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A valuable and very logical found article about why t shirts are the greatest promotional item ever invented by mankind.


And a brief history of the T Shirt



"Successful Slogan And Logo Screen Item Ideas"


Screen Item
Human beings wear clothes, a company needs to advertise. Put those two aspects of our culture together and you have an advertising opportunity.

Screen items are images that are put on shirts through the process of screen printing. This avenue of advertising is something that should never be passed up.


What are the advantages of doing this? First of all, when you advertise in a newspaper, you have thousands of people who see the ad but only a few who actually register it in their minds.

However, with putting an item like a logo and slogan on a t-shirt, you are ensuring that every person that sees the individual wearing it, every time they wear it, all day, will see your slogan. If it is catchy enough, many people will take a second look.  As a result, your logo shirt can reach thousands of people and for a fraction of the cost of newspaper advertising.


How Do Customers Get It?
The beauty of screen items is that the customer can get the shirt for free as part of a purchase or sponsorship package at a company event. That way, the company will have a free shirt, you will have incurred a small cost, but the amount of people who will see the shirt will more than make up for the cost that entails putting your logo on a t-shirt.

When you give something to a customer for free, they will be more than happy to take it and wear it out, as long as it looks good.


Worth It?
If getting your message out through free promotional t-shirts with your company's name, logo and slogan on it are important, than yes it is worth it.

As has been stated, a company can advertise with the newspaper and have many people see it, but to make it worth while, a company has to spend thousands. Rather than spend thousands, a company can use t-shirts to get the message out and have the same, if not more, people see it.


Screen items are a great way for a company to get its message out to the world through the use of their logo on t-shirts.

When a customer, or even an employee, wears a t-shirt, all those people who meet, or walk by, the individual will see the logo, slogan and company name and it will raise a company's profile dramatically.


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The History of The T-shirt

Nobody knows exactly when the first T-shirt was produced, but there is documentation dating back to as early as 1913 that the US Navy adopted the crew-necked, short-sleeved, white common undershirt, to be worn under overalls to conceal sailors' chest hair.

In the beginning T-shirts were definitely an undergarment. However, many working men wore a sleeveless undershirt called a "singlet" or a single-piece "union suit" almost into the 1940's. In the late 1930's Hanes, Sears, and Fruit of the Loom started to market the T-shirt. In 1934 the T-shirt received a setback, when Clark Gable took off his dress shirt to reveal a bare torso in the movie It Happened One Night. American women liked the bare-chest look, and many men followed Gable's lead by discarding their undershirts in droves.

In 1937 undershirts were labeled "skivvies" and "jimshirts." They were only 1.5 to 2 ounces then -- significantly lighter than today's heavier weight t-shirts. Today's T-shirts range from 4 oz. up to 8 ounces. In 1938, Sears introduced a T-shirt for only 24 cents a piece. It was called a "gob" shirt or sailor shirt and was proclaimed to be either an outer garment or an undershirt. "It's practical, correct either way."

While it is widely said that the army had T-shirts early on in WWII, it was really the marines who first issued the Navy T-type shirt. But it didn't take the Marines long to realize that white was an easy target, so the early white navy T-type shirts were dyed in the field with coffee grounds. Later the men were issued sage green shirts to blend in more with their surroundings.

The army didn't actually get their own navy T-type shirts until late into the war. A 1944 study from the Quartermaster of Clothing and Equipment for the Tropics shows that the army was still field-testing T-shirts and sleeveless undershirts to see which the men preferred. In the field test, the men preferred the navy T-type shirt because it had a better appearance and was more comfortable due to greater absorption under the arms. They said that it was also more comfortable when worn with backpacks and provided greater protection from sunburn.

When the servicemen returned from the war, the shirts came home with them -- and T-shirt became an all American staple.

During World War II, the T-shirt was more for function than fashion. The early issue military shirts had a much wider neck and shorter sleeves than today's full cut T-shirt. They were also a much tighter fit. The tight fitting style remained much the same from the early 1900's through the 1960's.

The late '40's saw the first printed T-shirts. The Smithsonian Institute's oldest printed shirt reads "Dew-It with Dewey" -- from New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey's 1948 presidential campaign. The T-shirt got a real boost from underwear to outerwear when Marlon Brando showed his form in a tight fitting T-shirt the 1951 movie, A Streetcar Named Desire.

Brando again set the stage with his T-shirt and jeans rebel in a the 1954 movie The Wild One, and his cultural partner James Dean continued the look in 1955 with the classic movie Rebel without a Cause. Elvis was also making his way onto the world scene with his hip T-shirt and leather jacket.

About that time, the T-shirt style also changed a little. The neck opening became smaller, but the tight fit remained to show off a man's physique. T-shirts were still a very male piece of clothing. That's when clever marketers such as Walt Disney and Roy Rogers saw the advertising potential of printed T-shirts.

In the early 1950's such innovators as Ed Rother and Carl Smith started to screen print and airbrush shirts with car designs. Back then, the ink used was house paint and spray paint. In the later 50's most college shirts and sport shirts were decorated with cloth letters or with "flocking" which is a process through which thin fibers of rayon were electrostatically embedded in an adhesive printed on the shirt. This was a very slow and messy process that was just waiting to be replaced.

In 1959, a new ink called "plastisol" was invented. This ink was durable and stretchable - and brought about the birth of modern T-shirt printing. The 1960s provided the background for statement shirts, tie-dying, and freedom of speech. The British rock 'n' roll invasion and Vietnam were the perfect partners for a new found culture, and the printed T-shirt was the perfect vehicle of choice for expression. T-shirts were sold mainly at state fairs, car shows, and special events -- but the lowly T-shirt that had been a fad in the sixties suddenly grew up in the 1970's.

The iron-on transfer made it easy to pick a design, pick a shirt, and combine the two using a household iron. The T-shirt store, as we know it, didn't exist until the early seventies. The iron-on transfer made it easy to mass-produce hundreds of different designs, and every mall and shopping center had a T-shirt shop. In the late seventies, a new photo-realistic iron-on transfer called a "litho transfer" was developed. It revolutionized the quality of the graphic images that could now be printed on T-shirts. One of the earliest litho transfers was of Farrah Fawcett.

Everything changed when T-shirts became an industry in the 1980's. The great graphics craze started when artists who had previously shunned the T-shirt now found a new canvas. The rest is history.

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