Make Your T-shirt Business a Reality

T-shirts are hot, they’re everywhere and even taking a cue from the Internet and the viral video trend. Shane Dawson, of YouTube fame, recently began selling t-shirts based off of his vlogs at Hot Topic. Threadless, the indie-label t-shirt retailer started their business as an online graphic design contest, allowing people from all over the country to submit t-shirt designs for others to admire and ultimately purchase. Threadless and other companies have helped the independent graphic designer find a niche in a sea of consumers seeking witty, colorful, unique and personalized t-shirt designs. It is this success that has led Threadless and its popular graphic designers into the world of retail sales. Threadless’ best designs can now be seen in stores such as Nordstrom.


It used to be that launching a t-shirt line required a fairly large, upfront cash investment. Today, there are companies online that specialize in creating shirts, accessories and other textile-based canvases for your graphic designs. Online businesses like Café Press, SonicShack and Zazzle let you open up a “store” on their websites that feature your graphics on their clothing for little to no investment. Customers can then order your designs from those websites, releasing you from worries about keeping up with inventory and other business concerns. For those who want to have their product on hand, UberPrints and CustomInk allow you to design a shirt and order it, even in small quantities, to sell offline. With all of these options, you can take your favorite graphics and turn them into a business that features your own creativity and style.

Graphic design can take you in many directions, and seeing your graphic design emblazoned on a stranger’s shirt as you sit across from them on the bus may be just the way for you to use your design skills in a fun and rewarding way.

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