Using the t-shirt as a source of marketing has long been a part of western culture. From presidential campaigns, to local business’, to major corporations, the t-shirt has a unique ability to stretch across demographics. T-shirts cannot be muted, switched off, or covered in graffiti, they are a cheap alternative to conventional cdg t shirt advertising, and they can reach a localized audience. In order to make the most of these benefits there are a few things that must be kept in mind when creating a design. The design needs to be simple, it needs to be practical, and needs to draw attention.
Too often, when promotional t shirts are being designed, practical aspects are not considered. For example, designs that cover the entire front face of the t-shirt. Whilst these look good when they’re first printed, when worn the designs edges become lost in the wrap around. Two-part designs are also common i.e. a question on the front and the answer on the back. Whilst asking a question may be an effective means of drawing attention, people will generally only look at one side of a t-shirt meaning that they will only take in one part of the design, and one without the other may not make sense.
Another common mistake is failing to consult employees, or other people who may be required to wear the t-shirts. An example of this is a particular bank that supplied its employees with bright orange t-shirts advertising their home loan products. The employees refused to wear the t-shirts and as a compromise hung them from the ceiling. Instead of having potential customers asking about the home loan products, they were asking why bright orange t-shirts were hanging from the ceiling; this then led to an entirely different discussion, and potentially lost sales. Also t-shirts that say things like “Ask me about…” should only be worn by people who are educated about the advertised product.
Keep it simple is a fundamental rule of advertising, and promotional t-shirts are no exception. The time spent looking at another persons t-shirt is minimal, maybe even less than the time spent looking at a print advertisement or television commercial. It is with this in mind that designers must keep t-shirt designs simple. A straight forward call to action, and a point of contact – a website or mobile phone number (words are easier to remember than numbers) – should suffice. Graphics, if they are simple, are okay but detailed photographs generally won’t hold a strangers attention.
Drawing attention to your promotional t-shirt is imperative to its design. If potential clients aren’t drawn to it then any benefit it may have had is lost. Color is the most obvious and simple way to attract someone’s attention, but it has to remain legible. The easiest combination of colors is always black and white; they stand out and are easy to read. That said, other combinations can be just as effective but should be in line with the company logo, and should be readable.
The most important part of designing a promotional t-shirt is that it fulfills its purpose. Whether it is to build brand name awareness, generate leads, or simply attract attention to a new product, their needs to be a positive outcome. By utilizing the guidelines above, using some common sense and basic marketing rules, promotional t-shirts can be a fantastic method of advertising be it a business, product, or service.