How it Works

Cotton Bureau works a little differently than most places. Don’t worry, we’ll explain everything, and if still you have questions, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email.

What is Cotton Bureau?

Cotton Bureau is a highly-curated collection of t-shirts, hats, drinkware, and more.

We help designers and illustrators, causes and charities, and creative communities (podcasters, app and game developers, design agencies, blogs and media outlets, etc.) turn their ideas into real products.

Plain english: people use Cotton Bureau every day to make t-shirts and other goods available for sale — then we do all the hard work of printing, shipping, and customer service.

How does Cotton Bureau work?

We guide you through the entire process of preparing a design for sale.

We make sure your artwork is print-ready (and provide light creative direction if necessary), choose shirt colors, fabrics, and ink types, determine pricing, help you with your account and profile, etc. Once everything is good to go, you let us know when you’d like your shirt to launch.

And just like that, your product is live. Maybe the clock starts ticking on a two week pre-order campaign, or maybe you chose to use our stock or on demand options. No matter which sales method you use, you can count on Cotton Bureau to handle everything from production to taxes to replacements and exchanges.

When it’s time to start production, we work with the same trusted local, national, and international partners we’ve been using for the last 10+ years to print, embroider, cast, forge, decorate, and otherwise manufacture exactly what you need and when you need it.

Why should I work with Cotton Bureau instead of some other print-me-a-shirt service?

  • Only the best designs
  • No AI slop
  • The finest-quality shirts and apparel
  • Dependable printing and production
  • Slick online shopping experience
  • Attentive customer service
  • Did we mention real people

Listen, there are a zillion places on the internet to get a crappy t-shirt made, but we’re not one of them. We’ve made a name for ourselves by focusing on quality at every turn: the best designers and communities, comfy and stylish tees, a rock-solid print shop, a slick and accessible website experience, and caring and swift customer service.

If we team up on a t-shirt together, you can rest assured that it won’t be for sale next to someone’s charity 5K tee, printed on low quality scratchy tees with the wrong color ink, and shipped three weeks late by people you can’t reach via email. We’ve been doing this since 2013, and we’re getting better all the time. We got this.

Oh, by the way, all customer service is handled 100% in-house by real people — no ifs, ands, or bots. Refunds, exchanges, lost packages? Just email We’re here to help.

Sounds great, what do I have to do?


You have two responsibilities: design the artwork and promote the heck out of it.

Because of our vast connections in the design and illustration world, we can help with the first part. But when it comes to promotion, we really lean on you to do the heavy lifting. Use every tool at your disposal early and often (social media, email newsletters, website links, text messages, hand-written letters, smoke signals, etc.) Ask your friends, family, and followers to help out. Whether you’re an individual designer with a few followers on Instagram or a super-popular podcast with hundreds of thousands of listeners, your product won’t sell unless you promote it.

How much money will I make?

Whether you just want to make a few extra bucks, raise money for a worthy cause, or generate actual revenue for your business, Cotton Bureau can help.

Basic accounts on Cotton Bureau are 100% free. All approved Cotton Bureau accounts have access to our complete on demand catalog and extensive pre-order campaign services.

Here’s how profit works: pick a product, add your profit margin (we recommend at least $5), tell people about it. It’s that simple.

Once a month as long as you’ve earned at least $25 Cotton Bureau sends you money via PayPal or direct bank transfer.

Not a bad deal for a few minutes setting up an account and telling a few friends.

For on demand, every time you sell a shirt, hat, phone case, tote, tumbler, etc. you make that profit margin. Actually, you can make even more than that once you get going. After a certain lifetime sales volume, we start handing out bonuses like candy. The more you sell, the better for us all, you know?

For pre-order campaigns, there’s a 12 shirt minimum before anything gets made (and you get paid). The bar to clear is a little higher than on demand, but the payoff is a shirt that will last a lifetime.

What else can we do together?

Lots of things, it turns out.

Our selection of on demand and pre-order products is substantial (and growing), but sometimes you need help with something a little more custom like enamel pins, challenge coins, or embroidered patches. We can assist with those as well.

You’ve seen enough, tTime to submit a design.