How to Design a T-Shirt: The Ultimate Guide

Designing a t-shirt can be a lot of fun. You can design one to reflect your attitude and personality. In fact, designing t-shirts is a great business idea since you can design, produce and sell t-shirts as merchandise. Let’s go over the fundamentals of designing your own t-shirt.

1. The need for a Designed T-shirt

You can design a t-shirt for branding purposes, especially when you want to use them as promotional tools. As a fashion garment, you can still incorporate branding into your t-shirt design.

Think of the basic styles and themes you want to build into your design. Do you want to look funky or elegant? Trendy or timeless?

Good design has little to do with your personal taste and more with understanding how people like to present themselves. Invest some time in understanding the needs of your target market.

Generally, you can design t-shirts to be used as the following:

· Promotional tools

· Corporate branding

· Merchandise

· Keepsakes and souvenirs

2. Plan the Volume and Budget

The next step is to determine how many t-shirts you want to produce and how much you can afford to spend on it. The budget and volume are the critical issues that will affect the success of your venture.

These two factors determine whether you can use multiple colors in your design or settle for a monochrome design. The budget also determines the printing and fabric options that you have. The best way of staying within a limited budget is to economize on colors.

Whether you want to print in large bulk quantities or smaller batches will affect the printing method you use. With certain methods, you can lower your per-unit cost whereas other methods are more economical when you have to produce smaller batches of t-shirts.

3. Select the Printing Method

The quality of t-shirts is affected by the printing method you use. Here are some of the popular printing methods for how to design a t-shirt: the ultimate guide.

In screen printing, screens are produced for each color separately before printing the t-shirt. This is a reliable method and produces high-quality design.

Vinyl printing uses better quality ink, which makes the colors more durable but can be expensive for larger quantities.

In Print-On-Demand, an inkjet printer is used to print on the t-shirt directly. This is by far the fastest but also the most expensive printing option.

4. Create Your Design

When creating your t-shirt design, here are some of the things you should keep in mind:

· Create your design using a canvas measuring 18 inches by 18 inches

· Minimalistic design is more effective and easier to produce

· Come up with a design that looks good on different sizes of t-shirts

· Incorporate the brand creatively into your design

· Think of what would appeal to your audience (kids/teenagers/adults)

· Avoid heavy detailing into your design and use a limited range of colors

· Choose an appropriate font style and size for your design

· Select the color scheme for your design so that they complement the color of the fabric

· Test print the design to see how the colors look after printing

· Select the ink type you want, such as foil, Plastisol, gel and water-based inks.

5. Hire a Designer

If you have the design skills, go ahead and design your own t-shirt. If not, you’ll have to hire a designer to do the work for you. Go for a designer who can work within your timeline and budget. More importantly, he or she should understand your design approach. Remember to sign a contract with them and get complete rights for your design. You might need to have multiple meetings and discussions with your designer before they can begin working on your t-shirt design.

6. Test the Design

Ask your designer to produce at least 3 designs to make your final selection. It should satisfy all the criteria discussed above, such as being within the budget and in line with the customer expectations. The design has to be profitable in order to be successful. Feel free to discuss any issues with your designer and to iron out any differences amicably.

7. Get it Printed

Find a good printer who can offer you a good deal on printing in the required quantity. Ask about their volume discount or any other benefits they can offer. Review some of their samples before entrusting your order to them. Some printers have their own designers who can advise you about any issues in your design that need to be corrected. Always ask for a test sample to assure yourself that they meet your quality expectations. Discuss any upfront and hidden charges with them.

The Final Word

Getting t-shirts customized is beneficial for businesses. It all depends on how you plan to design the shirt according to your business’s color scheme. Come up with a design that will make people want to wear your shirt!