Well, I don’t really really want to start two posts in a row with “Well, some of you may remember..” but some of you may remember a post a few months ago where I announced that I was one of the winners at Springleap’s t-shirt design contest. It took a while (several months) to receive some of my prizes (I haven’t received everything yet) but receive them I did.
Anyway I received a rumpled brown envelope with tons of South African stamps on it addressed to Alan (that’s me) without my surname. Pretty funny, I thought. Looking at the package I didn’t have high expectations about the contents but I was pleasantly surprised. The t-shirts were all professionally folded inside transparent plastic sleeves. Attached to the t-shirts themselves was another clear plastic bag containing a matching button (badge in British English), a card with your design (including Springleap logo) on one side and details about your winning design on the other and a small booklet containing info and images of the other June Winners. Looks very professional
That’s the t-shirts (more detailed review later), but there were supposed to be a few other prizes and there was nothing else in the envelope except a short hand written note from Springleap. The prizes were supposed to be as follows:
- Their own tshirt PLUS 2 others randomly selected from that month’s winning range
- A limited edition poster of their design
- Sponsored prizes (these vary depending on who is sponsoring these prizes and what they wanna give you
- R1 for EVERY TSHIRT of theirs that we sell
I realize that it may take time to find out how many t-shirts are sold before you get paid royalties and I wasn’t too worried about it because to be quite honest the royalties are very low. I calculated it at about 12 cents per shirt sold. Still, that’s about $120 for every thousand t-shirts sold. $120 dollar is nothing to be sniffed at. Anyway I decided to contact them about the royalties, limited edition poster and the sponsored prizes which I have yet to receive. Below are my questions:
1. When do we find out how much our Royalty payments will be and when we receive them?
2. I didn’t receive a skyrove voucher. I don’t know what it is but it was marked as a prize. When do I receive it and what is it?
3. I was told that I would receive a limited edition poster of my design but I didn’t. Is that coming later?
And here is the reply.
1. We will be building a system where you can see how many of your designs have been used on tshirts and other products and how much you have earned and have been paid. It will launch in a few months time. At this time we have only printed 108 of each design, so the royalties are going to be small until the orders start coming in.
2. The skyrove voucher is for use in South Africa on a wireless network – so the vouchers are for South African designers only.
3. We are doing hand drawn designs at this stage of your design which the whole team is signing. We’ll email you your signed design as soon as it is ready.
I was a little surprised that they only printed 108 t-shirts. At 12 cents a t-shirt that works out as a meager $12.96 in royalties for us designers. I know it’s possible that more will be printed but I guess it is not certain. This is very disappointing as I would make more money than that selling two t-shirts on a POD site. Of course I don’t have the chance of winning the $1000 or so grand prize with a POD but still.
Of course I am not all that disappointed about not receiving the skyrove voucher either as I didn’t even know what it was but I think it should have been clearer that this was a prize for only South African designers.
I am a very curious about this hand drawn design thing and looking forward to what they will come up with but I am quite curious about why they are doing a hand drawn design of a design and why they think we would be interested in their team’s signatures (autographs?). Seems bizarre. Also they said they are going to email it to me which means that, unless email technology has advanced tremendously without me hearing about it, that it is not the limited edition poster that I am supposed to receive. Anyway, time will tell.
I know you are all thinking. What about the t-shirts? How were they? What did you think? Well, I guess I should be embarrassed by this but I didn’t like my own winning t-shirt. The tee is too yellow. Maybe the yellow will improve after a few hundred washes but more than likely it will just sit unworn in my closet. That doesn’t bode well for future sales of this tee either which would also mean that my royalties will be pretty sad. It is possible though that these bright colors are popular in South Africa as another of the tees I received was bright blue and it is not something I could wear either. I am not really into the design either. The third t-shirt was not bad, it was black and I don’t really get the message of the design but that is OK. I think I could wear it.
I don’t know what brand they use but all the t-shirts are the same style and shape and I think the cut is a little strange. The t-shirt seems to be a little tighter under the chest which makes the bottom seem to be a little loose like when the seams lose tension. Also on the back of the t-shirt is the Springleap logo and the designers name. Regular readers will know that I don’t like advertising on my shirt and even though this includes the designer’s names I still think it looks pretty bad. It is big and if the black t-shirt is anything to go by, it may not even match the color of the design. I suspect buyers will also frown at this unnecessary addition.
In general though, and I feel bad saying this as the guys at Springleap seem really nice, I don’t think that it is worth it to submit your design to Springleap. Only the winning t-shirt gets a decent prize and if you have a good design that you think might win you ought to submit it to another t-shirt design contest rather than risk being a runner up.
My advice to Springleap is first to increase the guaranteed prizes for runners up as what exists at the moment is just unfair to the designer. Give the runners up the choice of which t-shirts they want to receive instead of sending out random shirts. This will also give you an idea of which designs that are likely to sell well in the future. Move the back print information inside the t-shirt to the printed label and make it more subtle. Be clearer about what prizes and how much money winners and runners up can expect to receive. Use different blanks. How about Edun Live? They even provide jobs in Africa.