Guide to Design your Custom T-Shirts Printing 

 August 17, 2021

In today’s world, everybody wants unique apparel but it feels like a daunting task to create that one unique t shirt design for your custom t shirts as the design productions released by big and different brands on the market somehow got higher value than the one which we design. But no worries, you’re in the best hands. The article will guide you to some amazing tips and tricks on how to design your custom t shirts and custom hoodies without any problems coming onto your way. This article will give you a heads-up on where to start it. So what are you waiting for? Let’s take a look at how to start designing t-shirts!  

500+ T Shirt Design Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash in 2020 | Good vibes only, Good vibes only shirt, Good vibes

1. Figure out why you need a t-shirt and hunt for ideas

Before you get started with your t shirt printing design, it is important to plan out all the designs, layouts or artworks, as great designs start with great planning. If you have an idea for your t-shirt designs already then that’s great but if you don’t have then you should set your goals first before making any decisions towards your custom tee. Hold on! We’re here to help you with that. If you don’t have any idea from where to start with then listed below are some of the visual designs that will be a good choice for custom t-shirts.  

1. Artistic designs

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2.Cartoon designs

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3. Doodling designs

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4. Typography designs

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And many more t-shirt designs with different variations and combinations influenced by fashion trends in the clothing industry. So these were some of the designs that can give you an idea about how to start with your custom tee, but this is not just it, t-shirt design is influenced by various factors like colour, font style, visuals, graphics, ink colours and typography etc. 

2. Plan your budget 

If you are planning to print more t-shirts using more vibrant colours and detailed images will cost more, so before starting up with the t-shirt design, make sure to plan your budget, it will narrow your choices and will make things easier for you.

rawpixel-579263-unsplash |

3. Important factors to consider while designing a t-shirt  

1. T-shirt colours

Many people’s choices are influenced completely by t shirt colour. If you already know that you want to design a t-shirt for this particular colour then it will save a lot of time in the long run. This is not just it,  you should know how to work with t shirt colour in favour of the overall look of the custom t-shirt. The major colour trick is that it keeps a good contrast so that the print of the t-shirt pops out fabulously. In short light colour artwork or designs on dark background tees and vice versa could work in a great way for you

Color trends 2020 | Canva

2. Composition 

The composition is the second most important factor while designing a t-shirt, it’s composition. It is a layout in which elements are represented that includes text, images, logos or brands. There are a few things that need to keep in mind before designing a tee. Try using frames around pictures to embrace the picture essence or completely remove the background if the picture is suppressing in it. If you are putting a text on your tee make sure it is adequate and readable

3. Visuals and graphics 

Start adding visuals or graphics on your custom t shirts to make it more amazing and fabulous. This includes images, logos, brand’s name or any other artwork that can make your t-shirt stand out from others, but always remember to avoid using logo, brand’s name or any image which has copyright issues. You can freely opt for any visual or graphic designs from the public domain that won’t lead you into a serious matter.  

man in white crew neck t-shirt photo – Free Apparel Image on Unsplash in 2020 | T shirt photo, White crew neck, Photo

If you are confused about visual and graphics and unable to represent your ideas and designs through them, then you can choose another option which is typography. Let’s see how? 

4. Typography 

Typography is a presentation of the text in such a creative way that makes a t-shirt different from the other ones. Typography depends upon the different font styles and sizes. People are somehow affected by the fonts present on a t-shirt. The layout, structure and designs give them the very first impression of a t-shirt, they make designs powerful in terms of spreading or conveying the message. Avoid mixing up two or more designs in single typography as it will create a messed up look in the end

If you are looking for different font styles for your t-shirts: 

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Combining fonts in designs is a powerful way in which you can strengthen your t-shirt design. Your main task is to find a balance between font styles and the message you’re trying to convey that took a lot of time but yes you can eventually do it. We give you some right sources from where you can find this balance way too easily. So here is a complete list of font directories from where you can build some amazing and fabulous fonts for your custom tees. 

  1. Font squirrel (free): A library of numerous free high-quality fonts which is easy to download. 
  2. Font library (free): A catalogue of free downloadable fonts. 
  3. Behance free fonts (free): You can choose different numerous fonts from Behance and guess what? It offers free font size. So what are you waiting for? 

And many more like The League of moveable type (free), What the font (free), Creative market fonts (premium), Font fabric (free & premium) etc. 

5. Ink colours 

Ink colours give an end look to your t-shirt as they decide how vibrant your t-shirt will look in the end, so it is essential to choose them carefully. Don’t worry! We’re giving you a pro tip, use light inks on dark colour t-shirts and vice versa for the other one. It will create a balance between the t-shirt’s print and colour and your printed t-shirt will pop out. Try using 3 or fewer colours to keep it aesthetically pleasing

4. Size and position of designs 

The size and position of designs decide whether your t-shirt looks fabulous or weird. Hold on! We’re here to help you with some short and simple tips of size and position of designs. If your design is square or circle-shaped, make sure the design should be in an upper position so that it lay on the chest and not on the belly. Rectangle designs can be positioned from the chest part extending down to the belly. If you want a unique design that stands out from the rest then you can print your design on the back of the tee. 

500+ T Shirt Design Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash

5. Design tools and resources

Some certain tools and resources can easily design your custom sh t-shirts. But we can make it too simple for you. Here is the important software that is required while designing t-shirts in different aspects. 

File formats in which you can print your designs:

The main two types of files that are used in custom printing are vector files and bitmaps (raster) files. 

1. Vector files

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Vector files are a type of files that uses a mathematical expression to build any kind of image. Vector files retain their quality and resolution even on zooming up to the maximum level.

  • Portable Document Format (PDF), is one of the most popular files that can be easily accessed on any device without installing any apps. PDF doesn’t change its fonts or layout whenever open in different devices, this is the best file type for a good reason
  •  Adobe Illustrator (AI) which contains graphics in a single page. It is the most common vector file type that is used widely because AI doesn’t lose its detail even on maximum zoom level, but it only works on illustrator
  • Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) is the most reliable vector file that tends to place images or graphics within a PostScript document. The EPS doesn’t allow to edit the script from inside

2. Bitmap/raster files

The major images that are present on the web are bitmap/ raster files. It’s a dot matrix structure containing grids storing all the information. If you are going for a raster image make sure its resolution should be at least 200 dpi

  • Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) which is made to encode photographs. To use this file format you have to import images in Microsoft office or word
  • Targeted Image File Format (TIFF) which is an interchanged format between scanners and printers. It does excellent compression and therefore used by maxim graphic designers or photographers
  • Photoshop document (PSD) which photoshop uses for saving any kind of data and it digitally alters an image

After deciding which file will be more suitable for your t-shirt design, it’s time to decide it’s printing method because, in the end, this is the only thing that will decide what will be the final result of your designed t-shirt. So let’s discuss different types of printing methods.

6. Choose a suitable printing method 

After designing your tee and finalising its designs or artwork, it’s time to decide under which t-shirt printing method the design would go. So here are the top three t-shirt printing methods that can make things easier for you.

custom t shirt printing 4 ways to print your t shirts 1

1. Screen printing 

Screen printing is a printing technique which is done with a stencil. The screen printing is by far the best printing method for custom t-shirts as it offers quality at a very reasonable price. This is one of the most preferred printing methods for bulk orders. 

Pros: Ideal for bulk orders (more than 20 t-shirts).

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Cons: New screen is prepared for every colour so ended up being expensive

2. Vinyl graphic 

It is a form of heat transfer, making t-shirts last longer by providing textures to the custom tees

Pros: Ideal when you want to make your t-shirt designs stand out.

Cons: Not a great printing technique for bulk orders

3. Direct-to-garment

This printing technique directly applied to fabrics rather than the paper transfer along with offering detailed image options and also giving a lot of colour choices

Pros: Customizable designs with great details and colour options.

Cons: Doesn’t work well on dark clothes and not a good choice for bulk orders

4. Sublimation printing 

It is a type of printing technique that uses heat to combine ink and fabric together. The inks got converted into gas under heat and then prints on t-shirts. 

Pros: Produce t-shirt designs more quickly and reduce wastage

Cons: Only prints light coloured clothes, can’t print dark ones.  


So are you ready to design your own t-shirt? We hope we gave you all the necessary and required information that will roll up your sleeves and make you ready to create a fabulous tee. We’re looking forward to seeing your dream t-shirt in reality. No matter how much experience you carry, following these steps can generate a rocking t-shirt. 

For aesthetic t shirt, trending shirts or t shirt printing design get in touch with us at Champu!

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Note: Images used in the article are for representational purposes only.


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