Several months ago, I thought it would be fun for our online community if we were able to sell GameCritics branded t-shirts featuring memorable taglines that our dedicated readers/listeners would get and identify with. I asked our staff and fans for ideas and I was excited about what the end results would look like.
That excitement quickly turned to discouragement as I didn't realize at the time what a challenge it would be to not only design the t-shirts, but to also find an on-demand t-shirt printing company that met our needs. This company would have to have an intuitive Web site UI to layout and sell the t-shirt designs. There would also need to be a decent selection of colors (including the trademark GC orange) and of course be able produce a product that I would be proud to feature our logo.
The online storefront templates provided by Printfection were bland and wasn't able to match the look and feel of our own site. Zazzle had a brilliant UI and I was confident I had found a winner when I saw that prominent companies like Marvel Comics and Capcom were also clients. So you can imagine my disappointment when my first test t-shirt arrived and I was totally underwhelmed by the washed out printing quality of the graphics.
In researching other alternatives, I eventually came across my final vendor choice: Spreadshirt. I was intrigued by their variety of printing techniques that incorporated vector-based images-traditionally known to produce more detailed results in the graphic design industry. Their online storefront templates were highly customizable and the UI was on par with Zazzle. The best part was indeed the t-shirt printing quality.
Spreadshirt uses a "flock print" technique that not only produces colors that much more vibrant than their competitors and graphics that pop out more from the slightly raised plush-like material used, but is also touted as extremely durable to wash.
We currently only offer 3 designs for men and women:
- Standard GameCritics logo
- Video Games Are Art
- Good Night and Bonne Chance - GameCritics Podcast Host Tim Spaeth's signature sign off line
Spreadshirt use to limit the amount of designs new users could upload, but seven days ago, they changed that policy so that we'll be able to offer more designs that were suggested by our staff and fans in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for those announcements.
In the meantime, if you'd like to purchase one of our current designs, click on the "Shop" link in the main navigation or go to gamecritics.spreadshirt.com. If you have any tagline suggestions, please submit them via our contact form. We'll also be starting a GC Reader of the Week feature in the coming weeks and I hope we can see some of readers sporting a GameCritics t-shirt in those reader profiles.