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Royalties and Copyright

I'm new to this site and read everything I could find about this but still have a question ...


Since there was no mention of royalties (the video on the site just says that if you submit a design and it's accepted, you can make all kinds of cash), I'm assuming that if your design is accepted, you have a chance to win the prize money, but not royalties from the sale price of t-shirts. Could anyone confirm that for me? Thanks ... And if I'm wrong and there are royalties on shirts, what's the percentage? Or once you give up the copyright to Threadless, they can sell your design on unlimited products and keep 100% of the sale?


Just wanted to be sure. Thanks!

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NDTank
NDTank profile pic Alumni
2 designs submitted - Score now!

The short answer:

An upfront cash payment (between $250-$2,000!) based on what it’s printed on. Royalties (3-20%) based on the number of products sold with your design!

When your design is printed, Threadless earns the rights to print and sell your design on any product. However, if you want to use your design for any commercial purpose, just let us know! We’ll be happy to give you the rights back to your design on whatever product you need.

NDTank
NDTank profile pic Alumni
2 designs submitted - Score now!

That's the wording from Threadless FAQ, I don't work for threadless.

hellofromthemoon
hellofromthemoon profile pic Alumni

It depends on the contract. Some of them have an upfront payment, and then Threadless pays royalties after a certain number of shirts has been sold - for example $2000 up front, and then 3% of sales after 1000 shirts has been sold (though those numbers might not be entirely correct). Sometimes it's royalties only and you get no cash up front.

FayPrinceEnergyArt

Okay, thanks for that, NDTank ... 3 - 20%---that's quite the range. Do you know where I could read more info on these details? I didn't see that on the FAQ but I'll have another look.

I normally do visual art (paintings) and was going to upload a digital version based on a photograph of one of my paintings. There would be the possibility later of selling the original painting in a gallery. For this I'd probably need to ask for permission because the image would be the same. Is permission normally granted in these instances? (maybe someone who works for Threadless can answer too) It seems like most art on the site is primarily digital so I'm not sure if I should submit ... wondering if there are other painters doing digital copies based on photos of their art and submitting to the site. In cases like mine, the digital copy might not be "up to Threadless standards" but as long as it meets the specs (72 dpi, layers separated), is that enough? Based on what some posters have said as feedback to other artists, and on looking through the other submissions, it seems like my digital design skills should be pretty high before I can submit I guess ... any tips/thoughts on that also greatly appreciated! Thanks :)

FayPrinceEnergyArt

Okay, thanks hellofromthemoon! That's also interesting. I guess I must be overlooking that info somewhere or else they don't post it until you get a contract. Also if anyone has any comments on making a bit of money on the site and how easy/difficult they've found that to be that'd be interesting too.

GAZPACHO

New terms: http://www.threadless.com/info/blog/59201/submission_terms__updated Always post in the forums before you submit. Its a great asset most people forget. Also as to reselling your art in a gallery, threadless retains the rights to your art ninety days after scoring ends and during that time period they can still choose to print your design. As to quality of art, people often think threadless is "easy" money and submit crap and have friends vote on it. Votes matter up to a certain point but its the folks at threadless that choose what to print. Just keep that in mind and good luck!

FayPrinceEnergyArt

Makes sense. Thanks GAZPACHO! I'll check out this link. It's not that it's "crap," but I'd say my digital design skills are not as high as my painting skills. Still, point taken ... I wonder what constitutes "crap" digitally speaking by Threadless standards ... :)

GAZPACHO

Haha, I would also suggest you check out the recently printed designs to get an idea of what is expected. A huge part of threadless is having a strong concept behind a design so make sure that is a priority.

FayPrinceEnergyArt said:

Makes sense. Thanks GAZPACHO! I'll check out this link. It's not that it's "crap," but I'd say my digital design skills are not as high as my painting skills. Still, point taken ... I wonder what constitutes "crap" digitally speaking by Threadless standards ... :)

melmike
melmike profile pic Alumni

If one of your paintings was printed on a Threadless tee, no, you wouldn't have to as permission to sell that painting. Threadless buys the rights from you to sell your artwork on specific products, you retain copyright of your artwork.

FayPrinceEnergyArt

Thanks for the response, melmike! That would be ideal, but do you know where to find that in writing? In the Legal Terms it says: "If the Design is selected by Threadless.com, you shall assign the entire right, title, and interest in and to the Design to skinnyCorp, LLC, which is the corporate entity that owns Threadless.com, and will waive any “moral rights” you may have in the Design." Maybe a staff member will respond at some point too ...

FayPrinceEnergyArt

@ GAZPACHO, checked out lots of printed designs and they just look so digitally "tidy"!! ... I think my concept is good but would probably have to brush up on digital design skills. I guess I could always post what I've got so far for feedback.

fightstacy
fightstacy profile pic Alumni
FayPrinceEnergyArt said:

checked out lots of printed designs and they just look so digitally "tidy"!! .

If you look around there's a lot of filthy ones too

FayPrinceEnergyArt

I only wish I knew how to tell the difference! (more pixelated/blurry = worse?) They all look pretty good to me but it's not my usual medium

FayPrinceEnergyArt

QUESTION: If I want to post what I've got so far on a forum to get feedback, I should probably not post it in high resolution here? Do you just post the same picture as the one you would upload as a submission (w/the tee-shirt in the bottom right?)

GAZPACHO

Email question to jeff, he works at threadless: jeff.guerrero@skinnycorp.com And yes, try to put the design submission so we can give the best feedback. Nobody here will steal it...I hope :P

FayPrinceEnergyArt said:

QUESTION: If I want to post what I've got so far on a forum to get feedback, I should probably not post it in high resolution here? Do you just post the same picture as the one you would upload as a submission (w/the tee-shirt in the bottom right?)

Morkki
Morkki profile pic Alumni

If Threadless buys your design they buy the rights to it but they may assign some rights back to you if you just ask. I don't think selling the original painting would be a problem since it's just one item and normally you don't sell copyrights anyway when selling a painting at a gallery.

And about turning traditional paintings to successful shirt designs, it can be done but usually it isn't as simple as just pasting a photo of a painting on a shirt template. Pretty much anything can be printed but it needs to look like it belongs on a shirt.

Also, 72dpi is not enough for printing! 72dpi is an archaic standard for monitor resolutions that really hasn't much use these days. A file fit for printing needs to be at least 150dpi (but go for 300 if possible) at the physical size you want it to be printed. And do not ever scale up to stretch pixels, use a good camera so you have a big enough original image to work with.

FayPrinceEnergyArt

Thanks Morkki! That's helpful advice!! We set the dpi as 72 just because it says to do so in the "Submission Kit" on this site ... but I was skeptical too because the original photo was high quality, even taken by a professional photographer, and was around 300 dpi. Still saved a copy of that one of course though. It should be clearer in their specs that 72 is only a minimum (even meaningless) resolution requirement ... that's not a no-brainer for everyone. Thanks again for the tips from all responders---really helpful! Back to the "drawing board" ...

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