Every season or year, fashion trends come and go. But the one trend that has retained its place from so many years is t-shirts. T-shirts are one of the most economical and coolest pieces of clothing. Unlike the old times, it is no more casual attire. Companies are using them for promoting their businesses.

When it comes to t-shirts, design plays an important role. It is the design that adds a personal and creative touch to a t-shirt. A design can have slogans, images, art, logos, or slogans. A custom design let you express your individuality or show your unity with a team or group. 

Designing custom clothing may seem like fun and playful activity, but not everyone comes up with a great design. It is because creating the best custom clothing requires the right strategy. If you are looking for ways on how to create custom t-shirts, then you have come to the right place.  Here are a few tips for creating custom t-shirts:

1) Know the purpose of creating a t-shirt:
Every design is created with a purpose. Some are created for promotional activities, while others are created to represent a team or express individuality. So before creating custom clothing, it’s important to have clarity on why you need it. It will help you in coming up with a great design. Let’s understand this with an example. For instance, you have started a new business, and you want to promote your brand. Apart from other marketing strategies, you may want to create buzz and good visibility of your brand. In this case, you can create custom t-shirts for your employees that have a company logo on it.   

2) Define your budget:
If you are creating a custom t-shirt for yourself, then budget may not be a constraint for you. But if you are creating t-shirts for your company or a team, then you have to be clear with the amount of money you want to spend in creating a custom t-shirt. Having clarity on the budget in the initial stage can help you in finding the balance between the number of quantities and the creative options you can produce or print. Your budget will also help you in choosing the printing method, which we will explain in the later stage. 

3) Choose your t-shirt type:
When it comes to t-shirts, there are different styles available: round neck, v-neck, shorts sleeves, polo t-shirt, 3/4th sleeve shirts, etc. The type of t-shirt can help you in putting your design in a different manner. For instance, a long sleeve t-shirt gives an opportunity to put the design on sleeves as well. 

Tip: If you are creating a t-shirt for promotional activities, then take the opinion of promoters about the type of t-shirt they would love to wear. It will not only make them feel distinctive but motivate them to spread the message from one person to another. 

4) Choose the right fabric:
After choosing the t-shirt type, the next step is to decide on the fabric. For every printer, fabrics are similar to what canvas is to artists. Just like a poor canvas can ruin a magnificent painting, a bad quality fabric can also destroy the great t-shirt design.  Not all fabrics bring out the same quality. For instance, if you are going with Direct to Garment (DTG) printing method, then the best fabric suitable for this type of printing is cotton. 

5) Select color scheme:
Colors are one of the best design elements to communicate the personality. Every color has its own meaning, and each color has an impact on the emotions and behavior of the audience. Unless and until, you are creating a t-shirt for your own personal use, selecting the right color to create a t-shirt for branding is not as easy as it seems. Although your graphic designer will help you in choosing the right color, you should also have the knowledge on how to choose the right color. In the end, it is you who will approve the final design. Here are a few tips:

Choose the color that reflects your brand image
If you want to have different colors in your design, make sure it should be similar to other brands
There are some colors that look good on the desktop or computer, but when it comes to printing, they may not come out exactly the way you think. Therefore, choose the colors that are print-friendly. 

6) Decide on the positioning of the design:
Where you want to place your design? At the center, top, or back of the t-shirt? The placement of the design is important to serve the overall purpose of creating a t-shirt. You must have seen people wearing custom t-shirts where the design either gets hide or doesn’t not visible properly. If you want to create a t-shirt for branding purpose, we are sure you don’t want to take that risk.

7) Be familiar with your printing options:
One of the key problems in t-shirt printing is that people don’t know which printing option to choose. Printing is an important part of t-shirt designing. With the development of technology, a lot of new methods have come up in the last few years. The type of printing depends on the part of a t-shirt you want to cover with design and of course on your budget.  Screen printing, Dye sublimation, Heat press, Direct to Garment are some of the well-known printing options available in the market today. 

8) Find your designer:
Once you are clear with all the above points, it’s time to choose the right designer. If you are low on budget and cannot afford to have a full-time graphic designer, then don’t worry. Designhill is the world’s no.1 freelance graphic design platform that lets its users to get connected with thousands of professional designers from all over the world. The platform also offers various AI-powered tools like t-shirt maker tool. You can also use the tool and create your t-shirt within minutes. 

9) Get the files from designer: 
When your designer creates the final design, take the files in PDF, AI, or EPS format. Don’t forget to take the Pantone or CMYK code details. It will help you in printing the design in exact color you wished for. 

10) Hire a good printer: 
In t-shirt designing, hiring a right printer is important. Because in the end, he is be the one who will produce a final product. Here are a few tips to choose the right printer:

The printer should have an in-house art department
Read the online reviews of the shortlisted printers
Have clarity of hidden charges
Ask the printer to send you a sample before finalizing the deal


Designing a t-shirt for oneself is fun, but if you are designing it in bulk for a client, it is a responsibility. It is thus, important to plan carefully. Follow the above steps and create an outstanding custom t-shirt.  Don’t forget to share your experience in the below comment section.

Author profile

Campbell Joef is a graphic designer and blogger associated with Designhill.com, a custom designs marketplace, I generally write on topics concerning design, custom long sleeve shirts,  ecommerce, start-ups, small business, fashion and style.