Current options for on-demand T-Shirts
As I venture into final planning stages for promoting my new album release "The Radioactive Werewolf and other tales from the Southwest" I seriously look into on demand custom printing. I want to find the one that best meets my needs: a simple black T-shirt, good quality, ability to print multiple colors at an affordable price.
I have been creating T-shirt designs for a couple years, but have been focused on my change in career path (composing for film, tv interactive) and put all my efforts into that rather than distract myself by trying to start a clothing company. When I realized that my budget for promoting my new album was going fast I decided to spend an afternoon and do my own research on on demand product and custom printing.
I signed up for accounts with Zazzle, Cafe Press and Spreadshirt. My first instinct was to go with Zazzle.com becasue of it's website design 'feel'. Since all companies provide what apears to be similar items for my custom printing need (clothing, accessories, coffee mugs) that didn't help me with my desision.
I decided to uploaded a simple one color designs to all three and created the a the least expensive T-shirt I could to understand the proccess. I quickly desiced to focus on Zazzle and Spreadshirts to speed the proccess. I uploaded a simple design on a entry level (Haynes) T-shirt and choose to have the shirt in the color black.
I found that with Zazzle ( becasue I was looking for a black shirt) the was at a minimum whole sale price of $21.95 (about $16 for white). With Spreadshirts I found I could make whole sale price of about $10.
I was most satisfied with the Zazzle tools as they allowing customers to zoom in to the printing and see the design more clearly (first image above), were as the Spreadshirt does not have this functionality (second image -->).
With a $10 whole sale price for an on demand T-shirt I am leaning strongly twords Spreadshirts as my custom printing provider. This gives me the ability to have inexpensive items (after mark up) for fans and doesn't break the bank for me to thank the performers who played on the album by getting them all shirts.
So I order the shirt shown in the second image (Spreadshirt) Not real happy about the $5 shipping for one $10 item when I finsh check out. In about 5 days I get my new Radioactive Werewolf Shirt and it looks pretty good. I still have to wash it and see how the "flock' printing holds up with time but I move forward and open up a store ( http://endocrine.spreadshirt.com ) customize the layout and incorporate sales links into my album web page.