How to create custom shirts

April 19, 2018
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You probably have many of them already. One from a concert from last summer, a thrift store find, a quirky birthday gift, and so on. Creating a custom shirt can be daunting but we will guide you with some easy steps.

1. Brainstorm

Think about your concept. Need inspiration? Go to the park, walk through a bustling city, find a museum or sleep on it and see if any ideas come to mind.

2. Think about your design on a custom shirt

It helps to visualize your design on the shirt itself. Consider creating a mock-up of your custom shirt design on an actual model and see how you like it.

3. Pay attention to detail but don’t get too crazy

Remember that less is more. You don’t want your design to be too overwhelming and you want it to convey your message, whatever that message could be.

4. Think about who you’re designing for

Are these shirts for men, women or are they intended for a unisex market? Are they for kids, teenagers or adults? Think about your brand and what you want people to associate it with.

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5. Humor is important but don’t go overboard

Keep in mind that certain types of humor may not be funny for everyone and you don’t want your design to be seen as cheap. Well-balanced, thoughtful humor can go a long way.

6. Consider color

What is the color of the custom shirt fabric going to be versus the design? Make sure that the two colors complement each other.

7. Prepare to print

When screen printing, it’s recommended that you use Pantone Colors. Also, that you make sure to outline any text and to expand strokes.

8. Find a good printer

Research reputable companies or call up a local screenprinter. Remember that you can always visit a printing company ahead of time and check out their finished shirts. Also, be aware of hidden costs.

9. Educate yourself on custom shirt designs

Grab some books on cool tees from the past and make sure that you have an understanding of the history.

10. Don’t copy, be a visionary

It’s cool to see what the trends in custom shirt designs are and to find inspiration but don’t copy. Be aware of your field but be a visionary and visit Vitruvien for more ideas.

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