T-shirt prints 👕

Our initiative for print-on-demand t-shirts at DjangoCon 2019 wasn't sufficient, but we have opened a merch shop for digital prints, and original stencils are shown at the end of this article in case you would like to print your own – and if you do, please share with others how it turned out 💡

We would like to share a little bit of evaluation about the ~120 custom prints that were done during DjangoCon Europe 2019, since we think its a great idea, and maybe other events would like to continue.

DjangoCon 2019 had print on-demand merchandise, including bring-your-own-garment. The prints here screen printed and handmade quality, the workshop recruited only students, and the fabrics could be both new and used.

There were some risks involved in this. The “on-demand” still meant that we had to return unused t-shirts and garment coloring to the suppliers. Human resources were also sparse and in the end defined the production capacity. To have a nice selection between colors, sizes and fits, meant that the outlet had to be 4 times what we expected to sell. This setup means that a conference needs a good relationship with your suppliers of t-shirts to be able to return the large unsold stock.

Bring-your-own garment meant that for instance tote bags could be filled on the blank side:

Tote bag printing

Really customized

Critical reflections

We think participants at DjangoCons should be offered an opportunity for a wearable memory of the event. We can recommend exploring similar ideas about on-demand printing. For the sake of consuming less textile resources and to help keep tickets affordable, on-demand is a great instrument. We have learned from other events that pre-orders often fail because people show up and change their minds or are hesitant to pre-order before seeing the actual shirt.

Some people have actually also reached out and said that they were glad not to get a t-shirt that they wouldn't use anyways - so to that extend, we are also confident that it isn't everyone who wants another conference t-shirt.

Granted, as many have objected, we did hand out a tote bag. This is largely due to the traditional sponsorship format: Handing out sponsor materials. But surely, future organizers can also think of new creative ways to address this.

There are other machine-driven print methods available which can produce much more reliable, faster and standardized prints than the screen printing method we applied at AFUK. Especially, we are sorry to see that technical mistakes have made some prints wear off at the first laundry. This was in particular due to a proper test round prior to the event, the prototype went straight into production, so to speak.

The garments, both tote bag and t-shirts, were made from ecological cotton and under Fairtrade working conditions. As we are having a good time at a conference, let's ensure that the workers who manufacture various supplies for the event have, too.

A little shop

Since its free to setup a shop on various outlets, we've chosen one with ecological garments (Spreadshirt). Oh and since it's also digital print, we thought we'd add more colors, so we've made a pride-colored 🌈 edition of the Django heart.

You are not supporting anything financially by buying from this shop, we have zero profits from it. If you would like to support Django, we suggest direct donations to Django Software Foundation.

T-shirt stencils from DjangoCon 2019

In case you didn't get a t-shirt, here are the stencils that we used.

Download vectorized file: PDF, 1.1 MB

Pony Powered stencil DjangoCon 2019 stencil Django Heart