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Whether you’re looking for customised t-shirts to promote your business, to commemorate an event or even if you just have some great creative ideas, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you design your own t-shirt.

Consider the purpose

Before you start designing your t-shirt, have a think about the purpose of your design. Is it to raise awareness of your business or brand? Are the t-shirts going to be given away as a promotional item? Or, are you simply designing a t-shirt for an event, like a stag or a hen do? Considering the purpose of your printed t-shirts means that it’ll be easier to start designing them. For example, if your t-shirt will be for promotional purposes, you’ll know that you should opt for an eye-catching design that encapsulates your brand. Plus, this will give you a clearer idea about how many t-shirts you should order.

Think about your budget

The quantity and colours of your t-shirts will impact the price. If you only need a small print run with a simple, single-colour logo, then heat transfer printing would be the most cost-effective option. Colourful designs on a lower-quantity printing run lend themselves well to digital printing, whereas if you are looking to print 100+ shirts, screen printing could be the best way to go.

Brainstorm your design

Now for the fun part! Before you start designing your t-shirt, gather some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing. Whether it’s colours, imagery, patterns or font, pull together some designs to help you come up with your own ideas. 

When it comes to actually creating the design, you do not need to be a Photoshop wizard to make something impactful. There are a number of free design tools that make the design process a breeze, even for beginners! Tools like Canva and Vector are easy-to-use options for budding designers, allowing you to bring your ideas to life.

Play around with the size, fonts, and colours of your design until you’ve come up with an idea that feels right to you. Again, consider the purpose of your t-shirt when you’re working on the design – if it’s to advertise your brand, for example, you might want to have your phone number on the shirt. In that case, is it in a clear enough font? Does the colour stand out? Think about your audience and what they might expect to see on a shirt.

Get your colours right

Did you know people are perceived differently based on what colour clothing they are wearing? Well, it’s true – but you’ll also need to consider what will stand out against the colour you’ll be printing on. If you’re opting for a simple white t-shirt, go for dark colours that will stand out. If you’re printing on a darker background, light or bright inks will really pop.

Remember when you’re designing your t-shirt that your artwork colours will need to be set to CMYK – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black) – as these are the colours used during the printing process. Computer screens show colours in the RGB colour profile (Red, Blue, Green), so the colours on screen will look different to the colours that you’ll print. To make sure you get a perfect match, make sure your artwork is in CMYK.

Print-ready artwork

Once your design is ready to go, you’ll need to export it in a high-resolution format to ensure you get the best quality print. If you’re using a tool like Adobe Illustrator, this would be a vector file like an AI or EPS, but for other tools, it could be a print-ready PDF or a high-resolution JPEG.

Buytshirtsonline will send you a handy digital proof of what your artwork will look like to make sure you’re completely happy with the design before it gets printed. You’re all done!

We’re here to help you with any queries you might have about printing your own t-shirts, so if you’d like to find out more about our printing options or have any other questions, our team will be happy to help.