Since sixth grade I’ve been putting stuff on T-shirts. Back then I used a magic marker. That was fun, not just for the creativity. Back in the Sixties a magic marker smelled like an auto body shop and would get you high as a kite! Today I doodle mostly with Photoshop and a digital camera, although I still sketch by hand occasionally. And instead of drawing on spare tees from the underwear drawer I let Cafe Press print them for me.
Cafe Pressis a unique marketplace that makes all sorts of stuff– shirts, postcards, mugs, panties, posters, etc. The neat thing is none of the stuff they make is their stuff. It’s your stuff!
You create a design or take a photo, then create a product with your image. They take care of all the fussy stuff like making it, packing it, shipping it and taking money for it. The best part is you decide how much you want to make and set the markup– if any.
A similar scheme is offered by Zazzle. They promise 24-hour-turnaround on orders and claim superior printing quality to Cafe Press. Either offer a quick way for you to start up for free.
Another unique approach to embellished clothing is Threadless. Think of it as My Space meets Cafe Press. The idea here is to rate submissions then produce those with the highest approval. Site visitors create designs or create slogans and post them on the site. Other users rate them on a scale of 1 to 5 and can also post their comments. If the design garners sufficient interest Threadless prints the design and offers it in their catalog.
Here’s a few of the designs I’ve dreamed up and posted on Cafe Press:
Back in the Eighties I played in a band originally called The Insects, later the name became Radio Milan. You can buy recreations of the band T-shirt as well as a compilation CD online.
Incidentally, my Threadless design didn’t make the cut, but it was fun just participating in the process. Here’s a thumbnail: