For a lot of people, T-shirts are a form of communication and what you wear can be as effective in expressing your lifestyle as your conversation, the places you visit and the music you like.
But the value of the printed T-shirt goes much further than that. In Australia, a young man who had been unemployed as a graphic designer for over a year was hired after the CEO of a design company saw him wearing a T-shirt he’d designed himself, on the street. There are many ways of promoting yourself, your business or your belief system through printed clothing and it can be as effective as taking out an advert in your local paper!
If you or one of your friends is a talented artist but struggles to get exhibitions or commissions, a short run of their most attractive or striking design, printed on a T-shirt, can draw public attention as well as validating their talent and making them feel that they are valued. If you are the artist, why not try to get half a dozen of your paintings, sculptures, photographs etc printed on T-shirts, and wear them to public events – many people find it difficult to promote themselves but if you’re wearing your art on your chest, it can be much easier to find a way to open the conversation about your work and maybe even make a sale or win a commission.
T-shirt printing is a cost-effective way to test the waters if you want to move into the creative industries. You don’t have to rent a shop and hire staff so the risk can be reduced. You can simply set up a cottage business selling your T-shirts on etsy or Folksy to build up a following. If you’re a naturally artistic person you’ll probably find it easy to choose the right images and T-shirt blanks to give the best impression, but it’s still worth listening to your T-shirt printer because they often have long experience in what actually works on fabric, and what doesn’t
Bands and musicians in particular benefit from having a teeshirt that promotes their name and music and allows their fans to show their loyalty to the next chart-topper.
Athletes can also show their aims and successes on teeshirts. If you’re running the London marathon or aiming to sail round the world, get some T-shirts printed with strong attractive images and a short text on the back of the tee, or underneath, saying what you are going to do – it’s a great way to pick up support and funding.