a go. You will need to get a LLC status ($900 dollars) to protect you if someone hurts themselves with your product (yes, even in the T-Shirt business), register your business name and logo and Trademarks ($1000+++), register your website domain name, Social Media names, alternate email addresses from Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc. Also be sure check out the information on EACH of these pages as well as many of the blog posts on this site.The cost of starting ShirtPunch was $10,000. That covered everything that was mentioned as well as branded packaging and lawyers to set up the legal stuff. Find out about their story at The Star.
I hope this advice helps you decide whether or not you are ready to start a T-Shirt Brand.
Why choose Shopify for an online T-Shirt Shop? Because they have been around since 2006 and they know the game better than anyone else. Lots of small and large businesses use Shopify as their platform especially in the clothing business. I've seen many T-shirt brands come and go and the more successful of the lot were Shopify users. They are the ideal choice for start-ups and established brands that are self reliant and or that use Drop Shipping services (Neato has a damn good one). I'm impressed enough to be a proud affiliate of Shopify's services. This disclosure is in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Is Shopify for an Online T-Shirt Shop Convenient?
Shopify is very quick to set up. You can start a trial for free to see if it is right for you. In as little as a minute you can set up the layout. Once you add your inventory and images you are ready to go on the fly. Granted you will need to optimize the shop with proper SEO and do some networking but Hell they make that easy too. They have integrated their platform with Pinterest so you can have your pin and boards work for you. Not to mention Call To Action buttons for the Facebook side of marketing. Twitter is a breeze too. They thought of it all. And for the reports... They are in-depth. Sales, Traffic, and so on.
There is a pricing plan to fit your budget, regardless of your business size.
- Basic ($29/month + 2.9% and 30p per transaction): unlimited products, 24/7 support, no transaction fees, fraud analysis tools and Shopify POS
- Professional ($79/month + 2.6% and 30p per transaction): the same features as the Basic plan, plus gift cards, professional reports and abandoned cart recovery
- Unlimited ($299month + 2.4% and 30p per transaction): the same features as the Professional plan, plus advanced report builder and real-time carrier shipping
Best Ways to Promote and Run Shopify For An Online T-Shirt Shop?
Promoting, marketing, and running any type of online shop is tedious. Shopify makes it a lot easier. They want you to be successful because that means that they are successful. Along with the Pinterest and Facebook integration mentioned above you can easily sign up for Affiliate Marketing companies to pick up a lot of that slack. Refersion is a very popular one that has proven successful for many Shopify users. Since many Shopify members do everything themselves, they can afford to do this because they are not going through some middle man. Especially if they do the printing in-house. After all, the POD Services and Screen-Printers take the biggest cut of the T-shirt Sales.
Shopify works for people that want to be a middle man as well by starting their own brand or even Limited Edition Tee site that uses a drop-shipper. But be careful with the latter, I've even seen some shops that do this business model go under because they could not keep up with the volume of sales. Which is no issue if you know how to handle the business like a professional and ANTICIPATE high volumes, Severe Weather, and other delays. Isn't that messed up? Too many sales and have to shut down as a result from getting too far behind in printing queues? It happens, so plan ahead, delegate to a trustworthy 3rd party printer or something.As for advertising, don't waste your money on PPC ads or Facebook for a marketing strategy. Unless you have thousands of dollars to spend every month (or day) I wouldn't waste the time. Use that budget for targeting specific websites that fit your NICHE's demographic.
Examples of Successful Shopify T-shirt Shops.
So Why Choose Shopify For An Online T-shirt Shop?
Because of the of all the options that are available to you from Shopify that's why to choose them. If you don't like any of the 100 default templates you can always code something yourself or hire an outside firm to help you set up as many features as your heart desires. If you want API go for it. There is nothing stopping you from integrating everything that you want into your ideal T-shirt shop. Lollapalooza uses Shopify and so does Third Eye Blind and that's two of the best damn endorsements there is.
- No Hosting Worries. You only need a domain.
- Great Support - Forums, Guides, Blog Posts, Helpful People.
- Quick Setup - Templates make it easy.
- Reports - Detailed Statistics that truly matter.
- There is the monthly cost of running whatever plan you choose, but what business doesn't have overhead?
- Like all 3rd party software, any add-ons and extensions used on Shopify requires updates. Just like your phone and computers constantly do. Staying on top of this is a necessity.
- Does not have the best blogging features. Shopify is eCommerce centered. The blog feature is more like an after thought. It is still useful but it is rather limited. Some people prefer the opposite and rely on the blog for customer interaction and bringing in traffic.
- Editing the items once they are entered is a bit bothersome. Be sure to add all of the product options for the item the first time... colors, sizes, styles etc.
The Pros outweigh the Cons in my opinion. Those are my reasons for choosing Shopify For An Online T-shirt Shop.
Controversial Tees are popular and piss people off. They get world wide exposure then they are recalled. Some get people arrested and attest to the fact that T-shirts are not protected by any Freedom of Speech laws for whatever reasons or limitations. Here are some of the heavy hitters.
New Mexico Cleaner Than Regular Mexico Tee. This design and or a variation of it was recalled from Urban Outfitters stores a few years ago for being an insult to Mexico and Mexicans. Find one article about it at Today's website.
Artist Infant Tees from Old Navy. This is a blatant attempt to destroy the feminine aspect of the mind. Parents, Artists, and all kinds of folks got rightly pissed off at these tees. Yes, Art is a bitch of a fields to profit in for most people. But kids should never be discouraged from wanting to be anything positive. As if being an astronaut or even a President is more important. Eff that. It took an artists to scribe a language, another to design the pyramids. Find one article about these tees HNGN's website.
Hang Loose Tee. TJ MAXX were in a heap of doody when this tee made them want to hang themselves. Just watch the clip above to get a vague sense of the controversy surrounding this "surfing" design." For those who prefer to read the article it is at the WKBN website. Apparently it is offensive to numerous groups of people but to list the types of people it would offend would probably be considered a hate crime in its own regard.
Zara's Striped Sheriff Tee. Well, besides the history lesson of its resemblance to the Holocaust garbs, it looks like a old-timey prison uniform with a stolen badge. Both interpretations are disturbing. But the whole Holocaust thing itself is reason enough to burn every surviving thread of these tees. Coincidence or inspiration? You decide. Full article can be found at War History Online's Website.
H&M had a similar issue with the above (missing the title of the design) skull tee. Personally, I see it as more along the lines of the occult "Masculine" and "Feminine" aspects which are separated by color and layer yet still connected via the overall shape. Perhaps it is even a Metal inspired tee but I can see where the Jewish community is coming from on this considering the history of the pairing of the design elements. I bet the company is still getting backlash. Full article on it at BuzzFeed's Website.
As you can see there is no shortage of controversial tees so this will be a semi-regular thing here at TeeFetch, so stay tuned.