What to think about when making and buying Band T-Shirt Merch? First of all let’s think about why you need a Band T-shirt print. Is it because everybody else is doing it? Is it because you think it is cool to have your own Album Cover and tour dates on a T-shirt? Then you need to think again.
A T-shirt with a print could be a good thing if the result will be a great looking t-shirt that someone would wear even though they are not on a rock consert. To buy a T-shirt on a show is often a way for fans to support you and it can be a nice income stream for you. But rather often we see bands making the same mistakes and fans end up with a T-shirt they use when painting their homes or dyes their hair… Don’t do this!
Band T-shirt How To:
1. Be Creative!
Try to make an effort and think of other things to print on you t-shirt than:
- Your Cover Photo
- Your Band Logo
- Tour Dates
Cheap vs Exclusive?
The most common thing a band would purchase is the cheapest possible t-shirt in order to earn as much money as possible. I don’t like that… Instead I will suggest another idea to buy somewhat more exclusive t-shirts. Instead of a boring t-shirt that nobody would use you can spend 1 or 2 more dollars for an exclusive T-shirt that people gladly would wear in their daily life. Sometimes prints are not suitable and to instead use a label with a discrete greeting from you or the band then it could be your fans new favorite T-shirt! Then you will bond with your fans on a much deeper level instead of spreading your Tour dates / Artwork / Band Logo to no one.
Should it really be a print?
Think twice: Does it need to be a print or could it be a label instead? Or broderies?
Don’t use too many colors.
Try to stick to 1 or 2 different colors. The more colors the more expensive will the print be and harder to get well done.
Simple is key!
If your T-shirt should be used in a promotional campaign, sometimes plain text is perfect and sends a clear message. Maybe your promotion hashtag # could be useful. Plain text is easy to print!
Match Print, Color and Fabric
Think about which color and fabric the shirt will have and match to the print accordingly. Some print colors and fabric are harder to print, although your printing office should tell you and recommend you what to do in those cases. Bring up the detail in the original so it will be easier to print.
Restrict T-shirt and Print sizes
Think about the sizes and models you will have for your T-shirts. Every different size of the print will involve a one time starting fee and those are quite expensive. You cannot simply scale a print to the size of the T-shirt so the print will stay the same. If you use one print on all sizes the print might not fit on the XS-models and look super small on the 3XL. The solution here is to restrict the different print sizes and restrict the number of T-shirt sizes.
Know your fans!
Make sure to know your audience. If your fans are mainly women, then make women clothing. If you are a Metal Rock Band, then the distribution will be something like this 80% Men 20% Women and:
- Small – 15%
- Medium – 40%
- Large – 30%
- Extra Large – 10%
- Other sizes 5%
If you are the latter then you can use the small t-shirts to sell to your ladies fans instead of making a whole women collection of your merch.
It could be a nice thing to have 1 or 2 3XL because those people will be really grateful to be able to buy a t-shirt that normally no one thinks about.
Don’t be too optimistic about the demand
Generally the more T-shirts you will order the cheaper you will get them. However don’t do the mistake everyone is doing and be too optimistic and buy too many. Often you will just end up with a large stock and need to sell them cheap. A better option would be to buy smaller sizes for a somewhat higher price per piece and sell all of them for full price. You can always buy more later.
Use Pre-Orders to know the demand and test designs
Make preorders on your new t-shirts before you buy them to see the demand and then adjust the order after you estimate how many you will sell. You can even test different T-shirt models or Designs if you have the time and choose the one that is performing the best.
Use a pro!
Make sure your print is professionally made! Today well done is not good enough, everything you do needs to be remarkable!
Great places to look for Band T-Shirt Design:
- 99Designs – You tell them what you need, get dozens of designs and pick your favorite.
- YooDo.se (swedish) – Freelance website