“A printed tee is a quick, sure-fire way to communicate and express your identity” (Judah, 2015). It has the potential to influence society and create a sense of community. The article “The Return of the Graphic T-Shirt” in The Business of Fashion reviews the power of the infamous graphic tee and how it has made its comeback to mainstream fashion in recent years.
This revival of the graphic tee is vital in the promotional products industry. According to the 2015 Counselor State of the Industry, t-shirts was the #1 selling product category in 2014 – surpassing other popular categories such as bags, writing instruments, and drinkware by over $1 Billion in distributor revenue (“T-Shirts on Top”, 2016). Wearables Magazine predicts sales in 2016 will increase by 11% (“T-Shirts on Top”, 2016). Graphic T-shirts are the ever-present trend on the rise for 2016.
How does this benefit you, the client?
1. Your Brand is On Trend
T-Shirts have been around for decades yet it is one item that never seems to go out of style. How? Trends! It is easy to make your promotional tee a desirable wearable by staying current with today’s trends. If your company’s logo color is red, try using a heather red or heather maroon tee to add dimension to your brand. Switch it up with a burn-out fabric in gray or tan to make your bright blue logo pop! Promoting an athletic event or team fundraiser? Go for a raglan baseball tee or the popular ladies racerback tank for a sporty, performance-wear look . And don’t forget about the texture! Graphic tees are no longer limited to heavy, stiff feeling fabrics. Ring-spun cotton and tri-blends are the superior choice for soft, lightweight apparel.
2. Your Brand is Noticed
In today’s “image driven culture” (Judah, 2015), the graphic t-shirt is difficult to ignore, making it a lucrative investment for event promotion and brand awareness. With industry improvements in screen-printing equipment and graphic design programs, t-shirt possibilities are endless. You are no longer limited to a 1-color, 1-location logo, but are capable of printing photo images and full color artwork. Play around with metallic foil inks over a tone on tone background design. Multiple print locations provide a huge imprint area that is unique to this promotional item. Is your t-shirt promoting a particular event? Take advantage of the imprint locations by showcasing event sponsors on the back side of the tee. Create a custom design for the event on the front of the shirt and place your company logo on the sleeve. Run a slogan along the t-shirt’s bottom hem line. The graphic t-shirt is the perfect promotional product for imaginative and innovative designs.
3. Your Brand is Remembered
The graphic t-shirt is a mode of communication and its implications go beyond promoting your brand with a free gift. When your tee is worn, it acts as a moving billboard for your brand. You are not just promoting your brand to the individual wearing the shirt, but to everyone who views that shirt. When I wear the t-shirts On Target has created for our clients, people come up to me to ask about the design and they leave with new knowledge about the brand it supported. Your promotional product becomes a tangible aspect of your brand and being able to wear it makes your supporters feel like a part of the team. The graphic tee is both a treasured item that people will love and a simple tool to help accomplish your company’s promotional goals.
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2015 Counselor State of the Industry & 2016 Wearables Sales Forecast. T-shirts on top. Wearables Magazine, January 2016, 33.
Judah, Hettie. (2015, July 12). The return of the graphic t-shirt. The Business of Fashion [BoF], Intelligence. http://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/intelligence/the-return-of-the-graphic-t-shirt