January 2011 Newsletter
Welcome to a new decade. At Dizzyjam, we variously saw it in by: drinking strong drinks out of ribena bottles; frightening karaoke; DJing on an indoor boat; drawing on walls at 6am; saying b0llocks to it all and going to bed at 11pm.
Aside from that, we’ve got a few important announcements we want to make sure all our shop owners are aware of.
Yep, we can now offer full colour merch creation for your fans. And it’s really easy too. All you have to do is upload a high quality image, then choose whether you want to offer the new full colour service, or stick with the one colour service. Boom, job done. We’ve got some new design guidelines here and a tutorial on how to add transparency to your designs here.
Want to see some full colour examples? Head here.
A widget is a bit of code that our site automatically creates for you, which you can then copy and paste to your website or blog. What you’ll get is the ability to display your merch away from Dizzyjam.com, so your fans can see your designs while they’re still on your site.
At the moment they work with WordPress and Blogger (and of course your own site if you can edit your own code). As they’re still in beta the widgets aren’t yet compatible with MySpace and Facebook. But we’re working on that, as well as adding new features. Let us know what you think by emailing us at email@example.com
^^Puts old man hat and pipe on^^ We’re sure you can’t have escaped from the fact that everything costs more these days. VAT’s gone up, the price of cotton has doubled in the last six months, and petrol seems to be more pricey than champagne. And that unfortunately has a direct effect on the cost of our shirts and our printing materials. So unfortunately we are forced into putting our prices up. Yeah we know it sucks.
We’ve held our low introductory prices for as long as possible, but we have to raise prices so that we can continue to help you sell your merch and make money for you. The good thing for you is you still make a big percentage of every sale, so you’ll actually earn even more money on every product you sell. The prices below will come into effect on Tuesday 1st February 2011, so you’ve got until then to let people know. To put a relentlessly happy spin on it, you could tell your fans to buy before 1st Feb so that they can get themselves a bargain.
T-shirts in UK, Europe, Asia, Australia – £14.99
Hoodies in UK, Europe, Asia, Australia – £24.99
T-shirts in North & South America – $19.99
Hoodies in North & South America – $39.99
4. CUSTOMER PHOTOS.
It’s not a new thing, but just a reminder that your fans can upload their photos of themselves wearing your shirts to your product pages. They don’t have to log in to do it, and merch that has a real picture on the page sells bit more than those that don’t – so it’s worth uploading photos yourself and asking your fans to do it too.
Here’s a guide on how to create transparent areas for your designs.
CREATING YOUR IMAGE:
First off, you need to decide if you are starting your design from scratch, or editing an existing design? Starting from scratch is always best, as it means you won’t lose any definition in your designs. When you create your new document, the settings in the picture below would make a good image. It’s Photoshop, but if you’re using a different program, you should still be able to enter the same information.
If you’ve already got an image you want to use, but it has a white (or any colour) background, then you’ll need to create transparent areas so that when you place your image on a coloured shirt, your design isn’t surrounded by a background-coloured square.
It’s absolutely vital when editing any existing design that you start with it in the highest quality possible. Carrying on with the following process with a low or medium quality image will probably result in a small “halo” of the background colour remaining on your image, which in turn will be printed on your products.
Open up the design in your image editing program. Now it’s possible that your existing design is in a file format that doesn’t like transparent areas. The easiest way to solve this is to copy all of your design using ‘Select All’ then ‘Copy’ from the menus. After this, choose ‘New Document’ and use the settings in the picture above to create a new document. When it opens, notice anything? Instead of a white background, you’ve got a grey and white chequered background. That pattern means ‘transparent area’. Wherever you see that pattern in your design, whatever colour fabric it is printed on will show through. Hit ‘Paste’ and your existing image will cover the transparent area. All you need to do now is chop away the bits you don’t want, revealing the grey and white pattern behind them. Here’s how you do that:
Choose the Magic Wand tool. Click on a part of your white background you don’t want, and a see-through dashed line will appear around it. You might need to set the sensitivity of the tool if it tries to eat too much of the image you want to keep. Choose ‘Cut’ from the ‘Edit’ menu, and there goes a bit of your white to be replaced by the grey and white pattern. Keep doing this until you’ve got rid of everything you DON’T want printed onto your merch.
When saving, choose a file format capable of transparency. DO NOT CHOOSE JPEG – it doesn’t support transparency. We recommend the PNG format.
The brilliant “Wear Your Old Band T-Shirt To Work Day” is today. In it’s third year we’re proud to bring you these photos from the Dizzyjam office.
Neil wearing an ancient t-shirt from breakbeat act "Phantom Beats". He claims he's thrown all his Wonderstuff and Frank and Walters t-shirts away. More's the pity! And this photo wasn't staged at all, oh no.
Now Dafydd, doing something intense on a calculator, and trying to avoid the camera. He's wearing a falling-apart "Godspeed You! Black Emperor" t-shirt.
Shelley's not in the office today, so she sent us this doozy of her in an old Maiden shirt. Rockin'!
And finally, a member of staff who refused to be identified, in this erm… well, it speaks for itself.”]
Steve Lamacq, and Wear Your Old Band T-shirt To Work Day, we salute you!
Much has been made of Myspace’s apparent inability to keep up with the astonishing growth of Facebook. But now, even after a recent overhaul (video overview of new features), it appears Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp are considering their options for the site which they bought for $580m just five years ago. In the interim it’s gone from being valued at $12bn to now being considered “a problem” by Chase Carey, Newscorp’s Chief Operating Officer.
He has described the losses made by the network as “neither acceptable or sustainable”, and when asked about if and when they would sell, or turn it round said: “It’s not years … we need to deal with this with urgency”, suggesting a closure, merger, or sale is imminent.
As the recent relaunch clearly didn’t have the desired effect, we may very well be looking at the sale, or even the closing, of Myspace?
It’s odd to think that just a few years ago most people couldn’t be serious about making or promoting music without a strategy that had Myspace at its very core. But now the world has very quickly become a different place.
It’s a little tough working out the best dates to announce as our last order dates for Christmas delivery.
First we have to look at what Royal Mail set as their last postage dates.
And then we have the tough problem of trying to predict how busy we’ll be. If we’re not going to be very busy because everyone’s too busy buying candles and scarves for their mums, then we can take orders up until one or two days before last posting, confident that we can print all the orders in time. However, if the whole world decides to buy their son, sister or favourite nephew a t-shirt or hoodie to go in their stocking, then we need to give ourselves a whole lot longer to print and despatch everything.
In the end we’ve settled to set our despatch dates about a week before the last posting dates, to make sure we have plenty of time to get your precious goodies to you. There’s a good chance that stuff ordered after these dates will arrive in time, but we can’t make any promises.
We’ll still be printing up until Christmas, so feel free to keep ordering over the festive period, but your order probably won’t arrive until the new year. Until then, check out our last order dates on our news page here.
Have fun getting mashed up on mince pies and brandy!
Just over a year ago Dizzyjam.com went live and we sold our first t-shirts.
We went back to our first five customers and sent them all an email to see how they were getting on with those shirts a year later. We got emails back from four of them:
“The T still looks perfect and it’s been through the wash loads” – TP, Nottingham
“Cheers for the mail, glad to say shirt is still in tip top condition and handling washing well. A fine product indeed.” – JH, London
“My Purple Radio T looks as fresh as a daisy… The design is still perfect and it’s been through the wash several times, no signs of cracking or owt.” – PL, London.
And finally, this marvellous email…
“It’s still looking good and holding up well, cheers. My only issue with it is that I put on a bit of weight in the past few months (my missus was pregnant so it was gentlemanly behaviour to develop a ‘baby belly’ in sympathy, you understand) and the t-shirt hasn’t auto-stretched to keep pace with my expanded girth. I’m left with no option now but to go on a diet and take up exercise again. In fact, the more I think about it the more I see this as a major design flaw with your garments. Surely elasticated sides wouldn’t be too much to expect ? I’ll be applying for a refund immediately…………. ;- )” – PD, Poole
Of course, this meant we sacked our entire research and development team and decided to start making “paternity t-shirts” straight away! ;- )
We’re looking for an intern.
Primarily we’re thinking about maybe a student over the winter holidays who could spend most of December devising and carrying out a marketing campaign. But we’d be really interested to hear from anyone who is interested in doing work of any kind.
– – – – –
This is a great opportunity to work with an exciting startup in the music industry, and manage your own month-long (or longer!) marketing campaign from start to finish.
Dizzyjam.com is currently in a situation where we are finding ourselves increasingly busy with the day to day running of a rapidly growing company, and therefore not finding the time to do lots of important stuff (like marketing, for example!).
We’d be looking for someone who would be interested in coming in, looking at what we do, and our current marketing activity (pretty much non-existent) and devising a short campaign that they can undertake fairly unsupervised, all with the aim of gaining more press/web exposure for the company, and therefore ultimately more signups from bands, DJs, labels etc.
This is the first time we’ll have taken on an intern, so we have no idea whether it will work, whether it will lead to longer term project work, employment, or just something positive to put on your CV. We are keen that it has value for any intern though, and we won’t just be asking you to make tea and photocopy stuff*. We’re hoping you can really add value to what we do.
As for payment, we’re really not sure yet. We won’t be able to offer any “proper” wages, but we would like to be able to cover your bus fare and lunch money. We need to do our sums, first. So it’s best if you apply for this, you do so expecting no money at all!
We’ve also said this is a part time internship, but we are completely flexible and are happy for someone to work full time too. Start and finish dates are also completely open to negotiation.
Please state on your application at Enternships.com which dates you are available, and what hours/days you would be willing to work.
* We don’t have a photocopier
All these are desirable, but not compulsory. Enthusiasm is more important than anything else.
- Experience of dealing with the press
- Experience of writing press releases
- A good grasp of social media and web trends
- A love of music
- An understanding of what we do > http://www.dizzyjam.com/about/
We’ll be printing t-shirts and hoodies ‘live’ (not unplugged, we need electrcity, sorry) at this weekend’s Swn Festival in Cardiff. Swn is a great 3-day event based around tons of venues all over the city. Obviously, it’s brilliant checking out all the bands that are playing all over the place, but what we really love about it is the central hub of Womanby Street, where you’ve got 3 or 4 venues very close together and you can fall out of one place and still manage to see another band during the changeover. We’ll be along that street, in Dempseys, next to the wristband exchange. Don’t forget, as with everything we sell, 25% goes back to the artist (or in this case, event) so they benefit directly and fairly from merch sales.
Here’s a hoodie and t-shirt we printed earlier. Beautiful, huh!?
What a weekend!
Firstly, Festinho is now surely the best small festival in the country. We basically saw smile after smile after smile on people who couldn’t believe how much fun they were having in such a beautiful setting. We can’t recommend it enough. Just a glorious, glorious weekend.
Secondly, we were overwhelmed by the interest in our printing-live-in-a-field “experiment”. We shared a stall with the ABC Trust, who were raising money for Brazilian street kids. People came up, were able to choose their t-shirt or hoodie coloursand then see us print it in front of their eyes.
But our efforts were tiny in comparison to the astonishing hard work all the volunteers who run the festival put in, and all the money their work raised. We tip our hats to them!
And in celebration of such an amazing weekend, here’s a video that Daf took of US hip hop crew Ugly Duckling performing live, and flirting with the ladies in the crowd!
We’re really excited to be sponsoring the brilliant festival Festinho!
It’s a great weekend out in the beautiful countryside, surrounded by lovely people and music.
We’ll be there with a merch stall, selling t-shirts and hoodies of artists playing at the festival. And some limited edition only-available-that-weekend specials! We’ll be printing on demand, so there’s no wondering whether your favourite design/colour is in stock. Stroll on up to our stall in your flip flops, sipping on your mojito, and choose a design from our laptop. We’ll then print it for you to collect shortly after. Simple.
Alongside a great music line-up, lots of other festival fun, the whole event is run to support the ABC Trust which provides vital training, education and support for Brazil’s street kids, as well as firing their imagination and creativity through dance, film, drama and music. It’s a brilliant charity making a huge difference to lots of disadvantaged youngsters in Brazil.
Find out more about the festival and the ABC Trust at Festinho.com. Loads more photos and videos on the site there, too. And we think there’s still a few tickets available. It’s the best small festival in the country. We love it!