Springleap’s reactions to my review were comprehensive enough that they deserve a post of their own so they are copied and pasted here for your convenience. I feel that some hype was included in these responses though and I hope they can live up to it but I do have lingering doubts. When I reap the rewards I will post again. Also I’m pretty sure that the mixed metaphor of baby stepping in leaps and bounds is an oxymoron.
Some really good points Alan and i’ll just answer a few of them…as I’m sure Eran will pop round to your blog soon to answer the rest.
1. THANKS for the feedback – we still have a long way to go, and it’s up to the feedback that we’ll get things right
2. The Tshirts are a springleap style – we buy the cotton from South African mills, have it CMT’d into our design, and then have it printed. We’re still tweaking the style and the more feedback we get, the better we can make the tshirts.
3. I meant by “email you the poster design” that I’d email it to you so you could see it before we post it to you. We want to do things differently, so we brought on board springleap an artist to hand draw the winning designs. You had a really good point – we were all going to sign it with things like “Well done” etc, but now we’re going to copy it, and write on the copy rather than the original. Hopefully you’ll like what we come up with.
4. We totally agree with raising the prizes. From the september competition, we’ve now got 10 winners a month, and the 9 runner-up’s get R200 which is about $25 at the current exchange rate PLUS Royalties. (not a huge amount but it’s our first attempt at raising the prizes)
5. Talking of royalties, we’re printing low volumes at the moment, but are actively marketing the tshirts, so hopefully will get some big reorders – and remember the royalties are for life, so if we get a order for your design in a few years time, it’s recurring royalties.
Thanks for the review and the feedback. You made me realise how much we still have to do to get things right.
Just to add – in the future we will be printing the designs on ALL sorts of amazing products – and that means more and more royalties for awesome designers like yourself for life.
We are still young, so bear with us – we won’t disappoint!
Just recently I wrote a response to your points that I think would be pertinent to quote :
“Regarding exposure – firstly we are HUGE on creating exposure for artists. It’s all well and dandy to win some cash but exposure is worth tenfold to a designer. Some of our designers have been on the radio, in the newspapers and magazines thanks to being a runner-up or winner. Some have also been approached for freelance work and we have opened many corporates to our designers with no cost as agents or involvement save providing introductions. In other cases where a corporate entity or business wanted some amazing shirt designs we have opened our catalog and hooked them up with the designer and produced the t-shirt. The designer would charge a freelance rate and there s the promise of more work.
The outer back of springleap t-shirts bears the username of the artist as well the title of the work – we are NOT Threadless or Almightees, Emptees and so forth. Our aim with this is to really expose the public at large to art in a gallery without walls – to remember the immense value that the creators of aesthetics and graphica have in their lives.
We don’t want people to wear a brand name on the outside of the tee the value of a brand’s product is that designer’s talent – so for us, we are a brand that emphasizes the artist as a brand unto themselves.
We are – in a sense – picking up where Andy Warhol and the Pop Art movement left off – exposing the average man to Art. Getting everyone involved. Very few people go to art galleries anymore, and while those galleries serve a fantastic purpose – the t-shirt is the most relevant canvas for our era.
We want people to go to shops looking for an artist’s name – not just a brand-stamp.
To this end we also include a postcard with every springleap t-shirt. The front bears a high res image of the design on the tee and the back bears the picture of the artist, a short profile on them as well as a few thoughts they have about their design.
Each springleap t-shirt is also bundled with a monthly catalog as well as a well finished button-badge (beating the design or an element thereof) with a saftey pin so you can pin it to your cap, bag, jeans, cargos – well anywhere your heart desires!
Over time we will organically grow the prizes – we would love to be giving the biggest and baddest prizes on the net – but these things take time.
As for US$1000 – we haven’t heard the winners complaining lately
With regards to our t-shirts themselves : the t-shirts are 165g combed cotton and a slim-cut fit. We have jst undergone a change in the cut creating lower necklines for ladies and adjusting the slimcut pattern for the men based on the feedback of the community and purchasers. The cotton of the shirts is manufactured specifically for us and the shirts are not stock tees.”
I think that you will find our new tees far more improved – in both softness and cut.
Ultimately springleap is still babystepping in leaps and bounds. We are growing organically and our aim is eventually to be incomparably rewarding artists all over the world in a massive scale and reminding people who puts aesthetics and beauty in their lives as well as the massive value that they represent, while offering the coolest tees on planet Earth.
Hope you stick with us and let us change your mind!
All the best