What Good Are T- Shirts Anyway? Custom T Shirt Printing As Advertising

custom t shirt printing Custom T Shirt Printing is a unique avenue for businesses and corporations to take promotionally. Whether the business is a small start up with the intention of bringing in new clients or a corporation attempting to solidify the brand, custom t shirt printing is increasingly becoming a popular choice in promotional advertising. Think of the many possibilities in purchasing custom apparel. First, the company logo would be front and center. (Or on the breast pocket, if preferred).

Custom T Shirt Printing Design

Get creative with the design and have fun with it. Designing promotional t shirts does not necessarily have to be done by creative people. Any printing company can work to create a unique design. Always keep in mind though to make the shirt representative of the brand. The business owner is most passionate about his or her own business. So make sure there is clarity on the message you want to get out on the custom t shirt printing that is created.


Developing promotional t shirts can result in producing a profit on the items, or just getting the word out to the public. Either way, once the end user has the garment in their hands, they can’t forget. Every time they see or put on the shirt, they are reminded of the company, and isn’t that what advertising and promotion is all about? This creates a long lasting impression on the custom t shirt printing, so make sure it’s a good one!


When considering custom t shirt printing design, an important factor one might overlook is the color of the shirt. While white shirts are least expensive, they are not the best selling for custom t shirt printing. Our independent studies have shown that red ink on black is actually the best seller for custom t shirt printing. But does that coincide with the company’s color scheme? Something to consider…

If the company’s focus is on kids, then for the custom t shirt printing, it is possible to decide on pastel or bright colored shirts. Kids happen to love bright colored apparel and will be more likely to favor it over blander colors,  which will help keep the company in the foremost thoughts of their parents. If the company is geared to an adult clientele, as I mentioned earlier, black is always a great choice for custom t shirt printing, followed by grey, white and blue. Think of the audience and the focus of the company or organization.

The Statement

If there is a slogan or USP (Unique selling proposition), would it be appropriate for the custom apparel? This is an extremely subjective question that only you can answer. For instance, for a cleaning company or moving company, it would be very appropriate. But for more of a conservative real estate company, the logo might be enough. Then again, a real estate company might want to stand out with a bold statement, so it really depends on the direction taken with advertising and promotion on custom t shirt printing.

Need A Designer?

What if the company is a new company and don’t have a logo designed yet for custom t shirt printing or for any purpose? What if there is no one to do the custom t shirt printing design? These days anything can be found online. Need a designer? There are literally thousands out there. Just put the time in to find one right one.   If you need help, our company has been doing design for custom t shirt printing for 19 years.

Types Of Printing

Once the design is set, just decide on the type of custom t shirt printing to be done. The company can either screen print the shirts (the most popular choice), heat transfer, direct to garment print, or print with special effects like “distressed” printing. This is the “washed out” type of look companies get that is presently very popular on custom t shirt printing.

By now you can clearly tell, t shirt screen printing is an interesting way to advertise the company’s message message. When designing custom printed t shirts, it’s always best to keep in mind the end result that is to be achieved. Asking, “What is my goal in doing this?”, will help, and this way there will be have a clearer understanding of how to design and print the custom apparel.

As a final word, always remember that custom apparel does not have to be t shirts. Custom golf shirts, polo shirts, hats, towels, bags and promotional items might be more appropriate for what you want to do.

Feel free to contact us for ideas. We’re always happy to bounce ideas off of.

-Written by L. Taylor for Nova Custom T Shirt Printing & Embroidery

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The Rise of the Influencers: 2018’s Hot Marketing Trend

influencer marketingAccording to Forbes, influencer marketing looks to eclipse digital marketing as the latest way businesses can garner more customers. “Many businesses have just gotten the hang of digital marketing,” you may say. “Now, I have to switch gears—again?”


No, a business doesn’t need to completely switch gears to adjust to this trend. Especially when one realizes it’s just an old friend in a different suit of clothes.


Influencer Marketing a New Twist on Word-of-Mouth


We’re talking about word-of-mouth advertising. The kind where a happy customer tells a potential customer how good the business’s product are. The kind that causes loyal brand evangelists to tool around town in T-shirts that proclaim “Coke.” As we know, custom printed T-shirts and promotional apparel can make a difference in getting the word out about a business, so what is the difference with influencer marketing?


The only difference is that with influencer marketing, a business needs to concentrate on attracting what marketers call “influencers.” People who are changemakers. People who are on the cutting edge in their industry. They don’t have to be celebrities, even though some are.


Get the Imprimatur of an Industry Leader


Remember that old ad for E.F. Hutton? The line from an E.F. Hutton customer, sitting on a plane, “Well, my broker’s E.F. Hutton. And E.F. Hutton says…” Everyone cranes their necks to hear from him—because–when E.F. Hutton talks, everybody listens.


It’s like that with influencers. Look for those kinds of people to become a product’s evangelists, and the world will listen. At least the corner of the world in that niche.


An expert dog trainer, for instance, whose protégé has taken dogs destined for the killer’s needle and made Schutzhund or agility champions out of them will have great sway in the minds of canine sport fans—if the mentor endorses the lesser-known trainer publicly. One doesn’t have to be Cesar Millan to have people in the Schutzhund or agility niches notice greatness.


Nike has gotten that message since they went viral with Michael Jordan’s wildly successful Air Jordan line. They’re still getting it with soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. To the tune of a cool $500 million.


Get That Industry Leader to Notice Your Work


A business doesn’t have to be a huge company like Nike to take advantage of influencers in its niche. A restaurant, for instance, that has a specialty that they do extraordinarily well will get tons of traction from the say-so of a local food critic.


People whose life trajectories have been transformed by a product, too, are superb influencers. Their passion—and the obvious change that the product has wrought—can go far to promote the business who makes the product. When they—for free—get on social media and tell all their friends who need the same kind of transformation, who wouldn’t climb on to that bandwagon?


Seek out Influencers and Partner for Profit


It goes without saying, then, that a business needs to seek out those that can be influencers for its flagship products. A music studio’s prize pupil who wins a scholarship to Juillard—that’s an influencer. A local dress shop whose prom gown the local prom queen sported in all her glory.

The town’s sports hero who eats three of a restaurant’s hamburgers before he competes on the field.


All these people can be a brand’s influencers. All the business needs to do is to leverage their clout—online, in promotional gear, and in the buzz around town.

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Brick and Mortar Solutions for Business Marketing Challenges

Brick and Mortar Solutions for Business Marketing ChallengesNot all marketing challenges for companies who want to promote their businesses are best met by tweaking their Web presence. Some of the most effective solutions to the marketing challenges organizations face in building awareness of their goods and services are real-time, real-world promotional items created by brick and mortar companies. Giving away promotional apparel builds brand awareness among potential customers in a subtle, but most effective way.


Even companies who specialize in Internet marketing have used promotional apparel with great success. Take, for example, Sujan Patel, the founder of Single Grain, a San Francisco-based digital marketing agency. In his article, “How Giving Away T-Shirts Made Me Over $500K in Revenue,” Patel shares his story about how he used promotional apparel to catapult his startup company into one of the most successful marketing firms in the Bay Area.


Patel, a marketing genius on the digital front, found an ideal way to promote his online business through a real-world solution. Yet he stumbled onto this marketing idea quite by accident, according to his story.


In the beginning, Patel ordered t-shirts bearing his company’s logo for his own use. Although he had plenty of success in the marketing world, he wasn’t exactly a clotheshorse. In fact, he admits to being “lazy” when it comes to shopping for clothes. With his branded t-shirts, he thought, he would “never have to go clothes shopping again.”


His first order, he recalls, was somewhere in the vicinity of 25 to 30 shirts—many more shirts than his closet could hold. He decided to give the extra shirts away, so he used his personal Facebook page to notify his friends to see if there were any takers among them. To his surprise, his supply of shirts ran out in a matter of hours. Patel’s marketing genius kicked into high gear as he sensed the momentum building.


When the demand outstripped the supply, he created an email list from the names of his friends who were too late for the first giveaway. He ordered a new supply of shirts, sent them to his grateful friends along with a personalized note in every package. Thanking those friends who chose to wear the t-shirts to market a business in which they had no stake was essential to Patel’s newly-hatched marketing plan. Gratitude, it would seem, is contagious—even in promotional efforts.


Not only did he gain a treasure trove of contact information of people who wanted these shirts, but he created good will with every personalized note. With this one move, Patel had a list of people who loved to wear promotional apparel and had positive vibes about Patel and Single Grain. The next time he created t-shirts to promote his company, he would have a group of people at the ready to spread awareness about the Single Grain brand throughout the Bay Area.


And so he ordered again—what he calls “Versio[n] 2.0. The second t-shirt created such a buzz about his Single Grain brand that Patel decided to launch the third incarnation of his t-shirt. This time, it was an intentional promotional effort, in a rainbow of colors and in much larger numbers. His goal: to give “a few shirts” to everyone who expressed interest. Not only did he provide t-shirts to his friends and colleagues, but he also donated some of the shirts to a charity.


His goal was just to develop brand awareness with his shirts with an innovative logo, and, of course, the name of the company. At this point, there were over 500 people in the Bay Area who regularly wore the shirts in public. He and his co-workers began to use the shirts as “uniforms.” Because the area in which Single Grain was located was filled with fellow startups, the innovative logo design and company name attracted plenty of attention, which brought instant awareness of the Single Grain brand.


Going forward, Patel tasks his design team with creating a new logo for a fresh look at least once a year—sometimes more often. With every design came more interest from his growing email list of Single Grain t-shirt fans. Like promotional wear from big companies such as soft drink manufacturers and sports teams, his shirts were developing a fan base of their own. Without a word, the apparel built awareness of Patel’s company throughout the area.


Not only did it create more buzz in the community from fans wearing the t-shirts, but his and his colleagues’ own use of shirts bearing the company’s logo also gave Patel and his employees more opportunities to “give [their] 30-second elevator pitch and hand out business cards…” These conversations provided even more opportunities for Patel to raise awareness of his brand.


As for Patel himself, he wasted no opportunities to strike up conversations with potential clients. Since he was always clad in his company t-shirt—even when working out and while doing his daily personal tasks—the entrepreneur had plenty of chances to grab new business. Plenty of it, it turns out. Those conversations about town led Patel to dig up $200,000 in new client work, which in turn, built up a network of satisfied customers who referred Patel to big-name corporations.


Overall, the t-shirts raked in $500,000 in new business. In Patel’s case, the growth in brand recognition produced from this promotional wear also attracted the attention of huge companies such as Cisco, Wells Fargo, HP, Apple, and more. It snowballed from there.


What is even more amazing is that Single Grain operates with only a tiny advertising budget—most of it spent on t-shirts. Those shirts took Patel’s company from being a complete unknown to becoming a familiar face in the San Francisco area. They built real awareness of a new, relatively-unknown brand.


Single Grain now attracts a lion’s share of the Bay Area’s digital marketing business through word-of-mouth and from referrals. That kind of trust came about because people developed a comfort level with the company through its having become a familiar sight throughout the city and its environs. They maintained that level of trust by adding top-quality service on top of the brand recognition initiated by the t-shirts.


Patel gives businesses who wish to use his formula to catapult their company to success some excellent advice. First of all, he advises, new businesses need to keep quality foremost when designing promotional apparel. After all, the apparel represents one’s company. If a company’s promotional apparel looks tacky, its reputation will take a nosedive. That’s not the kind of brand awareness a startup company needs at its start.


Patel chose a top t-shirt manufacturer, American Apparel, to make Single Grain’s shirts. Including the tastefully-designed logo, the shirts each cost Patel anywhere from 10 to 15 dollars. Although his budget was tight, he realized that people wouldn’t wear shirts that were uncomfortable, which bore a cheap-looking logo, or that had overtly promotional text. Because he began by creating a shirt that he himself wanted to wear on an everyday basis, Patel created a shirt that his friends and colleagues wanted to wear as well.


Not only were the shirts comfortable, but they were also well-designed. The shirts sported a tasteful logo on the front, a well-chosen slogan on back. That’s all.


Patel also advises business owners who want to use promotional wear to create brand awareness to wear the garments wherever they go. Creating opportunities for striking up conversations with potential clients is a key ingredient in the success of such a program.


Companies must bear in mind that this tactic will bear fruit in the long run if they are consistent in wearing the apparel. “People,” he shares, “start to get curious.” This inherent curiosity creates a drive in people to ask questions. Even if the person him or herself does not become a client, a business does create brand awareness among the general public. That awareness, in turn, leads to the sort of trust that gives a company the edge in word-of-mouth advertising—even future recommendations.


Patel also advises companies who market their business using promotional apparel to be sure to thank those people who wear it. Recognizing these people’s contribution to a company’s success creates even more positive feelings about the brand. The people, in turn, feel invested in the company’s success and wear the apparel more often. Patel, it would seem has found an inexpensive way to rise to the challenge of promoting a business.


Single Grain and its innovative founder have attracted much attention in the Internet marketing world for using brick and mortar marketing tactics to draw attention to their marketing prowess on the Web. Other businesses, both brick and mortar and online, have also experienced success marketing their services by using t-shirts and other promotional apparel to build brand awareness in customers and potential customers.


Matt Hunckler of Verge, a company who helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses by forging connections with resources and investment capital, says this about promotional apparel: “Great t-shirts is the only marketing expense we’ve ever invested dollars into.” For Hunckler, marketing his business is a fun, yet simple affair.


Verge hands out t-shirts to people who join their network of entrepreneurs, as well as to those who attend their conferences. A t-shirt with an attractive logo, Hunckler discovered, has the power to spark productive conversations about a business’ products or services. It is especially effective, he shares, if the wearer inspires others with her or his confidence. He adds, “It’s like wearing sports gear. People will only [wear] your logo if it looks good and, more importantly, believe in your brand.”


The president of HighRankWebsites.Com, Mike Perez, also agrees with Patel. His company, which also specializes in Internet services, has found success in marketing his company using tangible merchandise such as t-shirts. Like Patel, though, he cautions readers not to look for cheap marketing solutions. He says, “Our team wears [t-shirts bearing the company logo] all the time as well in and out of the office because they are so comfortable. If you try to go for the cheap ones nobody will wear them and it defeats the whole purpose.”


Of course, brick and mortar companies, too, can benefit from this inexpensive, but effective marketing tool. Cameron Herold, the former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, one of the world’s largest junk removal companies, used t-shirts to market his business at a conference. Four representatives of the trash removal company wore t-shirts featuring a “huge corporate logo” on the conference floor. In the midst of a crowd of business people wearing suits, he and his company representatives stood out. He shares, “[M]any people thought there were at least twenty of us walking around because they saw our logos so often amid the masses of suit jackets.”


Perception, it would seem, is reality—at least in the world of marketing. The bandwagon approach is alive and well. If a company has a standout logo imprinted on quality apparel, people will notice. They will, of course, want a piece of the action. They, too, will want to wear such attention-grabbing apparel. And so a mass movement is born. A movement which any company would want to be at the center of.


Herold makes a great point. People want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to feel a part of a group. To belong, to connect, to be a valued part of the “in group” is a deep need for many people. To belong to a tribe, perhaps—to use the latest marketing buzzword. He refers to those who jump on the bandwagon of corporate t-shirt wearers as “a brand army.”


There is indeed a sort of camaraderie among those who consider themselves part of a tribe. Such a feeling builds brand loyalty—something that can’t be bought with million-dollar TV ads or a full-page spread in the local newspaper. Indeed, in Herold’s words, people become more than just “walking billboards.” They become “brand ambassadors.”


In all of these cases, whether the companies provided online or brick and mortar services, each of them used a real-world solution—t-shirt marketing—to overcome marketing challenges to become successful in their niches. Other businesses, too, can use branded apparel to market their products and services with equal success.

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T Shirt Printing Design

t-shirt-printing-designSo you want to create a great t-shirt printing design, but not sure where to start.  Well, t shirts that really make you think, “wow” are always carefully planned.  Let’s go over all the aspects of a well-designed t-shirt.

T-shirt design shape

Bet you didn’t think that the shape of the design would make a difference, eh? With t-shirt printing, a simple square or rectangle can work against you, where you can take advantage of the medium.  By stretching your design to all kinds of custom shapes.  Not just lettering, but sharp lines that stick out grab attention.  Keep this in mind when designing your custom printed t-shirts.  For instance, think of a rocket ship, or an arrow, and how that sticks out.

Complementary versus clashing colors

If you were to do some research on t shirt colors, you’d find out that red on black is the best-selling combination.  Generally, you want a bright color on a basic colored garment for maximum impact.  That does not mean that you can’t get away with  a white on black or black on white design.  But if you want to maximize your sales, keep colors in mind.

Now, the other thing to keep in mind is whether colors match each other.  Which colors are complementary to each other?  Take a look at this color wheel below.

colorwheel When you’re looking at the color wheel, notice that  if you were to pick blue, the color opposite, that would be orange.

These are complementary colors.  Pick one color unknown go all the way across the wheel to find the color that is complementary to it.  Orange and blue, purple and yellow are other examples. The problem is,  colors across the wheel from each other can also be categorized as clashing colors. That’s why it’s always good to use a neutral color (like black, white, brown) in between the two to offset the difference.  But here’s the interesting thing.   If you want to grab  people’s attention,  you want colors to clash.  It really depends on the effect you’re going for.

Analogous Colors

Analogous Colors are colors that are next to each other.  For instance, yellow and light green. This creates a harmonious look.  Again, this depends on the look you’re going for.   So you’ll need to experiment with colors to see what works for your particular design.  There are no hard and fast rules on colors when it comes to custom t-shirt printing.  For instance, if you have a comic book character on your t-shirt.  You may want to make it very colorful.  But if it’s a logo, you may want to make it more professional looking, which means less colors.  People actually spend years doing research on colors, so don’t get carried away with this.  Experimentation is the key.

Direct to garment printing

With direct to garment printing, you can print unlimited colors because it’s printed in in full color CMYK versus screen printing, which is printed one color at a time. This allows you to really do whatever you want in terms of colors.  It’s ideal for full color photos, for example, and is my personal favorite for creating the wow factor.

Readability of fonts

While some designers like to go crazy with fonts, what’s most important is for people to be able to read what is on your t-shirt.  So pick a font that is easily readable.  Try not to use more than three different fonts on one t-shirt, or it will look too busy. Get a nice balance by using bold or cap typeface for the main words only.  Squint your eyes and look at your design from a few feet away.  Which words stand out to you?   Now adjust and repeat the process.  When you squint,  you need to see the most important words clearly and the rest of it not as clear.

Also keep in mind your company’s branding strategies.   Remember everything that you print should reflect  your company’s image., Keep it consistent.

 T-shirt printing design in stages

Each stage of your design should take you to another level.  This is why it is recommended to create your design in a number of stages. In the beginning stages, feel free to let your creativity run wild and try out all sorts of fun ideas. Make sure you plan and create drafts to see where your creativity takes you. In the later stages you can rule ideas out,  and decide what does not work and what does.


It takes time to create a T shirt that has that “wow” factor, but you must have a strong foundation with several elements that stand out.  If it seems overdone, or to gaudy, trust your internal “cheese meter”.  Keep in mind, less is always more when it comes to T shirt design.  For ideas, look at the competition. There are websites online where t-shirts are designed and sold. Visit those websites  and look at the best-selling shirts.  Borrow ideas from them and incorporate that into your design.  You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, when there are many great ideas out there already. A shirt that’s already selling can give you an idea for a new design, so research is always a good idea.

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Custom T Shirt Printing And Embroidery Video

We just put up a new video on our youtube page highlighting our custom t shirt printing and embroidery services in video format. It took us a while to learn how to do this in power point but we think it came out pretty well. What do you think?

Here’s the transcript:

Looking for high quality printing and embroidery? We offer orders completed in as fast as 24 hours, and facilities located across the U.S.A. for fast delivery. Screen printing, embroidery, direct to garment printing, “always done RIGHT on time”, with 18 years in business. Find out why you can’t afford to go anywhere else.

Integrity: we guarantee the quality of our work
Honesty: clear communications with no surprise fees
Attention to detail: orders checked for quality and accuracy
Flexibility: facilities located across the U.S.A. for fast delivery
Stability: In the B2B printing business since 1995

Our clients have spoken:

“Recommended! We placed an order for embroidered and silk screened sweatshirts, t-shirts and caps for our students, faculty and alumni, and are very satisfied with Nova’s excellent quality and service.”

“For last minute t-shirts provided lightning fast and exactly to specs, I don’t know who could’ve handled it better. Incredible service and dedication to getting everything right, and on time, and takes care of you as a customer like no other”

You’ve been very prompt and I cannot believe how fast it was. All the tees came out really well. It was exactly what we were looking for.”

Ready to be impressed? Connect with us:
Call our national sales office: 1- (800) 495-1306
Nova Custom Printing

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