August 18, 2006

A T-Shirt Conundrum...

by Chris Randall

Okay, so while Adam is finishing up Reverence, I've been working on a new t-shirt design, as we get a lot of requests for t-shirts since we ran out. I wanted to do something that was as high-quality as a t-shirt could be, and based my design accordingly. I got a bit of sticker shock in the ol' email this morning; my price quote worked out to where we'd have to sell the shirts for $30 each, where our last ones were only $20.

Now, that does sound like a bit of coin, but consider that these would be as high-quality as a t-shirt can be, American Apparel tees with 6 spot colors done in chino-base ink. If you've fingered an art tee in one of the many "urban vinyl" toy stores cropping up in cooler cities around the world, you'll know what I'm talking about, and the prices are commensurate with those sorts of t-shirts.

So, my question is thus: are you, our loyal customers, willing to pay $30 for a high-quality AD t-shirt? I can knock down the design quite a bit, and get the same shirts I've printed thousands and thousands of over the years, and charge $20 for them, and everyone would be happy, but in this case I kind of wanted to go the extra mile. Well, the extra mile is expensive, it seems. Obviously, we have to pay for these up front, so I don't want to do so unless you guys are interested in the best-of-the-best kind of thing; if you'd be happy with the typical t-shirt (and don't get me wrong here, because our normal shirts are incredibly high quality) then I'll just do another run of our last shirt and call it a day.



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Aug.18.2006 @ 5:58 PM
I'm interested...

Aug.18.2006 @ 6:20 PM
Dave McAnally
I was gonna say the last shirts were pretty badass, I'd get one of those.

But, if its really gonna be that much cooler, its only 10 bucks. more, so that wouldn't be a big deal.


Aug.18.2006 @ 7:03 PM
Chris Randall
If I switched the ink from chino to plastisol, we'd actually save quite a bit of money, and we could charge $25 or thereabouts. It wouldn't be that _really_ nice print you see on the best t-shirts, but it'd be nice. We were planning on using the "silver" American Apparel t-shirt, which you can see here:

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Another design I'm considering is this Melange one, in the Blue/Navy coloration:

link []">link []

I own quite a few American Apparel t-shirts, and they're as nice as a t-shirt gets, IMO. And I've seen a few (tens of thousands) in my time.



Aug.18.2006 @ 7:03 PM
I vote you stick with the high quality, mostly because that just seems to be the idiom around here.

Aug.18.2006 @ 7:35 PM
Working in print myself, I'd be curious to see what you'd design using 2-3 colors + black. Six color just seems like overkill for a T-shirt. Then again I'm a big fan of self-imposed limitations when it comes to art/design.

Aug.18.2006 @ 7:48 PM
Wait a minute. Those colors you named off don't sound like "Black".


Aug.18.2006 @ 7:53 PM
I'm a big AD fan, and I bought one of the first run of shirts. It's a quality shirt (certainly well above average) and I like it.

But honestly, if you had been selling the $30 shirt then, I think I would have passed. I appreciate your desire to offer apparel of Even Higher Quality, but even a t-shirt of Absolute Maximum Quality is still a t-shirt, and I have a hard time shelling out that kind of money for a t-shirt--particularly when it's for sale online, denying me the ability to see and feel its quality firsthand.

I'd like to offer a minor criticism, not to pick on your work Chris, but because I truly care: To my eye, the "digital dirt" addition, in terms of both word choice and font choice, cheapens the design. To be sure, AD plugs offer a number of effective ways to dirty up one's tracks, but the ever-broadening line of products offers so much more than that, I feel using "digital dirt" as a slogan is selling yourself rather short. Moreover, the name Audio Damage carries plenty of modest irony without augmenting it with more of the same.

And, respectfully, the pretty script font is just god awful.

Just my two cents! You guys have a lifelong user and supporter in me regardless of what you put on a t-shirt.



Aug.18.2006 @ 8:20 PM
i might have missed where you said this, but how big is that logo going to be on the shirt?

Aug.18.2006 @ 8:39 PM
Chris Randall
The entire image is 6.5" x 9.5". So biggish but not huge.

I'll do some other mockups tonight once it cools off in my studio. (Air conditioning is basically non-existant in Oregon, so I have to take the afternoons off in high summer.) I'll take out the "digital dirt" and see where we're at.



Aug.18.2006 @ 10:04 PM
I say go with the higher cost shirt. If I have to buy a t-shirt I want to go for the highest quality one (and I would buy that one). That said, if there is no real quality difference, then go cheap!

BTW blinkman is right about the "Digital Dirt" at the bottom. It seems out of place.


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