Teemill Updates

T-shirt Model Studio Photos

The technology in the latest update completely changes the quality and professional identity of stores built on Teemill, making your products look incredible and saving you a huge amount of time and money.

The technology is built on our original design-to-tee image manipulation software, which prevents you from having to take a photo and upload it every time you want to sell a t-shirt.

Once upon a time we built our own brand and realised that great photography was at the heart of strong sales. We’ve made years of photos from our library available to you, editable, to feature your designs with your branding, in Teemill.

Professional quality photoshoots can be done at the click of a button from your desk, using Teemill’s Magic Photoshoot. We’re constantly adding new resources to the tool, which you’ll find anywhere you might normally need to upload a photo – like on your homepage, menu, product page or category pages. You’ll see you’re able to magically take a model that suits your demographic, add your design and change location or backdrop before saving up your shots and adding it to your store.

No more stress organising shoots, ordering samples, finding models, buying equipment or wasting time in post-production.

You can rip out a professional quality shoot in under 10 seconds with Teemill, and boost your T-shirt sales dramatically.

Take Action

Login to your Teemill store and add a photo to a product, homepage or category to launch our magic photoshoot tool.

 

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Writing Great E-commerce Copy made easy.

Our latest update, Magic Copywriter, includes a cloud-based copy writing bot that can generate professional quality product descriptions and specifications at the click of a button, increasing your sales and saving you time.

Writing great e-commerce copy, like product descriptions, is tough when you start out. Sometimes veteran copywriters don’t realise just how hard it can be to get a quality paragraph down. We know it can be tough. But people read this stuff. In fact, we believe that a quality product description is the single most underrated part of the e-commerce skill set.

To make it easier for Teemill users, we’ve developed a piece of cloud based ‘AI’ software to write captivating product descriptions for your store when you get stuck for words.

Our tool generates a unique passage of high quality copy for your product in a tenth of a second. It means you can complete a product upload on Teemill to a high quality and faster than ever before.

We will be expanding the vocabulary and integrating machine-learning feedback to optimise the delivery of content that the customers engage with positively, and reducing combinations that customers are less enthusiastic about.

We will also be expanding it to cover other areas where text is needed, like on the homepage or in categories as we learn from this upgrade and review.

This feature is available now, exclusively on Teemill.

Take Action

Log in to Teemill and create a product description with the Magic Copywriter tool now.

 

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The 80/20 Rule in Business. Focus on Sales, not Differentiation

The 80:20 rule is an important business lesson that all great brands understand. It’s the reason Apple does not sell skateboards, and the reason that Teemill doesn’t offer loads of different products.

We do a lot of things at Teemill that on first glance can look like restrictions or limitations. In reality, most decisions like this are well thought through and taken in the best interests of people looking to build a successful business on Teemill – we hope you’ll agree.

If you’re wondering why we don’t sell more products like bags, accessories, phone cases and novelty items, it’s actually for your own benefit.

The 80:20 rule is a timeless piece of business knowledge that every experienced business person can relate to. It says that 80% of your revenue will come from just 20% of your product lines, and the remaining 80% of your product lines will only make up 20% of your sales. A lot of startups fail because they don’t understand this thoroughly enough.

Some brands and startups fail as they get distracted differentiating and developing lots of different product types. Successful businesses tend to do only one or two things well and focus their time on getting sales.

Take this graph for example. It shows how t-shirts and tops form almost all the sales demand on Teemill, whilst bags, accessories and kids stuff is tiny in comparison.

focus

This explains why we do not offer loads of different products on Teemill. We only offer the products that will make you lots of money. It’s now easy to resist the temptation to waste your time developing new designs for trainers, lanyards, phone cases, backpacks and caps – because you can’t! Instead you now understand that 80% of your revenue will come from just one or two t-shirt designs, and if you want to be successful, you now have some spare time to invest in building a better store. They need to be amazing, and you need to do some work to get the traffic and hype.

Make your best products look amazing with great photography and product descriptions, then focus purely on increasing your traffic and getting sales through PR & marketing. Already got some great designs? Ask yourself how you’re going to increase your traffic and sales. That’s the fastest way to make your Teemill a success.

It’s helpful to consider that there’s not much new under the Sun. Businesses on the banks of the River Nile in 2000BC probably had the same growth ambition, drive and innovation as your business on Teemill. The Roman grain merchants or Victorian cotton sellers faced the same issues on sales, awareness, brand reputation and product quality. History can’t tell you exactly how to run your Teemill store, but it can light the path. There’s not one successful business out there that succeeded by differentiating when they should be driving sales, or developing products in new categories when they were ready to win through in a bigger one.

In fact, the worlds greatest book on business growth, Good to Great by Jim Collins, dedicates an entire chapter to this exact point.

That’s why we choose the products we have on Teemill carefully. It’s to help guide you make a success of your Teemill project, and protect you from the temptations that lead to failure.

Take Action

Increase your sales with marketing, PR and traffic. Read more blogs about marketing

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Typography and Slogan T-shirt Design Tips

Slogan t-shirts are among the most popular designs and done right, can be a designers dream with easy, fast and profitable results. But often it can be easier than it looks. What are the secret tricks the pros use?

As well as having some great words to use in the first place, making great slogan tees comes down to observation and application of all parts of good typography: That means choosing the right font, font weight, character spacing, line height, use of caps, punctuation with an aim to get a balanced, clean design.

The best way to get good at typography fast is to learn to look at the arrangements of words (the way they’re laid out) in detail.

Choosing the right font.

The font is the most natural place to start and maybe the most fun bit. First of all, ask yourself what the vibe of your t-shirt is going to be. Are we making a cute, happy slogan tee about cats? A kooky hand written font like Moon Flower gives a friendly, cuter feel. If the t-shirt is about impact and statement, for a hard-hitting style a bold, capitalised font like Couture or Bebas Neue is more appropriate.

Generally sans serif (simpler, less fancy) fonts are best for slogan t-shirts.

People need to be able to read them in an instant and the words need to look natural on the t-shirt. Joined up letters or fonts with fancy serifs just don’t work as well. You can find loads of fonts to try and use at Dafont.com and other similar websites*

i-love-cats

*Not all fonts on font repository websites are totally free for commercial use: Pay close attention to usage rights and make sure you only download and use fonts that are genuinely free to use, as you might land yourself in legal trouble.

Choosing the right words

Once you’ve found a font that fits your style, it’s time to get the words in the design refined to be as concise and punchy as possible.

With a slogan t-shirt design, you only have a split second to get your message across – use the minimum number of words for the best results.

The aim is to remove words that don’t add to the meaning.

“If I had to choose between my cat versus going on a date, I’d choose my cat”  might become “Cat or Date? Cat every time.” – for example. Sometimes this is the hardest bit.

If you can, try and add something clever, like a play on words to bring your design to life in the mind of the customer. “Cat Addict. Help Meowt”

Laying out the words

Now we’ve got a font that fits our style, and some words that will make a great punchy and clever slogan design, it’s time for the bit that gets overlooked the most, in the finishing touches, and this is where typographers set themselves apart from the rest.

The aim of typography is to lay out the words in the font in a way that is pleasing on the eye. Really we’re looking for the words to form a balanced shape in relation to each other in the lines of text, and the letters within individual words to be balanced and aligned correctly.

Fonts come with character spacing that is generalised so that all letters work together. Pro t-shirt designers fine-tune this spacing, and the line height, so that it looks perfect.

Here’s a before and after of adjusting character spacing. At first glance, the word “meowt” looks fine. But looking again closely, the spacing between the letter o and w gives the word an odd balance, almost like there’s a gap in the middle. It’s just the nature of fonts. If you think about it, some letters are thin and tall, others wide and short, and how close they stand next to each other would normally depend on what the shape of the letter they’re standing next to is. But fonts can’t do that, so they make do with an average sometimes. And that means you get some odd results like this.

meowtIn Photoshop, clicking window > character gives you the character editing window, where you can tweak character width for individual letters in your design. You can see that this makes the word a lot neater, and professional.

Sounds like nitpicking? As slogan t-shirts are so minimal, the details like character spacing and line height become noticeable. If you find yourself saying “it just doesn’t look quite right somehow” it’s worth investing time in your typography.

Merchandising

So you’ve got your font, your slogan and laid out your words and letters beautifully. The next thing you need to do is be brave: Sometimes it can feel too easy, or that you haven’t done enough “designing” with slogan tees. But it’s okay, so long as you get the next bit right: Merchandising. This is where you put your slogan design on your products to make it look amazing, and get people to want to buy it. Put your slogan tee on a great model using the handy Magic Photoshoot tool, as your photography will really bring the design to life, and write an awesome product description for your product page.

merchandising

Let the model and the description sell the product, and remember sometimes less is more in design. The simple slogans often sell more than the detailed graphic design masterpieces – as care has been taken with typography and merchandising.

 

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Remove the White Background on T-shirt designs

If you’re just starting out in t-shirt design, you’ll find it’s pretty easy. There’s some old tricks that professionals have up their sleeves that can mean the difference between products that are okay and products that make you money. Here’s one of the tips we give most often.

This article covers the common “removing the white background” issue and how to deal with it. This is when a Teemill designer has created an amazing design on the computer or often by hand ready for the tee – when the design is uploaded, there’s a white background around the design making it look like a square, that needs to be removed.

yesno

Professional designers use the t-shirt fabric as the background colour, not the design printed on top of a white square. At Teemill, our commitment to high quality product and services means that we require the quality of submitted designs to be high. 

In the 21st century where everyone has a computer and access to Photoshop or similar, there’s no reason why even  startups and small charities can’t produce amazing quality designs. Consumers have come to expect it.

Many of the features designed in Teemill are based on values like this, and automatically kick in to make sure your t-shirt store is successful. This includes the ability to detect you’re trying to launch a product where the design has a background that needs removing: In this case, the system may reject it – and refer you to this blog. Please don’t be annoyed! It’s in your best interests to launch products that are more likely to make you money, even if it takes you 5 minutes to clean up the design – removing the background on your designs is worth it.

So how do we lose the background?

Firstly, if your design is going on a white tee there’s a nifty tool in the product creator that can do this for you at the click of a button. The de-white tool can be found in the right hand control pane when the design is selected.

dewhite

It automatically removes any part of the design which is pure white. so it will only work if your background is perfectly white.

What if the background is not perfectly white?

This happens sometimes if the designer has designed on paper, and scanned or taken a photo of the design and uploaded that. It takes more work to remove this kind of background. For this reason, it’s normally better to learn to use the computer for designing in the first place and save yourself the hassle. If you insist on paper though, you’ll need to learn how to process and separate your art from the background on the computer afterwards. For this kind of work, we recommend Photoshop.

Get yourself a copy of Photoshop and watch a few tutorials, like this one.

In our case, we usually use the following sequence: Image>adjustments>levels and pull the right hand toggle down to increase the brightness of the white range. Then magic wand tool to select the whites, remove them.

Save for web, PNG24

Once you have removed the background in Photoshop, click file / save for web and devices and save up. Remember the best image format for Teemill printing is the PNG24 with transparent background.

You should now have an image with no background, perfect for uploading onto several different coloured t-shirts in Teemill and with this newly professional standard of design, you’ll almost certainly find a long-term increase in sales.

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