Creating your design

quick tips

Following on from my previous article 'how to create your own t-shirt brand' this article will focus on the design and graphical side to owning your own t-shirt brand.

Below are a few points that you should try to stick with when creating your new t-shirt designs:

  • Set your file quality to 300dpi – this is set when you create a new blank file
  • Double check the print size that your printer requires – if you are using Direct to Garment (DTG) printing this is not as big an issue however your designs may be auto cropped/stretched.
  • Keep your lines greater than 0.5points thick
  • Keep the number of colors in mind - even if you are planning to use DTG printing services it is good practice to limit your colors as you may wish to use the same design for screen printing later on
Credit: info_via_tim

Know your blank

t-shirt cut matters

Understanding the style of blank t-shirt you are going to use before you kick off the design process will ultimately pay off once your product is finished. Designing for a v-neck versus a crew neck t-shirt can be very different. Also keep in mind that your design will look different once the shirt is actually being worn by a person. It is a good idea to get a sample or print a one off with a DTG services so you can actually see what the design looks like in person and with someone wearing it. 

What works for you

be yourself

While there are a number of preferred methods and ‘best practices’ out there, the creative process used for designing t-shirts is really up to you. Some designers will stick to a single process and others will try new processes and methods for each design. A common industry standard is to create your designs in vector format as they can be stretched in size without losing any image quality. 


Don't be afraid to bring in the experts

If creating the graphics and designs for your brand is not your strong suit then consider outsourcing. While outsourcing may seem daunting to some it has the potential to help you achieve your goals and often much quicker than you would have been able to otherwise. Websites such as elance and 99designs allow you to post up your job and lets artists big and compete. 

Alternatively if you happen to come across a artist looking for exposure often a collaboration deal and be established where their designs are used in exchange for exposure or compensation if your brand makes it big. 

Sites to look at

Here are some good sites to look into for information and templates -

  • threadless
  • iamthetrend
  • teeproject

Final Comments

Creating the graphics for your new t-shirt brand can be an intimidating task. However by keeping in mind the tips provided in this article there is no reason why you can’t start up your own t-shirt brand, push out your own designs (or find someone else to do it!) and start getting into the logistics of owning your own brand.

Again any questions please ask and I will do my best to answer.