Have you thought about getting some “boat shirts” made up, but didn’t when you found out that you had to order a dozen or more — and that they were pretty pricy?
I had the same problem recently, when I wanted to get a couple of t-shirts made up with The Boat Galley logo to wear at boat shows this fall and winter. I really didn’t want 12 shirts, nor did I want to spend $35 or so per shirt to get a smaller number (set up fees add up . . .). I spent a LOT of time calling local print shops and looking online.
As you can see from the photo, I finally found a good solution: VistaPrint. The base prices aren’t bad, and they have a number of specials and online coupons. With a coupon, I was able to get 4 white t-shirts printed front and back for $45 (including ground shipping and everything).
VistaPrint would be a great option for boat shirts (or other items) if you only need a few. They’d cost even less if you just printed the boat name on the left chest (printing on the back as well as the front added about $3 per shirt). I put a huge logo on the back so that readers might spot me at distance — and, yes, for “advertising”!
The t-shirts are 100% cotton and run true to size, but they are not particularly heavy. In the photo, you can see how the big logo on the back is slightly visible from the front side, but when I put one on, it’s NOT see-through. (I’ve definitely got some t-shirts that are thinner.) Since they were considerably cheaper than other options I was looking at, I was definitely nervous about the quality of the printing. I really didn’t want something that looked shoddy. They use a heat transfer process, but I honestly can’t tell the difference from screen-printed shirts that I have (maybe a professional could).
VistaPrint also offers polo shirts, ball caps, coffee mugs, “business” (read: boat) cards and lots more, also at good prices for custom printing or embroidery in small batches. Sometimes selection of the base product is limited (for example, t-shirts only come in white, grey and black) but the size range is pretty good, going from S to XL on most items. VistaPrint also offers ladies’ shirts (for an extra price). Everything that I looked at could be ordered one at a time.
If you upload your own art (as a .jpg or several other formats), there is a charge (I think it’s $3 before any discounts, it was $2.67 after the discount) the first time you use the image and free thereafter, even on separate orders. No charge for images you upload but don’t use. AND there’s no extra charge for additional colors — or full color photos.
The one drawback to VistaPrint is that you’re pretty much on your own for designing your shirts. The pricier companies offer a lot more advice and hand-holding. However, I thought VistaPrint’s system was pretty easy to use — it only took me about 15 minutes to upload the files and come up with two designs that I liked.
One final note if you’re looking for a large number of shirts (say you want to give them out as presents), there are other companies that are cheaper and offer more options. A few that I looked at and thought could be good for larger print jobs (but I don’t have actual experience with) are:
And CafePress can be good if you need help with your design, but they are definitely more expensive:
Do you have boat shirts? Or hats, mugs or anything else? Upload a photo to The Boat Galley’s Facebook page and show them off!