It is a pretty cooling feeling when you’re out somewhere (or even at your own show) and you see someone with your band logo on their shirt. There are a few different avenues that you can take to make that dream a reality. You just need to know your fan base and what they will buy and for how much. That is, until you make it big and everyone will want anything with your band’s name on it. You need to consider how much you are actually able to spend for the first initial up front cost. If all goes well, you shouldn’t have to lay out money for shirts again.
You can do it yourself to start yourself off to raise money to get better shirts in the future. All you need to do is get bulk packs of t-shirts, some letter stencils and fabric markers or paint. If you can spell your band’s name and follow inside of the stencil, bam… you have dirt cheap shirts to sell at your next show.
If you don’t feel that is the route you want to go, you can always shop locally. It’s good to give back to small business anyway. This will give you more shirts at one time with better quality, but it will cost you about $200 more. You will also be able to get more for them when you sell them at your shows. If you get about 100 shirts with a single color image, you will probably spend about $400. If you sell those shirts for $10, you are making a $600 profit and you’ll be able to get your next batch of shirts while still having $200 in your band’s pocket.
The last way you can go about it, is to shop online. It’s the same process as going to a local printing press near you, except you’re going to pay extra money for shipping.
It really all comes down to your starting budget and what you can afford first out of the gate.