TeeFury – Cool Shirts and a Smart Gimmick
My daughter recently turned me on to TeeFury a website that sells original, limited edition t-shirts with a very clever marketing gimmick. It’s worth looking at here because good art and clever marketing are our bread and butter.
The concept of TeeFury is very simple. Artists submit t-shirt designs which they produce and sell at a reasonable price with a 10% payout to the artists. The clever twist is that each shirt is only available for 24 hours and then is never offered again. The limited edition of the shirts and the dedicated marketing for that 24 hours means that every design gets a chance to sink or swim on its merits in a mercilessly short period of time. It’s good experience for the artist and with the relatively low price fans come back again and again, buying shirts as a sort of vote on the designs they like.
Some of the shirts have done very well, selling over 2000 units in a single day. Successful artists then come back and submit new designs, doing what they can to repeat their success, and in some cases doing very well. Several artists have made over $20,000 with multiple shirts even though their share is only $1 per shirt. Obviously this also means that the clever folks who came up with the idea are making even more money, but they do take on all the risk and overhead.
Of course, the frustrating aspect of this for fans is that they never know what shirts are going to get picked and shirts they missed are unavailable after the fact unless the artist prints some for sale later. For the artist the question is whether you want to be at the mercy of the TeeFury staff as far as when or if your shirt gets picked to be featured. It’s kind of a gamble whether it’s worth waiting and hoping for the higher sales TeeFury’s model will produce or the hard self-marketing work and smaller sales over a longer period of time from Etsy or Cafe Press or one of the more traditional alternatives.
The two designs shown here are for the two most recent shirts. Of course, by the time most of you read this neither of them will be available anymore and something new will have come up in the cycle.
New Font: BigBlok
A great many years ago when working in game publishing I had a real fascination with doing titles in a strong, super-bold font called Bolt Bold. The truth is I rather overused it. In doing some research I find it on more than a dozen different game books I wrote in the early 80s, all quite collectable and out of print today.
Butterfield is based on letting from a poster for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. It can be found as part of Psychedelic Fonts Collection package. It has a unique look particularly characteristic of the 60s and especially suited to use on posters. It has a full set of numbers and punctuation, plus custom small [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Doge is a new font based on samples of late-renaissance period lettering from Venice, preserved and reproduced by early 20th century calligrapher and designer J. M. Bergling. It has some similarity to some of our other fonts based on lettering from the same period[...]
Dahlgren is a heavyweight, square shaped font which works well for titles and display uses. Its an original design, with a standard character set and a set of outline characters. It takes its name from the Civil War era engineer who designed the Dahlgren Gun. You can try the DEMO version of Dahlgren for fre[...]
Wolfram is a great example of early 20th century type design. It is bold and intended for use in posters and signage, but it has rough outlines for a mock antique look. It also has an unusually wide footprint for a very striking look.We originally produced Wolfram in the mid-90s, and it has been somewhat revise[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Our original Folkard font has achieved near legendary status as one of the most interesting calligraphic title fonts of the contemporary era. It has been enormously popular and appeared on movie titles, book covers, t-shirts and games. However it is not the only [...]
It has taken a lot of hours of development, but we finally have our promised Walter Crane Initials font. Or should I say FOUR fonts, because in the process of developing the font it turned out that we ended up with more than we bargained for. One reason that there are four fonts is that there was so[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Escargot is based on lettering from the cover of an early pulp novel I came across a couple of months ago. It's a strong example of a distinctive style of sign and poster lettering from the 1930, characterized by super high contrast between the weighting on the le[...]
Phaeton is one of our earliest Art Nouveau designs, a lovely example of period title lettering based on French samples. This new release has some significant improvements to the outlines and additional characters added to the basic set. You can find Phaeton in our Art Nouveau Collection or order it individua[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Tantalus is a display font for titles with a basic Roman design and elaborately embellished characters. It features the more decorative versions of the characters in the upper case positions and a plain caps set in the lower case positions. It's a neat whimsical font and if you ne[...]
I don't know what came over me one Halloween, but I couldn't get the idea of dancing skeletons out of my head. The classic dance of death, but a bit more expressive, with the skeletons working together to form the letters of a font. This resulted in the design for the Bonyeard font, where each letter is made [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Malagua was originally released in 1999 and has been revised several times since then, culminating in this new release with improved weighting and additional special characters. MAlagua is based on examples of rough hand lettering from the 17th century. It has characteristics [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Sanhedrin is a decorative futuristic font, which features two distinct sets of different characters and a number of additional special characters. It draws some characters from the Greek alphabet and also has some unusual art nouveau character forms and a strange biblic[...]
I was out to dinner for my daughter's birthday and we went to a nice restaurant in downtown Austin called Boticelli's. Much to my surprise the logo of the restaurant was strangely familiar. It was in our Sprite font, shown to the right. In this new edition we have improved the kerning and spacing, expanded alt[...]
Vasilisa is based on Russian folk art lettering from the pre-revolutionary period. It is included in our original Russian Fonts and Art package. It is very readable in English but also includes elements of Cyrillic lettering. It is evocative of rural Russian life and fits well with the hand crafted peasant wood[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Iphegenia was one of our early designs, a creative advertising script font with a modern, hand-drawn look but regular character forms and a nice even line to it. It has high readability despite its decorative look and works well in combination with a variety of other fo[...]
BUY NOW Magdelena is one of our earliest and most successful calligraphic fonts. Based on samples of very late medieval lettering, it shows some characteristics of humanistic script styles as well as some unique peculiarities. This new version has a slightly heavier weighting than the original vers[more]
For years we've been adding to what has become an outstanding library of illustrated books by Arts and Crafts era designer Walter Crane, and all that work has come to fruition with the release of selected Walter Crane material in outstanding packages customized for contemporary designers who want to incorporate his uni[more]
decorative Initials font consists of characters which combine basic letter forms with artistic embellishment, often in the form of floral or geometric patterns used as a background or intertwined with the letter. Decorative Initials have their origins in medieval manuscript decoration where complex and colorful chara[more]
I was browsing through the new release section in my local bookstore, enjoying the nostalgia of the printed book, when my eye was caught by an historical novel called "The Siege Winter." More specifically the cover design drew my attention, because it used one of our earliest fonts, Cymbeline. More particularly I was s[more]
For the fifth year in a row the SXSW festival in Austin has featured the Flatstock poster show with some of the best original gig posters from around the world on display and for sale. I've attended each of these and filed a report: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. In previous years I went with the intention of providing[more]
BUY NOW True Golden is a classic font based on a design by legendary arts and crafts designer and author William Morris. It is a special rendering of Morris' Golden type, based on printed samples rather than digitized steel type, preserving a more accurate representation of the look in print. True[more]
We have seen many efforts to bring customizable fonts to the web, from primitive rasterized characters in the early days to Macromedia/Adobe's SWF fonts and Google's Webfonts, which are probably the most successful mass market implementations. The goal has always been to take your fonts and make them appear the way you[more]
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