Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of t-shirts do you use?
Ziraxia.com offers American Apparel and Hanes Beefy Tees*. We feel that when a customer is buying just one T-shirt, s/he probably wants better quality. We want you to be ecstatic about our products, and if you are happy, you might buy more and refer your friends to us as well. When we offer hoodies/flleece, Jerzees will most likely be the brand of choice, as we feel they do a great job with fleece.
American Apparel is sweat-shop free, made in America, and just feels good against your skin.
Hanes Beefy Tees are excellent quality, soft cotton, and they are cut wider in the shoulders. We can also offer them in larger sizes.
*In the case that you order a 4XL, Hanes does not make 4XL T-shirts in certain colors. In that case, we substitute an Organic T-shirt in that size.
How do you print your t-shirts?
The same way concert Ts and most store-bought T-shirts are printed: we screen print them using
plastisol ink. When we print dark colored garments, we dry the first layer of ink and apply a second
coat to achieve a nice bright print. Pretty much, we grew up screen printing, and have used that process
to print high quality garments from fire fighter uniforms to pep rally T-shirts.
Isn’t digital printing better? Why don’t you do that?
Digital printing is in its infancy. Red Alert actually was a beta-tester for one of the leading machines on
the market today. While we feel digital printing shows promise, it still has many drawbacks for T-
shirts. For one, the ink isn’t very vibrant compared to plastisol. Also, though some claim to be able to
print dark garments, we have not been impressed with the actual products. They do talk a good game,
though. When we think that process matches screen print, we’ll revisit it.
What won’t you print?
Red Alert rarely refuses to print designs based on content. In the 16 years we’ve been in business, there
was only one design we refused based on the content, and that was because it was hate related.
Ziraxia.com is a different story. On Ziraxia.com we license designs and so the rules aren’t the same. We
don’t want to print designs that people don’t want, or that we feel aren’t a good fit for us. There are
many designs that Red Alert will be happy to print for you, but Ziraxia.com would not sell.
Do you print the t-shirts in house?
Yes! Rather than burning through a new screen printer every month or so, we’d rather stay on an even
keel. We’ve seen a lot of screen printers come and go. Also, we really like the idea of controlling the
process. We know what we’re doing, and besides, who else is going to keep the Ziraxians busy?
Do you acquire my design?
In no case does Red Alert acquire designs. On Ziraxia.com, unless we make a specific arrangement to
buy a design, we are only seeking a non-exclusive license to publish your work on T-shirts. We pay
you to grant us that license. See our policies.
Does that mean you’ll make and sell T-shirts with my characters on them and not try to steal them?
Yep. If people like ‘em, we’ll be happy to.
Who are the Ziraxians, and are they really invading?
Ziraxians are aliens from, uh, Ziraxia. While they were collaborating with the Grey aliens to invade
Earth, they decided it would be a lot more fun to just dig on all our awesome T-shirts. They didn’t want
to deal with all the stress of an invasion, so they mutinied, crashed the ship, and now chill out with us
and make T-shirts. See our snarky cashier about buying some of those Ts. See our web comic for more
details about the Ziraxians.
What about the cow mutilations?
What about the crop circles?
Nothin’ to see here. Move along.
What are Zips?
Zips are Ziraxian currency.
100 zips in a Zap.
100 Zaps in a Ziggy.
Zips are only partially functional so far. In the future you will be able to spend them on neat-o stuff like virtual items, pimping your profile, shouting out about your newest design, and other activities we’ll invent. You’ll be able get Zips by participating in the Ziraxian experience, like say by rating other people’s designs, buying T-shirts, or submitting a design of your own.
For now, Zips can be earned through our affiliate program (currently under development), and we’ll be doling some out in experimental ways. No, there is no relation to the cattle mutilations.
Also, for now, you can only spend Zips on T-shirts. We’ll give you $1 US toward the purchase of a T-shirt for every Zap (100 zips) you’ve got.
Can I buy Zips?
Sure. They’re 100 for $1 US. But why abduct the cow when the Zips are free?
Can I exchange Zips for Earth currency?
Do you have one of Dr. Duran Duran’s machines?
What is the pilot program?
Ziraxia is in the Pilot Program, which basically means we haven’t implemented all of features yet, and we are working the bugs out. We only just went live on August 29th, 2007, and then immediately thereafter, our head of programming got hit with the abduct-o-tron ray. Normally, that’s not a problem, but he was wearing leather at the time, and well, the abduct-o-tron has a problem with cows…The doctors declared him “right as rain” on September 5th. Oddly, he sometimes says “Moo?” for no reason.
You should see a lot of changes around here while we’re in the Pilot Program. We are building the Stations, implementing the Zips, working on the avatars, and marketing the site. In the mean time, we’ll be printing and shipping T-shirts like always. If you have any ideas you’d like to freely give us about how we can beat the snot out of other T-shirt sites, please let us know.
Please excuse the wrecked spacecraft debris…
What if I just want you to make some T-shirts for me?
The Ziraxians love to print T-shirts, even if you don’t want us to sell them here! We will also print a broader range of designs than what we are likely to license and sell on the site. You can get an automatic quote at redalertmerch.com.
How do I know about my sales?
When you have licensed designs (or even have shirts waiting for liftoff) with us, you should see a link at the upper right that says “My Designs!” Go there and you should see the status of each of the designs you’ve entered on Ziraxia.
My Buddy bought one of my designs. Why doesn’t the sale register?
It can take up to 1 hour for a sale to register on the site, but most sales post immediately. Generally, it has to go through a process that involves verifying the payment has been accepted. This is to insure a sale really is an actual sale! There are cases where a sale may hang up in either Google or Paypal’s system, but they are rare.
Isn’t there a comic called Ziraxia?
Yep. We are working on it as you read this. It should be up on the site with a weekly update fairly soon. We wanted to get a few strips ahead before starting to post it.
Why did my design get rejected?
There are a few reasons why we may have bounced your design. Please be aware that in the final analysis, we are looking for designs that will sell a whole bunch of T-shirts. Here are a few reasons we may not choose to license your design from you:
The design may exceed our limitations, or the limitations of screen print:
A)We allow up to 5 colors in your imprint. We can print more colors, but we most likely will refuse.
B)We will not run over seams or do over-sized prints. Please stay inside of 11” x 11” so that small sized shirts don’t look wrong.
C)The text or line work in your design must be big enough. Please make your fonts 12 pts or bigger, and do not use lines thinner than 2 points.
D)With additional colors in the design, there must be additional salability. In other words, it is more costly to produce designs with more colors, and therefor, the extra expense must be merited.
Your design should follow our recommendations. We make exceptions, but don’t count on it.
A)Unless you have a Space Station, your design must be a one location print.
B)Your design can’t have excessive or incorrect gradations adding unnecessary technical difficulty to execute the print. Please don’t use gradations,and find other artistic tools to get the bang in your design.
Your mock-up must be correct. When you upload the mock-up please read and follow the instructions.
A)Your mock-up must represent the product.
B)Your mock-up must look right, not display too small or blurry, and not have errors.
C)Your mock-up must display an item or color we offer.
Your design should be a good fit for Ziraxia.
A) We try to avoid designs too similar to ones already proposed or found on every other T-shirt site.
B) We need designs in the scope of our intended audience.
C) We are looking for designs that have impact. Defining what “impact” is may be tough, so one of the following may help your design pass muster with us
. 1) If it is affiliated with a popular product you own the copyright to.
. 2) If it makes people say “wow” or “woa” without getting us fire-bombed.
. 3) If it is sarcastic, satirical, edgy, commentative, ironic, or funny.
. 4) It has a message that resonates.
. 5) It has a cutting edge quality to it.
Will you bend your rules for me?
Yes! If there is a compelling reason (ie. we know it would be profitable to do so), we can do all kinds of rule bending. But first it is important to know the rules, adhere to the rules, and learn how to do it the way we recommend.
What is a Hyperspecial?
Every week Ziraxia picks three designs for Hyperspecial where they go on sale for $12.99. Most likely you will only see a design go on Hyperspecial one time. The sale runs from Tuesday through the following Monday. After the sale, the design remains available, but for the regular price. (Psst… We are on Eastern Standard Time and the sale ends at midnight.)
Price adjustment for non-members: The price guarantee is not good if you purchase a design while you were not a member. However, you may have received an invitation (affixed to your shipping notification) to become a member that includes other incentives.
Why is my 4XL an Organic T-shirt?
The short answer: Hanes makes the 4XL Beefy T in a narrow range of colors.
Extended Answer: We had a choice, either we offer no T-shirts in sizes above 3XL or we be more flexible for our larger customers. In the future we plan to offer certain designs in up to 5XL or 6XL, but we have to do a considerable amount of backend work on the site to make it work right. In essence, for the time being, we offer designs in sizes up to 4XL, but have to substitute the Organic T-shirt where the Beefy T is not available.
Can I make money promoting other people’s T-shirts?
YES! If you post affiliate links within our guidelines, we’ll be happy to pay you for helping us sell T-shirts!
Can I have a T-shirt with my design on it?
Why YES you can. When you make your first sale of a licensed design, we send you a complimentary T-shirt. Be sure to set your size preferences and address information in your user profile. Otherwise you might miss out.
How Long Does it Take?
We ship shirts out as quickly as we can. If the shirt is in stock and printed, it goes out immediately. If the shirt is backordered, it can take up to 4-6 weeks to ship, depending on how quickly our distributors get our blank t-shirts to us and how many other t-shirts are in the queue. Some shirts, with complicated designs, may require more time.
We’re always looking at ways to make our process faster, but we refuse to sacrifice quality for speed.