What’s New?

A lot changes in a few months, it turns out. Let’s run through it all, shall we?

A lot changes in a few months, it turns out. Let’s run through it all, shall we?

Hoodies + Multiple Tee Options

Did you ever think, “I wish that shirt came in a different color”? Or, maybe, “Tees are great. But it’s getting cold. I could use a hoodie.” We read your mind. Each Cotton Bureau design can now be printed on up to three different blanks (blanks are what screenprinters call the item that receives the ink). If you’ve worked with us before, you might be curious how the process has changed. As in the past, you submit you artwork along with your preference for the primary design execution. We then work carefully with the you to come up with a few additional great looking options—say, a neutral-style for those that prefer black or grey tees or a brighter option for those that like a little more color in their wardrobe.

More Sizes

Besides the additional style options per design, we’re also very pleased to be able to now offer a fuller range of sizes. Nearly every new design on the site is now also available in Men’s XS as well as Men’s 3–5X. We’re still actively exploring sizes and manufacturing options, so if you have particular needs, please let us know.

Design Improvements

You know what’s really important for a retail site? Making it easy for the customer to buy things. Increasing the complexity of the design page by adding more products meant we needed to find an even smarter and more elegant way to communicate your options. We whiteboarded a depressingly-large number of techniques. In the end, we think we really nailed it though.

Each design has a number of executions, which we’re showing as a stack of options to the right of the product preview. Each option shows the most important details: manufacturer, fabric, color, and an SVG icon showing the shape and texture. Selecting any of those options updates the product preview to the left (or above if you’re using a smaller screen).

You’ll notice we chose to build something custom here instead of using a dropdown. Dropdowns are lazy design. We’re showing you more information, reducing the number of taps or clicks, and giving you a bigger tap and click target. We built a similarly-custom size selector. Again, rather than using a dropdown, we’re showing each available size as a nice, big clickable target. We think the attention to detail on this page is going to make a difference.

Once we got started tweaking the design, we just couldn’t stop. The home page has been lightened up. We’re back to using product mockups instead of the zoomed-in detail view thanks to our fancy new mockup templates we re-built (you can pick those up right here), but you can filter by detail, tee, and, now, hoodie. If you’re really paying close attention, you’ll also notice we moved away from our beloved Futura to the friendlier Brandon Grotesque and sprinkled in Minion Pro for contrast.

Designer Payouts

It is essential to us that designers are fairly compensated for the designs they sell on Cotton Bureau. Because printing t-shirts is a pretty straight-forward process, we’ve never allowed designers to set arbitrarily large, Kickstarter-style goals. If a design hits 12, we’re going to print it. It’s your job as a designer or community leader to find ways to promote it without misleading and manipulating your fans. Kickstarter projects need a critical mass of people to fund an idea; t-shirts don’t. That’s why we automatically increase our designer payouts as our costs decrease. Each time you hit a new cost tier—50, 75, 100, 150, 600, and 1200 items—we add $1 to your margin. Every item successfully sold counts toward those tiers, no strings attached.

Looks like that’s about it. The next 12 months are going to be as busy for us as ever, and the next four weeks are absolutely critical. We’ve got a truckload of features we really, really want to add to the site. If you want to see that happen, we still need your help. Follow us on Twitter and sign up for the newsletter if you haven’t already (in addition to our lovely, weekly newsletter highlighting all things awesome about Cotton Bureau, you’ll also receive a 10% OFF COUPON as a token of our appreciation an inducement to spend money with us.

One last thing: please, please tell a friend about Cotton Bureau. Christmas is right around the corner here in the U.S. It’s just not possible to give a better gift than one of our small-batch tees and hoodies.