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3 Major Considerations When Designing T-Shirts for Printing

There are some t-shirt designs that one can really appreciate due to their stellar design, but it’s also possible to design a t-shirt that nobody will ever wear! Understanding what makes a t-shirt look great versus details that are sure to make your design flop is essential to your project’s success.  

While you can go all out with your creativity, it pays to adhere to some tried and tested t-shirt design techniques to ensure that your custom t-shirts come out just the way you want them to. To give you a better idea of what to watch out for, here are some things you need to consider when designing t-shirts for printing:



This element of your t-shirt design is one of the most important decisions you’ll be making, both for design reasons and the success of the screen printing result. Printing a colorful t-shirt will cost you more per item—but if you’re ordering them in bulk, then this won’t be much of a problem. Custom screen printing uses halftones, a technique that uses tiny dots to make three or four colors look like many more. Be sure to ask your printing shop what their rate is for halftones if you wish to incorporate that in your design.

Colors aren’t just about what looks aesthetically pleasing. There’s proven science behind how colors make people feel when looking at them. For instance, red is a color that demands attention and will often stimulate clear thought, while blue creates a calming and soothing effect.

Another option for printing methods is direct-to-garment, where you can have your design printed in full color. This is an excellent way to render full-color photographs without worrying about the number of colors used. Just be sure to make complementary color choices before finalizing your print.


Design Complexity

Just like with other designs, following this well-known rule of thumb will achieve better results for your t-shirt printing: keep it simple. The brain can only process so much information all at once, especially with a mobile design like a worn t-shirt. Keep it simple to catch the viewer’s attention with a clear design.

Designing your own shirt with creativity and originality does not always have to mean making the process complicated. By piling design element after design element on top of each other, you might just end up with a chaotic mess nobody will look twice at! People should immediately understand your t-shirt design, and simplicity is the surest way to achieve that.


Borders and Edges

One way to add extra detail to your t-shirt design without crowding the space is to add a border. This is especially useful for photographs featured on your t-shirt, which can end up looking cheap by itself. A border helps make it look much cleaner and more professional.

There are a variety of options to choose from when adding borders to your design. Thin black or white designs are the easiest to incorporate for immediate improvement. Thicker frames with details can also look great when placed correctly. You can also opt to do a knockout, where the background is cut out or erased. This leaves the focus on the subject, which is perfect if your design goal is to make it stand out as much as possible.



Simple but effective, these design tips will help you create more appealing and effective custom t-shirt designs. Whether you choose to create the design yourself or get your trusted printer’s help, knowing how to incorporate these tips will make your custom t-shirt printing project a greater success!

At Bauers Boutique, we provide direct-to-garment printing and digital screen printing with only the best inks and machines to ensure your t-shirts will remain vibrant for years to come. We design, print, and package all items from start to finish to ensure nothing less than the best quality. Shop for our collections today!