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Discussion Starter #1
A lot of the more popular internet t-shirt shops I've seen (threadless, bustedtees, etc.) seem to focus more on single-color word designs or up to two-color graphic design-ish type designs.

Now, because I do mostly "art", I was wondering about the popularity or interest in t-shirts with more conventional art on them. I realize that regular art is more likely to need multi-color printing, and perhaps be more expensive, and so... I guess I'm wondering about the different markets out there. For instance, is there any place that seems to focus on 'fine art' type shirts? Any thoughts on this general idea?

Thanks,
:)
Kristen
 

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T-shirts are great for saying a message, expressing ones self. So a simple design with min colour gets that message across quickly and easily. That's why they are popular, plus they are cheap and quick to print. Generally they require less time to design too.

In the design and buy market I see a lot of students buying this type of t-shirt. They generally appeal to the younger market. They are by far the biggest sellers along with logo promotional wear. I generally don't sell many fine art t-shirts but that doesn't mean they aren't popular, they just don't suit my sector.

If you want to explore other markets, maybe put your design skills into some simple t-shirt designs with catchy phases. You should see a good return for you. If you cost your time into your work then obviously that is going to be a profit maker.

Have you got an areas your could branch off into that would integrate into your niche. Cross promoting via your websites would be good.

Adam
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Adam said:
T-shirts are great for saying a message, expressing ones self. So a simple design with min colour gets that message across quickly and easily. That's why they are popular, plus they are cheap and quick to print. Generally they require less time to design too.

In the design and buy market I see a lot of students buying this type of t-shirt. They generally appeal to the younger market. They are by far the biggest sellers along with logo promotional wear. I generally don't sell many fine art t-shirts but that doesn't mean they aren't popular, they just don't suit my sector.
Hmmm... maybe I should do some research into 'fine art t-shirts' online and see what I come up with. I think I've just been a bit daunted by their seeming lack in the main stream - but I probably shouldn't just stop there and pout, eh? ;)

Adam said:
If you want to explore other markets, maybe put your design skills into some simple t-shirt designs with catchy phases. You should see a good return for you. If you cost your time into your work then obviously that is going to be a profit maker.

Have you got an areas your could branch off into that would integrate into your niche. Cross promoting via your websites would be good.
I actually have a lot of different kinds of t-shirts in my shop right now, although I primarily focus on the Celtic designs, as that's my favorite. But I've got a lot of humor, quotes, sayings, etc. too. I flip back and forth between starting a new shop (premium cafepress shop, that is) for the sayings and simple designs and keeping the 'art' separate a lot. Haven't decided anything yet. *shrug* I run a number of websites, and should probably re-examine my current promotional methods as I haven't really looked at them recently.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback. You've given me lots to think about and a nice gentle kick in the butt too.
:)
Kristen
 

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I think there are a couple of issues with "fine art t-shirts".

To me, t-shirts by their very nature (inexpensive to make and inexpensive to own), are a form of fashion that lends itself to the easy and simple.

Fine Art t-shirts usually have a lot of colors, which makes printing them quite a bit more expensive if you are using traditional screen printing methods. I think this is why you only see supercolorful designs in stores that use digital printing methods (ala zazzle or cafepress).

The other Fine Art t-shirts you see are either designed and printed by big corporations, or designed by an artist and sold/licensed to big corporations (lots of colorful animal t-shirts at WalMart, etc).

I think there is definitely a market for it. I think there's a market for almost any type of t-shirt design. The challenge is finding that market and getting your style out there.

I would say that a lot of the t-shirts on Threadless.com could be considered "artistic" t-shirts. That said, since they are screen printed designs, they are also "color conscious" which leads to fewer colors (but still some very striking designs).
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Good points, Rodney. I tend to think of Liquid Blue's t-shirts when I think of many-colored 'artistic' type designs. (Although a lot of them are more wild-life oriented. Or maybe I'm getting them confused with 'the mountain'? Anyway...) And they are more expensive, true. But they certainly look it too.

So my challenge is to find that market, then, eh?

Now I've thought of another question, but I'll start a new thread for that.

Good stuff,
:)
Kristen
 

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I plan to offer some nifty artistic shirts in addition to basic quotes when I get my site up and running. While they are indeed a minority, there are still plenty of artistic shirts out there -- and you can usually charge more for thier uniqueness/coolness factor.
 
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