Many people take up t-shirt design business in their ‘free time’. They soon realize that like most of the enterprises, t-shirt designing also relies heavily for its success on the key aspects such as researching the skills, creativity, dedication, a lot of time and above all the desire to work hard. So, devote time, energy and funds to run your t-shirt design and printing business. Your t-shirt design is the key to the success of your business. People love to buy unique and memorable design concepts. They assess the design for its ability to deliver a message. The consumers buy a t-shirt for its good quality of the material and use of attractive colors, images and typeface. But many designers ignore such basics and end up losing the customers and market.Due to this consumers have to bear the cost of bad customer service. Here are the usual t-shirt designing mistakes others make and you should avoid.
1. Not knowing your target consumers It is a mistake to think that all the sections of a population will buy any t-shirt if its design looks good. That is not the case every time. People come from a variety of social, cultural and economic backgrounds, which weigh on their buying decisions. A wise strategy is to create the designs for your target customers.
Do an extensive research to know who your specific set of consumers is. Find out who are the people interested in wearing your t-shirts. Are they boys or girls? Are they yuppies or simple teenagers, or older people? What current issues stir these people? What are the things they find appalling? Get precise answers to many such questions to build a detailed profile of your typical customer. The purpose of this exercise is to know your niche.
An accurate profile of your target customer will help you in building your brand identity also. You can pick right colors, typefaces, images etc t shirt design elements that reflect aspirations, concerns and likes or dislikes of your consumers. You will put together the colors, typefaces etc elements in designing your logo, website, business cards, packages of your tees, decoration of your shop and so on. With such efforts, you can build a trustworthy brand personality of your t-shirt business. Moreover, after knowing your target customers, there is no shifting of directions in the mid of your business journey.
2. Ignoring the quality of material Most of the designers assume that keeping their t-shirt prices incredibly low is the key to running a business successfully. But research shows that the quality of the shirts matters more to the buyers. They are willing to pay a bit higher prices for t-shirts of high quality material. The customers want to feel a high level of comfort wearing the tees. So, your business should not compromise on the fabric quality. You should chose the best quality t-shirts for printing. But do not make the prices too expensive.
3. Spending too much right away Most of the t-shirt businesses abruptly fail because of their unplanned use of resources. They pooled in their resources to collect thousands of dollars. In their enthusiasm of earning a big profit quickly, they end up harming their business and incur huge debt. The right approach is to start on a smaller scale and a low budget. Start by selling a few dozen pieces of your t-shirts and gauge the response of the buyers. Take note of their design preferences and make improvements accordingly. Take your time to educate yourself on the nuances of operating a t-shirt business. Get advice from experts on different aspects of business, design, printing, etc. Find out a ready market nearby your place to sell the shirts. After your t-shirts sales start picking up gradually, you can think of investing more funds in the business.
4. Ignoring the importance of relationships Businesses are built on the solid foundation of relationships with the clients and end-users. Many entrepreneurs wrongly think that a good t-shirt design will sell itself automatically. But promotion of your business among the target consumers makes a big difference. Try to generate word of mouth publicity. You should make your friends and relatives aware of your business. Send them a simple message on social media for their support. Also, reach out to the clients at the sideline of events and conferences taking place in your city. As you talk to your potential customers, take it as an opportunity to build your brand identity. Set a goal of making at least a dozen quality friendships in a month. Try all such ways to build relationships with the people. Many of them may become your loyal customers later.
5. Raising unrealistic expectations In their enthusiasm, many t-shirt business owners set a huge sales target for a year. Soon they realize that selling their t-shirts to shopping malls and stores is becoming harder by each day for a variety of reasons. They come to know the bitter truth that the competition is tough and taking a shortcut is not working. Many such entrepreneurs close their shops early after non-realization of the sales on expected lines. Instead, set only practical sales goals and keep a low profile. Rather than setting the expectations very high, take your first years of business as a learning experience and focus on putting more efforts.
6. Having a low-resolution image The designers often ignore the resolution value of an image while sourcing it from somewhere. To correct this mistake, make sure that the image you get is in high resolution. Prefer getting the image in a resolution of 300 pixels per inch or dots per inch. An image made of lesser number of pixels will blur when scaled up for printing. So, if you source an image on Google, look for the ‘search Tools’ and select the large size for an optimal result. Getting your images from Facebook and Whatsapp is not advisable. These channels compress the images for sending and receiving them easily. But the compressed images become unsuitable for t-shirt printing.
7. Ignoring clothing colour and file type The designers must also pay heed to the clothing colors and file types. Cost of the design may escalate due to wrong decisions about the clothing colors. The design quality may also suffer. For example, if you choose a dark-colored garment for printing your t-shirt design, you will take an extra step in the printing process. Similarly, if you want to print a light-colored image on a dark colored garment, you will print a white ink first. In case your image has a white frame, you will need white ink to print it. You must also be particular in selecting a file support. For example, if the design needs a transparent layer, the artwork file should be in a.PNG. Your choice of other artwork files such as .PDF, .PSD, .EPS or .AI should be based on your design requirements.
8. Not smoothing out the edges A t-shirt design should not have pixilated edges. If you ignore the edges while printing, it will diminish the quality of your shirt design. Despite receiving your image file in .PNG the image may have pixilated edges that you must remove before printing. You can use Abode Photoshop to remove the edges. First, select your background and manually select the polygon lasso tool and then a block color such as a white or black background. After selecting your background layer, select>refine edge and consider smoothing and displacement of the edge. After you are satisfied with the results, you can delete the background if you do not need it.
9. Not converting the text When a designer gets an image in PDF, PSD or AI, the file may contain some text. The text needs to be converted to the curves, even if the text is only one letter. You should also ensure that the file font is compatible to the design. So, convert the text your image file may be having.
10. Ignoring the vector files Vector format to store images is essential for some t-shirt printing techniques including screen-printing and vinyl. An advantage of vector files is that you can resize them without worrying about the quality of the images. Even if the image is of a postage stamp size, you can scale it up to any bigger size, keeping its high quality of curves and lines. Victor format is also ideal when it comes to giving proper finishing to the material. The printing machines need the paths to identify cutting lines for quality finishing. These paths are available from vector format. To conclude, your t-shirt design business needs your utmost attention to succeed. Start on a small-scale, evaluate the results carefully, and come out with necessary improvements before moving to the next level.
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