Thursday, December 12, 2013

AlliedShirts.com Custom T-shirt Review and Giveaway (ends 12/21)

Have you ever wanted to design your own T-shirt? Even if you’re not a member of a group that needs a batch of shirts, it can be fun to design your own custom made T-shirt. And kids love it when you hang their artwork on the refrigerator; how cool would it be to have their artwork made into their very own shirt? Keep reading to enter for your chance to win a free custom T-shirt from AlliedShirts.com!

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I was recently given the opportunity to review a custom designed T-shirt from AlliedShirts.com. Since I like companies that let me get creative and design my own stuff, I jumped at the chance. I’m not a member of any sort of group or organization that needs custom designed T-shirts at the moment, though. Still, I thought it would be a fun project, and I was curious about the quality of their projects for future reference. And let me just say, I was VERY impressed with the results!
I decided to design a shirt with my 8-year-old son, Braeden, in mind. Braeden has autism and is primarily non-verbal, but boy can that kid draw! His output level is amazing – we buy printer paper and markers by the case. (If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ve already seen some of his artwork in my Wordless Wednesday posts). Sadly, his pleasure comes from creating the artwork, not from saving it and admiring it later. Once he’s done creating, oftentimes he’ll crumple up his creation and throw it away. If I’m lucky he’ll display it (usually on the floor) long enough for me to get a picture of it. One of my favorite pictures that he’s done was of a ghost – the picture itself is long gone, but I was able to get a photo of it. When I started talking to Allied Shirts, that picture was the first thing that came to mind. “Hey, I bet that would look great on a T-shirt!” Here’s the original image:

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I really don’t know my way around photo editing software, but with a little time (and Googling) I was able to crop the image and make the background transparent. If your image has a plain background, the design tool will automatically ask you if you want the background to be clear or solid (so you don’t end up with a big white rectangle around your image). Since the background of my artwork wasn’t a solid color, I figured it was best to make it transparent myself.

 Design

If you’re like me and don’t really know your way around a photo editing program, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble by contacting their Customer Love team to see if they can help you out with the image editing for your shirt. Or if you’re struggling with your design or just have questions, their number is right at the top right corner of their site and they’re available to help you M-F from 7am to 9pm CT and Saturdays 9am to 6pm CT. I submitted my order on November 20th, and the estimated delivery date for their free standard shipping was December 6th. But the extremely helpful representative I spoke with told me that they’re fast, and she was right – my order showed up just seven days after I placed it! I ordered two shirts with the same design – one for me and one for Braeden. Here’s what we got:


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And here’s a close-up of the artwork on the shirt:

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Like I said earlier, I was VERY impressed with the quality! I wasn’t sure how well a photograph of a marker-media drawing that I’d edited with my questionable graphics skills was going to translate onto a T-shirt, but they did a great job with it!

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When Braeden saw the shirts, he was fascinated and thrilled – one of those moments that all moms live for, when you see how happy your child is about something. He couldn’t stop looking at it and touching it, he was so excited.

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REALLY excited and happy.

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I wanted to get a picture of us together wearing our matching shirts, but Braeden really isn’t much for posing for pictures. He’s not a fan of holding still, and he’ll smile if he has something to smile about but not just because someone’s pointing a camera at him and pleading with him to “just please smile, just for a second so I can get this picture, please?” He had a lot to smile about, but no reason to hold still or otherwise cooperate with the picture-taking.

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I also am not a fan of the camera, but I did let my husband take a picture of me wearing my awesome new shirt. Well, more like he ambushed me with a camera and a questionable action that he knew would make me give him the “exasperated wife” expression. Don't ask.

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The design tool on Allied Shirts’ website is really easy to use. There are a lot of options you can pick from to really get the full customizable experience, but you can also easily design a basic custom T-shirt if you’re not looking for anything fancy.
  • First, pick a T-shirt style and color. They have a variety of unisex and women’s options in both long and short sleeves, plus hoodies and sweatshirts)
  • The sizes range from Youth Small up to 4XL - some shirt styles have limited size options, so make sure the size you need is available in the style you selected before you start designing.
  • Next you add in your text. There are lots of fonts and colors to choose from; you can change the font size and move the text around to where you want it. You can add more than one box of text also (if you want lettering both above and below your image, for example).
  • Next add the artwork. You can choose from a huge selection of clipart available right in their design tool (categories include Animals/Mascots, Emergency/Medical, Holiday/Seasonal, Nature, Symbols, and Trades/Crafts, among MANY others). Or you can upload your own artwork, which is what I did. You’re not limited to just one image, either – you can add in multiple pieces of clipart and/or uploaded images. Move it around, resize it, add color to the clipart, change the layer order (put the picture under or over the text or other images) – so many choices!
  • You can add names and numbers to the back of the shirt by calling customer service (they’re working to make this option available online, though!)
  • Finally you go to the Get Pricing tab – based on your selections, a per-shirt price will come up after you choose your size and quantity and click “calculate.” The more you buy, the more you save!
  • If you click on “Save” and enter your email address, they’ll send you a link to your saved shirt design so you can show it around and get feedback before making your final decision. This gives you the chance to check with your teammates/family/youth group/whatever group you might want to order custom T-shirts for to get final approval on your design. (If you share the link to your custom design with me in the comments, you’ll get 10 extra entries into the giveaway in the Giveaway Tools widget below!)
  • There isn’t a minimum order for their budget and classic T-shirts, but you do need to order at least 12 shirts if you want the fashion styles or hoodies.
Okay, enough of my rambling, right? On with the giveaway! There are lots of ways to enter to win, and not a mandatory one among ‘em! Just complete the entries you want, but remember more entries = better chances of being selected as the WINNER! Don’t forget about the daily options you can do for LOTS of bonus entries! Use the Giveaway Tools widget below to enter for your chance to win one totally FREE short sleeve Gildan shirt from Allied Shirts! (Front printing only; this contest is only open to US residents age 18+).

Allied Shirts recommends: BuildASign.com & Printcopia

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DISCLAIMER: I received one or more of the items mentioned herein free for review purposes; nonetheless, all opinions expressed are my own except where noted otherwise. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides, Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Your information will not be sold or shared; it is used by the blog owner only and solely for verification/prize fulfillment. Dividing by Zero is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

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