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15 Pro Tips For Creating Best T-Shirt Designs

by Alice Jackson Tweet - in Tshirt Design

Last updated on January 2nd, 2023

Think about the world’s best t-shirt designs — Bob Marley, Just Do It, Keep Calm and Carry On — what do they all have in common? What is the familiar string that makes these t-shirts resonate with so many people? Every year or season, we get to see new fashion trends. The one clothing piece that has always dominated the trends is “t-shirt”. Whether it’s an oversized t-shirt, cool or funny graphic t-shirt, they are always in trend and are liked by both men and women.

From past few years, the trend of custom t shirt printing has increased tremendously. Marketers have started realizing the power of t-shirts in advertising. They are using them for their brand promotion. The demand for custom t-shirts are increasing day by day so is the custom t-shirt printing business. According to a report, the custom t-shirt printing market is expected to cross US $10 billion by 2025 globally.

It’s always a great feeling to wear a t-shirt for your brand. These days, companies design t-shirts without any designing knowledge. Custom t-shirts are one of the great ways to increase awareness about products or services. Unique artwork with a company logo design can distinguish you from the rest. There is no chance that you will get unnoticed.

T-shirt designing may look playful and fun activity, but with the right strategic design, it can be a valuable marketing tool. Whether you want to make your own shirt or design it for your employees or customers, custom t-shirts create an opportunity for promoters to start a conversation about the company wherever they go.

Here Are The 15 Pro Tips For Creating Best T-Shirt Designs

01. Figure Out Why You Need A T-Shirt

Every company has different objectives, and hence uses different ways to achieve those objectives. If you have planned to design a custom t-shirt for your brand, there can be a number of reasons behind that.

Figure Out Why You Need A T-Shirt

A clear understanding of the reasons will help you in your designing process.

• Brand Values

There is an old saying “A picture is worth of thousand words”. It makes your business t-shirt an ideal persuasive sales pitch. Through proper design strategy, you can communicate about your brand’s products or services.

• Promotion

When it comes to promoting business, custom t shirts are no less than a walking advertisement. It creates buzz and offers good visibility to your business when coupled with an influential image.

• Internal Unity

Experts have an opinion that internal marketing helps employees in developing a strong emotional bond with the company. This, in turn, increases a sense of commitment and motivation in employees towards the company’s goals.

• Leave-Behinds

These are one of the most effective ways to remain in the minds of potential clients when you are not around. Whether you are going to meet an investor or a client, a t-shirt with a company logo design can help you in giving a reminder about your company.

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02. Know Your Audience

Once you are clear with your printing objectives, the next step is to identify your target audience.

Know Your Audience

Before creating a t-shirt design, answer the following questions about your target audience:

• Who would wear a 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 a teenager, for instance, is generally going to look different from a shirt designed for an adult. You have to keep one thing in mind that custom designed t-shirt is a marketing tool. And if you design it according to your target audience, you put yourself in a better position to have the greatest impact from a marketing point of view.

03. Define Your Budget, Quantity And Timeline

Now that you are clear with your objective and audience, it’s time to settle some details so that you can focus on your design better.

Define Your Budget, Quantity And Timeline

• Budget

Every company has a budget. How much you want to spend will impact your design. If you want to add more detailed images with colors, for instance, it will cost you more. Think about dollars in the initial stage so that you can find a perfect balance between the creative options and number of quantities you can produce or print.

• Quantity

The choice of your printing method is directly proportionate to the quantity you want to print. There are a few printing methods that have per-unit cost, while others are used for bulk production. But remember, when it comes to quality, quantity doesn’t matter. After all, you want people to wear t-shirts for a longer period.

• Timeline

If you are planning to design a t-shirt for any campaign or promotional activity, it’s vital to set a timeline to create the design so that you can get it printed within the timeframe.

tshirt maker

04. Choose A T-Shirt Type

We all are aware of the various styles available in t-shirts: v-neck, polo-neck, round neck, short sleeves, long sleeves, etc. Not only the budget but the type of t-shirt you choose, offers some distinctive design options. Example, a full-sleeves t-shirt gives you an opportunity to print your brand identity down the length of the sleeves.

Choose A T-Shirt Type

If, for instance, you are designing a funny t shirt for any promotional activity, we would advise you to ask the promoters indirectly about the style they would like to wear. It will not only make them feel special but also encourages them to do word-of-mouth marketing for your brand.

05. Choose Good Fabric

When it comes to t-shirt design ideas or shirt ideas, not all fabrics are produced equal. For printers, fabrics are just like what canvases are to artists. Just like a bad canvas can destroy a beautiful painting, the same can be said by a t-shirt produced from bad quality material. Thus, it is vital to pay attention to the fabric.

Choose Good Fabric

Here are some 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

P.S: The detailed explanation of printing techniques are discussed at Step 10

06. Pick The Right Size

What type of t-shirt are you planning to sell your design on? Is it a long-sleeved t-shirt, a basic t-shirt, or a polo-shirt? Big designs will look good on small sized t-shirts. Small designs get lost in big t-shirts.

Pick The Right Size

Here is a quick trick that can help you to visualize how your design will look on a t-shirt. All you need is 8.5 * 11’’ piece of standard paper and a T-shirt. Just lay down a t-shirt on a table and place the paper on it. The size of the paper represents the size of the image you are planning to put on.

07. Select A Color Scheme

Color is the best design element in communicating the personality. The separate tints, hues, and shades of each color modify the emotional association, giving the graphic designer a wide range of options to send the right message.

Choosing the right shade is like a proper fit-detail that can make or break the outfit. Choose colors that not only go with your brand personality but also match well.

Select A Color Scheme

Apart from choosing the right color for your t-shirt, it is also important to take care of how they will look with the color of your t-shirt. Printing colors on t-shirts can be little tricky due to the ways ink works on t-shirts.

The most economical way to print your design is to match the most closet shade. But keep in mind that your ‘’aquamarine” may differ from the printer of your t shirt maker. CMYK and PMS inks may look high-priced, they are more consistent.

08. Determine The Placement Of The Design On A T-Shirt

Will your design work at the center or top left or as a wraparound image on your t-shirt?

If you are printing a t-shirt for your company, then the most effective place to print your design is the center of the t-shirt.

Determine The Placement Of The Design On A T-Shirt

You can also use the back of the t-shirt to display image, logo or slogan of your brand.

You must have noticed that there are some t-shirts where the image or text gets hide when we wear them. It not only kills the actual purpose but also reflects bad branding. And certainly, you won’t take that risk.

09. Choose Right Typography

If, for instance, you are not satisfied with the templates and want to fire up your design, typography is the most natural way to start with and may be the most fun bit. You can also design attractive t-shirts with the help of the right typography.

Choose Right Typography

When choosing fonts for your t-shirt, first ask yourself the following questions:

• Are users going to read it?

• Which category of the font should I use?

• Should I use familiar fonts or try new ones?

• What are the latest trends?

• What others are doing, especially your competitors?

Just like colors, fonts to have the ability to communicate a message. Serif fonts will give your design a more traditional and formal look while San-serif fonts will give a modern look to your design.

10. Know Your Printing Options

Printing is a significant element in t-shirt designing. One of the major problems with unprofessional t-shirt designers is that they probably don’t know which printing options to choose.

A lot of new techniques have been devolved in recent years. But it’s not the right approach to choose the technique randomly. The choice depends on the area in which you want to be designed and, of course, the price you want to pay.

Following are some of the popular printing techniques:

• Direct to Garment(DTG)

This method is suitable for complex design printing. When you touch the design, it gives your hands a soft touch. The ink 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 inexpensive method. The type is suitable for complex designs, but will not work well with darker fabrics.

• Screen Printing

This method is suitable for printing premium t-shirt designs. It gives an impressive and unique look to your t-shirt. The drawback of this method is that it is not ideal for multiple-color designs.

• Dye Sublimation

This method is ideal for polyester cream fabrics but intolerant for cotton fabric. The printing done with this method makes t-shirt durable. You may have to spend little extra to create a dye sub, but at last, you will get a t-shirt that not looks professional but cute too.

11. Find A Designer

It’s good to have an understanding of everything. But when it comes to designing some sensitive stuff like create a logo design, t-shirts design (for brand promotions), etc. then it’s better to leave everything in the hands of experts. In today’s digitally connected world, it has become very easy to get connected with designers from all over the world.

Find A Designer

If you want to take professional graphic design services, then Designhill is one of the world’s leading platforms to look forward. And if you think you have got the designing skills, then the platform also offers AI-powered t-shirt maker tool to design a print-ready t-shirt within minutes.

12. Evaluate Your Design

Is your design achieving all goals? Is it in line with your budget? Can it be used on different sizes of t-shirts? These are some questions that you need to ask before printing the final design.

Evaluate Your Design

If you choose to go for freelancing graphic design services, make sure you give an honest and clear opinion to them. It will help you in getting what you are looking for in a design.

13. Get The Files From The Designer

Now that you are done with you designing part, it’s time to take all the files from a designer.

Get The Files From The Designer

All you need is:

i. Design in vector formats such as EPS, PDF, or AI file.

ii. Code details of Pantone or CMYK colors. It will help you in getting the exact color you want in your design.

14. Find A Printer

Your design is finally ready. Yay! It’s time to find out the printer that can suggest you the best printing method within your set budget.

Find A Printer

Below are the following things that you need to take care of:

Ii. The printer should have an in-house art department

ii. Ask printer or t-shirt maker to send a few samples of his work.

iii. Be careful of any hidden charges.

iv. If you are planning to have bulk printing, ask the printer to show you some pre-press proof

15. Be Ahead Of The Game

Last but the least, be inspired by the latest trends. Remember don’t copy them as trends keep changing and chances are by the time you produce a t-shirt with a particular design, other designers may move forward towards fresh designs. And nobody will get a clue till the time it gets launched in the market.

Be Ahead Of The Game

Are You Looking for a New Graphic Designer?If Yes, Call Us on +1-855-699-2851 [times for calling 9am to 6pm EST (US)] or Register for a Free Design Consultation


In the current scenario, t-shirt printing is a growing art. Companies are showing interest in it and want them apart of their marketing activities. We hope that this blog will help you in creating best t-shirt designs. All the best!!

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Alice Jackson is a business consultant, blogger, social media enthusiast, online market analyst, amateur designer and an avid author at Designhill. She has written on several topics including social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, startup strategies and e-commerce. When she’s not writing, she loves spending her time reading romantic novels, Connect with her on Twitter: @jackson_alice1



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