allied_shirtI tend to stick to photography related topics on this blog so you might be wondering why a t-shirt review.  Simple enough, Mike Small Photography is celebrating 2 successful years photographing real estate and architecture so I am upping the marketing game to the logical next step, t-shirts!  Granted it is not as high tech as flashy internet ads that stalk you or say, sky writing, but it is a proven method of getting your name out to the masses.  So I have jumped on board.

A while back I did a review of Easy Canvas Prints and was quite happy with the canvas print I got.  So when I learned of their sister company I figured that was a good place to start.  Much like canvas printing, you can get you logo (or most anything) on a t-shirt at a 1000 places nowadays.  But are you going to get quality printing as well as a quality t-shirt?  It’s a crap shoot.  So go with what you know and have worked with in the past or read the reviews!  (You wouldn’t buy a $3000 camera without seeing what everyone is saying about it first.  A t-shirt may be cheaper (way) but don’t go in blind.)

  • Shipping Time I placed my order on Saturday, 11-23 and got a confirmation email that said “Thank you for your order! Your estimated delivery date is 12/11/2013.”  (A confirmation is always nice, believe it or not there are still some companies that don’t send one).  So that is a little more than a two week lead time, not too bad for a custom printed t-shirt with the standard, no-frills shipping.  But the surprise, it arrived about 6 days after I ordered it.  A week from start to finish is pretty fast turn around.   No complaints with that.  The only tiny negative, they did not send a shipping notice email to let me know it was on the way and with a tracking number; minor issue, not worth crying over.
  • Overall Product Quality: I ordered the Budget Short Sleeve T-Shirt  (my marketing budget isn’t in the big leagues yet – yet!).   That is a pre-shrunk 100% cotton shirt for about $20.  (One note on price, the more you order the lower the per t-shirt price).  My test for quality of a t-shirt is “can I see my hand through it”.  In other words, is it thin, whispy fabric that reveals all and may last one wash but two is pushing it or will it hold up to the rigors of being worn and washed?  The Allied Shirts budget t-shirt was a lot less budget quality than I might have thought.  No seeing the hands or anything else through the fabric, seams look sturdy with no lose threads, overall I’m happy with the t-shirt quality.
  • Printing Quality The image I had printed was my logo.  I used a 300 dpi JPEG so I started with a quality image.  (Note: their FAQs say you can print a photo too, I did not try that this time around but probably worth a try – remember start out with a high quality image).    The image printed on a white t-shirt exactly as I would have expected.  The colors were vibrant and true to the original.  The text was clear and crisp.  I feel that overall image quality is very good.
  • Final Rating My final review of the t-shirt I received from is five out of five cameras.  Production and shipping time totaled about a week, fast for a custom order.    The quality of the t-shirt was very good (I ordered the “budget”).  The overall image quality was also very good.  Bottom line, I would redommend Allied Shirts if you are looking for a way to market your business or you just want to create a one-of-a-kind shirt with your own art work.  Would make a cool gift too.
Disclaimer - Allied Shirts gave a free t-shirt for reviewing purposes.

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