There is little wrong with the t-shirt. Easy, comfortable and infinitely wearable, it is, quite honestly, an example of near flawless design.
Such an iconic design, though, makes creating one-of-a-kind, eye-catching tees a challenge for promotional products professionals.
“Customers are looking for ways to make each t-shirt order unique,” says Jessica Levine, marketing associate for Atlanta, Georgia-based supplier Boxercraft, Inc. (UPIC: BOXER). They do this, she says, by getting more imaginative in where and how graphics are applied.
Boxercraft customers are requesting inverted hem prints and imprinting over seams, Levine says, adding that reverse printing is also popular on the supplier’s burnout tees. “The graphic is printed backward on the inside of the shirt, which creates a faded, vintage-looking print when the shirt is turned right side out,” she explains.
Embellishing down the sides of sleeves or along piping details are more ways distributors have distinguished their tees from others. “Overall printing is fabulous,” says Cindy Sims, promotions manager for Hebron, Ohio-based supplier Heritage Sportswear (UPIC: HERI0002). The company recently used an all-over print on a garment-dyed tee for a self-promo. “The design was large, at an angle and went off the shirt on all four sides,” Sims explains. “Promotional products distributors have the luxury of creating ‘outside the box’ every day—no idea is a bad idea if someone likes it.”
(Clockwise from top left)
1. No one will overlook an imprint on the Perfect Fit Tee. Available in 15 colors, including neon shades, this juniors-sized crew neck is tag-less, 100-percent combed, ring-spun cotton and cut in longer lengths for a modern fit.
Boxercraft UPIC: BOXER 800-914-7774
2. Protect against subtle breezes with the Bella Missy Long Sleeve Crew Neck Tee. Not just for juniors anymore, now ladies can benefit from the feminine styling and soft jersey knits for which this line is known. Available in black, navy, pink, red, white and dark-grey heather.
Heritage Sportswear, Inc. UPIC: HERI0002 800-537-2222
3. Minimalist style is kicked up a notch in the Women’s nano-T™ T-Shirt. Lightweight, combed ring-spun cotton forms a tag-less, contoured tee with a set-in rib collar and a double-needle, cover-seamed neck. Twenty-five colors make choosing a shade anything but simple.
Hanes/Champion/Outer Banks UPIC: hanesob 800-685-7557
4. Stand out and look sharp in the #858 Forward tee. Accent piping adds visual interest, and moisture-wicking, stain-release fabric keeps it looking crisp.
Tonix Corp. UPIC: TONIX 800-841-1144
5. Get your message across, literally, with the Customized Burnout Tee. Shapes, letters or logos are chemically burned in all-over repeating patterns onto the shirt. It’s made in the U.S. and specially washed for a weathered, soft look.
Royal Apparel UPIC: Royal992 866-769-2517
6. It doesn’t get better than a homegrown t-shirt from Texas. The Organic Ladies Fitted T is made of Texas-grown, 100-percent organic cotton with a body-hugging fit. Available in five colors with names such as natural, peace green and laffy taffy yellow.
SOS From Texas UPIC: SOSTX 806-256-2033
7. The workout never has to stop due to moisture-wicking technology that keeps wearers dry and flatlock seams that prevent chaffing in the Maverick. An MP3-player pocket keeps the tunes going, too.
Tri-Mountain UPIC: TRIM0003 800-824-6464
8. Quality and longevity are hallmarks of the Style 4100 t-shirt from Chouinard, Inc. Garment-dyed cotton comes together with double-chain stitching and shoulder-to-shoulder taping for a sturdy, long-lasting shirt. Available in 30 fashion colors.
Barry T. Chouinard, Inc. UPIC: ComfortC 800-545-6366
Save time and keep samples neat and tidy with this two-second t-shirt folding technique. Click here to launch the how-to video.