Printing Season

How to design printed T-shirts?

Published 26 November 2019
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Do you want to start your own brand of printed T-shirts? One of the most important things in this business is the right design that will be printed on them. Customers "buy with their eyes", so first and foremost you need to ensure that the design is eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing. The print itself can also tell a story with which the buyer can identify. As a result, he will be happy to buy a printed T-shirt precisely from you, which will match his personality and whatever he himself would like to express with his clothes. So find out the best way to get started with designing overprints to get customers reaching for your products!

What do you need printed T-shirts for?

Before you get started with designing, you need to determine the purpose for which you want to produce printed T-shirts in the first place. Are you creating a new brand and the T-shirt is going to be the product you want to sell? Then think about the style you want to design in, the demand for this kind of project and determine your entire business strategy. Consider doing research to discover your customers' tastes. Remember, even the best product won't sell if it doesn't appeal to anyone else but you. So it's important to know your audience and offer them a product that they are happy to buy.

However, if you are not planning to develop your own brand, printed T-shirts can also serve a marketing function. A t-shirt as a promotional gift, a souvenir from an event, or simply for use within the company for employees, is a great idea to promote the company and its activities. In this case, an important element is a well-chosen brand logo, or a slogan that is related to the company. Thanks to this, people who see a T-shirt with such a design may immediately have positive associations with the brand, and in the future they may become interested in the products or services that the company sells.

Rethink your project

The most important thing to think about throughout the design process is that you are creating an idea for a specific person. Think about what you want to convey with your design and what you want others to see in it. Do you want to express this through the image alone, the lettering alone, or as a combination of both? If the design is to be an image alone, then it needs to be strongly eye-catching and designed with attention to detail. In the case of prints with just the inscription, the most important thing is to choose the right typography for the message. Think carefully about the combination of both - experiment with different typography so that in the final design both complement each other and one is not dominated by the other.

Remember that the final design will be worn by someone, so take into account how the final result will look on a person. The print also needs to be the right size to fit into the printable area of the t-shirt. If you're also considering selling strapless tops, then you'll need to factor this into the design as well. It's important that the design looks good on a t-shirt of any size - this is crucial as your products will be bought by people of different sizes, and everyone wants to look good in their clothes. Once you've finished your design, it's also a good idea to show it to a few people who can coolly review it and spot any mistakes. Such feedback can be very valuable, as others may notice something you haven't noticed before.

Adjust the way you print

In addition to a good design, the way of applying the print to the shirt is also very important. Nowadays, there are several ways to print a garment, but two of them are used most frequently. The first way is the DTG method. It is based on inkjet printing , and the design is printed directly onto the fabric. The advantage of this method is the good rendering of colours and image details, as well as the wide selection of shades that can be printed. The definite downside of this method is its cost when printing more products. The more you print, the less cost-effective it is, which is why this method is recommended for single items. So if you are planning on selling a large number of printed t-shirts, this may not be the best option.

The second most popular method is silkscreen printing. This technique has an exceptionally rich tradition and has long been valued for its incredible durability - no washing will harm it. It renders colours and design details very well. A big advantage in the case of larger orders, i.e. in the case of creating your own brand of T-shirts, is the price. The more you order, the cheaper the cost of producing one piece. It is said that screen printing is already profitable when ordering 20-30 items of clothing. Each additional piece lowers the unit cost. So if you are thinking about a large order of printed T-shirts whether as an advertising product or for your own T-shirt shop, screen printing will be the best choice for you.

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