6 Fundamental Tips to Create a Perfect T-Shirt Design

  • Oct 22, 2019

The look of a t-shirt print highly depends on its design. How you design the artwork and print it on the garment greatly affects look on the garment.

Creating a winning t-shirt design can be a hindrance for anyone. There are too many things to give your attention and it is normal to goof at this stage. As an amateur printer, it can cost you a significant amount of time and money. But if you are a professional garment printer, then a poor t-shirt design can offend your clients and they might think twice to give you the next consignment.

To help you avoid the costly repercussions of a poor t-shirt design, we list here some expert tips that you should take into consideration to create a winning t-shirt design:

 

1. Use High Quality of Artwork

An artwork is the fundamental thing that you need to tweak in order to get a perfect print. Using a low-resolution artwork can turn out to be a disaster for your t-shirt design. When you goof at this stage, it will spoil all your efforts and you will end up getting a vague print on a tee. Using a compressed image does the same.

To get a crispy print, you need to set the right resolution of your artwork. Rather than using a low pixel image or a vague photo, you should get a high-resolution graphics (200 DPI or higher). Always use a vector-based image that can be increased to any size without getting blurred.

 

2. Consider the Color Psychology

There is a thing called “color psychology” in graphic design. In non-technical language, it is the science behind use of colors in design and how it affects the perception of the viewers.

The ultimate goal of using colors is to create a certain mood in your audience. Let’s say you are a food business who wants to print a t-shirt to promote the opening of your restaurant, then you can choose any hue of red and yellow in imagery and text of a design along with the logo and custom patches since both red and yellow are known to evoke the desires in the viewers.

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Similarly, if you are an eco-friendly business and want to distribute printed t-shirts to spread the idea of “pollution-free” earth, then green color is a perfect choice to convey the message.

Colors have a powerful effect on psyche of people and infusing the right set of colors is essential to convey the right message to the viewers. So don’t use any random colors in your t-shirt design and use the right set of colors to create a design that not only looks appealing but also says something about you.

Again, you need to be particular about the number of colors that you should use in a design. As a general rule, it is not recommended to use more than three colors since it can complicate a design and increase your budget, especially if you are using the screen printing method.

 

3. Use Appropriate Fonts, Fonts Size and Spacing

A text is as much a part of a design as an image or any other visual element. Unfortunately, this key graphic element doesn’t get the due attention that it should get. To create an appealing text, you need to use a suitable font that could breathe the right spirit in the text.

It is important that the fonts you use in a design match the character of your design. For example, you can’t use a “Cartoonist Hand” font for a thought-provoking one-liner on a t-shirt. Similarly, you can’t use a sophisticated and formal “Voga” to name a comic character on a t-shirt. These both fonts have a certain attribute which doesn’t fit every type of text on a t-shirt.

No matter what your text is, a slogan, a one-liner or a name, you should not use more than three types of fonts in an artwork or it will look absurd and confusing. Besides, you should keep the right text size and spacing to create a text that is legible and easy to read. Too big or small or too wide or too tight text is a big “turn-off” for the viewers and can easily distract them.

 

4. Pay Attention to the Location of a Design

Wrong placement can cause a good design to look bad. You need to print a design on the right location in order to catch eyes of the viewers. I used the term location because it is not the place but the exact location that can make a design look appealing. Is it full front or full back? Will it be on the pocket or on the chest area?

But knowing the right location of a t-shirt-design is not enough. You have to execute the printing in the most precise way to align the design so that it appears straight to your line of sight. No matter if you are printing a logo/custom made patches or a photo, you need to place it on the right location so that your design looks balanced and appealing.

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5. Set the Size of a Print

Size of a t-shirt design can make a huge difference in its overall appeal. The size of a design depends type of design elements that you want to imprint on it. For example, a big square shape doesn’t look eye-catching on a t-shirt design. So it is recommended to scale down its size from the standard to make it look good. Similarly, a big circle on the full front of a t-shirt will look ridiculous to the viewers. 

In addition, it can be tricky to print such imageries on some t-shirts, such as a sweatshirt or a polo t-shirt which has front pockets and buttoned placket on the front. To keep things in good taste, you need to use a size that fits into aesthetic and technical requirements of a specific type of t-shirt.

 

6. Keep a Ratio in the Composition of Graphic Elements

Composition in a design works in the same way it works for cooking meals. Just as it is important to add the right proportion of ingredients in a cuisine to enhance its taste, you need to make a balance between the different graphic elements accentuate the beauty of a design.

You need to keep a ratio between the number of colors, fonts, placement and sizing to create a design that can pop. It is always better to test out a few sample prints to get an idea of the ratio between all the different factors in a t-shirt design before you run the full production.

These are some of the common mistakes printers make when designing a t-shirt. Paying attention to these mistakes can help you overcome them during the creative stage and will help you produce a vibrant t-shirt design.

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