About this project
Change their world. Brighten yours.
The Thread Council Project is being launched to get you great apparel – and change the world for some of the most accomplished graphic apparel designers in the industry.
The artists in this project create apparel, albums and more for more than 300 of the biggest brands and bands in the world – from Aerosmith to Jay Z, Levi’s to Prince, and everyone in between.
For this Kickstarter, we're launching with these artists:
This Kickstarter offers their original (and we think best) work – independent of any band or retailer. When you back this campaign, you get great shirts and other rewards, and support our ability to take these artists' work to a larger market, and add many more designs.
Our first designs
All shirt rewards are available with your choice of these designs, in men's (S thru 3XL) and women's (S through 2XL). Click the image to see a detailed view.
Our main focus is t-shirts, but for this campaign only, there are lots of other, fun rewards, including hoodies, custom shoes, and even a chance to collaborate on a new design.
You can choose any design above for any t-shirt reward. For more details see the text descriptions at right.
Brandon is a really talented guy. He designs best selling apparel for some of the biggest bands and brands in the world. He does that by staying on top of design trends, printing methods, musical tastes, and cultural trends.
Sure, people first see his shirts because of the musician or brand. But it’s his design that made them best sellers, often better than all the other ones a musician or retailer sells. That’s why they hire him, again and again.
But while his skills helps him drive sales for others, his name, and his own, original work, are largely unknown. And he's not the only one.
This is the way the industry works. The Thread Council Project is being launched to do change that. We do that by sharing revenue, by putting the artist front and center, and by giving them a way to sell their own, original work, independent of any band or retailer.
Why we're doing this
This Kickstarter campaign, once funded, will give independent artists like Brandon a new way to to offer their best work, share in the revenue, and be recognized for it.
The funds will let us manufacture and ship the first group of shirts, pay the artists, and get the word out (and send you the cool rewards listed here). And send you the rewards described in this campaign.
But it's bigger than that: It will also let us start building a system to launch amazing designs every month, publicize them, and get more and more independent artists a platform for their original work, and the recognition that goes with it.
With this simple commitment, we've attracted some of the best artists in the business. They (and we) are incredibly excited about what this campaign could mean for their future, and that of independent artists in general.
This campaign features designs by Brandon and...
About the shirts
Every design is unique, and won't be seen elsewhere. But no matter the fabric color or graphic design, the Thread Council Shirt is always the same high quality, combed cotton, tee, similar in feel to what you'd pay $50 or $100 at a boutique. A tailored, high quality shirt -- not one of those heavy cotton ones best suited for working under the car or in the yard. The Thread Council Shirt is something you'd wear out for a casual evening, or a 'dress casual' informal workplace. And if it fits once, it will always fit -- no matter what graphics, color or artwork you select, the shirt itself is always the same cut, quality and style.
The best tee shirt guarantee ever
And tees are just the beginning. As you can see from the special rewards, there are lots more products coming from our artists beyond tees. But the only way you can get those now is through the Kickstarter rewards.
Where the money goes
With a successful Kickstarter campaign, we will be able to set up a repeatable system to regularly launch new products with our artists.
Specifically, at our goal level of $50,000, we will be able to:
- Complete all designs, customized for different apparel, from our initial group of artists
- Prepare them for printing, including color separations, film, and creation of custom screens
- Manufacture all items, both for the rewards and for future events
- Prepare for future products -- including commissioning several dozen additional graphics to be offered in future runs by the same artists
- Create regional events and “popups” to help artists get the word out around the U.S.
- Get the word out to bloggers, writers and music fans, talking about each Thread Council artist and their capabilities, so that their fans know who they are, and how to find their work.
Plus, once we approach $50,000, we have some stretch goals and surprise products that we’ll tell you about.
We will deliver, because we know how
We can change the apparel industry -- and at the same time, guarantee anyone pledging that if funded the product will ship, and ship on time. We have already secured production, done test runs, shipped out samples, and figured out our costs at every step.
Why we're doing it
Risks and challenges
Our approach is new, but the process behind it isn't. We know exactly how to get this stuff made and shipped. We've done it before. It isn't fancy technology. It's time honored, high-end quality screen printing done right in the San Francisco Bay Area.
We guarantee anyone pledging that once the project is funded, we will ship, and ship on time. We have already secured production, done test runs, shipped out samples, and figured out our costs at every step.
And, for the Inspiration Awards, our artists will make themselves available just as promised -- they are as excited about this as we are.
It all works once our Kickstarter campaign is successfully funded. If we raise beyond the goal, we will add more and more artists and styles to the mix. We will also be able accelerate the introduction of the the other product categories you see in the Rewards list.
We're changing the rules so independent artists are known and rewarded for their original, and we think best, work, and we have the expertise to do it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
When the campaign is successfully funded, we'll send you a survey asking you. You'll be able to pick from any of the designs now on the design grid, in both men's (S thru 3XL) and women's (S through 2XL) sizes.
For the rewards where the supporter gets to collaborate on a new design, what is the royalty? Are there other conditions?
In those rewards that refer to a royalty, the amount is 5 percent of the price we receive for the shirt when we sell it. (The designer also gets a share separately.)
What does that work out to be? The price we sell them for may vary, but we expect them to retail for $25 to $30, so in that case you would get $1.25 to $1.50 per shirt sold. If the design is used on a $50 hoodie, that would work out to $2.50 each. That may not sound like a lot but by the time we print, ship, and pay the artist, it's a big chunk of the profit. The industry norm is a lot less, if there is any royalty at all.
And if a product sells well, it can work out to be a lot, and there's no "cap" on how much we pay.
We can't guarantee how much we'll sell of any design, or even if it will sell at all. But we know the industry pretty well, and it’s not unusual for graphic t-shirts to sell 1,000 to 5,000 units on t-shirt websites, and a “hit” can sell 10,000 units or more. Again, no guarantees but we plan to market all our designs aggressively after the campaign. And we hope the artists and collaborators involved will help spread the word!
Finally, the fine print: We own the copyright on all designs created this way, but we have the royalty obligation to the collaborator indefinitely -- any time we use it on a product, now or in the future. That's also not typical -- most designs in the industry are "buy outs" with no royalties, and only a few hundred dollars total. Unless you’re the Rolling Stones. But even then, the artist who designed their shirts probably gets no royalty at all, only the band.
When you pledge, the checkout process will see your Canadian address and may automatically increase your pledge with an international shipping charge. You can then just change it back, since Canadian shipping is now free, the same as U.S. Sorry for the extra step!
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