When Grad Wear Goes Wrong

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Ordering Graduation Wear Has a

Degree of Difficulty


A t-shirt is a great way to commemorate an event. A great t-shirt with a great message will want to be worn over and over again. It is a significant symbol of that event. This is why it is important to look out for potential pitfalls. Whatever happens, will not only be remembered, it will continue to exist for many years to come. For some, a lifetime.

Even if your solution is simple, you need to be aware of some common mistakes. Right or wrong, your t-shirt will be memorable. Although some of this may sound sort of obvious, it is worth keeping in the front of your mind.


Will Your Custom T-shirt be Famous

or Infamous?


Remember, graduation is that “most likely to” moment. For many people, this means that they are labeled for life. This is not a good time for mistakes. So, you want to make sure that the t-shirts you design and print for graduation are just right.


Size and Positioning:


The old saying about seeing the forest for the trees applies here. At GetBold we send very detailed proofs before we print any order. The proofs not only give you digital images of how things will look, but they also give precise measurements regarding placement and image size. We suggest you get out your ruler and actually measure that out on a shirt. Maybe even print out the image on a piece of paper, cut it out and place it where it will be according to your proof. How does it look? Good? Then tell us it’s approved!


Typography Treatment:


Fonts have a major effect on the success of your t-shirt design. One of the most challenging aspects of your composition may very well be whether your type solution is an integral part of your overall design, or whether it looks like an afterthought, or worse, something foreign, that doesn’t visually or conceptually belong.

Your font selection should carry the flavor or style of the concept of your written words. Your type solution should interact and be an interdependent relationship with the graphic elements. It can either enhance your message or your message can get lost and hard to read.

Another good rule to follow is to stick to one font and only one font per design. Designs that have two, three, or even more fonts look distracting and lack cohesiveness. If you want to look sharp, keep it simple.




Layout relates closely to how well your type of treatment works with your graphic elements. More specifically, how well do those two aspects of your design relate to each other? Does it make sense? Are the arrangements relationships comfortable with each other or are they fighting with each other? Do they exist as completely separate aspects, or do they depend on, or enhance each other?

Your over-all composition can determine whether you pull-off a success or create confusion. This aspect of the design is worth spending some time learning more about. There are useful online resources that can teach you how to orchestrate your elements.


Colour and Contrast:


At GetBold we believe that if you want to say something, then say it clearly. Typically, someone probably doesn’t want to take too long to understand what your chest is saying, it is sort of similar to what makes a successful billboard. You don’t want to cause an accident you just want to convey a message. Contrast and colour selection are a big factor affecting the success of your message. There are colour selections that contrast each other and complement each other and there are some that vibrate oddly or compete with each other.

And sometimes the word or words themselves are so important or dramatic, simple contrast is all that is required for a bold presentation of that message.




Above all, a mistake is a mistake, and it becomes clear that the credibility of the message is always secondary to a misspelled word or the wrong use of a word. With graphics, make sure that a portion of it hasn’t been cut off or cropped in an awkward spot. A good question to ask yourself is: Does my design raise any questions that can’t be easily and logically answered?

With graduation wear, as with any major commemorative garment, when it comes to custom t-shirt printing, whether you choose embroidery, screen printing, and/or applique, execution is a large part of determining the success or failure of an idea. GetBold is always here to help you every step of the way.