What’s Big in Custom Apparel

As a team of people passionate about custom apparel, we spend a lot of time talking about trends and looking at new products. So we thought we should share with you some of the new stuff we like and trends we see, like the return of the oversized t-shirt, a passion for pull over sweatshirts, and from a sales volume point of view, the power of the Anvil 980 tee and the Canvas 3939 zip hoodie. So let’s dig into the how’s and the why’s of these trends to learn more.

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The Ins & Outs of T-Shirt Design

T-shirt design at Threadbird is so much more than just picking up a design, plopping it on a plain white tee, and then shipping it off to you. We take a custom approach to everything we do and we want you to know about all the incredible options you have with us.

First of all, we offer six different kinds of printing styles for t-shirts and other apparel:

  • Premium Standard
  • Discharge
  • Waterbase
  • Plastisol
  • Process
  • Foil

You can read more about these on our Apparel Printing Styles page and choose the one that best suits your t-shirt design and material. For now, it’s just important to know that our standard style of printing, Premium Standard, is anything but ordinary and it blows our competition out of the water. Not to brag. But really.

Second, not only will your finished product be stellar, but we’ll also help you prepare your art for printing with product-specific templates, provide you with instructions on how to prep your art files and answer any other questions you have along the way.

And lastly, we also offer plenty of t-shirt design add-ons, like custom printed tags, sewn tags, hang tags, professional folding and bagging and more. So don’t hold back. Just let us know what you want and we’ll make it happen!

  • Threadbird - T-Shirt Design
  • Threadbird - T-Shirt Design

T-Shirt Design Tips

Get a graphic designer.

Let’s face it – some of us are artistically challenged. And there’s no shame in that. But when it comes to your business or your brand, you want to make a good first impression. And nothing makes you look like a few teens working out of a dimly lit basement more than poor quality t-shirt design. If it’s your goal to get professional quality custom tees, and you’re not an artist yourself, consider budgeting for a graphic designer. We also have some great recommendations handy for companies that can “transform” your art into usable, screenprint-ready vector files.

Limit the details. Sometimes.

On the other hand, you may be the greatest artist on the planet, but that still doesn’t mean your masterpiece will look awesome on a shirt. Complex detail can be great on canvas, but when it comes to t-shirt design, simpler is usually better. Try picturing your design on a shirt while you sketch it out and make an effort to simplify things without stifling your creativity. Process printing and halftones alike do an amazing job of capturing and creating detail with more complex designs – feel free to ask us more about that!

  • Threadbird - T-Shirt Design
  • Threadbird - T-Shirt Design

On the same note, there ARE certain times when detail is great. Like when you place your order. Give us any and all details you have – even if you think it’s too much. Does your design need to be off-center or center? What specific Pantone colors do you want? Do you have a preference on ink type? Will you have more than one print location on each shirt? Let us know! More is always better in this case and specific details will really help us expedite the process.

Stay on top of industry trends.

Certain kinds of t-shirt designs and styles are really in right now. For example, longer tees and pocket printing are currently trending. But what’s trendy now, might not be in five minutes. So if you’re going for a look that younger consumers will like, make sure to keep up with industry trends by following fashion-inspired blogs or fashion designers on Instagram. It never hurts to take note of what your competitors are doing.

Know your customer – and if you think you do know it all, dig even deeper.

Take the time to really get to know whatever market you’re in. Who is your consumer? What other kinds of brands do they like? How do they spend their time? What’s important to them? Answers to these questions will help you craft a t-shirt design that clearly resonates with your consumers while also distinguishing your brand from the pack.

Find a good GREAT printer.

When it comes down to it, a printer can seriously make or break your custom t-shirt design. Threadbird has won several awards for our high quality t-shirt printing methods and we have a long list of happy clients to attest to the great work we do!

Give us a call, chat with us on our website, or shoot us an e-mail today and let us help you create a custom t-shirt that will WOW your customers.


2 Undeniable Reasons Custom Clothing Always Comes Out On Top!

“I can’t find ANYTHING I like!” Sound familiar? If you’ve ever spent countless hours looking for new clothes and end up with a whole lot of nothing – it might be time to take things into your own hands. What better way to get something you actually like than to have the resources readily available to create your own custom clothing?

1. Creating Something Of Your Own Just Feels Better

Custom printing gives you the ability to look your best – regardless of what’s trendy at the moment. Want to rock a t-­shirt with your favorite quote, or maybe an image of a bear eating a s’more by a campfire? We can make that happen. Seeing your custom shirts worn by friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances or strangers can be incredibly rewarding because, well, that was all your doing! At Threadbird, we’re confident in our ability to give you the custom clothing you’ve always wanted and help bring your ideas and creativity to life.

  • Threadbird Custom Clothing for Kids
  • Threadbird Custom Clothing Ideas

That being said, it’s not just our ability to print unique designs on a wide range of apparel that makes our custom clothing at Threadbird so great. It’s also our wide variety of sizes. With apparel ranging in size from XS to 6XL, you can rest assured that your apparel will not only look good, but it will fit well too.

2. Work With Actual Human Beings

You heard us right – there’s a reason we have little-to-no automation in our process.  Every customer, every order and every need is unique and we have a deep understanding of that – no amount of automation out there comes close to the personalized, attentive guidance we offer.  Just starting out with your custom clothing idea? We’ll make sure every part of the process is crystal clear and will offer our expert recommendations along the way.

  • Unique Custom Clothing at Threadbird
  • A Unique Custom Clothing Design - Threadbird

Threadbird Custom Clothing

Have a question about how we can help you out with your custom clothing idea? Give us a call, chat with us on the website, or shoot us an e-mail. We’d love to hear from you and are more than happy to help in any way we can!


How To: Have A Smoother Ordering Process

Sometimes in life there are opportunities to make things a whole lot easier on yourself (and others). Placing an order with us is no exception to that rule.

When you are ready, there are few simple steps you can take to guarantee a smooth and pain-free order process. Your Customer Service Rep may also want to hug you.

1. Details, Details, Details.

The more details you provide when you submit your quote request, the faster you’ll get your prints! Give us any and all details you have. There’s rarely such a thing as too much information in this case. The more we have the easier it is for our Customer Service Reps to quickly and accurately build your estimate with minimal back and forth and revisions.

What kind of details are we talking about?
  • Print location – Where do you want your design printed (Front, Back, Sleeve, etc)? Will you have more than one print location on the same shirt?

front1

 

back

  • Pantone colors – If you have any specific colors that you would like to print, you will need to provide us with a color from the Pantone Coated Swatch Book. If you don’t have a book, we will do our best to match the color we see on our screen to the one in your artwork, but be aware that oftentimes colors can appear differently from monitor to monitor.
  • Any special printing details – Does your print need to be a specific size? Does it need to be off-center? Remember, be specific if you need to!
  • Ink type – This will largely depend on the garment type you are using, however, let us know if you have a preference and we can tell you if it will work. You can learn more about your options here. You can also check out more about our ink printing styles in this blog post

2. Give Us the Breakdown.

We also need to know all the details about the garments you would like to print on. Which garments? Which garment colors? What is the size breakdown?  The more details, the merrier. Not sure which garments to print on? Don’t worry, just ask! One of our CSR’s can help you determine which garment(s) will be best for your particular project. You can also browse our garments here.

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 2.11.34 PM

When you’re figuring your number of garments, make sure you keep our minimums in mind! For example, all 1-2 color prints require a minimum of 24 pieces. You can get all the details about our minimums here.

3. Not Just Any File Type…

To create a mock that will result in the best end result for your print job, our Art & Mocks team will need a high resolution vector file. Not sure if your file is what we need? Check out our File Prep page or this blog post for more details about what we’re looking for.

Before submitting your artwork, make sure your file is:
  • High Resolution
  • 300 dpi (dots per inch)
  • The desired size you want it printed
  • NOT: a photo, sketch, Paint or Word file, etc.

It’s as simple as that! Once you’ve submitted your Quote Request Form, one of our lovely Customer Sales Reps will build your estimate and before you know it your order and mocks will be approved, we’ll work our printing magic and your order will be on it’s way to your door.

Have questions? We’ll gladly answer them! Just shoot us an email at printing@threadbird.com.


A Special Back To School Deal

August Sale

 

Summer’s coming to an end, so we thought we might try to cheer you up with a Back to School Special! Now through the end of August, you can get the following bundle for only $415

  • 50 Printed T-Shirts (1 Color Design using Premium Standard Ink on Anvil 980) What’s better than your design on this always popular and super soft t-shirt! 
  • Printed Tags (Includes 4 Tag Setups) Make your shirts just a bit more custom!
  • Free Shipping (Continental US Only) Because who doesn’t love free?!
  • BONUS: 100 FREE 1-Inch Buttons! These make great promotional extras to giveaway or share with customers and fans.

What’s the catch?

There isn’t one! We just have a few restrictions to make sure you’re getting the best prints possible, and quickly!

  • Additional fees will apply for 2XL garments and larger
  • Additional fees will apply for more than 4 Tag Setups ($5 Per Tag Setup)
  • Free Shipping is UPS Ground (Additional Fees apply to Expedited Shipping)
  • Free Shipping does not apply outside of the Continental US
  • Order must be accepted and paid for by 4pm EST on Monday August 31 to receive discount.
  • Cannot be backdated or extended.
  • Sale may not be applicable to event or rush jobs (Check with your Customer Service Rep).
  • Please note: Turnaround time may be slightly longer with the sale.

Ready to get your order started?

Head on over and fill out the Quote Request Form to send us your order. Need help making decisions on your order? That’s what we’re here for! You can contact us now and we’ll help you out!


Customer Feature: Unlock Hope

Part of what makes our job so awesome are the people, businesses and organizations we get to work with. The stories we learn about from day to day are intriguing and always keep us motivated. One organization that has inspired us lately is Unlock Hope. They provide healthcare, better food options and a safe place to live for a group of girls in a hostel in Hoima, Uganda, which enables them to educate the girls. They believe this is the first step in ending a difficult cycle of poverty in Africa.

We recently got to ask Dallas Harris, founder of the organization, some questions while he and part of the Unlock Hope team are on the road selling merch and introducing people to Unlock Hope at music festivals.

How did Unlock Hope come to be?

“Unlock Hope has been around for about 2 years in it’s current form. I have started a couple of other companies with similar missions over the past 8 years until I found a story and product that really connected with people. It all started when I watched the original Invisible Children documentary. I immediately started researching ways to help the people of Uganda and started a company called Feed Just One based on the Mother Teresa quote that says ‘If you can’t feed a hundred people then feed just one.’ We donated a ton of meals through shirt sales but wanted to do even more. After learning more and better understanding the needs of Ugandans I discovered that education – especially for young girls – is the most important thing to them. It gives them hope and a future.”

Why keys?

“The keys have a double meaning. They are in the shape of Africa and symbolize unlocking hope for the girls at the hostel that we support. Also, many kids in Uganda have a little locked box where they store their belongings so they wear keys on strings around their neck and I wanted to create something that people here could wear in solidarity and remind them of the difference they are making in their lives.”

How did you end up partnering with Think Humanity?

“I did lots of research into tons of organizations that work in Uganda both large and small and found that many organizations simply don’t use their donations wisely. It’s pretty unbelieveable how efficient Think Humanity is. They are able to use 99% of all donations for program expenses by utilizing a volunteer staff.”

What is the biggest challenge of your job?

“The biggest challenge is being a small but growing company and trying to manage all aspects of the business. There are so many different tasks that come up that you would never think of and kind of just have to learn as you go. I don’t have any employees aside from people helping out for the summer tour so I do a little bit of everything. I recently started having Threadbird handle the online orders and fulfillment so I’m very thankful for that!”

You’re on the road this summer. What does that tour look like for Unlock Hope? 

“It’s very challenging and rewarding! Up until this point all of the sales have been online so it’s been great to get to meet and connect with the customers in person. We are doing 12 music festivals this summer and hope to add more events in the fall. The hours are very long and there’s four of us crammed in a passenger van along with all of the merch and displays but we are having a great time!”

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 9.55.04 AM

What is your favorite story or experience since starting this adventure with Unlock Hope?

“I love getting notes and cards from the girls at the hostel in Uganda!  It’s always great to hear about their lives and learn more about their experience.  I also love sharing the story with people and letting them know how easy it is to make a huge difference in someone’s life.”

What would you tell people who are passionate about a cause and want to take a step towards making a difference?

“Just go for it and learn as you go! I started by ordering 36 shirts and selling them on MySpace out of my one bedroom apartment and now it’s grown so much. Pick a cause that you are truly passionate about and it will make the difficult times and hard work so much easier.”

What’s the best way for people to help Unlock Hope? 

“Aside from ordering the products and supporting the cause financially it is a huge help when people share it with others!”

We want to give a huge thank you to Dallas for chatting with us. We love learning more about what drives our customers and Unlock Hope is definitely doing big things. Find out more about what they’re up to on their site and Instagram. And be sure to check out their available merch on the online store.