Welcome to Geek Shirts HQ T Shirt Brands Undressed.
…….Where we you can really find out about the brands that you have come to love.
This week we have a brand hailing from Canada.Run by the dynamic duo of Noel Villeneuve and Steve Gillon. Try This On For Size (TTOFS)
In the 3 years since they launched their brand, TTOFS has gone on from strength to strength.I first came across TTOFS through their cool Justice League Of The Dead Tee and was impressed at the quality of their site and their designs.Their influences judging by their site are from popular culture, but there is a real mixed bag of designs you can find at TTOFS from wrestling to horror to super heroes.
It Is A Pleasure To Welcome Try This On For Size, The Latest Brand To Get Undressed.
Who are the people behind Try This On For Size (TTOFS)? Can you start by giving some background about yourself? Where you are from?
Try This On For Size (TTOFS for short) is comprised of 2 dudes from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: Noel Villeneuve and Steve Gillon.
The two met in 1998 and soon after became best friends. They then entered the twisted and whacky world of pro wrestling together, donning the personas of Spike Hammar (typo intended) and Flash Finnegan (ironic since Steve is slower than a turtle). The realization came quick that they would not be the next Ultimate Warrior and Andre The Giant, so they then embarked on a new scheme: t-shirt printing!
While joking in the backseat of a truck in 2004 (non-romantically) they talked about making funny t-shirts. In 2005 they launched the OFFICIAL TTOFS Myspace (to little fanfare) with intricate designs created in the critically acclaimed paint program!
The dream lay dormant in the 2 boys and then in 2009 it was finally time to make it a reality. There would be no fancy Paint pictures of Myspace of any kind this time around! Try This On For Size was officially launched in 2010 with their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles parody shirt: The Foot Moving Co. as their inaugural print.
Bewildered they weren't instantly showered with orders, Noel and Steve forged on and after 3 years, several live shows, and tons of awesome designs later are building their t-shirt empire one garment at a time!
This is the tee that introduced me to TTOFS, a cool design that is still one of my favorites.
– Who creates the designs? How did you get into shirt design?
Our designs come from a variety of places. We use a lot of artists to create what we print as well we create some of the designs ourselves.
We are not artists by any means, but with some designs we can do them ourselves. It takes tens of hours longer than it would an actual graphic artist, but we are always getting better with time.
We got into the design process out of necessity for our corporate printing side. Not only do we have our own brand we are also a screen printing company for over 300 customers. We needed to be able to show mock ups and proofs to our customers so we had to get our hands dirty in the design side.
A Brett Hart inspired tee, probably my favorite wrestler of all time, along with The Dynamite Kid
What process do you follow when designing a shirt?
There really isn't a process for designing a shirt as much as there is just a snow balling idea that morphs into a printed shirt.
We start with an idea that we think would be cool. We toss it around and if it's in our ability to design it then we start the process on our own.
If it is not in our scope of ability to design we seek out an artist to design it. We work with a bunch of extremely talented artists who specialize in different areas that can pull off any idea we come up with.
Rough drafts are passed around between us and changes are made. Once we have the final design that we are both happy with, we proceed right into the Thread Quarters to starting printing production.
Marvel's resident rich playboy versus DC's resident rich playboy in a poster style tee
Where did you get the name TTOFS?
We both are very 'puny' people (Well, at least we think so. That counts, right!?!?).
Back in 2004 in the very, very early stages we mutually thought of it/agreed that Try This On For Size was the most fitting name for our eventual t-shirt brand. (Pun intended!)
Can you tell me more about this and the brand TTOFS?
We have always loved t-shirts. We appreciate those who are constantly on the hunt for quality shirts and that is what we try to provide. It is just the two of us and we have now found our groove in terms of brainstorming and designing.
It can be hard at times and may take some convincing but at the end of the day, the prints that make the cutting room floor are designs we both like/believe in. I mean, if we wouldn't buy the shirts we print, why should/would anyone else?!??!
I love the artwork in this awesome design
What makes TTOFS different from other Apparel Vendors? What is your USP?
If we told you our USP secrets then we would have to kill you……Ha-ha. Just kidding.
Several things set us apart from other vendors. We focus on the quality of the customers experience purchasing from us.
Once a customer orders from us they get a personalized email confirmation acknowledging that we received their order. We have a hand written thank you note that goes into their package when we ship it.
We are working very hard to provide a very unique experience from custom hang tags on all shirts from now on with shirt specific inside tags reflecting size and garment care instructions.
And one of the biggest things is we do all of our printing in house. We have a full functioning print shop that we call the Thread Quarters.
All of this may not be unique as I can guarantee other vendors do some of these things too. But we do our very best to provide top notch service coupled with one of a kind original designs to make our customers experience memorable.
Another excellent tee with an awesome design, and their cool logo as well.
What’s coming next for TTOFS?
A LOT! We have a bunch of new designs dropping early this year (2013) that are some of the best shirts we have printed. And that's a great sign for us; constant evolution, each shirt better than the last.
While we have a better grasp on what works and what doesn't we do not rest on our past shirts, we print most of our shirts with a limited quantity in order to achieve a more personal and exclusive connection with our audience.
But to answer your question: we have plenty of exclusive TTOFS designs on the way as well as a few collaborations with some big names in pro-wrestling, and MUCH more so please stay tuned!
Looks like a Boris Karloff Frankenstein inspired tee from their Monstrosi range.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years both for yourselves and your business?
The goal is to make this full-time for both of us and to have our own store-front for TTOFS and truth be told; this is totally possible before 10 years!
How much importance do you place on Facebook Twitter and similar sites when marketing your brand?
Social media has been ridiculously beneficial for us since we launched.
We have our main site of course (TTOFS.com) but Facebook and Twitter is more 'in your face' and it is easier to for our fan base to keep up with our new arrivals, contests, discounts, corny jokes, etc.!
We also have a Newsletter we send our every Friday at 5pm EST that keeps the subscribers in the know with all things TTOFS!
When getting your apparel printed what is the process that you prefer?
We print all of our apparel ourselves. We only do silk screening at this point. Plastisol ink reduced down with soft hand additives so the print is not chunky.
We print in spot process as well as 4 colour process print. Recently we have begun printing posters, thank you cards, and hang tags in our Thread Quarters. We will be getting the posters up for sale on the site but need to work out the logistics with packaging and shipping.
We enjoy having full control from inspiration to inception of our brand. We have the ability to quickly turn around our prints and the ability to change something on the spot if we are not 100% happy with it.
This one is available on pre-sale and is in very limited numbers, so get in quick before you get disappointed.
What brands of apparel do you prefer to print on?
We prefer to print in Alstyle Apparel. they are local to us so good turnaround time from ordering to receiving our blank shirts. Also buying direct from the manufacturer is a must.
What would a customer expect when ordering a product from you?
We try to provide a super-personal and interactive experience when people order from us!
We pride ourselves on our thank-you emails and hand written thank-you cards included in the parcel, and some goodies we include too!
We appreciate those that take the time to order from us and support our brand, so this is just our small way of saying thanks!
Anyone you want to give a shout out to?
Not to sound lame, but we want to thank EVERYONE that has ever purchased a shirt from us at a show or at TTOFS.com as well as all our friends, significant others and family that has put up with this once hare-brain idea of ours!
We know a lot of talented people that have helped us along the way and we wouldn't have grown as fast as we have without all the support we have received!
Inspired by a certain team of superheroes!
Who are your favourite designers and/or brands?
Those that work with us!
Hiroto Fukunaga. An amazing designer who works on a ton of projects that are a million times bigger than ours. But he is almost a mind reader. He can take our simple explanation of a design idea and turn it into exactly what we want on the first try. Such a talented artist.
Zoe Humphries, @britzombiegirl on twitter. We have used some of her existing designs; as well she has created stuff specifically for us to print. She is a jack of all trades and a master of every single one of them.
Jesse Rayburn, a one man designing wizard. He is actually the unofficial third member of TTOFS. He works very closely with us on prepping files to get them ready for printing.
Klode Malon of Custom Couture, he has a great ability to turn around a design quickly, and he just designed a new shirt for us that we have tried for 2 years to have designed by other artists, and he was the one who finally nailed it on the first try.
We really admire the story of Johnny Cupcakes and we think 8-Bit Zombie has some very, very rad shirts!!!!
One of their latest designs available now on pre-sale.
Who are your influences?
As we said earlier, we both start with people and things that interest us. In a lot of cases it is based around movies, wrestling, zombies and comic books, but there is really no limit to what can influence us to print a new t-shirt!
Is there anything else you want to add? Where is the best place to find your designs and buy some of your shirts? And of course get in contact with you?
TTOFS.com is the place to be! It's where all the cool kids are!
We are all over social media but feel free to send us a question, comment, compliment and hate mail to email@example.com!
We will be live at the Toronto Comic Con this March selling our tees!
-Any new products in the pipeline for TTOFS?
We have to keep our hand close to our chest as not to give too much away, but we have some crazy shirts on the way in the form of monsters, re-animated amphibians, street-fighting wrestlers in Japan and more!!!!
Thank you guys for a great interview, please go and check out TTOFS at their website and at the social media streams.