T-shirt design is becoming one of the most popular outlets for
creatives. Whether you're an illustrator, graphic designer, typographer
or not, the thought of having your design on a T-shirt is a pretty cool
1. Take your time and explore your concept
Sketch it out, go for a walk, create a few variations, have something to
eat, do a full brainstorming process. Then sleep on it. And do it over
again. If it comes to you straight away, great. But explore other options
just in case.
2. There are a vast difference between design on screen and a
Don't be afraid to mock it up on a photo of a model, print it out if
necessary and place it on an actual tee, and of course create your
artwork at actual size.
3. Detail is king but keep things simple
Everyone appreciates great drawing ability and attention to detail.
There is nothing better than seeing a really well executed masterpiece
on a tee, that you can study for hours.
But equally, some of the most classic designs have been the simplest
and get the message across through their simplest form.
4. 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 marketeer would do, write down the exact
person you want to attract to your design – who they are, what they
like, what other brands they like and go from there.
5. Keep your humour subtle
If you're going for a humorous designs you don't want it coming across
as a cheap and low-cost joke shirt. Done correctly it can turn heads!
Even the most successful loud and in your face designs have subtle
6. Choose a good printing
So your design is finished and properly artworked, but your tee will only
be as ever as good your printer.
7. Be ahead of the game
Be inspired by what the latest trends are but don't copy them. Chances
are by the time you have seen that T-shirt produced, other designers
are moving on to something else behind closed doors.