Down in the T-shirt mines…

I spent today designing T shirts, and am making decisions regarding the silk screen process. Silkscreen looks great; it uses FLAT (“spot”) colors; and it costs more for every color used. More colors = significantly more expensive shirt, since every color gets a separate screen press.

So I’ve got two approaches:
1. colorful shirts using 6 to 8 colors = EXPENSIVE
2. one-color shirts (using gold in my examples) = CHEAP

What do you think? I’m working in a vacuum here and need some feedback.

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More images after the fold.

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34 comments to Down in the T-shirt mines…

  • Hi,

    I also work with silk screen T’s. Having colorful T’s and mass producing them is quite difficult but in my experience people tend to like the colorful shirts. It depends on what the shirts are costing you and how much you are charging. In all honesty the colorful shirts better represent your film, which is very colorful. However if you do end up going with the gold its all good since gold is such an iconic color for traditional Indian fare. Further you might consider doing the shadow puppets in black silhouette those are also awesome! Best of luck. I am getting one either way!

  • Well, I definitely want one of the puppet Ts. Especially Puppet #2. :)

    I think you shoudl do one or two single-color (gold is good)T-shirt and at least one full-color T-shirt.

    Also like movie name on back as opposed to sleeve.

  • A agree with Zamzam– the full color ones represent the film best. Maybe 1 multi and 1 mono? Then fans could have the option depending on their current corporate bailout status…

    (I like the phonograph the most, myself)

  • I’ll buy an expensive one if you make it. The more colors the better.

  • John Farrell

    I like them all except the monochrome Laxmis. The gold on black Shiva looks fine. I’d kill for a Bhuvaneshwari T-shirt.

  • Julie Romain

    These are all BEAUTIFUL, but I really think the femme t-shirts with full-color Laxmi on the pink background and on the olive background will be the most fashionable. I would definitely wear either of these!

  • rax

    I love the Shiva one! Looks great even with just one color.

    The Laxmi one is good too, but I think she looked great when she winked.

    I would absolutely positively buy a full color t-shirt of that scene of Mother earth with sita inside. Its been my desktop wallpaper for far too long and I’m still not bored of it.

  • Mamculuna

    I would buy just about any of them. Cheap is good, but beautiful is also good. On the other hand, the cheaper one is still very nice.

  • Would love ’em without the deity name. Or is that too obscure?

  • I can take out the deity names, easy.

  • Randee

    I definitely want a Sita one. In color. When can we buy?

  • Truc

    Thumbs up on the colored tshirts. I’d totally go for the Laxmi women’s tee in olive green.

  • I love them, the mono colour one are great to. I will definitely buy a gold and blue, the one with record player rocks.
    take care

  • I actually like the monochrome ones better, and would probably get one of those over any of full color ones.
    Although the blue peacock against the black is v. dramatic and appealing.

  • susana

    give us both oportunitties, the cheap and expensive versions,and if you can put in the back of the fonograph version a little pic of Annete…
    where´s Sita????

  • I love them all, but sure hope the Victrola stays in the mix, I’d snap that up in a second – on black.

    Bob

  • HP

    I’d love to see a multi-color one in the same style as the one I got from Cafepress and wore at Ebertfest. Maybe expensive, but gorgeous.

  • barkingstars

    I would definitely go for full colour – that peacock design is gorgeous

  • Bonnie

    No question — full color!! Love them!!! :) Keep me posted — I’d like one….

  • Jennifer

    I love them all – but DEFINITELY use the full color… and I love the logo on the back of the tee…
    Will there be options for each t-shirt style as well? Ex… would I be able to buy the peacock/record player on one of the feminine styled t-shirts?

  • Rocky

    A colorful t-shirt would be more in line with the film but it might be very expensive to mass produce so I suggest offering both an economical and an expensive version.

  • Kat

    I have friends who sell t-shirts in Seattle – do their own silk screening – and one of the toughest battles is to have all the colors in all of the sizes. I would start with 1 full color and 2 mono. Shiva is perfect in Gold on black. Your designs are wonderful.

  • I would get the colorful one as well, no matter the price (well, as long as it’s reasonable); I think Laxmi looks better on a darker shirt so the colors pop. Either way, I can’t wait!

  • I can’t decide what I like best (what a great problem to have!), so I may have to buy at least three of these – the peacock with the phonograph, Shiva all in gold, and ohmiGawd, the shadow puppets!

    Sita is playing at the Red Vic in San Francisco this weekend, just an hour’s drive from where I live. I’m looking forward to seeing it on the big screen!

  • Lora D.

    Hi Nina,
    Beautiful designs! Here are some of my opinions. Take ’em or leave ’em.

    The peacock victrola full color t-shirt is very nice. I would definitely wear that. If I only had the money for one multi color t-shirt this would be my pick.

    I’m less into pins than t-shirts but if I had to choose between pins I would wear the peacock one before the Sita one (even though I loved Sita as a character).

    I really prefer the Laxmi monochrome. I like the gold on purple but I think the pink would be appealing too.

    I like your design of the three shadow puppets together, especially since they worked together so wonderfully in the film. The framing around them is lovely too. It appeals to me that I wouldn’t have to choose just one character. In the film they seemed like charming good friends. It’s nice to see them together. Their dark silhouettes would look really sharp on a brightly colored t-shirt. I’m imagining sun yellow or bright sky blue.

    Last night I was thinking about the monkey jazz combo and was going to suggest that to you as a t-shirt design. This morning I saw your monkey music design and was so happy. Would the whole group of monkey musicians in a row make the detail too small to reproduce?

    peace,
    Lora

    p.s. I still miss the t-shirt of the fish, with the split fountain colors, you made right before moving to S.F. I wore that thing out. It was my favorite.

  • Sophie

    I like the phonograph one. I would feel strange wearing a t-shirt with the gods of some people’s religions on it. I wouldn’t want them to wince, as if I wasn’t taking their religion seriously.

  • Suji Meswani

    Hi Nina-
    I am a big fan of your work after seeing Sita Sings the Blues during the Phila Film Fest. I also own a product development co. Have you looked into printing the t-shirts 4-color process? You put down a white flood first and then print 4-color process on top. This way you can get the richness of unlimited colors and you only have to pay for 4 screens. I stumbled on to your site because I want to see “Childless by choice” and also am trying to hear “Rama’s Great”.

  • Bevin

    All of these designs are great, I’d be really hard-pressed to pick a favorite. Personally, I really like the monochromatic Laxmi ones, especially the black and white and the gold, I’d definitely go for one of those. Shiva, the peacock Victrola, and the designs for Sita on the above post are also really great– depending on how much they wind up being, I might splurge and get one of each.

  • Leon

    I like the one color shirts better. Keep it simple. DIY

  • Mel

    So glad you are expanding the t-shirt options.

    One request…a “monster” or villian shirt?

  • Patricia Stock

    Namaste Nina

    As a yoga teacher and fellow seeker, I thoroughly enjoyed your animation, wit and creativity. Is it possible to buy a copy of this in DVD format as i wish to share it with friends, fellow yoga teachers and students.

    In our community of Cranbrook, BC , Cananda, we have the Rocky Mountain Film Festival each April. Would it be possible for the organizers of this to contact you and arrange to show this as a film?

    Keep up the impressive work. I look forward to following your career and enjoying your future work. My friend who owns Lotus Book Store would be able to sell your t-shirts too.

    OM OM, Patricia Stock

  • Patricia Stock

    Namaste Nina

    As a yoga teacher and fellow seeker, I thoroughly enjoyed your animation, wit and creativity in Sita Sings the Blues. Is it possible to buy a copy of this in DVD format as I wish to share it with friends, fellow yoga teachers and students.

    In our community of Cranbrook, BC , Cananda, we have the Rocky Mountain Film Festival each April. Would it be possible for the organizers of this to contact you and arrange to show this as a film?

    Keep up the impressive work. I look forward to following your career and enjoying your future work. My friend who owns Lotus Book Store would be able to sell your t-shirts too.

    OM OM, Patricia Stock

  • Marion

    dear nina
    a friend of mine is celebrating her birthday and we are both great sita-fans. I want to order 2 t-shirts, one for her and one for myself. We are both rather slim. Is the size small very small? We saw you in vienna promoting sita – which size would you take yourself? that should fit for us, too!:-) thanks and I love your comics, especially the cats – I have one adorable at home myself!

  • The new (Laxmi and Lexi and Sita Shadow Puppet half-sleeve U-neck) women’s shirts run quite small; in these I’m a Large. The older ones do not; in those I wear Medium.

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