Presenting – the latest thing!

London Cowgirl

London Cowgirl

First impressions count apparently, which is why presenting your wares to the prospective customer is really really important.

For those interested in selling their artwork there is a plethora of platforms (Zazzle, CafePress, Spreadshirt etc which give you the opportunity to put your creations on various articles and sell them via the off the peg e-commerce packages these services offer – on demand facilities that remove the hassle of stock management, quality control, cashflow etc and allow you to get on with the business of, well, creating.


This method is however somewhat akin to the “longtail” philosophy. The lead time between you submitting your offerings and the first purchase is variable

You could however choose to accept commissions instead and let others worry about selling the finished artcle. This is where sites like come into play

Basically the creative puts forward their tenders for a piece of work according to specifications set out by the purchaser – the winning entry gets a pre-arranged fee for the work, which then is owned by the person who organised the contest

As part of the “bidding” process it is obviously beneficial to make your visuals as attractive as possible, and again there is an abundence od templates to assist: type in “mock up” in the search engine of your choice and you have instant access to all sorts of templates. Although most of these are geared towards Photoshop, they can be used via Gimp

The image at the top was created by adapting this little beauty:

The inspiration for the image came as a side product of a brief in the on 99 designs site, and as what you see was not in line with the specificationit was decided to release it on Zazzle:



Yes the Zazzle print area is considerably smaller than that on the mock-up, but if you were commissioning a peice and paying for it then you would probably have your own pet printer facility in mind rather than using on of the on demand services.

Ps If you would like to have a personal design created please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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To boldly go……

star date

Star Date Koala T Shirt  available £14.99 + P&P

On October 4th 1957 Sputnik 1 became the first artificial Earth satellite and ushered in the Space Age

50 +Years later the general public seems to have fallen out of love with “mans greatest adventure”, or at least the efforts of the remaining rocket scientists no longer captures or inspires our imagination.

Now it might just be that you are viewing this entry via a mobile device of some sort. Now its not guaranteed that the data you are receiving has been beamed up to a satellite then relayed to a ground station, but those little tin cans circling the earth have certainly played a big part in bringing about the communication revolution, the benefits of which we reap today, and which seems to drive almost every aspect of our modern lives.

To commemorate this auspicious date Original Koala are proud to bring you the Star Date Koala Tshirt

Derived from the poster for Star Trek the Motion Picture, this design is available from the usual Spreadshirt site. If you have followed the schedule of designs released you will be aware of the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) entendres that have featured, so should easily pick up on the double meaning of the phrase Star Date!

So guys next time you are headed out to that singles bar why not consider pulling on one of these babies rather than your usual soccer top or lounge suit – geek is chic and the ladies might just like the sense of humour, If you can’t  leave them happy at least leave them laughing!

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Jacks New Design


Dunno T shirt available from Spreadshirt £9.90 + P&P

One of the beauties of the “on demand” facilities is the time it takes to get from design to product and sale.

Last week my son came home and said that he wanted me to create a T-Shirt for him. He was very specific about what his requirements were. An anime style squirrel with the words Dunno. We quickly ran through, the design process, and ended up with the result you see here.

In some ways he was a perfect client – although vague in terms of the actual imagery, after looking through Google Images for pictures of squirrels, squirrel logos etc we quickly narrowed down the concept. “But it has to be original” he said “I don’t want any trouble with copyright” – at nine years old he has a strong idea of what could constitute a breach.

Next came the font, I added a high impact font and asked for his input. “Could you make it sloped?”(italic) he asked.

Next we moved onto whether he wanted a SVG file or a PNG and the advantages and disadvantages of each. As the image was supposed to be anime he agreed that we could try to get away with three colours but when we tried to work within these confines he decided that the font had to be a different colour so we went the PNG route.

With the idea almost complete we moved onto how the design would look on different backgrounds.  After some experimentation we settled on the colours you see, concluding that  these would work equally well  on dark and light fabrics alike.

With all of those decisions made the design was finalised and the order placed with Spreadshirt this time last week.

The finished article arrived on our doorstep Friday and Jack has been wearing it all weekend

From concept to delivery in less than a week is pretty good going in my opinion!

Jack is very excited about his first foray into production, and one day hopes to open a chain of shops selling t-shirts and smoothies that will fund his animation production company,

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Now you see it….

This is not a design by Original Koala. It comes from BoroSix and can be found on their Zazzle store here

I’ve chosen to feature it for two reasons:

  1. I really like it and think it worthy of wider exposure1970s_vintage_stripes_tee lite
  2. It illustrates the need to consider the canvas on which a design will feature

On navy the blue elements of the design merge into the background colour, making it seem more integral to the overall design of the shirt.

However, on the light blue shirt the design visually separates from the garment.

Now it may be that is the intention of BoroSix, and it certainly means that the design can be printed on any background. The red line similarly merges into the background on the red t-shirt, yet on the other colour options available the red white and blue retain their resolution.

Zazzle gives the artist the option of which colours their designs can be printed on, whereas the colours on Spreadshirt are dependent on the items chosen and the options available

This presents a few extra factors to take into consideration when using “transparent areas in your design

international13No 13 is a design based on the Martini Racing colour scheme. Spreadshirt offer two types of printing on their platform

“Plot printing is known for its high quality and durability, while digital printing allows for multiple colours and gradients. ”

The decision was made to go for the Plot printing option which dictated that a SVG file be blackcreated to give a sharper graphic. However, only three colours can be used in the file so it was a conscious choice to use the background colour of the T-shirt (via negative projection) to create a four colour print.

This works fine on the lighter colours but certain darker colours present problems, as can be seen by the same article in black

However not all is lost because a feature of the Plot printing is that the three colours of the design can also be changed without having to upload a different version for each variation.  This facility means that the designer can still make their designs workable on the available range of products on the platform.

Below are variations on the design showing the tweeks for the different backgrounds:

retropurple retrointernational retrogreen

miamiAs you can see the alteration of the design colours and its impact vary, but this effectively means that the designer has a wider set of options from the same design .

Another thing that has become clear in the genesis of this series is the need to ensure the levels of contrast – all variations on No13 would probably benefit from the “International” also being displayed via negative projection.

Be careful with that Alpha channel folks!

No13 T Shirts are available via Original Koalas Spreadshirt store

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Fagache No1 It’s probably not so much that I’m in a rut design wise, rather that certain elements, and combining them keep me from moving onto the next design

The first of these is the apparently copyrighted layout that is synonymous with Chanel No5

If Brian Lichtenberg can get away with parodying Hermes them I see nothing wrong with mimicking the erstwhile fashion house in my creations

The second is my current fascination with tartan and that wonderful design facility on the Scotweb site – I could spend hours just experimenting with the variations.

Lastly my fascination with the World’s fascination with labels just keeps me going around in circles at the moment.

Slap a name on something and suddenly you increase its apparent value, without really adding anything that enhances the functionality of the object itself .

This is the power of association and it seems to have a grip, particularly in the fashion stakes that is insidious to say the least.  Why else would somebody willingly pay to buy what they know is a fake other than to associate themselves, and by extension their aspiration of a lifestyle, with that which matches ownership of the genuine article?

So please bear with me while I work this through my system, and feast your eyes on Fa Gaché No1, a fashion statement for the underclass of the UK!

Combining the typographic layout of Chanel over a tartan pattern reminiscent of Burberry, means that Original Koala goes one step further than fagacheno1Mr Lichentenberg by parodying TWO haute couture icons in one design.

If you truly are the urbane radical that you suppose yourself to be then can you afford not to have at least one of these in your wardrobe?

Theres is a more understanded version on the store for Him, and arguably this has more integrity than the designer version, relying on the pun itself to convey the satire.

I promise that once this particular fixation is exorcised we will move on to the next meme. I can’t tell you when that will be, or what motif will feature

Thats the thing about inspiration, it hits  us all at the weirdest times!

In the meantime I hope you enjoy the pun in the latest designs and appreciate the satire inherent on the subject matter!

fagash Fa Gaché T shirts are available from the Original Koala store at Spreadshirt

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Size Matters

fueledzRegular readers will be aware of the conflict that arises from choosing which online on demand T-Shirt provider through which to tout your creations

Approved Initial results suggested that going with Zazzle was going to be a more viable route. That products had sold without the benefit of exposure through this blog and its associated network made it a more attractive proposition to switch to. However, there is one drawback with using only Zazzle as evidenced by the images above.

The first image shoes the “Fueled” design rendered on a Zazzle t-shirt.  Ignore for a moment the cropping  at the of the example shown, that is sloppy positioning on my part, but otherwise it demonstrates the restrictive design area available.  When compared with the second image, the same design on the Spreadshirt platform shows the extra space available to the designer.

Obviously this is something you will have to bear in mind when creating your designs, and adjust them



Personally the larger canvas and the SVG capabilities of Spreadshirt have redeemed this particular facility, but Zazzle still offers a broader range of products which can act as vehicles for your designs.

If it is size you are after check out the full-bleed all over Tshirt option on offer from Cafepress but be warned, this is not cheap.  It might be an option for those exclusive one offs but if you are going to convince people to fork our a considerable amount for a printed t-shirt perhaps you are more Artist than Designer

Out of the three I have decided to only release the Spreadshirt version as this suits my sensibilities more than the others.

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Koala Calling

Bear with me ( yeah I know) I’m trying to figure this out

Although the “customise” facility on sites like Zazzle, Spreadshirt, Cafepress et all allow you to add text to the designs on offer it strikes me that doing this not only increases for the cost for the item, but it can also lead to a end result that jars with original design

Although Zazzle has a wide range of fonts to choose from it strikes me that with a modicum of communication and a little co operation the artist and the customer could agree to create unique items with a minimal amount of effort. ace

Take for example the Coquette T-Shirt – let us suppose that Jane wanted to add her name to the t-shirt. She can choose to add it using the customise facility or alternatively she could drop an e-mail to the designer with a request to add her name in the same or a sympathetic font.

If Jane commits to buying the finished article, the designer could make the necessary changes, upload the graphic and make it available as a “private” product. The link is sent to Jane, she purchases the personalised shirt, and it is then removed from the inventory.

The result – an unique product that combines the designers motifs intact with the customers  additions done in keeping with the original motif.

Additionally the artist and the patron have now made a mutual link which may well bear future fruits for both

Think personal service as opposed to customised facility

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