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Hello everyone!

Let me start with my website. It provides the reference for what I am about to ramble on about. Ignore the part about having "7 products". Lets just deal with the Clothing part for now - Yes, I'm ambitious...


I am not new to design by any means but I am new to t-shirt design. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all (I can share design input but nothing as of yet regarding the ins and outs of t-shirts).

Of course, as anyone new to anything I have LOTS of questions. Here is my main one and I tend to get very verbose to ensure I've conveyed myself so please bear with me.

I don't have any actual t-shirts made. I am simply in the design stage, taking my style (in regards to other design stuff ive done) and getting it into t-shirts to see how I feel about it.

I plan on using real life models for the majority of my design work. From there, I move things around, push, pull and otherwise manipulate in photoshop until I get something I am happy with. Think of a photo of your friend, signficant other or whoever and then add in various flourishes, design swooshes and splatters, grunge, some text and/or all that vector art and glowy stuff you see on Ipod commercials or the abstract/tribal/tattoo type work you see on "Affliction clothing".

The main question is - do you think there is a viable market for t-shirts with "woman mainly" on them that people don't know? I know people will wear shirts with various hip hop artists (aaliyah) and famous people like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis but would you personally wear a shirt with a womans face that you don't even know?

The overall design flow won't have only a custom photo (kinda like getting a tshirt with a square box on it with your kids face in the middle). From the initial photo, as I said, I do various things with the photo, sometimes even manipulating the photo so much that it doesn't resemble anyone - just an abstract woman (for example: messing with curves or contrast/brightness until the woman is all white or silhouetted).

My thoughts are:

1. I don't see tons of work like this out there so it is either "There is a reason you don't see lots of it because it won't work" or "I may be on to something that isn't already flooded".

2. I like the Affliction style of stuff and honestly, as a designer the popular stuff is everywhere so it becomes inevitable that your design and style might start to imitate. That is why I want to use the various design elements that Affliction or Tattoo or Grafitti might use but center it all around a model.

3. I am primarily targeting a male audience. Young male if you will, my age and below - 18 - mid 30s.

4. The few designs I have thrown around thus far do show my design sense if I decided to market to the "custom photo" audience. One of my pieces is not manipulated much at all in regards to the photo so it shows how I can take an image of your kids or something and work with that (more than just a 5x7 photo pasted onto a shirt).

5. The model I have and the models that will be using are all people I know. They aren't simply models for hire. The one currenly on my shirt designs is a very good friend of mine and in all honesty, I find her absolutely stunning. I always have and she knows that. She is helping me with my business by providing me with all I need for image reference (obviously - using hot women such as Jolie, Hayak and Theron is a no no). In a way, that is probably my major reason for sticking so strictly to the integrity of the photo itself. I want to sort of give an homage and respect to her for offering herself to me and my dreams absolutely free.

I wouldn't have any concerns about whether the content of my designs is "too specific" if I simply took her face or her body or both and put some filters on it or vectorized/postered it so that is looked like some pinup model. I also wouldn't have any concerns if I took her face and ghosted the image kind of like you see in Tattoo/Pinup shirt designs where you see beautiful angelic women with crosses, spikes and chains.

Is my work to specific? As a Designer first and a t-shirt guy second I know all about the idea of "feeling your style" and "sticking with my brand" but as I'm new I wonder if I am starting off on the wrong foot.

I am in early enough stages that I can design and get critiques and feedback before I spend any actual money. Also, since I am the sole designer and eventual owner of the company - I work on my timeline with my skills and style.

I know its long and I apologize for that. Any input, suggestions or otherwise would be appreciated.

Last thing. It's kind of like seeing a nice looking women in the mall. People stare - very simply. So I figured if I started with that as a base perhaps people will want to stare and wear it on a shirt as well - so long as its not JUST a photo and has some awesome design.

Again, she is a great friend and to me, she deserves to not be completely blacked out in order to widen the market and appeal to more people. However, keeping her face obvious on there might make people think "Who the hell is she and why do I want her on my shirt?

Thank you very much
- Richard
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