While there’s no exact science to creating a T-shirt that’s a guaranteed hit, after a good few years watching countless Everpress campaigns, we have a feel for what works (and what doesn’t!). Here our Content Creators and Charities team share their insights into launching a T-shirt campaign that’s sure to be a hit. From pre-design stage, to exactly what works on a design, to everything in between, read on for our key insights:
For us, collaboration is king. Not only do we love seeing people come together to create a T-shirt, but time and time again we’ve seen campaigns soar because they’re the result of multiple people working together. The benefits of collaborations are manifold; for content creators and charities especially, they’re probably the best way to bring onboard design skills. Plus, they’re a way not only to work with likeminded people, but to bring what you do to an even wider audience. Keen to collaborate but not quite sure how to find a designer? Head here for our tips on finding freelance designers. Or, check out some of our favourite ever Everpress collabs to get those inspiration juices flowing.
Stick To One Colour
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to pulling off a hit design, but a big theme we’ve noticed running through our most successful campaigns is simplicity. When it comes to colour, this means designs that use only one colour perform particularly well, in large part because of just how impactful they can be. Also, the whole point of T-shirts is that people wear them, and while busy, chaotic designs can be attention-grabbing, they can also be a little too much for most wardrobes. Single colour designs doesn’t mean dull though, instead think bold and eye-catching; a white design on a black garment, for instance, is always a winner. Finally, the fewer colours you use in your design, the higher your margins will be and the greater chance that your T-shirts will pass the threshold for being screen-printed; our preferred method of printing.
Experiments in Colour
If you do stick to one colour, you still might fancy branching out beyond black and white. (Or, as we’ll get into later, offering multiple colourways for your design.) Looking back at all the most popular T-shirts by content creators, charities and small businesses alike, the colour red emerged as a consistently big hit when it came to designs. Why? It’s hard to say exactly why, it could be that it’s eye-catching, it could be that it works particularly well against T-shirts of all shades. Whatever the reason, it’s worth bearing in mind if you’re keen for a colourful design but aren’t quite sure where to go with it.
Got something to say? Don’t be afraid to include text in your design, especially if your T-shirt is in aid of a cause. When we looked back at some of the best fundraiser tees of all time (and not just on our platform!) something that really stood out was just how many used words. Text on a T-shirt can be very fluid, whether it’s a slogan, stylised typography that’s a design in itself, or just some text incorporated into your design, our explainer runs through type tees in all their glory. And, as we mention above, text tends to work best as part of a single colour design.
In theory you can have as many artwork placements as you want on a T-shirt. However, some of our most key advice would be that, when it comes to your first campaign especially, it’s best to keep these to a minimum. Or in other words, to focus on one really strong standalone design, rather than having lots of artwork placements on your tee. As well as tending to be more popular in terms of sales, this also means your profit margins on each T-shirt will be higher, as printing costs will be lower, so a win-win really.
As you’re putting your design together remember that you don’t need to limit yourself to just one option, and in fact, campaigns that offer a range of garments tend to do better in terms of sales. When you launch any campaign you don’t need to restrict yourself to just one garment or colourway; all campaigns can host a whole range of garment and colourway options, and your customers can shop these via the dropdown menu on your campaign page.
There are a lot of different ways you can approach this, and it pays to think creatively and in terms of the context in which you’re selling too. If you’re launching a campaign in Spring or Autumn, why not offer long sleeve, hoody and T-shirt versions of the same design, so that potential buyers aren’t put off by a shift away from T-shirt weather. If you’ve gone for a bold colour combo, how about offering a version in black and white too for the less adventurous dresser, or even a range of colours. This applies for relaunches too; we’ve seen plenty of campaigns able to make the most of hotter and colder months by switching to a hoody or long sleeve version of a design that began as a T-shirt, or vice versa.
So many of the T-shirt campaigns that we see launched on Everpress are in aid of a cause, and there’s a full spectrum of ways to approach this. While some are launched by the charity itself, usually with a designer onboard to guide the finished T-shirt, many come about because a creator approaches a charity or organisation they’ve long admired in order to create a T-shirt for them, or simply just decides to give 10% of their profits from a tee to a chosen charity. As well as the obvious benefit, that you’re helping raise money for a worthy cause, this can be hugely helpful in getting the word out about a charity or cause that you’re passionate about. Plus, it’s a practical way of being able to help when emergencies arise – many of the tees we saw launch in 2020 especially raised funds for people, businesses and organisations hit by Covid.