10 tips for creating T-shirt designs for 2019
01. Take time to explore your concept
Sketch your T-shirt design out, and create a few variations, do a full brainstorming process. Then sleep on it.
02. Create a mock up
Having worked for both print and web over the years, I know the vast difference between design on screen and a printed piece. Don't be afraid to mock up your T-shirt design on a photo of a model. Print it out if necessary and place it on an actual tee. Make sure you see your artwork at actual size.
03. Detail is great, but keep things simple
Everyone appreciates great drawing ability and attention to detail. There's nothing better than seeing a really well executed masterpiece on a tee, which you can study for hours.
But, equally, some of the most classic T-shirt designs are the simplest – and get the message across through their simplest form.
04. Consider your market
This is an important one. Are you designing for male or female; young or old? At the end of the day you're designing a product that you want people to wear.
Like a good brand designer would do, write down the exact person you want to attract to your T-shirt design – who they are, what they like, what other brands they like and go from there.
05. Keep your humor subtle
If you're going for a humorous T-shirt design, you don't want it coming across as a cheap and low-cost joke shirt. Even the most successful loud and in-your-face designs have subtle humor.
Humor can turn heads if done correctly.
06. Choose the right colors
Use the T-shirt color effectively and try choosing complementary colors. If you're using Adobe Illustrator, turn on Global Colors. It's an absolute life saver and will save you so much time.
07. Prepare your artwork properly
Use Pantone Colors when screen printing – your printer will love you for it. They'll also love you if you outline text and expand any strokes you may have. There are plenty of good tutorials out there, depending on whether you're using Illustrator or Photoshop.
08. Source a good printer
So, your design is finished and properly art worked, but your tee will only be as ever as good your printer. Try a reputable company like Fullfill4me a family own business located in the US. They specialize in both Screen Printing and DTG. It is best to deal with a company that wants to treat your tee as an end retail product and will handle your work with care.
09. Get educated
It's important to take time to learn about what type of tee you want to print on.
The weight, sizes, labeling options, cost and so on all affect the end product.
To have a good understanding of anything, you need to study it and understand its context. Tees have come out of every subculture phenomenon that has ever existed, whether it's music, skateboarding, street art, sport or general pop culture.
Find out about them and have an appreciation for it all.
10. Be ahead of the game
Be inspired by what the latest trends are, but don't copy them. Chances are by the time you've seen that T-shirt produced, other designers are moving onto something else behind closed doors.