T-Shirt Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I 've finally got round to finishing a t-shirt website!

About the t-shirts: A friend and I just decided that we love the way certain languages sound and in particular, the way the look when written down. I don't mean your common languages... we particularly like the Scandinavian languages. They just look 'cool', even if you don't know what they mean.

So most of the t-shirts are the phrase 'I don't understand' in various Scandinavian languages.

Once we realied we loved the way these languages looked and sounded, we also started looking into phonetics and the name Comprehension Clothing was born. We realised that the phonetic decritpions of words in the dictionary looked quite cool - especially when you put comprehensionclothing together as you will see from the first page of the site.:)

The shop: Is spreadshirt basic. I haven't made many alterations but welcome any feedback. I'm not sure there's much you can do with it on a basic level, but I haven't even altered the headers and footers yet.

The web design: Well I hardly know anything about web design, so I used the '30 day' free period of a decent WYSIWYG editor, CoffeeCup, which worked okay for me. Now I'm reasonably happy with it the way it is. It's a simple design that looks okay. If need be, I'll pay to buy CoffeeCup to add more stuff (I can edit bugs in the code - it's making things 'appear' in the right place that I can't figure out!).

At the moment I have to animated gifs on the front page that flick through some designs. It's no ideal, but eventually I'd like to use the Spreadshirt Random Product thing once I've figured it out.

I still have to do a couple of minor things, like the error/thanks pages for the contact form, but apart from that it's more or less ready to launch.

In the future we would like to do more phonetic designs. Perhaps bespoke!

Please have a look at the site and let me know what you think (link in sig and above).

In the meantime, here are a couple of pictures of the actual t-shirts as modelled by my mate and shop-partner, Kev:



and

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,512 Posts
Interesting concept - congratulations on launching.

As you said, there's not a lot to the website, but it is a nice clean and simple look. Better to be minimal but attractive, than... well, not.

Unless you particularly like the mystique of having the site as it is now, you may want to consider including some of the explanation you just wrote for us above. If I was a customer I would look at the site, conclude it was in a language other than English (I'd've guessed Icelandic), and close the site.

If there's a lot of obvious English I'd read that to find out what the concept was about, which may or may not suck me in (in my case, it won't... but better luck finding other customers). I think you're going to have to fight to make the average English speaker realise this site is intended primarily for them.

Factoid of the day: Solmu is actually a Finnish word (it means knot).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yeah Solmu, you're pretty much right.

In a sense Kev and I have assumed that because we think it's cool, other people will agree so buy the t-shirts.

In a way it seems counter-intuitive to explain to people why its cool, in order to persuade them to buy the t-shirts - if they think it's cool they'll think so when they see them - not after I've told them why they should think it's cool. We also don't want people leaving because they think it is all non-English!

I kind of like the mystique of it as it is. :)

However, seeing as we had already considered this being an issue, and it is the first feedback we have had, I will probably try to include some text in there. Problem is - where to put it, and how to do it neatly now that the free trial of CoffeeCup has run-out!

I shall make an attempt over the next week.:rolleyes:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,512 Posts
Major_Grooves said:
In a sense Kev and I have assumed that because we think it's cool, other people will agree so buy the t-shirts.
I'm sure some people will. For one thing we all love Bjork and Sigur Ros (we do all, right? ;)), so evidently Icelandic belongs in the column of Things Which Are Cool.

Major_Grooves said:
In a way it seems counter-intuitive to explain to people why its cool, in order to persuade them to buy the t-shirts
Fair point.

It's tricky. I don't think people can be relied upon to realise it's cool on their own (I may be wrong of course!) often enough to get good sales, but it's possible they can be shown. As you said, it's kind of like explaining a joke though.

Perhaps if you could communicate more what the shirts are (i.e. a series of Scandanavian translations of the phrase "I don't understand"), and leave it up to people to decide what that means to them/why they like it. At the moment people might not even know what they're looking at. Some people will like that and buy it anyway... I guess the question is will more people buy it if it's unexplained (and cool), or explained (and potentially no longer cool).

Frankly you've chosen a hard angle to market, but once established I can see how it would market itself (it's the kind of brand that just is cool, so once people know that it would be easier). For now... difficult indeed. Not meaning to be discouraging or anything, that's just my opinion and I do think you're off to a good start.

I think it's even more important with your brand than most to get it seen on the right people (whoever they are for your target demographic), so that is something to consider working on.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,700 Posts
Unless you particularly like the mystique of having the site as it is now, you may want to consider including some of the explanation you just wrote for us above. If I was a customer I would look at the site, conclude it was in a language other than English (I'd've guessed Icelandic), and close the site.

I agree, as a person who loves cool t-shirts, even though you explained it here, the website as I saw it would turn me away because I would have no idea what I'm looking at.

While it would be nice if everyone just bought without knowing, the truth is, consumers want as much information as possible when they make their purchashes...especially online. For non-native speakers, there's always the little worry that the words on their shirt might have some obscene meaning without them knowing.

That's the whole purpose of text on a website. Since you can't be there to answer questions to the visitors that come to the website, your webpage must be there to answer any and all questions that might pop into the potential customers mind. In sales language, you have to overcome all of their objections to buying this weird-but-cool t-shirt without knowing anything more about it.

You're trying to make a sale. You have to sell them on your product.

Even if people like the design, they will just be admirers without being compelled to buy unless they know how they connect with the design and why they should buy it.

Here's a site with a similar (but not identical) concept. They do a good job at explaining the text and trying to answer questions:
http://www.buildingcharacters.com/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the comments Solmu and Rodney. To be honest I completely agree with what you say - I was just hoping no-one would say it!

I'm glad you have though. I've made some changes and added some text. I hope that the text explains what the t-shirts are, but allows the visitor to decide if and why they think the t-shirts are cool.

One problem with adding text to the front page is that one of the key things I associate with Scandinavian 'cool' is the very idea of minimalism. But hey if minimalism doesn't sell - what's the use.

Can you please let me know what you think of the text? (I've only added it to the US site so far).

Solmu said:
Frankly you've chosen a hard angle to market, but once established I can see how it would market itself (it's the kind of brand that just is cool, so once people know that it would be easier). For now... difficult indeed. Not meaning to be discouraging or anything, that's just my opinion and I do think you're off to a good start.
That's not discouraging, that's exactly what I want to hear.

The idea is, as you say, that it just is cool. We just have to make everyone realise that. I guess a little text will help.

I'm hoping that it would have a similar appeal to the FCUK t-shirts that were very popular in the UK until recently (although I never actually liked them - I was waiting for someone to make a t-shirt in Norwegian!)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,700 Posts
Can you please let me know what you think of the text? (I've only added it to the US site so far).
The text is very well done! A nice addition.

When I revisited the page though, the first thing that stuck out to me were the t-shirts animating really fast. Made the page really busy and hard to stay and read the text.

I think static t-shirt images would work better to keep it "minimalist" as possible. I like the idea you mentioned of having them randomly rotate, but the animated images is a bit much.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,512 Posts
The text makes the concept clear with the minimum of wordage.

I agree with Rodney that the rotation is a little fast - it's also a little flickery since the two graphics are out of sync.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
I think your site looks great, while remaining minimal. I would say your sales copy is inviting. It explains everything but still leaves the reader wanting more.

I do agree, however, with the comments on the pictures moving too fast. Making them static would work, or you could sync them up and slow your refresh rate a bit... If you like the staggered look then I'd have each image up for, say, 20 seconds total with a refresh every ten seconds on each side to give people enough time to digest your designs.

Rodney,

The site you linked to had some pretty decent Press Releases. I'm planning to put one together pretty soon so I appreciated it. Just wanted to let you know. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks again for the comments. I've reworked the gifs and slowed them down a bit. I can't get them in sync unless I make it one big gif.

I pleased to report that when my shop-partner, Kev, was out in a bar last night, wearing one of the t-shirts, some girls came up to him and asked where he got the t-shirt and said that it was cool.:)

Now if that's not an encouraging endorsement I don't know what is.:D

I think I just want to go through the items that we have on the US and UK/EU site and make sure we have a similar range.

There are some annoying differences between EU and US spreadshirt: the US girls choice is rubbish, however our phonetic vector design will fit on US record bags but not EU ones!

I would also like to have a separate shop in € and one in £, but it seems if you have an EU shop you have to choose either or.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
DFras said:
Are they "cooler" OR are they "more cool." Hmmmm?
Believe it or not I did deliberate for a while between 'cooler' and 'more cool'.

In the end I though 'cooler' sounded better (or more good;)) and t-shirts sellers aren't known for being sticklers for grammar etc.

Welcome to justthisguy!:p Glad you like the header!

Time to work on the promotion/marketing.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
I am glad I read this thread I have a similar problem with my Kinjite Line it is a sumo term for Forbidden Hands and is supposed to be Cool because it is in KANJI but is also supposed to help promote Abstinence (Ie Hands Off... Forbidden) I was going to start the German "Verbotten" and other Languages to go along with the original design but have not sold ONE yet, so instead I have been working on other projects that are already selling (like my Gnomes 5 designs and growing that are selling real well.) I will probably get back to the original line now that I have seen this thread.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top