Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I'm a fan of many t-shirt contest sites like Designbyhumans.com, Shirtfight.com, and Threadless. Each site has a nice cash prize and credit to purchase many of their designs. I like how it's a good way to test your skills, gain some popularity, and get some feedback. Shirtfight.com posted 10 tips on how to win and I believe they did a very good job.
Here is some info from the blog:
1. Survey your surroundings
Before you even begin drawing or brainstorming ideas, take a close look at the website you are going to submit to. What's the overal "vibe" of the site? Are the tees for sale focused around being funny, witty, or ironic? Are they full of fun bright colorful designs, or are things more dark and subtle? Look at what's being offered and try to fill the blank in this sentence: "This site pretty much specializes in selling _____ style t-shirts". Now of course variety is the spice of life, but you want to make sure that whatever you are about to design is going to at the very least be a good fit style-wise with the rest of the site's offerings.
2. Think outside the box
Ugh, don't you just hate that phrase? But it's so true...everyone likes a refreshing new idea, especially when it comes to cool t-shirts. It takes more than slapping a funny movie quote on a tshirt nowadays, and with the ever growing popularity of unique t-shirts, you really have to up your game to make something new and interesting. Does your idea have a twist that differentiates it from the others, something special that would make people take notice and say "oh man what a great idea, I *need* that!"
3. Think like a customer
This is a tough one, because naturally you only consider your own tastes...but you have to put yourself into the mind of the customer. Human nature is a funny thing...in general, we all want to express our individuality, yet we constantly seek approval from others to validate ourselves. There's a very specific "comfort zone" that the majority of people try to reach, and this zone applies to fashion probably more than anything else! T-shirts themselves are widely accepted by the general population...we all know how they look and fit and feel when you wear them. People then choose how to express their individuality through what is printed on the tee itself. But here again you have to keep this "comfort zone" in mind...if the design is too bright or too crazy/controversial, the general masses won't feel comfortable wearing it, and therefore they won't buy it.
I know what you're thinking..."Well gee, what's the fun in creating "safe" shirts? That seems so boring!" Keep in mind that the comfort zone varies between different groups of people. Graphic t-shirts are *typically* purchased and worn by the younger generation, so they may be more comfortable wearing brighter colors and wilder designs. Just remember than even younger folks have the desire to stand out, yet fit in with the crowd.
Also it's a good idea that the design can be self explanatory. They need to tell the story themselves...it helps the customer understand the design, and therefore gives them more comfort that this is the right shirt for them. When other people see the shirt, they too will be able to understand the design...instant peer approval! Isn't it nutty how that works?
Click to read the rest of the article.
Posted by JoeBaronDesign at 7:16 PM