About two weeks ago, Zazzle introduced its latest revolutionary product offering: Custom Screen Printed Shirts. If you know anything about Zazzle, you may be asking the question, "hasn't Zazzle been printing t-shirts for 5+ years now?" Or if you actually know anything about screen printing, you may be thinking "big deal, there's a shop around the corner near me that does that." Good question. Good point. Maybe the following scenarios will help articulate why the technology behind Zazzle's screen-printed shirts are game changing:
The Old-School WayLet's say you're an RA of Lantana at Stanford University. You need to make dorm t-shirts, so you use Google Maps and find Century Graphics to print the shirts. They've actually got a website, which is more than you can say for the other companies that you saw, so you decide to go with them. You visit their Price Quote page and fill out all the information, uploading your JPEG design. Luckily, you had heard that the number of colors in the image is important (and will make the shirts more expensive), so you ensured that the design only had 3 colors. Send.
A couple of days later, you get an email response from CG. The guy says that one of the colors in the design may not look that great on the color of shirt you picked, and he's attached an image of what the design looks like on a solid color background similar to the t-shirt's color (but of course not with the shirt texture). You go back to Photoshop and change the "bad" color to a different color (not always an easy feat). The next day, you email the guy back with the new design. The following day someone else from CG responds with the "thumbs up" on your design, provides pricing info, and gives you an order form Excel sheet to pick your shirts & sizes. You fill it out & send it back, and they respond the next day telling you that your shirts will be ready in 2 weeks.
During those 2 weeks, you're waiting in anticipation wondering what the tee shirts will look like. Your residents and other staff members keep asking you when the shirts will arrive and what they'll look like. You're not quite sure how they'll turn out. You don't know where on the shirt will they place the design or how big the design will be. Hopefully they understood that the white in the picture was supposed to be the shirt color and not a 4th color.
2 weeks later, you get a call from the CG receptionist saying that your shirts are ready for pick up. You drive down to Sunnyvale and breathe a sigh of relief that they turned out okay. You drive back to campus and hand out the shirts. The villagers rejoice.
All in all, It took about 3 weeks from the initial inquiry until the shirts were in your hand.
The Zazzle WayZazzle's (seemingly) alien technology, can best be explained by the following video:
As you saw, the process with Zazzle is much more streamlined. When you visit Zazzle's Screen Print Order Page, you're able to upload your image and see it on the actual shirt you're going to buy (and on a human being no less). And if you find that the colors in your design don't work too well on the shirt you've picked (or you just have too many colors), you can change the colors on the fly in the t-shirt designer. No more going back to Photoshop. The t-shirt designer can actually tell how many colors are in your design. In addition, Zazzle offers various image filters and color blends to make the design still look good even if it is only using a few colors. With those local shops, you've gotta hope that they have a Photoshop wizard on hand to help clean up your design.
Now you've got the design looking exactly how you want it, and it's sized & placed perfectly on the shirt, so you add the design to your order. Next you fill in the shirt sizes you want with the aid of their sizing chart (or you can have Zazzle pick the sizes for you based on historical averages). You have your total price and you complete your online order. What took a whole week (and sometimes much more) with the local shop, just took at most a couple of hours on Zazzle!
It takes Zazzle between 3 and 5 business days to make your shirts and then they're shipped out. Depending on the shipment method you choose, you could get your shirts in a week. But more than likely, you'll get them in about 10 days after ordering. That's half the time of the local shop! And you never had to leave your dorm room...
So just to recap, Zazzle screen-printed shirts are awesome because:
- 100% online ordering (no back and forth emailing)
- See what your shirts will look like before you order (via Zazzle's Model Realview technology)
- Ships in 3-5 business days
- FREE Ground shipping (use ZAZZLESCREEN coupon)
- No setup fees
- 300+ templates to help you get started designing
- Helpful size calculator
- Much, much, more...
So in an effort to capitalize on referral bonuses, I've created tons of locale-specific shirt screen printing landing pages on WardTog. The screen printing industry is a very local operation. If you want some shirts printed, you find a shop nearby. So hopefully, if someone Googles "t-shirt printing in Hayward", they'll find the Hayward Shirt Screen Printing page on WardTog. Same for Durham, North Carolina, Salem, Oregon, Lansing, Michigan, Little Rock, Arkansas, and every place in between. In fact, if you go to the main shirt screen printing page, it'll show you the page for where you are right now. I also created a little ad (you should see it on the right), that advertises Zazzle screen-printed shirts for your city.