With all the emerging technology and software in today’s marketplace T-shirt creations are becoming a household possibility. Now, for any event or any occasion, anyone can create their own custom printed T-shirt. However, as everyone knows, there are both good T-shirt designs and, well, bad ones. And since everyone should have fun and create great T-shirts, here are a few tips to keep in mind for those who haven’t created T-shirts online before.
The first element most beginning designers struggle with is simplicity. Most people who are designing a T-shirt for the first time can’t decide which design they want to use, or which they like most, so end up using an overabundance. It’s not unusual to see a T-shirt covered with conflicting and clashing images.
Taking a little bit of time before hand and brainstorming what the shirt should look like will prevent the average beginner from hopping in and making an immediate mess while making up their mind. Simplicity is king when designing a T-shirt. Over-cluttering a T-shirt is an easy trap to fall into, and one that should be avoided at all costs.
How to Keep it Simple
To keep a T-shirt simple, start with one medium/large graphic. I highly recommend sticking to only a very limited amount of images the first time designing a T-shirt. Have one main image and maybe one or two others used to modify the first. It is much better to use effects, splatters, flourishes, and other design elements, rather than a plethora of images, in order to personalize the overall shirt as much as possible. This personalization will really make the T-shirt feel like a true creation, rather than a handful of pre-generated images slapped onto a shirt.
The next huge design trap many beginners fall into is placing a logo or text dead in the center of a shirt. Designs are typically much more engaging and eye catching if place slightly off center, or skewed to the side. Try to stay away from a centered image, with text right above or below. Instead, throw an image on the upper chest off to the side, or over a shoulder, with text on the opposite side. This helps further customize the shirt, keeping it from looking blocky or generated.
I would suggest something that seems obvious, but many new designers don’t do. And that would be to try something unique. Skulls, blood, and nautical stars, although highly popular right now, don’t have much of a custom feel. And what is the point of making custom T-shirts using exciting new online software if it ends up just a duplicate of the current fads and market trends?
Have it Tie into an Event
Also, if you’re creating the T-shirt for an event, make the theme match the event. There’s a happy medium of custom, creative shirts, and T-shirts that say the name of the event and that’s it. Find a balance where the shirt matches the event but still has creative flair.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment! The whole point of designing is to have fun and be creative. The greatest part of new online T-shirt design software is the freedom it allows one to have. While it still isn’t quite to Photoshop level yet, it is remarkable how far it can be taken. Best of luck and don’t be afraid to dig in.
Author bio: Adam Farwell is an online publisher for the custom T shirts creator bluecotton.com. He enjoys blogging about design, marketing, and creative projects.