Glennz Tees is a world-famous t-shirt company owned by t-shirt guru Glenn Jones from New Zealand, thus the name Glennz (Glenn+NZ). Glenn is a graphic designer who, for over 18 years, has worked in the design industry focusing on packaging, illustration and corporate identity. While doing corporate designs, he was also making creative t-shirt designs on the side and submitted them on the t-shirt design site Threadless.com in 2004. His designs were well-loved by many on Threadless and, in no time, he became a celebrity to the Threadless shoppers and to t-shirt lovers all over the world. He was the most printed designer. Every t-shirt freak loved Glennz, the t-shirt guru on Threadless!
Because of his celebrity status in the t-shirt world, a US-based t-shirt company contacted him and proposed for partnership in 2008. Glen decided that it was time for him to move out from Threadless and start his own line. Now, Glen designs t-shirt artwork in his home office in New Zealand while everything else is made in Austin, Texas by his partner company.
After watching and reading a lot of interviews of Glen Jones on the success of Glennz Tees, I’ve come up with five things that make his t-shirt business such a great hit:
All of us in the t-shirt business would want to create shirts that would go viral, right? Not only will it be good for our bank accounts, it’s so darn good for marketing our business, too. But trying to achieve the level of viral is a hit or miss thing. During the conceptualization of your t-shirt design, you could be so confident that it would be the talk of the town because you’ve researched enough or you just know the taste of your market by heart. However, there are lots of instances that your market would just ignore the t-shirt you expected to go viral. You really can’t tell for sure that something would sell like crazy until you’re already selling like crazy. That’s what’s so hard about aiming to get viral with design: you really can’t tell for sure.
There are also many t-shirt brands that resort to vulgar artwork just to get attention. While most of them succeed at it, having that strategy is not sustainable in the long haul. Anything that gets instant attention fades out really fast. That just shows that we should not aim for a few good shirts to get celebrity-level attention but for all our shirts to become marketable.
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If you’ve decided that your niche for your t-shirt business are the creative bunch who love wearing attention-grabbing tees, then most certainly, making your tees requires more than simply choosing the right cloth or the right fit. Every single shirt you make should scream “Look at me! Look at me!” wherever they go. The great challenge in making these eye-catching t-shirts is that they should still have good taste because there’s a very thin line between creative and tacky. You have to find what tickles your market’s fancy and what they’d find appalling. You can do this by studying t-shirt design trends and by actually creating and selling your t-shirts.
Whether you’re a graphic designer or a t-shirt entrepreneur wracking your brains to create t-shirts that really pack a punch, here are some of the best ways to create awesome t-shirt designs.
In order for you to become successful in the t-shirt business, you have to do what the big guys are doing: Being totally nuts about t-shirts until they’re on the verge of lunacy! This is not an exaggeration, folks. Starting a t-shirt business is not as easy as 1,2,3. It is as hard as 1 to 1,000. The idea or concept for a t-shirt store is just step 0. When you are planning to actually turn your dream of having a t-shirt business into reality, your first step is planning and research.
You need to be meticulous and obsessive about this step before even diving into creating t-shirt designs. In this step, treat it as if it’s a thesis in college. Before anything, read as many t-shirt business books and listen to as many t-shirt business podcasts as you can because these are the tools that will prepare you for battle. Once you’re confident about your knowledge in the t-shirt business and business management in general, it’s time for the actual nitty-gritty planning and research of your t-shirt business. Some newbies do not obsess in this step and that’s probably the reason why they close even before they reach their first anniversary. If you want to be successful in the t-shirt business, don’t act like a newbie, act (and think) like you’re one of the big guys!
Here are the things the big guys work on before they start their t-shirt business.
If you want to be good at t-shirt business, one thing you should be expertly good at is knowing what your customers really want in a tee. You can be good at taking charge of the business and finance side of things but if you know only very little of what your specific market wants in a t-shirt or what people in general look for when they buy their tees, then you’re not yet ready to start a t-shirt business. You have to stop planning about your business right this moment and just take time to study what customers want in a t-shirt. Research is probably the most important part of business. For starters, here are some basic things that you need to know about how customers choose their t-shirts:
So, you finally decided to sell t-shirts. Hurray! But are you sure you will not lose money in this endeavor? How do you ensure that the shirts you’re making will not just be gathering dust in the basement? T-shirts are usually printed in bulk to get bigger discounts but how sure are you that all the shirts you print will be sold? The honest answer is, we can’t really be 100% sure.
But there’s a secret to get almost 100% in t-shirt sales: Create shirts that your customers will love. Actually, not just love. It should be something that they cannot resist! But I guess you already know that. What you want to know is HOW to create irresistible t-shirts. That is exactly the reason why you’re reading this, amirite? So without further ado, here are our tried-and-tested ways of how you can come up with t-shirts that will surely be a hit to your customers: