Tips for Creating Better T-shirt Designs

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Get Tips for T-Shirt Design With Getbold

Whatever the clothing trend, it seems we can always count on t-shirts to be part of it. A custom t-shirt is a favourite domain for creative forays into wearables. That said the process can be challenging without guidelines, both conceptually and during production. To come up with a really “that’s awesome” final product a partnership needs to exist between the design and creative side and the printing or embroidery process.

Here are some tips for arriving at the right design and making better production decisions.

A Thorough Exploration Helps You Arrive at the Right Solution

It is always a good idea to start by establishing what message you want to be delivered to the audience. Then you can explore ways of delivering it. A thorough and systematic exploration of the potential variations will help you decide how best to deliver the message. It will most likely come down to what the audience will respond to culturally and situationally.

Brainstorming doesn’t have to be intimidating. It can be quite liberating, especially when you feel the rush of that definitive solution. Be prepared for the creative process to be anything but linear and analytical and keep in mind this can make it frustrating for some people.

It’s a good idea, when exploring directions, to get the ideas down in front of you. There are some excellent tutorial videos and design software for that. Keep in mind that ideas are great but ultimately you need to arrive at a unique solution for your unique t-shirt. When you think you have a winner, envision your artwork on the t-shirt itself. Print it out full-size and place it on an actual t-shirt. Does it look right? Will you and your teammates or colleagues be pleased to wear it?

Identifying Parameters Gets You Down the Road

There are several questions you can answer that can bring the universe of possibilities down to earth for you. Start by identifying your limitations. Once you identify how many shirts you need to print and for whom, establish a budget, figure out whether you are screen printing, embroidering, featuring an applique, using vinyl graphics, or printing direct to garment, select the t-shirt type, land on a colour scheme, decide whether you need a designer or illustrator. If you can identify some parameters to work within, you’re off to a good start, and it goes a long way toward solving a design problem. Keep in mind the experts at GetBold are always available to provide some direction and hard-won wisdom.

When it Comes to Bold and Memorable–Less is More

Some of the best and more memorable designs are simple and bold. An idea can be described with just enough to say it well, any more is a distraction. Identify what is appropriate for the concept and include or accept only that which points to it.

Deliver Artwork That is Easy to Use

Your printer is your partner. Make sure your lines of communication are open and use them as you progress. Proper preparation is critical to success.

If you have opted for screen printing, use Pantone colours. This is a colour matching system that allows your printer to come as close as possible to the colours you have in mind.

If you outline your text in your production file, there will be no need for the printer to carry the same font, or for you to have to include it with your file. There are a lot of tutorials about Photoshop and Illustrator, two great tools for developing artwork.

Decide which production process is right for your design. This decision is typically based on complexity and quantity. If your design is photographic and has a limited run, you may want to choose direct-to-garment. For larger runs and possibly fewer colours, the classic screen-printing process might be better.

A Great Printer Like Getbold Can Help

Remember, your design should be as unique as the reason you’re designing it. Getbold can help you every step of the way. We’ve travelled down this path many times, we have great ideas we are happy to share and can help you decide the most appropriate direction for your custom design t-shirt.