Our interview is with Giles, who says, "I suppose I don't really have a job title. I used to do all the preparation of the customers' t-shirt designs for printing onto the t-shirts, mugs, etc. Now I just do some of the more challenging print material, and I've moved onto other things such as our online marketing and helping to maintain the site. A lot of my time currently goes into helping to develop our t-shirt print preview, which we're adapting to be more realistic. We altering the customers' design so it follows the shape of the t-shirt using CGI. It's only used on a few products right now, but we're introducing it to a new product every week. It's great fun and varied work."
1. How does your site allow people without specialized design know-how to create unique t-shirts?
You'd be amazed how many people just want a couple of large words printed onto a t-shirt. That's easy. And the site allows you to print colored borders in different styles, and metallic text, etc. You can also upload an image for printing. This is the best way of getting exactly what you want: uploading a complete design exactly how you want it, but as you say that requires some design skills. There's two alternatives really. One is to use one of the many personalized templates on the site. There's plenty to chose from. Our most popular right now is the personalized Keep Calm T-Shirt design. You can change the text and the crown icon. It's great fun. The other way is to just ask us to help. We have a box where you can write instructions. We don't mind helping you get your t-shirt design just right and we don't charge extra.
2. What types of image files can be uploaded to use on your site, and how high does the resolution need to be?
The online design software allows you to upload any image format onto the t-shirt, mug, etc. Vector formats (eps, pdf etc) are best, but we're happy working with any format--however, it needs be big if you're printing a t-shirt. Don't assume a big image is a good quality image. The most effective way is to actually take a good look at an image on a large screen and make sure that it looks good. That all sounds a bit weak, but it's the simple reality. The exact print dimensions for our adult t-shirts are 28 x 37 centimeters at 300 pixels per inch, which is 3307 x 4368 pixels.
Most importantly though, we never print a bad image, so if it's no good for printing, we'll let you know so you can change it.
3. What kinds of tees can people create and buy on your site, and what customizable products do you sell in addition to t-shirts?
Our range is currently growing because we're adding a value range to complement our current premium quality garments. We currently have 8 styles of men's t-shirts and 9 women's styles, each available in up to 27 colors, plus kids and babies styles. There are polo shirts, hoodies--zip and standard (the two tone ones are gorgeous!)--sweatshirts, fleeces, and rugby shirts. We do a large range of gifts (too many to explain here) and some fantastic and popular embroidered accessories such as baseball caps, beanies, and scarves. The t-shirts can be printed or embroidered, and also many have a diamante option.
4. What response have you received from customers so far, and are your customers from all over the world?
Every customer gets directed to our review facility after they receive their product. The reviews for each product are displayed on the relevant design page on our site. We've been over the moon with the response. Sometimes I think it must seem that we only show the 5 star reviews because they are almost all 5 stars, but I promise the reviews are handled by an independent company and the feed that appears on the site isn't messed with. It's great that we've had such positive feedback, but we also pay close attention to any that aren't positive. We've recently totally changed how we present sizing information for garments based solely on feedback via the review system.
5. Could you offer a few tips that people can use to create a great original design for their t-shirts?
Try out some of our templates. There's plenty of them and one is bound to meet your needs. Also, don't forget that if you come up with something from the heart, it's bound to be unique. You can do some amazing stuff just using our text tool that allows some great styling options to make your text really pop. Remember to keep text short so it's larger. People often try to say to much on a t-shirt, but it needs to be legible. If you want to use graphics, make sure they're free from copyright, which most stuff on the internet isn't. Type public domain images, or open source graphics, or free clip art or any combination of the above and you'll find things you can use. Most of all just have fun. You can play with the designer all you like without having to register an account or anything, so just check out all the options on the online designer and have some fun with it.