Know It All

Well not really, but good info to read 

The Basics

What is TeeM8?

TeeM8 makes designing and selling your very own t-shirts online easy for everyone. There are no upfront costs, you design and promote, we produce and ship – you keep the profit. Team up with TeeM8, and we’ll make it happen.

How does it work?

First you upload a killer design! You can use our online designer to create one or give us something that’s ready to go. Next set your campaign length, sales goal, sell price and profit margin.

TeeM8 will then generate a campaign page featuring your design in all it’s glory. From here it’s time to promote your product across your social networks to boost sales. Once enough sales come in, we’ll produce the products in house and ship them directly to your customers.

What’s the catch?

You have to sell enough garments for the design to go into production. We require a minimum of 15 units sold to meet our production costs, although you can set this number higher if desired.

Promotion is up to you. We provide a snazzy home for your products on the web and supply you with great support but making sales happen is really where you jump in. The more you’re able to get the word out about your campaign the better chance it has of meeting, or exceeding, your expectations.

 

Getting Started

Ideas

Whether you’ve got a sketchbook full of ideas or a blank document staring back at you, there are a few things worth considering before launching your TeeM8 campaign.

It’s essential that you’re designing around a topic you’re passionate about. Most of us have a hobby or interest that occupies much of our time and thoughts, this is where you should begin to look for inspiration.

Perhaps your favourite pastime is a team sport like football or cricket? Or maybe it’s a quieter activity such as knitting, there are championships held for that too! Either way, chances are others out there who share your interest and will feel a connection to your design if it’s made with love.

By making your subject matter something you know well you’re tapping into existing knowledge and increasing your chances of creating something special that resonates with like minded people.

Topics

There’s always the temptation to whip up something current to try and make a quick buck, although more often than not this approach will show through in your work. We’ve all seen tees based on a particular trend or event that have clearly been slapped together in a hurry. If it’s obvious that you’re trying to cash in on something, it’s unlikely buyers will hand cash over in return.

That said being topical or seasonal can definitely have it’s merits, just stick to what you know well and keep things genuine.

Research

Next, be sure to have a look at what’s out there before you sink time into a design. While it’s not always possible to be completely original, it is important to differentiate your design in order for your campaign to receive attention.

Look around for designs with a similar theme and think about what you see, what would make a great tee for you? Is there something you’ve always wanted to see in print?

Successful campaigns are often those which communicate a good idea to the right audience in clear visual terms.

Audience

Ideally your audience will be a group that shares enthusiasm for your subject matter, you can market to effectively and is substantial in numbers.

You’re quite likely already connected to an audience via social media. If you have a following on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram that’s a great start. Otherwise search out groups with similar interests, follow others in the same field and join in conversations wherever you can.

Remember that you’re designing because you feel strongly about a topic, it only makes sense to seek an audience feel likewise.

Does your target audience already buy merchandise? Will they buy more? Are they a group that isn’t represented well enough and if so, can you cater for them? These are all questions to answer before beginning your masterpiece.

Whatever audience and area of interest you select, the more people you reach the higher your sales will be and the more profit you’ll make.

Design

Design Theme

Once you have identified an audience it’s then time to get to know them a little better. The first thing to consider is the aesthetic, or visual style, your design will take.

Is there a unique look to the group that goes hand in hand with the lifestyle? Are the graphics generally dynamic and sporty, vintage and worn or something else entirely?

Do your research and take note of any key elements that recur around your audience. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when designing for groups with a well defined style.

Let’s say you wanted to design a t-shirt for bikers. A good approach would be to use a similar style to Harley-Davidson products or the patchwork found on the back of motorcycle jackets.

If you can come up with something both authentic and creative then you’re on the right track.

Another thing to keep in mind is the current events that are affecting your audience. Has there been a recent development that makes your audience want to show support for their group? Did something funny happen that you can play on?

Try to present a theme that is instantly recognisable to members of your audience, it’ll make it easier to impress with your art if you have an interesting starting point.

Design Editor

We think you’ll love working in our online designer so here’s a few tips on how get the most out of it.

Select a garment

First up it’s time to select your garment, click “Choose Item” and use the drop down menus to browse through our range available.

When you’ve found the style you’re after click on it’s thumbnail and you’ll be presented with a some further product information. Click “Choose Item” to continue or close if you would like something else.

Once a garment has been selected it will be automatically loaded into the designer. Here you can use the coloured square swatches under “Product Options” to switch item colours. The current colour is represented by a circle which we reckon is pretty cool.

You can refer back to product information at any time if needed by clicking “Product info” or “Size chart”.

Add text

Now that you’re all set up it’s time to get creative!

Click “Add Text” if you’ve got something to say and a “Size & Position” dialog will pop up presenting you with a bunch of type options.

Here you can type in your own words, change the font from arial to something more exciting and set the colour as you see fit. There are also controls for formatting your text with italics, bold or underline and three alignment choices.

Use the “Width” and “Height” fields to size text with or without proportions locked. Generally you’ll want to leave that box unticked as overstretched fonts can look downright hideous, though the feature is there for the times when it helps get the job done.

The “Rotate” field allows for more precise control when designing than the “on garment” handle (more on that below). Simply enter a value from 1 to 360 or use + & – preceding a figure and our designer will apply it as rotations in degrees.

A final feature we’ve included is the ability to add an “Outline” (or stroke) to your text. Click the square swatch to set a colour then the drop down arrow next to it bring up a thickness slider. Using the slider you can specify a weight from 1 to 100 to make your text pop.

Add art

Our “Add Art” button allows you to browse and add designs from our continually expanding vector library.

At the very top of this overlay there is a powerful search box for finding what you need quickly and to the left a list of categories to sort through.

Every piece of art you add can be re-coloured to something that sits better with the other elements in your design. By default objects are imported filled white with black keylines or shading (because it’s classic!) but don’t be afraid to experiment with a splash of colour.

Upload a design of your own

“Upload Image” does exactly what it says (surprise, surprise) and allows you to upload files from your hard drive. Just make sure you agree to our copyright notice and only upload art which is yours to do so.

Our system will accept png, jpeg or gif files up to a maximum size of 10MB. If your artwork contains areas of transparency please supply png images wherever possible. Flattened jpeg files are fine for photographs but are not the greatest for design based prints.

Here you’re also asked to choose colours within your design to assist with calculating production costs and profit margins later on. Don’t worry if you get this wrong, you can edit choices later by selecting the art on the garment.

Editing design elements

Once your art is loaded into the designer you have the ability to raise it above or lower it below other elements in the design. The “Layers” button functions in the same way as popular graphic design software, you can drag, drop or delete layers as desired.

In addition to the options available via buttons, there are many other “on garment” controls at your disposal. Any time you click a design element on the garment you’ll be shown a set of controls on the element itself and the relevant pop up will appear to the left of screen.

The controls are represented as icons and let you move, scale, rotate and delete the selection if required. There is also a handy size indicator positioned above the icons which displays measurements in centimeters.

Below the garment mockup are tools to align, flip, nudge, delete, reset or copy the selected element in your design. It’s important to note that resetting a design will clear all elements on screen, even those that are unselected. This feature should only be used for when you’ve decided to start over again from scratch.

Saving a design

We’ve also made it possible to save designs you’re working via the “My Designs” button. Click this and you’ll be prompted to login or create a TeeM8 account if you haven’t already.

When your design is complete there are options to save, view or share your design located to the top right of the model image. You can also use the right hand panel to view the amount of colours used in the print or review the base price.

Click the “Next” button when you’re ready to move onto the next section, setting sales goals.\

SALES

Sales Goals

Your sales goal is the number of units you’re aiming to sell.

Setting your sales goal will require some careful thought, think of it as a balancing act between how much money you would like to earn and how many items you believe you can sell.

Our advice is to be modest and realistic, at least when you’re starting out in the design world. In our experience lots of small achievements are often steps to wider success later on.

Early however, it’s most beneficial to set lower goals and ensure your campaigns are winners for you and your audience. A successful campaign is terrific exposure which puts your name/work in front of prospective buyer’s eyes and is a chance for your following to grow.

Remember also to keep your audience numbers in mind when setting a sales goal. In our experience we’ve learned that on average around 1-2% of an audience marketed at is likely to make a purchase during a campaign campaign. This of course is assuming that your art is really interesting but we know it will be!

Case Study

A recent case in point is the “Garage Script” campaign for the 2016 Snowy Ride. Every year the Steven Walter Foundation sells t-shirts at events to raise money to help children suffering from cancer. Generally the designs are quite bold and colourful, perfect for motorcycle riders who like to stand out when supporting a good cause.

This year the organisers wanted to launch an additional product which would compliment the main shirt design and boost the overall money raised. The idea was to produce something more simple, a one colour “garage” style print that could be easily printed across a range of different garments.

Traditionally, producing a new product has been a risk for organisations in similar situations. The excitement of trying something fresh is often outweighed by production costs and the fear of being stuck with stock which does not sell. Even with a popular design, a bad garment choice could always deter buyers on event day.

Through the power of TeeM8 however, the Steven Walter Foundation was able to test the market for this new print. By promoting the campaign on Facebook and through their mailing list the organisers were able to find out exactly how many people were willing to make a purchase.

Starting with a sales goal of 15 units, the campaign finished up selling 198 garments. Followers loved the new look and the organisers were in turn elated with the extra funds raised.

By the end of the campaign the “Garage Script” had sold to approximately 3% of the audience following, exceeding the 1-2% figure mentioned previously. The Snowy Ride is an established event with a healthy online following which certainly helped, though this is still an important example to keep in mind when running your campaigns.

It demonstrates the strong benefits of setting low sales targets initially to encourage success and build excitement amongst your audience. Success is after all, contagious.

Another plus to modest sales goals is that a small profit and positive experience far outweighs a failed campaign with a profit of zero.

Pricing Garments

When it comes time to price your garments there are a couple of major factors to take into consideration.

Firstly, think about the current market price. Below is what we think are the average prices for t-shirts and hoodies sold in Australia:

T-shirts = $30 AUD

Hoodies = $50 AUD

This may vary slightly amongst certain groups, in different climates and during seasonal changes but it’s a solid guide nonetheless.

Perceived value is the next factor to understand when deciding upon prices.

It’s worth noting that not all garments have the same value to buyers. While TeeM8 only uses top quality brands it’s fair to say for instance, that AS Colour has begun to make a real name for itself in the market place.

From humble beginnings in 2005 the company has grown from a supplier of blank apparel to a fashion entity in it’s own right. There are now thriving AS Colour retail stores around our cities selling undecorated garments at premium price points.

Such popularity should be taken into account when deciding upon product prices. Maybe you’ll charge extra for your campaigns printed on AS Colour, or maybe you’ll offer a reduced price on other brands?

Shipping

When are orders shipped?

All orders are shipped within 5-10 business days after a successful campaign has completed. We’ll supply you with tracking information to monitor delivery status for every TeeM8 order.

How long will it take?

Allow 2-5 business days for delivery within Australia.

How much will it cost?

For orders shipped Australia wide: $11 AUD for single items + $4 AUD each for any additional items. We’re gearing up to make international shipping available, check this space for a future announcement.

Who does TeeM8 use to ship my order?

Orders are shipped via Startrack or Australia Post Registered Mail. Please be aware that both services require a signature from the receiver upon delivery.

Promotion

Customising your campaign

Campaign title

Make sure to give your campaign a catchy, relevant and descriptive title. Keep it fairly short as well.

The title needs to leave your audience in no doubt as to what your campaign is all about. It can (and should) include the name of your design but names are often abstract and sometimes more information may be required.

Instead of using the design name “Coffee Powered” for example, it would be better to go with something as follows for your title:

“Coffee Powered”  – Fuel for coffee lovers – Hand drawn design

Remember that buyers will see your title in TeeM8 and search engine results, be certain it gives those who maybe outside of your audience a clear indication of what to expect.

Campaign description

One way to think of your description is like that of a pitch.

Use this space to elaborate on your campaign title, while once again keeping things reasonably brief and as clear as possible. Include only what is necessary to get across the most important points of your campaign.

Some questions to answer in your description include:

What is this campaign all about?

Why am I launching this campaign?

How will this benefit my audience or charity cause?

On the technical side you have access to formatting from bold/italics/underlines through to paragraph and link options. For those who like to dabble in code, HTML elements can be modified under the “Text” tab.

By all means use these tools to compliment your campaign

Feature Side

Choose which side of the garment you would like to feature in your marketing campaign.

Campaign Length

Campaigns run from a minimum of 3 days up to a maximum of 28 days.

Stay Tuned

We’re sifting through the many questions we receive and adding more to our Know it All section daily. Stay tuned as we continue to update this section. Or if you have a specific question try our FAQs