Designing T-shirts for money is as popular as ever.
If you look all around you, you can’t help but notice that people are putting all sorts of statements on their T-shirts.
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At the same time, people crave for uniqueness. So you see mind-boggling combinations of statements and design fashions surrounding you.
The Internet business is quick to capitalize on this fashion trend and we see websites that are dedicated to T-shirts mushrooming online. This represents a nice window of opportunity for people who are competent in designing attractive and unique T-shirts.
How it Works
By virtue of its online nature, these websites are willing to work with just about anybody from anywhere so as to land their hands on excellent T-shirt design ideas.
The workings of these sites are kind of similar, even though there can be slight variations from one to another.
We will go into further details on the later part of this blog but what I want to impress you now is that it is easy to work on this T-shirt designing idea.
Step 1- Find Design Opportunities
Following is a compilation of the some design websites for both artists and designers. They represent some of the best in the business, so go through this list and find out if there are sites that you would want to apply your creativity and skills:
In term of popularity, Threadless is right up there among the most popular online T-shirt design sites. It has an online store that showcases an amazing catalog of great-looking t-shirts.
They are all the results of creative artists and you can buy them right there.
It works this way at Threadless: a designer will submit his work, and have it gone through a a 7-day voting exercise by other Threadless members. So the hip and cool factor of your work will be under scrutiny by fellow designers.
At the end of the voting cycle, designs that garner the best scores will get the opportunity to be printed on T-shirts.
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You get the idea, it is the voting artists that determine how appealing your design is, not some business minded Threadless business executive.
- Rewards: If you are the one who submits the winning entry, you will be rewarded with $2000 cash and another $500 gift certificate from Threadless. And if the demand of your design is so great that it warrants a reprint, you stand to even more chances to win multiple rewards that are subjected to further voting at the end of the year.
Design By Humans created three different categories to make the competitions even keener. There are the shirt-of-the-day, shirt-of-the-week, and shirt-of-the-month awards.
Contestants will have to survive the regular voting by members of the Design By Humans in order to scoop as many winners as possible.
- Rewards: The reward system is fairly generous. Understandably, the prize winnings vary across categories. For example, winning entry of the shirt of the day category will entitle the designer $750 cash, for shirt of the week, winner gets $1,000, and it is $1750 for the shirt of the month award. To make it even more interesting, designers can claim even more bonuses if the T-shirts that carry their designs turned out to be hot sellers. There are all sorts of benchmarks set on this. If T-shirts sale hits 1000, designer will be rewarded with an extra $500. As the sales get to different and higher benchmark, the bonus gets progressively higher, until sale breaches the 10,000 ceiling, which entitles the design a cool $2,500 cash award.
Teefury calls itself a one-a-day t-shirt website. It literally means that there is always one new T-shirt on show at the website every day.
The winning design is to be determined by TeeFury team.
It has a fixed price tag for all T-shirts, i.e. at just nine dollars a pop. Your design will have a full 24-hour window to attract customers.
- Rewards: If they think that your design is good enough to get printed, they will push it up for sales within the next 24-hour day. TeeFury will recognize and pay you royalty for your work. The payout is $1 for every t-shirt sold, which is very cool, I must say.
This is similar to TeeFury, as Shirt.Woot also employs the one-a-day t-shirt idea. But there are some structural differences.
There would be inputs from the Shirt.Woot staff on what goes on to the print, but the number is restricted to just half of all T-shirts.
The other half is determined by a weekly design competition. These competitions run by a weekly theme that the management decides and everyone is welcome to place submissions.
Applicants’ designs would be scrutinized and judged by Woot members (not staff or management) and those made it into the top 3 among these voters would get the privilege to get their designs printed on T-shirts.
- Rewards: Regardless of how the winning entries are derived, whether by management choice or members vote, the designers will get $1,000 plus $2 commission for every shirt that finds a buyer after the first day.
Step 2- Submit Your Designs
After you decided which websites you would be comfortable to work with, depending on your preference and objective, you would want to get the submission going as soon as possible.
Note that not all websites work the same way as far as submission requirements are concerned, so make an effort to go through all terms and conditions that cover design submission for each and every website so that you don’t fall foul with the rules concerned (generally these sites would often make rules reasonable and straightforward to encourage participation, but double-check nevertheless if you don’t want your designs to get pulled out early).
Step 3 Promote Your Designs
You should not rest even after your submission is in. If you are serious about winning, it is time you start some serious promotion on your work.
Following advice works particularly well with website that employs a voting system, like Threadless.
The rationale being that it is easier to influence fellow designers to vote in your favor, rather than to tell executives who are hard wired to business to select your design over others.
Now a few things that could make the difference among your new voting friends:
- Make use of social media such as Facebook or Twitter to get the words out that you are into some competitions currently going on. Your friends and followers may want to consider your design in a favorable light, but just as important, you are counting on them to spread the news so more people take notice of that.
- In your personal blog, design a user-friendly way for people to check out your work and also your activities with the various T-shirt sites.
- Keep abreast on how the other artists are up to in their blogs, pay attention to the different ways on how they promote their art.
There you have it. I hope this post will help you get going in the right direction.
If you are one of those who already has this making money by designing T-shirts in the bag, I would love to hear about your experience and I am sure others would too. Thanks.