How I Started My Own T-Shirt Brand **PART 2**

In Part 1 of this series I outlined the process of coming up with a name and developing a brand identity for my t-shirt brand, Deftment. Now I will explain a bit about everything else leading up to our launch. While coming up with the branding for Deftment, the designing of the actual tees were also underway. The design process was pretty straight-forward, I usually start with sketches or just writing down ideas in my sketch book before I start doing anything on the computer. For our first line, close to 50 designs were done that we needed to cut down to five final choices to be printed.

Some of the initial designs

Some of the initial designs

We ended up choosing the design to the far right.

We ended up choosing the design to the far right.

Top Left was chosen 

Top Left was chosen 

A couple of the above designs made the initial print, but most did not for various reasons. Some of the multi-coloured ones had to be taken out for cost purposes, others weren't used because they did not fit in with the ultimate aesthetic of the brand, and some weren't used because they just weren't good enough. At the end of the day, we wanted to not be able to choose a favourite amongst the final designs and we knew that to achieve this we had to spend a lot of time honestly critiquing the work. 

Rejected Test Print 1- The black strokes were a bit too thin

Rejected Test Print 1- The black strokes were a bit too thin

Rejected Test Print 2- The text was too thin and did not match what we wanted.

Rejected Test Print 2- The text was too thin and did not match what we wanted.

After choosing the final designs, the next step was actually sourcing the tees and getting them printed. From the very beginning we knew that we wanted our tees to be of the highest quality which would result in slightly higher prices, but we knew that people would pay for the great quality that we intended to supply. After locking down a US based t-shirt supplier, we found a local print shop to deal with the printing. One of our first problems was that we probably didn't give ourselves enough time to print, and therefore received the final t-shirts on the morning of our launch. It was a close call, but luckily everything worked out in the end.

Nick, Laura, Kevin & Ashley at the Launch.

Nick, Laura, Kevin & Ashley at the Launch.

We launched on a Friday night at a retail store that was being occupied by a couple friends (Laura & Ashley) for the summer months. Deftment was going to move into their space for a couple days to launch the brand. On the Friday night we had drinks, music and all round good vibes. What made it better was that a lot of our friends passed in and made purchases. The compliments as well as the actual purchases legitimized the amount of hard work we put in, and it was definitely worth it in the end.

In Part 3 of this series, I will share the details of where Deftment is now, and how we have developed and evolved since the inception of the brand. Here are a few more photos of the launch in the mean time----