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Custom Product Services

So everyone has heard of Cafepress, right? Well, I have put up items with my designs on them before, but never ordered anything or have anybody ordered any of my stuff, so I don't know how well their service works.

I did find Cafepress' base prices to be a bit high, so I looked around and found a service called Spreadshirt that has a lot more choices in clothing and other products that I'm more interested in and they were overall cheaper than Cafepress. I toyed with the product creation process, which was actually an imbed applet and it was pretty hard to put on an image at my desired DPI of 300 so I don't know how well a high resolution image would work and if the quality would be that great.

Anyway, I was curious... Has anyone used this service, and if so, how was the quality of work and the professionalism of the company?

If people have had bad experiences with this place, I'll probably just continue going with Cafepress. I just wanted to know before I wasted my time and money with them. :P
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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 19th, 2007 03:32 am (UTC)
I can't find the design on the site right now, but I'm pretty sure I ordered a shirt from them before (with the text from the opening of BSG on it: "the cylons were made by man, etc...").

I was not thrilled. The letters were peeling off at the first wearing. They gave me a full refund and I managed to iron them back down and they've stuck since...although with the corners peeled up a bit, but I'm not sure how long before they just fall off completely.

However, I've heard good things about them from other people so it's possible I just happened to get a fluke shirt that wasn't originally ironed properly or something. I'm not sure.
Jun. 21st, 2007 03:55 am (UTC)
This comment refers to Spreadshirt, by the way. Never ordered anything from Cafe Press so I don't know what they're like.
Jun. 19th, 2007 05:18 am (UTC)
Ive used cafepress before to make some tee-shirts with my original artwork on them and was very pleased with the outcome. One shirt was too big but that was my fault. I got some boxers for my boyfriend and they are holding up well (just beware, they are openfly so no buttons! If you ever consider them.) and he uses bleach on them. The image is still clear.

The only thing that bothered me was the lack of colour choices. Other than that, great.
Jun. 19th, 2007 06:48 am (UTC)
I dunno about Spreadshirt but I've heard nothing but bad things about Cafe Press. I've had friends buy shirts there and had the print wash off the shirt after 3 or 4 washes :/

Now I'm not sure what the technique is called but there's a way of pressing simple designs of solid colours onto shirts at high temperatures and that stuff will last forever. I'm sure someone here knows what it's called.
I'm fortunate enough to have met some young people who offered to print whatever design for me and not resell the design and their prices aren't that high.

I'm not much help here... You might wanna open a phonebook and see if there's T-shirt pressing services locally. That way you can nip by and check the quality of their printing before you do anything plus you'd be supporting a small local business.
Jun. 19th, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC)
Actually Cafepress now offers two different types of printing options (Direct Printing and Heat Transfer), and you can choose between the two. I always use Direct Printing, because it's the more permanent of the two: it actually embeds the image in the fabric. (I think that might be the method you were thinking of.) Before they used to just do Heat Transfer, and that's the stuff that flakes off.

They keep upgrading their work, color selection, and quality over time, from what I've seen. I bought some stuff from them way back in the day, and you're right, it was pretty darned crappy. Then this past year a friend of mine had some designs that were too cute to pass up, so I risked it, and I LOVE them. And they've worn really well so far, no peeling or cracking or fading at all.
Jun. 19th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
Interesting! :3
Jun. 19th, 2007 07:54 am (UTC)
I wasn't able to order anything from spreadshirt.com because each design you upload requires someone to manually look at it and approve it. It can take 24-48 hours, if your design is approved, so you won't be able to do anything with your design immediately.
I think it's good that they quality control and check the compatibility of your art for printing, but they sent me an e-mail with roughly 6-10 different reasons why my file was rejected, so I don't know -exactly- what to fix.

I did just recently order two shirts from cafepress.com, one black and one white. I'm very pleased with the quality on each, especially with how vibrant the white print turned out to be on the black shirt.
The printing and shipping for my order was under 2 weeks, so that was also a positive experience.

I may try spreadshirt.com in the future with a different design, but from the looks of it, they appear to be a reputable company with quality products. :)
Jun. 19th, 2007 03:55 pm (UTC)
I just checked out Spreadshirt, according to their site, if you use the digital printing method, they don't have to be approved. But they do say that it's liable to fade.

Info on their printing types:

Jun. 19th, 2007 04:02 pm (UTC)
And now for my own comment (instead of just replying to everyone else's LOL)...

I'm a little concerned about Spreadshirt's quality based on their OWN statements about their printing. They have two types: flex/flock and direct. They say themselves that their flex/flock can crack and peel, and that their direct transfer will fade over time.

Cafepress keeps improving their stuff, I've worked with them for years, and I keep seeing advancements in their quality and selection. If you're going to be offering T-shirts, I'd say go with Cafepress, and maybe send their customer service an email about additional products you'd like to see. Use Spreadshirt for those bags because Cafepress doesn't have them and because they don't have to go thru multiple washings so the print durability is less important.

If I had the money, I'd order one of those bags myself, maybe two (one of each print type) to check them out and to have my own personalized bags for cons. I'm sorely tempted as it is, but unless I sell this darned house like, tomorrow, I have NO spare money at ALL. :P
Jun. 20th, 2007 04:43 am (UTC)
I've only ever had one experience with Cafepress and I was disappointed. I had ordered a t-shirt with a full-color illustration graphic on the front. The colors were dead on but the image was much smaller than it had been shown on the sample images from the website. Also, after one washing the graphic was faded considerably - to the point where I don't want to wear it anymore.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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