The concept of designing your own t-shirt is pretty awesome, whether you’re an illustrator, designer, or just want something unique to wear at a party. The process can be a bit daunting, however, so to help you design your own t-shirt, we have 10 simple tips for designing your own t-shirts easier.

  1. Take your time

Sometimes, you’ll have the perfect t-shirt design pop into your head immediately, and that’s great. If you don’t, sketch out a design, have a bit of a break from it, come up with variations of the design, take another break and then sleep on it. Continue to do this with a number of different designs until you’ve designed ‘The T-shirt’.

  1. Make a mock-up

There can be a vast difference between a design on paper or screen, and on a t-shirt. Don’t be afraid to create your artwork at actual size, mock the design on a photo of a model or even print out the design and put it on a t-shirt. This way, you’ll have a better understanding of whether the design will look good.

  1. Keep it simple

Attention to detail and great artwork are both things that people will always appreciate. People love seeing a great piece of work on a t-shirt and being able to spend hours picking out little details. Despite this, some of the best t-shirt designs have been extremely simple in the way they get their message across.

  1. Who’s wearing the t-shirt?

Knowing who you’re designing t-shirts for will make your design process a lot easier. Are you designing for women or men, children or adults? Once you find out what the people you’re designing for life, it’ll all be a lot easier.

  1. Consider your colours

To use colour effectively for your t-shirts, try using complementary colours for a clear look. If you’re going to be using a computer programme, make use of half tones to get the most out of possibly restricted colours.

  1. Properly prepare your artwork

Printers will love your for using Pantone colours if you’re planning to screen print. By outlining text and expanding any strokes you have, you can make their lives a lot easier, and they’ll really appreciate it.

  1. Understand the design process

T-shirts have been used by every subculture to express themselves and to have a good understanding of t-shirt design; it really helps to understand the context of t-shirt design. The internet and design books are great places to start, and they’ll help ensure your t-shirt design gives out the message you want it to.