T-shirt Design Tips and Tricks

Did you draw the short straw and get volunteered to design the t-shirt for your group? Perhaps you have an idea for a t-shirt design you would like to sell to raise money. Fear not. Thousands of tees are designed everyday by everyday people with no design experience. Many amateurs have designed t-shirts and achieved gorgeous results. Do not be intimidated, you can too. To help you achieve t-shirt greatness, we’ve come up with a list of basic t-shirt design tips. They aren’t magic and won’t turn you into a Fairy Tale Princess or Prince Charming. However, they will help you through the process and help you avoid amateur mistakes (or turn you into a frog).

Talk to your Chosen Screen Printing Company First.

This will save you a great deal of time and more than a few headaches. Although most our t-shirt tips are applicable to all screen printing companies, some have specific preferences or limitations. For example, at The Greek Corner, we ask that all digital files be converted to paths or outlines. We support ai., eps., and pdfs.

Consider limiting the colors in your design.

If you have a limitless budget, this tip will not apply to you. However, most amateurs designing t-shirts try to keep their costs down. One of the best ways to control your cost is to limit the number colors in your design. Due to the screen printing process, each color in your design will require a new film positive. Each film positive will require a separate screen. As you would expect, each additional film positive and screen increases your cost. In order to be thrifty, consider limiting your t-shirt design to one to three colors.

Choose Your Colors Carefully.

Communication is typically the primary reason to create a screen printed t-shirt. Therefore, it’s important to carefully analyze your color palette. If you are printing on a white tee, pale yellow ink will be difficult to see. Contrast is the key, but using colors that complement each other Is critically important. Here’s a great tip: If you don’t have a good eye for color, ask a friend that does for help.

Keep It Simple.

If it’s your first time designing a t-shirt, keep your design fairly simple. Simplicity is elegant and memorable. It will help you communicate your message clearly and succinctly. Some of the greatest designs of all time are simple graphic images. Just think:

  • I love NY
  • Got milk?
  • Don’t Mess with Texas

In addition, complicated imagery and subtle details are much harder to print and may not turn out as well as you would hope.

Create a Mock Up.

A mock up is key to the creation of a beautiful t-shirt. After you’ve created your design, print it out and hold it up to a t-shirt. You may need to print it out in several different sizes. This is especially true if you are debating where you are going to place the design. Will it be on the left chest, your right hip, or a full back? The goal is to determine the scale of your design. Does it work on a t-shirt? Have someone hold up the design against their chest and stand several feet away. Can you still read it? Are the images easy to see? Figure out want works and what doesn’t work now, before you go through the printing process.

Ask For Help.

If you are having trouble, why not do it the easy way. Go to a screen printing shop and work with their professional designers. They can help you transform your rough sketches into an engaging, attractive design. They will also offer assistance when choosing ink colors and will make helpful design ideas.

The Easy Way Out.

Want the easy way out in designing your t-shirt? Contact the design pros at The Greek Corner. Just share your thoughts with them and they will transform your vision into reality. Best of all, it’s at no charge!

You’ve now passed T-shirt Design Tips and Tricks 101. To get started with your custom screen-printed apparel order, check us out at Greek Corner Screen Printing and Embroidery in Springfield, MO. We’ve been in business for over 35 years. We have over 85 – 5 Star Google Reviews online. We’ve never missed a hard customer deadline. We love giving shop tours. We offer full-service screen printing including free art service. Our experienced, friendly staff would love to work with you on your next tee shirt, bag, hoodie, short, and screen printed sportswear order for your school. Call us at 417.865.8011 or get a free quote today.

In addition to serving Springfield, MO, we also screen print custom t-shirts for customers in Branson, Nixa, Ozark, Willard, Rogersville, Marshfield, Clever, Lebanon, Bolivar, Reeds Spring, Ava, Seymour, Mansfield, Mountain Grove, Buffalo, Stockton, Aurora, Mt. Vernon and Republic. We ship custom printed t-shirts everywhere in the United States.