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How to Design a T-Shirt

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There are a million reasons you might want to design a t-shirt. Perhaps you have a large charity event coming up and want to make a splash with a free shirt for the participants, or maybe you need a shirt that features your company logo and name for your employees. 

Whatever the reason, there are a few key decisions to make along the way. Everything from the color of the shirt to the dimensions of the design needs to be considered before sending your t-shirt design to the printer. So, what exactly goes into a t-shirt design? 

Use a Pre-Made Design or Create Your Own

Let’s say you’re a business owner who already has a company logo—you can simply use that as the design for your t-shirt, right? As you’ll see below, not all logos are appropriate for a shirt and depending on your budget, you may want to use a print method that would be too expensive with your current design. 

Creating your own design or logo is easy if you’re the creative type. If you aren’t, you can always go with the professionals and hire t-shirt designers to create a fantastic and professional-looking design. 

Make sure the design represents your business or goals and accommodates the space available on the shirts. For text or other designs on the sleeves or other non-traditional areas of a shirt, expect to pay extra when it comes time to print, so keep that in mind if you’re on a budget.

Make Smart Color Choices

When in doubt, keep it simple, especially if your design or logo is already colorful. Black and white allow colors to stand out better and not blend in with the background. 

Alternatively, if your design is heavy on black and white or uses those colors exclusively, you may want to choose a shirt color that’s a shade darker or lighter than the standard colors, such as red or green. 

Choose a Fabric That’s Appropriate

100% cotton is generally the way to go for a t-shirt, as it’s comfortable and easy to care for. Polyester and cotton blends may be a cheaper option if you’re looking to save a bit of money. 

Choose a Print Style

While there are tons of different print styles you can use for a shirt, they all have pros and cons. That being said, most people who make shirts will opt for one of two methods:

Screen Printing

Ideal for t-shirts with text, screen printing is also great for shirts that aren’t intended to be worn for more than one event, as it’s the cheaper option. It should be noted that screen printing shops will charge more for each color you add to the design because each color is a separate layer.

Direct-to-Garment Printing

DTG t-shirts are produced using what is essentially a giant ink-jet printer. The ink is sprayed directly onto the fabric in a multitude of colors. This type of printing is more expensive but is ideal for unique t-shirt designs using several colors or when you want to print pictures onto the shirt. 

When in Doubt, Hire a Pro

For those of us who don’t have the artistic ability or design mindset to create an effective logo that’ll look great on a shirt, hiring a pro is the way to go. That’s where we come in!

Guru makes it a snap to find the t-shirt design professional you need. You can browse our online search full of thousands of freelance graphic and t-shirt design experts, read reviews and testimonials, and find the designer that best represents your brand. If you don’t have the time to search through our available designers, you can easily post a free job listing with your design needs and project requirements and have qualified freelancers come to you.

Try Guru today, and we’ll connect you with the perfect designer to make sure your t-shirt creation process is a breeze–no matter what you may be looking for!

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