The Custom T-Shirt: The Original Form of Micro-Blogging? BlueCotton Reviews 2008 - Front to Back

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Whether Displaying Appreciation for the Military, Presidential Candidates, A Hobby or a Fundraising Cause - Americans Use Custom T-Shirts To Wear Their Hearts on Their Sleeves

That's the allure of the custom t-shirt. And I think that's why something like micro-blogging is so popular - we like to declare our allegiances and loyalties. It's a way to say, 'this is who I am and what I support.' That can be powerful.

"Linda is watching the season premier of '24.'" "Kelly is planning a party for the presidential inauguration." "Jack is standing in line at Starbuck's." Self expression is not a new phenomenon, but the online world of micro-blogging and social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, arguably have catapulted the practice into a new stratosphere.

Custom t-shirt company BlueCotton (http://www.BlueCotton.com) gets back to basics by harnessing the self-expression that's exploding online and putting it - literally - on someone's back (or front). It's the timeless art of the custom t-shirt - popular for generations, but newly reinvigorated with sophisticated online t-shirt design tools and a current Zeitgeist centered around self-expression.

In 2008, BlueCotton processed roughly 10,000 designs for custom t-shirts - nearly double the 5,500 designs processed in 2007. Those designs were for groups wanting to broadcast their support for a good cause, allegiance to a fraternity or sorority, enthusiasm for a band, or participation on a local sports team or church or school activity.

"Americans have always been fond of self-expression, and we've all got a worn-out t-shirt in a drawer that represents who we were or what we loved at a particular time in our lives," said Mike Coffey, BlueCotton founder and CEO. "That's the allure of the custom t-shirt. And I think that's why something like micro-blogging is so popular - we like to declare our allegiances and loyalties. It's a way to say, 'this is who I am and what I support.' That can be powerful."    

According to Coffey, BlueCotton saw several examples of this in 2008:

  •     There was a wide variety of custom t-shirt designs that declared enthusiasm for a particular presidential candidate. Not surprisingly, a popular phrase for most Obama t-shirts was, "Yes We Can."    
  •     Likewise, many people used custom t-shirts to show their support for nearly every branch of the military. At customers' requests, BlueCotton shipped orders to deployed soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq and Germany. Other clients created shirts to be worn by loved ones here at home, as a way to honor their beloved soldiers.
  •     A major triumph on the embroidery front - one of BlueCotton's specialties - was a design sewn for the Bowling Green Dart Association. What made it stand out: its size. The design was about 10" x 10" (typical size is three to four inches wide), and covered the entire back of the garment. It required more than 130,000 stitches and took about 3 ½ hours to sew each one.
  •     As it has since 2006, BlueCotton provided the custom t-shirts for the Glasgow Highland Games, a south-central Kentucky celebration that draws 20,000 people from the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. The t-shirts for this event are in such demand that BlueCotton begins preparing the artwork nine months in advance, and this year the client is selling them months ahead of time.

BlueCotton (http://www.BlueCotton.com) offers printed and embroidered custom t-shirts, hats, and outerwear for groups of all kinds: churches, schools, sports teams, non-profits, fraternities, sororities, or those who just want to make a proud, personal statement. The successful launch of niche t-shirt design websites, including http://www.BlueCotton.com and http://www.GreekT-Shirts.com, have helped the company establish an Internet presence and win legions of fans.

For more 2008 t-shirt flashbacks, visit the BlueCotton blog at http://blog.bluecotton.com/?p=183#more-183.

About BlueCotton
BlueCotton.com is the place to go for high-quality, easy-to-design custom t-shirts. The company's professionalism, expert design guidance and obsession with customer satisfaction have won the company legions of fans. BlueCotton offers printed and embroidered custom t-shirts, hats, and outerwear for groups of all kinds: schools, churches, sports teams, non-profits, fraternities, sororities, or those who simply want to make a proud, personal statement. Gizmodo calls BlueCotton's online interactive DesignStudio "a sophisticated Photoshop-like web app to let you design your own shirt… with a tremendous amount of control over the results" and says "the interface rocks." BlueCotton is ranked in the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the country. Based in Bowling Green, Ky., BlueCotton has been selling custom t-shirts and embroidered apparel since 1991.

Media Contact
Ken Greenberg
Edge Communications, Inc.
818/990-5001

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