Bakso is a new print on demand company based in the UK. I have used CafePress and Zazzle and I am quite familiar with other POD sites too but Bakso is a little different from those in that it doesn’t allow users to upload any old design regardless of quality. Trust me. I tried.
All designs must go through a brief but stringent quality control process, this is to ensure the quality of all the designs that are uploaded onto Bakso and also to ensure there is no copyright infringement. Call us picky but we only want the best designs and we think allowing designs of poor quality under values our tees, but more importantly our artists.
Bakso T-Shirt Review
The shirt is a 100% cotton medium tog white t-shirt. This, like all the tees on Bakso I believe, is made by Continental Clothing using fair-trade cotton. Nice. This shirt in the photo is a medium and is a little looser overall than a standard American Apparel tee.
Being a DTG print, the print area is of course very soft. The print quality is great. DTG technology has been improving rapidly over the last few years and this is a good sample of what can be done.
This tee was designed by an artist called Memuco, who as of now has 8 other designs of varying styles on Bakso. This design doesn’t really work for me.
Overall, it doesn’t really look like it was created to be on a t-shirt. The top two halves works well enough but the rectangle at the bottom just looks out-of-place.
Specifically: I don’t find the girl to be particularly attractive which may be just a matter of taste but the image is not very flattering. Why does she have a red nose? Does she have a cold? Is she an alcoholic? The red surrounding her is almost like blood too, making the whole image reminiscent of a horror movie poster. I know she’s “Shark Girl” and that would explain the sharks but I just don’t get it. And why just hammerhead sharks? And Memuco’s logo of a man in a gas mask at the bottom of the image just adds to the horror vibe.
Branding and Extras
There was no Bakso branding on the t-shirt that I could see. But I guess that is fine as they are not really trying to sell Bakso t-shirts. They are selling tees by various artists. A business card was included with the tee but that might be simply because it was for a t-shirt review. There were no extras but extras are not common with print on demand companies.
The Bakso website is clean and easy to navigate. There are no images of t-shirts on the homepage which I always find very strange for a t-shirt store. That’s not exactly true. If you roll over the designs on the homepage you will be treated to a very simple mockup.
The store looks a little like the submission gallery for a t-shirt design contest site rather than a store with the “Baks” looking like votes, which they are a kind of. (My wife thought it was a Buy Now button first. Her second guess was that it was a Kickstarter like deal.) At first I wondered if there were actually any t-shirts on sale. Perhaps they should put the price where the “Baks” are.
On the product pages there is a “BAK THIS” button. It is the Bakso version of a “like” button but it is a little confusing because it reads the same as “back this” which sounds like I might have to put my money where my mouse is if I clicked it. I guess that is why my wife thought it was a Kickstarter-type deal.
There are currently 73 designs by 14 artists to choose from. So it’s not a huge store but I have seen much smaller. And it is only starting.
While I can appreciate that there is some pretty decent artwork on Bakso I think very little of it is actually suitable for t-shirts. A lot of the designs are just rectangles on a shirts. I guess they were just scanned and uploaded rather than created digitally. There was nothing that stood out and made me want to buy it but some of that could be down to presentation too as those mockups don’t help.
They are not very cheap but PODs rarely are. £23.99 (about US$36 at today’s exchange rate). Still it seems a bit steep for a white tee with a single print on the front.
The t-shirt and print quality are very good but the selection of available tees needs to improve dramatically if they are to make a success out of this. The presentation of the t-shirt needs to be improved too. Perhaps with better presentation the designs would look more like something that I would want to wear.
Let us know what you think in the comments.