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Creating Custom T-Shirt Designs: Tips & Tricks from Experts

Creating Custom T-Shirt Designs: Tips & Tricks from Experts


Creating Custom T-Shirt Designs: Tips and Tricks from the Experts

Creating and having custom t-shirts has risen in popularity in recent years. It’s mainly because when brands have it, it makes them more iconic and unique. Once you have or wear it personally, it simply feels different, and you become more confident as an individual or brand. To get yourself in that position, you must have that sense of getting the right eye-catching design. You must know how to tie it with the suitable fabric, and it will take time to get the hang of it. The thing here is, it's not impossible, and it's relatively easy. In this blog, we will take you step-by-step on how to create your custom t-shirt designs from scratch. We'll make this as easy as possible, so take your pen and paper and take notes, as this will be all the information you’ll need.

Part 1. Designing your First Personalized T-shirt

Come up with an idea or a rough draft of how you want your design to look like. In general, you have to choose first whether it involves a lot of graphics or something minimal. Now, whatever you choose, you must stick with it as it will be the overarching theme of your designs. For example, suppose you’re a clothing brand and chose a minimalist approach for your design. In that case, keeping the central theme intact is much better. While it's okay to divert and be creative, be sure to have the central theme there, as it could be the one that will let your clients remember you. 

It's a common problem to overthink the rough draft, and we advise that you don't. It doesn't matter if it's ugly or you have negative thoughts about it. Just brainstorm ideas, find something you’re comfortable with, and then start there. Make sure that you'll find the purpose of it, whether it's for a special event, business, or your own clothing line; consider the different factors necessary (garment type, color, and sizes). This way, you have that sense of purpose for the garments you will use and order.

If you’re having a hard time, we have a lot of artwork online.  You can try to search for inspiration on Pinterest, Instagram, or other social media platforms. Try to look for those that are in the same niche as you. There are also other types of educational content, such as YouTube and blogs, to help you make an informed decision. After your research, you can simply mix and match all these ideas and sketch your first design. If you're not an artist, it's okay; it's your rough draft, which you can simply give to a printing company of choice and have them make it. You may also want to try using software like canva or Adobe Photoshop, as these tools can make it easier.

Personalized T Shirt Design

Part 2: Choosing the Right T-Shirt Fabric

Let's say that your design is now all set. The next part is finding the t-shirt fabric that matches the design. You don't want to miss out on the quality of the garment now that you have your well-thought-out design. Here are some popular options for t-shirt fabrics that you might want to consider.


  1. Cotton - It is the king of all fabrics. It is breathable, durable, comfortable, and absorbent. When printing on fabrics, if you don't want any need for performance and just want a standard fabric, go with cotton. This fabric is ideal for everyday wear, however, despite it sounding so good. Cotton will wear down faster than any synthetic polyester fibers. The more you wear and wash them, the more its luster tends to fade, and in some cases, it will shrink a lot. 

  2. Linen – linen is another fabric primarily used in hot weather like summer. Its main differentiator is its softness. Because it is very soft, breathable, and lightweight, you can feel the air around you once you use it. The disadvantage of using linen is its tendency to wrinkle and fold. It is also prone to shrinking; hence, the more you wash it, the smaller it becomes.

  3. Poly-Blend is unique because it's the only type of fabric that combines two or more polyester materials. Some combinations would include Cotton + Polyester or Cotton + Spandex. This fabric type is ideally used for athletic wear, specifically, the 80% Polyester + 20% Cotton Blend. It's soft, versatile, and just easy to work with.

Now that you have a general idea of the type of fabric, it’s also essential to consider their weight overall when you use it on a custom t-shirt. Ideally, you'd want lightweight to medium-weight t-shirts. They're better since, for the most part, they are thinner, lighter, and flexible compared to the heavyweight t-shirts. But if your weather is cold, it's better to consider heavyweight T-shirts since they can help.

T Shirt Fabric

Part 3. Adding Graphics and Text to your Design 

Now you have your design and have chosen the fabric type you want. The next thing is adding your graphics and text to make it more visually appealing and unique. Though we advised you to go the minimalistic route, this shouldn't hinder you from placing additional elements that would make your design even better. 

One of the elements that you can add is high-quality images or artwork that you think might complement your initial design. If you try to look at this example at the top, the initial design was only the text, but with the help of an image, it made the shirt look even better. Additionally,  ensure you size them correctly - not too small but not too overbearing. For the position, check whether your initial placement is good enough or can be made better. These small details are the ones that can either make or break your brand. 

Don’t forget about the fonts. Make sure that they complement your design perfectly and that they are legible. You can't expect everybody to remember you if your font or design is not legible enough or too abstract. You must know where to place this and that, which can also be done through experimentation. With enough of it, you'll be able to create a shirt with your brand on it, with the suitable fabric and elements with enough meaning to support it. Now, wouldn't that be great?

Tips for Creating Unique T-Shirt Designs

Now that you have the knowledge and potential skills to make it happen, there are many ways to make it more creative and unique, tailored to your brand. One way of doing it is by mixing different printing methods. If you try to observe this proof, there is a screen print on the back and a DTG print on the font. This way, you can save costs while maintaining the high-quality print you want for your design. In addition, there are specific printing methods to achieve a different look. An example of this is the puff prints. Puff prints are a specialized method of screenprinting that uses puff ink, giving your design a 3d look. 

If you think outside of the box, there are many choices here to make your custom t-shirts and apparel unique. It will mainly involve incorporating textures, patterns, or even embroidery threads. If you’re happy and attainable, don't hesitate since it can elevate your brand to the next level. 

T Shirt Printing

Wrapping Up

Having your own custom t-shirt with your own design is easy. It's relatively simple if you take the time and effort to do it. With these steps, we are confident you can do it. Remember that it’s essential to be clear about what you want here from the design, fabric, and purpose you’re trying to achieve. This means that you should brainstorm a lot at the initial stage before diving deep into creating and finalizing your sketches. It's also important to know that there are many options for you to differentiate yourself amongst what is already out there. You don't need to conform when you can be so much better than the norms of our society. 

Overall, we want to encourage you to be creative with it. Have fun, and do not forget the essence of these custom t-shirts because, at the end of the day, they should represent you or your brand. If you're having a hard time, however, don't hesitate to contact your local professionals who provide t-shirt design services in Philadelphia. They should be able to help you a lot.

Tee Vision Printing
920 E Hunting Park Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19124
(267) 538-5331

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