Creating a personalised T-shirt can be a lot easier than you might think, even if you’re not a professional designer. There are many easy and effective methods that you can use to create stunning designs. One of which is the T-shirt designer tool on our Online Shop, which allows you to easily customise and create your own T-shirt in a matter of a few minutes.
In this article, we'll explore some of the things to think about when designing a t-shirt, to ultimately help you achieve your goals - whether that's selling more products, or creating a design your team loves.
Top tips for T-shirt design
Why do you need a T-shirt?
First of all, you have to consider why you need a T-shirt. Are you starting a T-shirt brand? Do you need T-shirts for workwear? Or do you need a T-shirt for events or a special occasion? The reason that you need a T-shirt will define the type of T-shirt design that you should consider. Staff T-shirts may be simple, with just the company name on the front, whereas T-shirts for fashion may be much more complex and detailed.
Find a concept
Invest some time in developing your concept. Take your time and explore ideas. To begin with, it can be as simple as sketching out the various ideas on paper. This will help give you a feel for what does and doesn't work before you start working on the digital version of your design. It's always worth going through at least 5 design ideas before deciding on which to progress with, as this will ensure you've given yourself the opportunity to take the design as far as it can go.
Once you have established some ideas for your T-shirt designs, conduct some research. This doesn’t have to be expensive; you can ask family and friends for feedback on your designs or use social media to conduct a poll. Just make sure that the people you are asking are your target market or potential buyers of your products to ensure you receive accurate feedback. T-shirt trends for 2022 can also be a good place to start by understanding the style of T-shirts that will be in demand in the coming year.
Imagine the design on a shirt
The next step is to imagine what the design will look like on a T-shirt. You can do this by creating digital mockups, either using graphics software or our T-shirt designer. You could also print out your design on paper, and hold it up to a blank T-shirt.
Keep the balance between detailed and simple design
Create a unique design, as everyone appreciates something new, be as creative as you can. It need not always be extremely detailed as some of the most classic designs have been the simplest. You should also think about the message that your design conveys.
A detailed, fun design may not be appropriate for T-shirts for workwear but may be appropriate for T-shirts for fashion or T-shirts for events. A simple, one colour logo can be both cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing and creates a smart and professional look for corporate T-shirts.
Consider your market
This needs to be considered, as you should be aware whether you are designing for a male or female, young or old, as well as what their interests are, this is because you need a product that you want people to wear. Deciding on this reflects the skill of a good marketer; thus, focus on the targets you wish to attract for a particular design – who they are, what they like, what other brands they like and go from there.
Choose the right fabric
The best fabric for T-shirts will depend on your T-shirt design. The two most popular print methods, screen printing and DTG both produce great results; however, their use cases are very different. A photographic style print or a design with many colours requires DTG printing which is only possible on T-shirts with a high percentage of cotton. Screen printing is more flexible but is only possible with 1-6 colours.
What print method will work best for my fabric?
- Cotton: DTG, Screen Printing and Embroidery
- Polyester: Screen Printing, Embroidery and Digital Transfer Prints
- Tri-blend/mixed fabrics: Screen Printing, Embroidery and Digital Transfer Prints
For a more detailed explanation of how to choose the right print method for your T-shirts, take a look at our Print Method Guide.
Create your artwork without any errors
When screen printing, or any other method you should always consider what, and how many colours you use. Your design will be best suited for print if you outline text and expand any strokes you may have - this will ensure it is printed as accurately as possible. For such design tips and tricks, there are plenty of good tutorials on sites like YouTube.
There are also several requirements for artwork resolution and dimensions. For tips on how to get your artwork ready for print, take a look at our Artwork Guide.
Understand the market
Depending on your target market, you should consider how these costs will impact your sales. Some consumers prefer a low-cost T-shirt whilst others will associate a higher cost with better quality products. You can have a great T-shirt design, but it won’t matter if your target market can’t afford to buy your products.
Aim to come up with something trendy, as every other designer is looking to move on to the next big thing. Remember T-shirts have arisen from every subculture that has ever existed whether it's tees from bands, skateboarders, street art, sports crossovers or general pop culture.
Choose and start designing your t-shirts online today. Or head over to Print On Demand T-Shirts UK, if you’re thinking about setting up a fashion brand and printing on-demand.
Talk to a T-shirt expert
If you’re ordering a larger volume of 25 or more t-shirts you may wish to get a quote or speak to an expert about your design work. We have made quoting easy and fast through our Request a Quote Form which sends a quote directly to your inbox. If at any stage you feel stuck and need advice, you can Contact Us and your dedicated account manager will be happy to help.
This post was updated in January 2022 with the most up-to-date information and advice from our expert print and embroidery team.
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