When you walk down the street in any town or city, you probably pass by many different vehicles for advertising — billboards, posters, sides of trucks — but did you ever stop to think that the people you see on the street can also be advertising vehicles for your business? By printing t-shirts with your company’s name or logo, you can turn these people into your own walking billboards.
The cost of printing t-shirts is not high; a number of online companies will print just one shirt for $20 or less, and in quantity, the price can drop to just a few dollars per shirt.
Most of these companies can use a digital file for the artwork, so you can easily use your company’s logo or whatever message you would like to promote. Sometimes using a professional designer can help.
If you look at the costs of t-shirts versus other advertising methods, the cost per impression (viewing) can be much lower. Depending on where the wearer of one of your shirts goes, visibility can be extremely high. And who doesn’t need another t-shirt for their wardrobe? Unless your artwork is extremely ugly or garish, the chances are good that a person will wear the shirt until it wears out. That’s a long life for your advertising vehicle, and you only pay for it once.
If you can get people to buy your shirt, instead of giving it away, congratulations — you’ve probably just made a small profit. Some companies are successful enough at selling t-shirts that they make that business a significant portion of their trade.
While it’s true that a t-shirt is an informal article of clothing, there are ways to “dress it up” so that it appears more chic. Instead of slapping your logo on a plain white t-shirt, why not knock it out of a black one with white ink? Or if you really want to be subtle, try black ink on a black shirt (this severely degrades visibility, but can increase the “cool factor”). Many t-shirt printing companies offer specialty inks and printing processes, such as fluorescent, metallic and glow-in-the-dark. You can experiment and see which looks best. And remember, no one says you have to limit yourself to just printing on the front of the shirt. Many companies can print on both sides of a shirt and even the sleeves.
If you’re printing a quantity of t-shirts, don’t forget to make a distribution of different sizes; not everyone wears a Medium. There are also subtle differences between men’s and women’s shirts, so be sure you’re aware of the small details. Most manufacturers sell shirts in 100 percent cotton, but some sell polyester (which holds ink better) and various blends. There are even eco-friendly shirts made from bamboo material.
If you’ve never tried it before, printing a few shirts can be enjoyable and good marketing for your business. It’s a piece of “swag” that people can enjoy and use, and what business doesn’t want that kind of goodwill?