LaFraise was originally a French t-shirt design contest site but was sold to German print on demand company, Spreadshirt several years back. I think they are registered in Ireland but that’s probably just for tax reasons. Let’s just say it’s European. And it is probably Europe’s premier t-shirt design contest site.
Founded in 2004, laFraise is an online graphic design competition for t-shirts and hoodies. On a weekly basis, this design competition chooses the best contributions submitted by designers and graphic artists from all over the world.
LaFraise T-Shirt Review
The t-shirt arrived, neatly folded in a plastic liner in a branded paper envelope. I recognized the art of Maxim Cyr aka Recycled Wax, before it was out of the envelope. More on that later. LaFraise say they use American Apparel as well as their own custom tees.
The weekly winners are then printed on high-quality t-shirts by laFraise or American Apparel.
I think this grey tee is a LaFraise tee as the cotton (100%) is slightly heavier than a standard AA shirt as well as being shorter in length. Also the collar and the stitching around the collar is different. That said, AA has a wide range of tees and I haven’t seen them all so it is possible that I am wrong.
The design has cute monsters squashed between cartoonized versions of what I believe to be Montreal, Canada. It’s not that I recognize the city but rather that Montreal is mentioned in the t-shirt description and there is an “I heart MTL” speech bubble coming from one of the monsters. Oh yeah, and the tee is called “Montreal”.
The design is fun and wearable, although some might find too cute. You can’t cater to everyone. I have a feeling that people from Montreal could appreciate this tee even more but I don’t get the references. The print is almost impeccable. There is some red smudging near the fireworks but it is not so noticeable. The print is a little heavy but soft. I can’t complain about it.
Branding and Extras
There is no external branding on the t-shirt that I could see but there is a small standard tag and a printed label at the neck. The standard tag has the laFraise.com url, size, sex and on the reverse the care instructions. The printed label has the LaFraise logo and the artist name (Recycled Wax). This is the way it should be done.
There were 13 postcard sized flyers included in the envelope. On the one side is a coloring pencil version of the laFraise logo and on the other some details about the design contest. I’m not sure what to do with these. If they were actual postcards I might have used them as…err…postcards. There were also two sets of stickers, 6 rectangular and 4 die-cut ones. On the back of both them there is the phrase
this is not (just) a sticker
which is a little confusing as they certainly are stickers and it appears that they are just stickers. At least, I couldn’t figure out what else they could be. They are both good quality stickers and well done although again…I’m not sure what to do with them. What do you do with stickers you get?
I’ve always liked the laFraise website. It’s bright and cheery and it is in general harmonious with the products they are selling. When I think of laFraise, the words cute and vector come to mind. It’s easy to navigate and easy to understand what’s going on. It is first and foremost a t-shirt shop but they do sell hoodies and other things too.
There is a €1,000 cash prize for winners of their ongoing t-shirt design contest called the Classic but they do sometimes have themed and branded contests with various prizes. While I do like the website, I feel it is a little old-fashioned and it’s about time it was updated. I’m thinking larger images and a mobile-optimized responsive site. It’s also a little slow and lacking in a search feature. The site can be viewed in English, German or French.
There are tons of t-shirts available. I gave up trying to count them. There are some pop culture reference tees but as far as I can see most of the tees are original concepts. I believe they are mostly limited edition too so if your size is gone chances are you are out of luck.
Most tees are priced at €23 (about US$31 at today’s exchange rate) which is not all that cheap for a tee. But tees in Europe appear to be more expensive than the US so perhaps it’s not so bad.
Despite having tiny smudging in one part of the tee I still give the print high marks and the t-shirt blank itself is about as good as it gets for a cotton t-shirt. LaFraise has a huge selection of tees to choose from and if you like cutesy stuff you will have a field day.