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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello Everyone,

My friend and I, where thinking about starting a T-Shirt Printing Business.
We are both 15 years old so we don't have a lot of money to start off with.

We have done some research, and figured we are probably going to buy a dozen Heavyweight T-Shirts from Hanes© and buy some transfer papers from
T-Shirt Paper.com. We are starting to make some designs, and we will start to make a catalogue. Is there anything wrong with using universal symbols or using a Canadian Maple Leaf, or an American Flag on your shirt (legal issues).

We were thinking about just using the hand iron to start out with. I was wondering what the quality will be like. I do not want for someone to wash it once, and it starts to crack and peel.

Edit: Another question, what programs so you use to design your shirts?

Thank You Very Much,
Nicolas
Evolution Design

 

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ncole_91 said:
My friend and I, where thinking about starting a T-Shirt Printing Business.
We are both 15 years old so we don't have a lot of money to start off with.


It's worth a shot. There aren't many other businesses with such a low entry point and yet potential for return (sure there are others, but not many). Worst case scenario you lose a bit of money and gain some experience. The younger you start that process the better.

ncole_91 said:
We have done some research, and figured we are probably going to buy a dozen Heavyweight T-Shirts from Hanes© and buy some transfer papers from T-Shirt Paper.com.


Hanes is as good a choice as any other. If you can stretch the budget to 24 shirts it'd definitely be worth doing so - 24 is a common minimum or price-break point, and it gives you a much better taste of doing business than a dozen would.
Transfer paper... maybe not.

ncole_91 said:
We are starting to make some designs, and we will start to make a catalogue. Is there anything wrong with using universal symbols or using a Canadian Maple Leaf, or an American Flag on your shirt (legal issues).

Most countries have laws pertaining to their national flag (and other official emblems). They tend to vary from country to country (some exert more control than others), and likewise the legal status of other countries flags is going to vary from country to country. The fact that flags (and other national symbols) tend to be owned and controlled by their respective governments is a bit of a two edged sword - on the one hand it means they're governmental property, but on the other hand their relationship to the nation can make them candidates for being in the public domain. When you consider how specific laws pertaining to flags are though (i.e. generally even a privately owned flag must obey certain conditions - must be displayed full mast, half-mast on certain occasions, national flag always higher than other countries' national flags, etc.) it's clear there is potential to be in a whole world of hurt. As a general rule of thumb I would suggest that if you avoid anything defamatory, and avoid implying the product is in any way connected to anything official, you should be okay. To be sure though you'd need to check your local laws.

Likewise since universal symbols are just that - universal - they shouldn't be subject to copyright laws. I would be inclined to say they're perfectly safe (provided they are actual universal symbols and not copyrighted artworks), but I can't say I've specifically read anything one way or the other on that.

ncole_91 said:
We were thinking about just using the hand iron to start out with. I was wondering what the quality will be like.


Terrible.

If you're on an extreme budget, two other better options spring to mind:

1) Use a heat press, either printing what you can at home and then asking a local business if they'll allow you to use their press, or outsource the entire thing to a local business.
2) Buy a cheap home screenprinting kit, and do everything yourself. You'd have to stick to simple designs, but if you're interested in flags, maple leaves, and universal symbols then that's exactly what you're already looking at.

Option 1 will potentially cut into your profit a little, but it shouldn't stop you from still being able to make it work. Option 2 is not as expensive as you might think, but it does take some effort/learning, and you'd have to sell more shirts to recoup your investment.
 

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I started my business 5 months ago using a hand iron, if that's the only thing you've got then use it until you can find a better way to press your shirts. Once you get going and make a few sales you should save up for a heat press. When I first started I didn't really mind using a hand iron to make my shirts but you will soon find out when you start making a couple of hundred sales a month using a hand iron is going to be tiresome. Good luck on your venture.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thank you for the information Solmo, it helped alot.

Also, Muncheys, did you find that your costumers complained about the quality of the shirts, or if you washed them they started to peel?

Do you have any tips or tricks you do when you use a hand iron for better quality?


Edit: How can I find out is a slogan or design is copyrighted or trademarked. I do not want to copy anything, but there is bound to be people with same ideas, and I do not want to print something that is trademarked or copyrighted.
 

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The best thing to do is practice pressing on some old t-shirts and then wash them. This will give you a pretty good idea on what your customers will get when you send out your t-shirts.
 
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