How to design a custom T-shirt

by Basiel

A guide to designing your own T-shirt

A cool T-shirt design gets noticed. Everyone loves a T-shirt, be it plain or decorated. For years now, T-shirts have been a staple in most of our closets and they have become part of our daily lives, which makes them the ultimate advertising opportunity for companies and brands.

Do you want to use custom T-shirts as a present for your loyal customers, to motivate your employees, or to sell to your community? In this article, we explain you where to start if you want to design custom T-shirts.

What to know before you start

What type of T-shirts do you want?

First you have to decide what products you want. There are many different T-shirt styles and colors. There's loose or tight fits, plain colors, heather colors…

What kind of design do you want?

Once you decided on the type of T-shirt, it’s time to start thinking about your design. If you already have a design, it’s important to deliver it to us in a vector format. It’s also important to keep in mind that if you have a certain font for your design, it might not be free to use.

Whether it’s a simple and minimalistic design or a very graphical design, here are some factors you need to watch out for:

  • Watch out for the size of your design, your design will look different depending on the size of the T-shirt.
  • The amount of colors of your design will influence the costs.
  • Your print has to be minimum 2 cm of the seam.
  • A design or logo on the sleeve of the T-shirt can only have a size of maximum 3-4 cm.

How are you going to sell your products?

There are many ways to sell your products, whether it’s through e-commerce, a pop-up store, in physical clothing stores… It all depends on your story, your brand, your target group and what you are trying to achieve with your clothing.

Printing techniques 

There are several options to decorate your T-shirt. Silk screen printing, digital printing and embroidery are just a few. In this article, we will mostly talk about screen printing as it is the most common decoration technique for T-shirts.

Screen printing is possible starting from 25 pieces (with most production partners) and is ideal for big quantities with a maximum of 12 colors.

However, we recommend starting with a higher amount (50 for example) so you can have your own labels on your custom T-shirts.

Labeling allows your T-shirt to be truly unique on the market, so if you want to create extra value for your customers and your brand, labeling is the way to go!

Pick the right production partner

Once the idea for a cool T-shirt design is in place, you should partner up with a reliable supplier. Check off this list to make sure the partnership will be beneficial.

  • Does your supplier provide premium quality products and printing?
  • Does your supplier provide ethical produced clothing (fair wear label)?
  • Does your supplier provide ecological garments (organic cotton or other biological fabric)?
  • Does your supplier have a long term vision for a customer relationship?
  • Does your supplier display knowledge and expertise on multiple fronts?
  • Does your supplier provide perfect service?

Partner up with Merchandise Essentials and let us help you create your vision!

Topics:Decoration techniquesFashion

About Merchandise Essentials

In 2015 Merchandise Essentials consisted out of two young guys with big dreams. Working out of their parents’ living room they started turning those dreams into goals.

The living room became a 600m2 office space with a showroom. The two man team turned into a workforce of more than 30 young and talented individuals who are now designing and producing merchandise for brands and businesses in 43 countries.


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