What Makes a Good T-Shirt Design?

What Makes a Good T-Shirt Design?

Whether you are planning to make a custom T-shirt for large distribution or as a gift for a loved one, there a few steps you need to take. Making a good T-shirt design isn’t an easy task since it will literally be a visual representation of your beliefs and desires.
When making T-shirts for a fashion/clothing brand, one must look at both the details and the larger picture. Yes, you can surrender to intuition or impulse and draw the first thing that comes to mind, but you surely don’t want a random scrabble to be the main association for your new brand. Only 1% of those who succeed are solely intuitionists, the rest are also big thinkers and hard workers. Here is how to make your T-shirt stand out:


Before you decide on the final design, you should pass through the phases of contemplation. Even though it can be tough, contemplation is never boring. So let go and allow the world to guide you through a maze of inspiration. You never know where you’ll find ideas for your new design. So what inspires you? A long walk on the beach, a bike ride through the crowded city, talk with your friends? But whatever you do, remember to bring a compass with you – rationality.

A Useful Tip

An amazing tip for checking if the design is suitable is printing it out on a regular paper and putting it on top of a T-shirt. This way you will see every flaw and possibility of improvement. For instance, you might realize that the design needs to be smaller, the shirt color changed or that the sleeves need to be designed as well. Look at it carefully and even print out every version in your head – printing paper doesn’t cost as much as an unsuccessful T-shirt so go crazy with the experimenting.

The Ideal Design

There is no such thing as an ideal design. There is only an authentic visual message you want to share with the world. After you have consulted with your creativity and rationality, take your sketchbook or tablet and go wild. Whether you choose a funny, rebellious or classy design, remember to get into the details and focus on the image quality as well.
You want your design to look as best as possible and sometimes colors on the laptop won’t look the same when printed out. This is why it is recommended for you to invest money in a high-resolution screen and time in a couple of YouTube tutorials on image quality and printing.

Who Is Buying?

When thinking big for a brand or business, no matter if it’s a fashion line or a marketing company, one must awaken the rational side as well as the creative. However, try not to jeopardize your deep creative needs with too much thinking. Balance is important for everything and to maintain it, you should stay calm at all times. The first rational question you should ask yourself is: Who is buying or what is my target group?
Targets group can vary from single people in their 30’s to 15-year-old misfits. When you choose your audience, start making some surveys and investigations. What kind of products do they buy? What do they need? What do they dream about? To see from a better perspective, put yourself in the shoes of your customers and let your mind open for even more ideas! And most importantly ask yourself: Would I buy this T-shirt?

The Ideal Printing

After the designing process comes to manufacturing and distribution. When choosing a print shop, one should check reviews, products, and offers. Some of them might not be flexible with shirt sizes or colors, some might not be collaborative enough and some might have limited types and amounts of printers. There are 3 basic ways of printing: screen, embroidery, and DTG. Each method gives a unique flair to a customized T-shirt. Embroidery is recommended for classical, gentle designs or jackets; screen printing for large orders and DTG for artistic and authentic designs who want to keep the resolution at maximum.

Relax & Analyze

When you have designed your shirt, negotiated for the price and launched your intensive marketing campaign, take a glass of wine, sit back and relax. But only for 5 minutes! Because now comes the difficult part – feedback. Don’t get bumped out if your design didn’t work – everybody makes mistakes. Instead, start thinking about what could have been done better! After you either celebrate your success or accept that your new T-shirt is a flop, it is time to go through the process all over again. So move on to contemplation, good luck!

About Printd

Printd is your top choice for custom t-shirts and t-shirt printing. Whatever your custom apparel and promotional needs we have you covered.

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