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There's Gotta Be a T-Shirt in There Somewhere

Updated on September 15, 2015

The Creative Industry

Many designers pick up a brush and set out to start a t-shirt business. A sure recipe for failure. We've all heard of that one or two quirky stories about how one offensive t-shirt ruined big businesses. Just like that.

But, really. Aside from anomalies. Let's find out why it is such a bad idea.

These t-shirts are more staple than food.
These t-shirts are more staple than food. | Source

That's All There Is to It!

Recent reports from The Guardian has shown us that they have detected some excitement in the British menswear department. Apparently, the garment manufacturing is reviving.

The small and medium enterprises are breathing again, explains Grey Fox in his fashion blog. In parallel, the debates over the ethical side of the garment industry is continuing, if not being revised.

For those of you who have just completed your five-week business course and are now editing your business plans, you would probably know that the niche art market will be pleased.

A tee shirt start-up does not cost too much. You only need about $80,000, including capital and cash. Not to mention the cross-niche apparels you can create once you're an established brand.

The average 24-year-old to 45-year-old customer may think of their tee shirt purchases as investment. They might even have the art work already in mind and probably even sketched out before choosing a product from a store.

If you start entirely online, you could even manage everything from your garage, the way Amazon did with their book business.

Plain white tee.
Plain white tee.

But How? It's Not Just About the T-shirts!

Your own tee shirt store is still within reach. There is a niche market waiting to browse through your product catalogs. You can then make meaningful connections with your customers.

All these things signal a good environment. So the only thing wrong about tee shirt businesses is that it's usually not just about the T-shirts.

Some brands have been selling tee shirts for many generations.

But many more brands that aren't primarily fashion brands, like Google and Facebook, or even start-up brands like Duolingo now have their own clothing lines.

And they all have tee shirts that the customers can order.

Strong brands and family brands that have been around for centuries, and those that have been granted the trust of generations are famously known for the values that they represent in the mind of the customers.

When large brands realize a plan to develop t-shirt lines, they are usually doing so as part of their marketing campaign.

T-shirts in the Art Industry


In his artwork Boy with Striped Shirt, 1979, we can see one of Alex Katz's signature cutouts. It is a portrait of the artist's son, wearing a striped, blue shirt and a pair of jeans.

Katz has been working with printmaking in his artistic experimentation since 1950, before the completion of this piece, which is currently on sale for the price of $3,000.

This really gets me thinking hard over the value of a tee shirt and the T-shirt business.

Printing Techniques

There are many printing techniques that are used for both light and dark colored shirts. A more detailed list of this and where to find them online can be found on a hub I wrote on the topic. I covered a list of printing techniques that are already being used and highlighted some that are currently on the rise.

Initially, what I wanted to have was a series of my art works on custom T-shirts. At the moment there is a preparation for an event that will happen in July in New York. It's a way to experience first-hand the creation of a custom T-shirt print, from initial sketches to the final products.

Artists upload their art works for view and receive points as well as cash for any of the works that get liked or purchased as a custom T-shirt. I've a few works already on the display for view here on Pillar at See | Me.

What will happen is a celebration will be held at Times Square, and the works of artists will be showcased on The Third Annual SeeMe Times Square take over on July 24, 2014. There will be thousands of works being showcased and an animated showcase of the creators' works, which in addition of being printed on a shirt, can be ordered as a postcard! Included here below is a map of the location.


A markerTimes Square -
Times Square, Manhattan, NY 10036, USA
get directions

The event is called #seemetakeover and will be held with a celebration in Times Square.

Painting on T-Shirts

© 2014 Lovelli Ariesti


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