Designing a T-shirt is a huge and popular outlets for the creative fellows. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an illustrator, graphic designer or may be a typographer. You can put the idea in your designs on T-shirts and it can be amazingly appealing to others.
However, the process can also be daunting. Here, we’ll walk through our best tips for designing custom on T-shirt designs and printing ideas on your own T-shirts. Pretty awesome right?
Most of the online and offline t-shirt sellers get into that business as a way to earn some extra money on the side. However, most of them dream of eventually make this side beside the main work. After all, who doesn’t want that to make a living being so much creative and selling the t-shirts from home?
T-Shirt Design Ideas
It sounds quite easy enough to create new t-shirt designs all the time since you probably decided to get into that business because of how many clever and amazing ideas you had for t-shirts. After a while, however, it can also get harder and harder to come up with fresh, competitive ideas that stand out.
Luckily, we got your back. Check out these amazing tips to help inspire new and creative t-shirt design and ideas to your customer base will love. Go through this, here you will find some amazing designing tips.
Basic Ideas before Designing a T-Shirt
Here you’ll find some wonderful basic design tips that you must know before entering into the world of the t-shirt business.
Take time to explore your concept
Sketch your T-shirt design on your own, go out for a walk, create a few interesting variations, have something delicious to eat and do a full brainstorming thing and be ready. Then you should sleep on it. And do all this over again. If it comes to your mind straight away then it’s great. But explore other creative options too just in case.
Imagine the design on a T-shirt
When you worked for both print and web over the years, you can figure out the vast difference between design on-screen and a printed piece. Never afraid to mock up your T-shirt design on a model. Print it out if you feel necessary. Then you have to place it on an actual tee. Make sure that you see your artwork at the actual size.
Detail is king but keep things simple
Everyone appreciates your great drawing ability especially when you get your attention to detail. There’s nothing better than to see a well-executed masterpiece on the tee, which you may study for hours to come up with the idea.
But, equally, there is another thing. Some of the most classic and wonderful T-shirt designs are the simplest. They get the core message across to their simplest form.
Consider your market
This is always an important one to us. You have to keep in mind that whom for you designing. Is it male or female; young or old? Because at the end of the day you’re creative idea and designing a product would matter.
Like a good brand value, a good designer would do great things. You can write down the exact person you want to attract with your T-shirt design
Keep your humor subtle
If you’re looking for a humorous T-shirt design, you don’t want that coming across as cheap as possible and as a low-cost joke shirt. Even the most successful story and if said it loud and in-your-face-of designs have the subtle type of humor.
Choose the right colors
Try choosing the most complimentary colors in your design. Always remember haphazard color combination would create a disaster to your design. It is a big fact because color is a very vivid area of the imagination of a person’s work.
You can use Halftones to make the most restricted colors you’re allowed to use ever be.
Prepare your artwork properly
Use Pantone colors when you are doing screen printing. Your printer will surely love you for it. They’ll also like you if you outline the text and expand the strokes you may have.
Source a good printer
It’s very important to take time to learn that what type of T-shirt you want to design and print on. So now your design is getting finished and properly be artworked, but your tee remains empty if you don’t get a good printer. This is very important for your work.
To have a good understanding of all this, you just need to study. You also have to understand its context. And way of having a good understanding of anything, you need to study a lot. Then try to understand its context
Be ahead of the game
Be inspired by what the latest trends are, but don’t copy them. Chances are by the time you’ve seen that T-shirt produced, other designers are moving onto something else behind closed doors.
Pick a message
You need to think about what you are going to work on and creating the t-shirt for. If it’s a branding image for your company, make sure about your logo, slogan the exact message which is going to come across clearly. If you are working on creating fashionable t-shirts, take the total opportunity to play with the fonts, colors, and designs, but always remember that you are still trying to put out a message.
Know your customers
This is very important that you must research your customers. Do you also have to figure out which other brands they wear? Knowing your customers is like pointing the arrow exactly to the crossbow.
Choose a visual concept
The possibilities are almost in the point at endless when it comes to a t-shirt design. Typography, illustration style, fabric, and color should all blend properly to produce a clear and stylish design. A few things you need to consider: light slogans which tend to stand out best on dark fabrics, and vice versa. Serif or cursive types of fonts give a classic feel, while sans serif or block letters even work more contemporary.
Know your budget
You must work out how much it will cost you to print each of the t-shirts. Screen printing is always a pretty low-cost option that produces highly pigmented and long-lasting designs at a wonderfully reasonable cost. You also should bear in mind that each color requires a whole new printing screen. So, the fewer the color, the lower the cost
Refine your idea
Start sketching the design or build a Pinterest board to get inspiration. Then take a break, sleep on it, and reconsider the idea. It could take a while for you maybe, but this part of the process is really important for a design, and it needed to be fun! Come up with at least two or three designs before making the final decision, and if you have the proper opportunity and budget, work on them with a skilled graphic designer.
Cater to Your Target Market
Before you put on any design on a t-shirt, you need to know who that t-shirt is made for. Identifying the target market you’re designing for will help you stay focus.
If you don’t get a clear idea of who you’re designing that for, start by asking your idea, if your designs are based on younger or older buyers. This will help you determine the age range for your ideal customer base.
Next, focus on the character or personality and their interests
Finally, when thinking of the personal interest and you’re designing for. It also helps to look into the brands that they already wear.
To get more inspired and to get your creative juices all flowing, you should pay attention to the world around you. Things are constantly changing and happening all around you rapidly so it only makes sense to use this as a source of t-shirt design inspiration. You have to stay current in the changing world.
Know What’s Selling
If you want to sell your designed t-shirts, it helps to know what’s currently selling. You must do a bit of market research and it may be enough to fill your mindset with tons of new and creative t-shirt design ideas which are more likely to sell. You should know the quality and also the quantity that what you are selling in the market.
Offer Custom Designs
You should offer your buyers a very good quality of custom designs which is an easy way to give them exactly the thing that they want. Custom designs may sound a little bit intimidating to you, so narrow down the options by offering a base variant of design that can be customized according to meet their needs. By offering customizable t-shirts, you can be sure about your customers that will connect with the design.
Invite a Guest Designer
If you’re already just feeling burned out and you don’t want the trouble coming up with the new t-shirt design, you may take a step back and invite some person to help you out. It doesn’t matter whether you need a little break or you don’t get the skill that is needed to create the design you truly want. So now, you can always invite the guest designer to make some amazing designs for your shop.
T-Shirt Design Tools
In the meantime, a very rich factor is that A t-shirt designing tool is an ideal tool for all t-shirt designers. Using a design template can simplify a design process. It also can help you to create a design that you maybe couldn’t make on your own. It is a very essential factor for such kind of work.
Everyone loves a great T-shirt design. We know we also do. We are even always fond of new and creative designs that match the current world. Here are some of the creative ideas that can support a person to design a wonderful t-shirt.
The boy in the picture in Sales can’t believe that the other boy has such a giant logo on the shirt. Not only does it look so ridiculous, but it’s not also comfortable with all that ink on the fabric.
Here’s the thing: size always should be decided based on the very nature of the design, and the properties of the garment to be printed. Size does matter a lot.
Depending on the logo and shape of your design, it can look much bigger or smaller than it should. The sizing of a whole t-shirt also matters a lot. You have to work with a pretty few amount of variation in your work.
Some people printed out their designs at the home on regular paper and hold them up to their shirts to get an extra effort.
The bottom line is size matters. It can make or break the beauty of a design
Placement is a very important thing in design. Your design may be so amazing that it turns heads– but then it gets the placement wrong, everything will be ruined.
Typography & Fonts
Typography, in the most basic form, is the visual component of the written word. It’s not the text itself but we can print or displayed the text anytime.
When it comes to the design, typography is the mood of typesetting or arranging the type in a way that makes sense on the last page. We can’t imagine a good t-shirt without good typography.
Composition is something that you may remember from the high school art class. Every design has some elements that are arranged in a relation to each other, and this relation makes up the overall composition. Composition something that makes the outlook perfect actually.
So if you’re working with a huge variety of elements, put enough time and effort into your composition. Show a few people and get feedback. Worry first, and then you can be happy later.
Yes, it’s image quality. It has a great impact on the world of online business. People are firstly seeing the products and then they decide what to do. So it is very necessary to create a good portion of image quality in this field.
Choices of color are some of the most important decisions you have to make not only for design reasons but if you want to do screen printing, making sure also that the job fits your budget. More colors = more cost per item. Of course, you should always buy more shirts to decrease the cost per item. Spend more to save more. Sales logic.
Yes, color is very much an essential item for your project.
The design itself may have a lot of things to do with the overall contrast, as far as the content is written and what colors get the most surface area or are the main dominant. A crazy and eye-catching image along with the saturated colors will go a long way towards and then you have to increase the contrast against a neutral background.
Again achieving the highest contrast possible is not the goal always. Many people like the very subtle look of a low-contrast print. So the combination is very important here.
Inversion is that something fairly common and also that needs to be done, usually when printing white ink on the black garments. Unless you’re done with some kind of goth art band, you probably don’t want that your photo looking like an x-ray. So it is essential.
The human eye can process a certain amount of information at a glance, graphics or otherwise, and with the T-shirt design you not only have a limited viewing time, but you’re usually the moving target. So keep it simple!
Borders, Masks & Edges
These three components are the reasoning factor of why you should buy this t-shirt. It increases the customer’s eye-catchiness. It also very important in the cost sector and also helps to increase the market value of a particular product.
Figure Out Why You Need A T-Shirt
Every company has its different objectives, and hence their uses of different ways to achieve those particular objectives. If you have a plan to design a custom t-shirt for your brand, you have to figure out the Why?
A clear understanding of the reasons will help you in your designing process.
There is an old saying of us “A picture is worth of thousand words”. It makes the business of t-shirt an ideal persuasive of the sales pitch. Through a proper designing strategy, you can also communicate with the brand’s products of the services.
When it comes to a promoting business, custom-like t-shirts are no less than a walking advertisement for it. It creates huge buzz and offers good visibility to your business when you are coupled with an influential image.
Every expert has an opinion that internal marketing helps the employees in developing their strong emotional attachment with the company. This, in turn, also increases a sense of commitment and big motivation in employees towards the company’s goals.
It creates awareness of the essentials. It also means the internal stay order which clears the internal problems in a puff. In every artwork, this process is a must.
Know Your Audience
Once you are clear with the printing objectives, the next step is to identify your target audience.
Before creating a wonderful t-shirt design, You need to answer the following questions about your target audience:
- Who would wear this t-shirt?
- What type of hobbies and interests do these people have?
- What type of social media or online communities do they belong to?
- Are these people passionate enough to purchase your products or services?
Designing a t-shirt for the teenager, for instance, is generally going to look a little bit different from a shirt designed for the adult. You have to keep in mind one thing that custom designed t-shirt is a marketing tool. And if you design it according to the target audience, you put your position in a better way to have the greatest impact from a marketing point of view.
Define Your Budget, Quantity, And Timeline
Now that you are clear with your every detail objective and audience, it’s time to settle down some details so that you can focus on your design better.
Every company has a particular budget. How much you should spend and what you want to spend will impact your design area. If you tend to add more detailed images with more colors, for instance, it may cost you more. Think about those dollars in the initial stage of your work so that you can find a perfect balance in the project between the creative options that you have and the number of quantities you can produce or print.
The choice of your project’s printing method is directly connected to proportionate to the quantity you want to print. There are a few printing tricks and methods that have per-unit cost, while others are used for a bulk product that is also worthy. But you need to remember, when it comes to the point of quality, quantity doesn’t matter at all. After all, you want people to wear t-shirts for a longer period.
If you are already planning to design a t-shirt for any campaign or promotional activity then, it’s vital to set up a timeline to grow the design so that you can get the printed one within the timeframe.
Choose A T-Shirt Type
We all are always aware of the various styles that are available in t-shirts quality: v-neck, polo-neck, round neck, short sleeves, long sleeves, etc. They’re not only the budget but the type of t-shirt you choose, offers some of the distinctive design options. For example, a full-sleeved t-shirt allows you to print your brand identity down the length of the sleeves.
Size also matters that a customer can choose M, L, XL, XXL. WE also have to keep this in our mindset.
Choose Good Fabric
Choosing a good fabric is very much important. When it comes to the t-shirt design ideas there not all fabrics are maintained as produced equal. For printers, the fabrics are just like what the canvases are to tends the artists. Just like a bad canvas, it can destroy a beautiful painting, the same thing can also be said in a t-shirt production from bad quality material. Thus, it has got a vital role to pay attention to the fabric.
Here are some wonderful preferred fabrics as per printing techniques:
- Screen Printing
- Preferred fabric: Cotton
- Direct To Garment(DTG)
- Preferred fabric: Cotton
- Transfer Printing
- Preferred fabric: Polyester
- Sublimation Printing
- Preferred fabric: Polyester
Pick The Right Size
You have to remember that your all customers are not got the same body. What types of the t-shirt are you planning to design and sell on? Is it a long-sleeved t-shirt design, a basic t-shirt, or a polo shirt? Big designs of you will look good on small-sized t-shirts. Small designs also get lost in big t-shirts.
Here is an amazing quick trick that can help you in visualizing how your design should look on a t-shirt. All you need is an 8.5 * 11’’ piece of standard paper and a simple T-shirt. Just lay down the t-shirt on the table and place the paper on it. The size of that paper represents the size of the image you are planning to put on.
Select A Color Scheme
Color is the best designing tool in communicating the personality of a person. The separate tints, hues, and shades of each of the colors modify the emotional attachment, giving the graphic designer a wide range of colors and options to send the right message.
Choosing the right temper and shade of color is like a proper outfit detail that can make or break the external outfit. Choose the detailed colors that not only go with the brand personality but also match well.
Determine About The Placement Of The Design On A T-Shirt
Will your design always work at the center or top left or as a wraparound image on your t-shirt?
If you are just printing a t-shirt for your company, then the most effective place where you should print your design is the center of the t-shirt.
You can use the back of that t-shirt to display the image, logo, or slogan of your particular brand.
You must be noticed that there are some t-shirt brands where the image or text gets hide when we wear them. It not only kills actual purpose but also reflects the bad branding. And certainly, you shouldn’t take that risk.
Choose Right Typography
When you choose the fonts for your t-shirt, first ask yourself the following questions:
- Are all users going to read it?
- Which category of font should we use?
- Should we use familiar fonts or try new ones?
- What are the latest trends?
- What the others are doing, especially your competitors?
Just like the colors, fonts also can communicate. Serif fonts will give the design a more traditional and formal types look while San-serif fonts will give a modern look.
Know Your Printing Options
Printing is a very significant element in t-shirt designing. One of the major problems we may face with unprofessional t-shirt designers is that they probably don’t know which printing options are better to choose.
Following are some of the popular printing techniques:
Direct to Garment(DTG)
This method is suitable for complex design printing. When you touch your design, it gives your hands a very soft touch. The ink here used in the process does not create extra-thick layers on the t-shirt.
Heat Press Printing
If you want to print t-shirts in small quantities, then it is the most amazing and inexpensive method. The type is suitable for complex designs, but may not work well with darker fabrics.
This method is very suitable for printing premium t-shirt designs. It gives an impressive design and unique look to your t-shirt. The drawback of that method is, it is not ideal for multiple-color designs.
This method is suitable for polyester cream fabrics but intolerant for cotton fabric. The printing done with this amazing method makes the t-shirt durable and soft. You may have to spend a little extra time to create a dye-sub, but at last, you will get the result. A t-shirt that not looks professional may be but cute.
Find A Designer
It’s good to have for you to have an understanding of everything. But when it comes in talking to designing some sensitive stuff like create a logo design, t-shirts design (for brand promotions), etc. then it’s better to leave the job and everything in the hands of experts. In today’s world which is digitally connected, it has become easy to get connected with designers from all around the world.
Evaluate Your Design
Is your design achieving all the necessary goals? Is it in perfect line with your budget? Can it be used on different sizes of t-shirts? These are some common questions that you need to ask before printing your final design.
Get The Files From The Designer
Now that you are all done with your design, it’s time to take all the needed files from the designer. It is very much a worth remembering thing.
All you need is:
Design in vector image formats such as EPS, PDF, or AI file.
Code details of Pantone or CMYK colors. It will surely help you in getting the exact color you want in your design.
Find A Printer
When your design is finally ready. Yay! It’s time for you to find out the perfect printer that can suggest you the best printing method within your set budget.
Down there are the following things that you need to take care of:
Ii. The printer must have an in-house art department
Ask the printer or the t-shirt maker to send a few samples of his work.
Be careful of any of the hidden charges.
If you are planning to have bulk printing, ask the printer first to show you some pre-press proof
Be Ahead Of The Game
Last but the least, always be inspired by the latest trends and fashions. Remember never to copy them as trends keep changes every time and chances are by the time you produce a t-shirt with a particular design, other designers of that age may move forward with the fresh designs. And nobody will get any clue till the time it gets launched in the market.
Some Best-Selling T-Shirt Niches and Print on Demand Product Ideas
Print on demand has always several niches. Each niche has its own set of slang and their different use, reasons for buying those products, and popular T-shirt design ideas, so knowing the niche makes it easier for the people to create items they’ll want to buy.
Below are some of the most popular T-shirt ideas, plus some print-on-demand products where you can use them.
People love their pets so much, which is why the pet industry is worth $95 billion a year, based on data from the American Pet Products Association.
For cool shirt designs, you can go for the common sub-niches like dogs, cats, or birds, but there’s also a market for uncommon pets or large animals, such as horses, lizards, wolves, and hedgehogs.
Check out this T-shirt graphic design idea. Statement shirts and T-shirt quotes are great conversation-starters. Humor-related POD merchandise could have funny images, punchy one-liners, nerdy jokes, or even memes.
You might hate your job right now at this moment, but there are millions of people who wake up every morning and feel proud of what they do.
Jobs can give cool shirt design ideas. Not all jobs are particularly popular, though—some got more passionate employees.
Sports, Lifestyle, and Hobbies
There is another reason people buy custom-printed merchandise is to show off their hobbies, sports, or lifestyle.
Here’s an example of a wall decal for female runners from Gone for a Run.
Here are some best-selling T-shirt niches to consider for your T-shirt business:
Sports Niche Ideas
- Digital nomads
- Work-at-home moms (WAHM)
Family and Relationships
Have you ever seen a T-shirt where quotes saying “World’s #1 Mom” and thought, “Who would wear this?” T-shirt graphic designs like this are very popular, especially on Mother’s Day. You can also find some amazing custom-printed items for single dads, newly-engaged women (“bride-to-be”), sibling love, newlyweds, and grandparents. There’s even a T-shirt niche list that includes friends and co-workers.
Location and Travel
Almost any tourist destination will offer cool hoodie designs for a t-shirt, cool shirt designs, and collectibles designed based on their attractive local place.
Travel T-shirt quotes, architecture, local delicacies, and maps are also used in travel-related print on-demand merchandise.
Christmas sweaters aren’t the only POD item you got for the holidays. Seasonal designs for the cool shirt ideas also include Thanksgiving, graduation, Valentine’s, Halloween, and other holidays. There are many religious holidays like Hanukkah or lesser-known holidays like National Pasta Day that also have their place in the market, but only if you time your promotions well.
Here you’ll find some most amazing t-shirt designs in the whole world. Take a chill pill and start scrolling.
Here we got an amazing shapeshifter size which creates an illusion in your eyes. Actually, it’s more than something amazing.
Galaxy Paint T-shirt
If your t-shirt reflects a shadow of a galaxy then imagine how cool it is. Well take a look below and you may find something like that.
Halloween Maternity T-shirt
One of the amazing features we have ever seen for a Halloween night.
Imagine your t-shirt looks like a big sea where you floating in a small boat. Amazing, isn’t it?
Set a painter who will always paint your t-shirt. It seems like queer right. Actually, take a look at this one. You may find some features like that idea.
“I’m Fine” T-shirt
This is the t-shirt that reflects the idea of bitter fineness.
Well, now you are going to another masterpiece design of a t-shirt. We don’t want to say anything about it, just look at this one how cute it is.
If You like the octa lizzes of an octopus then look at this one.
Race Track T-shirt For Dad
Wellwell, this t-shirt is for the super-Daddies out there. Your children can play with this in your back.
Resident Evil Zombie T-shirt
If you want to be a scary guy suddenly then try this. It mainly looks like a normal t-shirt but in a sec you can turn into a ruthless zombie.
Personal Trainer T-shirt
Try this one for every workout. This amazing design will help you to get a nice fitness.
Marshall Music Experiential T-shirts
Well, carry imaginary headphones or mike in your t-shirt. It’s one of ours favorite. Its illustration will give an amazing vibe.
If you want to carry a ghost with you, try this one. Just kidding man, this design will make you allow to move around with such a wonderful look.
Silic – The Self Cleaning Shirt
Imagine some random people threw some trash in your t-shirt and the next moment it got cleaned by itself. You might ask, is it possible? Yes, it is. Try this type.
If you are an Elephant lover, then try this one.
Fedex Illusion T-shirt
This is one of the most creative works. This amazing design by FedEx is superb. Try this on.
The Chalkboard Tee
Believe it or not, many people out there are crazy about this one.
Fifa World Cup T-shirt
Well, our football fans this one is for you guys.
Electronic Drum Kit Shirt
If you want to play guitar in your t-shirt try this one.
This one is also mind-blowing. Try this on.
The smoker guys will love this one.
In A Womb
This amazing design is for our would-be mothers.
Pug Face T-shirt
The Pug face is totally amazing. Try this on.
This idea is amazing. This loading means a new small world will be downloaded in a whole new big world.
Ninja lover this one is for you. Go grab it and become a nInja.
Make your t-shirt a coding station. Try this on.
This idea of design is just totally mind-blowing. You really need to try it on.
Sleepy Pocket Monster
Here it is. You’ll find a monster in your pocket. Huh! Isn’t that a cool one?
You can play with your t-shirt if you put on this.
This one is very special. It is for nature lovers out there.
Electronic Rock Guitar Shirt
Play guitar with your t-shirt. You should try this on.
Oh! This one will give you a big scary rattle anaconda hanging on your neck. Yes, this design is amazing.
Worn To Be Wild By Paw Prints
The kids out there will love this one.
Retro Slr With Flash Action
Flash on your t-shirt with this one.
3d Poetry-shirt Made By Ioana Tanase
If you are a fan of literature or poetry, try this on.
Bulldog With Headphones
The Bulldog with the headphone you’ll find here is just amazing.
Inspire The World
Make yourself an inspiration by wearing this one.
If you like troll you must try this one.
My Santa Disguiseh
Be a Santa With this one.
If you want to rewrite the t-shirt, you should try this.
Another amazing feature with a wonderful headphone illusion.
All On Line
This one is very symbolic.
Another wonderful feature with hanging headphones.
Imagine a bulldog ride a Broadwalk. It is amazing to put on.
Music Map Skull
This crazy design needs to get a thumbs up.
Oh, this one is out there for the lazy waiters.
In the current scenario, the t-shirt printing is a very fast growing art. Companies are showing more and more interest in it and want them apart of their marketing activities. We hope that this content will help you in creating the best and most amazing t-shirt designs. All the best!!
Although it may appear like coming up with a new t-shirt design ideas is the easiest job in the world, the main truth is that it does require a little bit of research and a lot of practice if you want to make money by doing it. You should keep yourself organized and allow the creativity you have inside to flow with tips like these, this practice will get easier over time.