Custom made t-shirt designs have and shall probably always stay in vogue. Human beings love to articulate what they are like and the kind of personality they have through fashion. Maybe that is why the fashion industry is a billion-dollar industry that has been providing work to people having different skill sets and hailing from every walk of life. Graphic designers worth their salt have always found employment in this billion-dollar industry. If you have been under the impression that graphic designers only design logos and promotions, you could not have been more wrong. The fashion industry has immense room to employ these designers, one of those being coming up with creative t-shirt designs.
Now coming back to the topic of t-shirt design, this form of art has served as a creative outlet for many artists and fashionistas all over the world. Designing your own t-shirts means that you do not have to depend on the limited designs that stores have to offer. All you need are some creative ideas and a way to get them printed on t-shirts. Put your creativity on your sleeves and wear any style you want. These are created using several printing techniques, including DTF printing, which is durable and produces vivid colors. In my summer wardrobe, it will be a staple. Whether you are a typographer or a graphic designer, it doesn’t matter. Having your designs displayed on your clothes is appealing, and not just because you can sell them online.
That said, the entire process of coming up with designs and getting them printed on your t-shirt can be daunting, to say the least. It is not just about using your creativity to come up with the designs. It is also about adhering to some norms that will make these designs look good on the t-shirt. Therefore, if you want some ideas about going about this process, here are 10
tips that you might want to keep at the back of your mind.
Table of Contents
Invest Time in Exploring the Concept of Your Design:
You cannot come up with an idea or even a rough sketch of your design without investing a good amount of time in doing some research and exploring various concepts. Everything boils down to the integral process of research. The ways you would want to come up with design ideas are completely up to you. However, for starters, you could go out for a walk, talk to a few friends for ideas, let your hair down for a while after all the brainstorming, explore a few designs and make some rough sketches. There are several things that you can do to come up with a potential idea for your t-shirt design. However, you need to invest some time in exploring the same. You cannot hope to sketch out your design one fine day without any prior introspection and research. The process takes time, and therefore, you must be prepared to invest the same.
Visualize the Design on the T-shirt:
The second step in the entire process would be to visualize the design you came up with on the t-shirt of your choice. This could be a tad challenging for you, especially if you do not have any prior experience in t-shirt designing. However, know that visualization of the design is one of the most important steps. You cannot just sketch your design and leave it there. You also need to be able to see yourself wearing the same with panache and gusto. So here is what you need to do. Try out your final design on a photo of a model wearing a t-shirt. This can be easily done with no extra effort. You might also want to print the design out and place the same on an actual t-shirt. Either of the two ways can help you visualize how the design shall translate into reality.
Keep Things Simple and Minimal:
You might be tempted to experiment with various colors and fonts to come up with the best design for your t-shirts, and you must. However, it is important to remember that we have entered a timeline where your audience would like to have minimal designs on logos, flyers and everything that make use of graphics. Yes, you might be creating these designs for yourself. You do not need validation from others.
However, the moot point of fashion is to grab eyeballs and, if possible, start a trend of sorts. Plus, you could also sell these designs and start a business if you are able to hit the right chords with your audience. Therefore, you might want to keep your designs simple and as minimal as possible. You can still explore and experiment with different color palettes and designs while keeping your designs simple. Therefore, the takeaway from this point should be that you need to keep your designs simple and pay attention to details of the same to grab eyeballs.
Understand the Pulse of Your Market:
If you have business on your mind, you need to understand the pulse of the market. You need to be able to gauge the demands of your target audience. Ask yourself a few questions. Are you catering to the demographics of the young or the old? Does your target audience consist of males, females, non-binary folks or all of them? How inclusionary are your designs? These are some of the questions that will help you understand the demographics that you are targeting with your designs. Once you understand the pulse of the market, you shall be able to come up with better designs and attract the attention of the right people.
Be Subtle with the Humor of Your Designs:
More often than not, graphic tees are based on comic books and humorous concepts. Therefore, it is important that you understand the brand of humor you want to flaunt on your designs and create designs accordingly. Having said that, it is important that you know how to keep the humor subtle. Loud humor on t-shirt designs might not bode well for your audience. Plus, the humor must also be respectful and not punch down. The most successful t-shirt designs have subtle humor. Therefore, though this point might not seem like an incredibly important one, it is vital that you pay attention to the same and create your designs.
Choose the Right Color Palette:
Another incredibly important thing to keep in mind while coming up with designs for your t-shirt is the color palette. As the designer, you have every right and freedom to explore and experiment with colors galore. You can try out different combinations of colors and see how they translate in real-time. However, there are some rules that you might want to follow if you want your t-shirt designs to sell like hotcakes. There are different tools that you can use to try out the different color palettes. For instance, you can use Adobe Illustrator and turn on the option of Global Colors. This tool comes in as a welcome relief to all those who want to save time in exploring different colors while coming up with their designs. You might also want to use Halftones if you have only a few colors to work with.
Ensure to Prepare Your Artwork Appropriately:
Another vital point to remember is that you need to prepare your artwork properly even before you think of going ahead with printing the same. See that you have optimally used the area where you worked out the design and add a primer to the same before going ahead with the artwork. This will only help you add extra area so that you can optimize the area of your design. Use Pantone Colours for the same, and rest assured that the print of the design shall look great in real-time. There are a number of tutorials available for those who want to learn how to use these tools to enhance their artwork. Most people use Illustrator and Photoshop. However, you might want to explore a few of your options to see what really works with you.
Always Use a Good Printer:
It is extremely important that you use a good printer to print your designs. This is because, despite your designs being top-notch, more often than not, due to a malfunctioning printer, the designs get ruined. You need to be careful about this aspect. If you do not want your hard work to amount to nothing, it is extremely important that you source a good printer. Het Monkey in the US and White Duck in the UK are some of the best brands. It might not occur to you now but understand that a good printer is necessary if you need to get the best design on your t-shirt. A lot of your designs might translate poorly in print if you do not have the right printer at your disposal. Therefore, be very careful about the kind of printer you are buying or sourcing. Professionals, like https://www.shopstrange.net/, have the best printers at their disposal, which is why their designs are worth every money you spend on them.
Educate Yourself about Designing:
You might want to refer to the first point for this one. It is important that you know what it is that you are doing. You need to know your job well so that no one else has to come and instruct you about what you must do or what you should have done. That said, if you have taken up the responsibility of coming up with designs for t-shirts, it might be a good idea to learn all that you can and read up as much as you can about design, the ways to do so and the tools used in it. It shall help you understand things better and move in the right direction. Creativity might not be something that can be taught. However, it is definitely something that people can hone. Therefore, if you think that whatever you know is the be-all and end-all of your job, you might be leaving a lot of money on the table. You need to find ways to hone your skills, learn the best possible ways to enhance them, use the right tools and always look for ways to come up with better designs. One book on t-shirt designs that you can read is Vintage T-shirts by Lisa Kidner. Plus, there are multiple resources on the internet that can help you learn a lot about the design industry and come up with ideas for t-shirt designs.
Stay Ahead of the Curve:
To have a successful t-shirt design business, it is vital that you stay ahead of the curve. You need to understand the trends of the market and what your audience wants to be able to deliver top-notch products. It is incredibly important that you do your research, learn everything about the prevailing market conditions, what is in vogue and what is not, to make better decisions. Coming up with t-shirt designs depend on how well you can ideate and how creative you are. Your creativity can only run amok if you know what the market conditions are and what latest software is being used. Therefore, it is extremely important that you stay ahead of the curve because only then will you be able to take your t-shirt design business to the next level and expand the same.
Designing your t-shirts can be a great thing to do. It could also help you set up a business and take that business to your target audience. However, the entire process of designing your t-shirt could be daunting if you do not know how to go about it. The points that we have mentioned in the article are some of the things that you must keep at the back of your mind. There are several other nuances that you might want to pay attention to while designing your t-shirts. However, for starters, these shall suffice and can help you come with the best designs.