The t-shirt business can become a very stressful business to run, especially on your own. As with any business, it’s recommended that you develop a team. Sure you might start on your own but eventually you should build a dream team that’ll help advance your label to the next level. One of the key members of this dream team is an excellent designer. You might be the only designer of your t-shirt label now, or maybe you haven’t even started your label yet but have great ideas for t-shirts but don’t think you have the artistic talent to put them into production.
We suggest that any label hire new designers soon as the budget permits. An additional designer means the manager of the label has more time for managing and business operations. Think it’s time you got an additional designer? Here’s some tips on the process of hiring one:
Know exactly what you want in a t-shirt designer. It’ll make the search easier once you envision what this designer’s work would look like. You’ll also have to have your vision down pact when explaining to designers what kind of design style you’re looking for.
Come up with a few specific t-shirt designs that you would like an artist to produce. As a t-shirt entrepreneur I’m sure you’ve seen a few t-shirts on the market that made you think “Hey, it would be cool if the guy who made this shirt made one that said ____ or had ____ on it!” Now your job would be to find that guy and get him to design that shirt for you. Or just come up with ideas and the design style you want them in and look for a designer who can pull it off.
Look at a few online indie t-shirt brands. See if an indie t-shirt designer would be able to do some designs for your brand. Many indie brands do collaborations to gain more exposure. You’re label should do the same by hiring semi big name designers to collaborate with you to produce some designs for your label.
Shop for the best deal without having to sacrifice quality. When looking for a freelance designer to design t-shirts for you, as with anything else in this world, quality is one of the most important things. Find a quality designer that doesn’t charge ridiculous commission fees. By ridiculous I mean out of your budget. Don’t spend too much if you can’t afford it, but if you can afford it don’t be cheap either.
Post a request for a t-shirt designer on freelance websites such as Guru.com and Elance.com. These sites are like classified job listings and are full of designers who are looking for people like you with design needs. Post your request and wait for artists to answer or search the web site’s database and find a good freelance designer that you think would fit your label.
Check out sites like Threadless.com and DesignByHumans.com. These are t-shirt designer communities that hold ongoing weekly design contests and are comprised of great designers. A lot of these great designers never manage to snatch the prize but have work worth rewarding. They would definitely be willing to do some design work for your label. Go to one of these sites, browse the members, check out their designs and hand pick the ones you like. Contact them and propose a deal.
Be picky when picking a designer. Don’t just settle. Find a designer who’s work you love and who you confidently feel can improve the quality of your label. Make sure they’re doing some frickin’ cool designs that you only wish you could do yourself. After all, you’re trusting this person to design t-shirts that you’ll be selling.