Creating custom t shirts is fast becoming a full time profession for many illustrators and designers. But even if you are not a seasoned designer, yet, wish to design tee-shirts for yourself and your friends you may still come up with original ideas after some trial and error. Do try to master the basics and keep an eye on the following 10 custom t shirts design tips:
1. Select your t–shirt first. The colour of your top will dictate many things, including, the motif and the tone you wish to display. Decide whether you are willing to print out your ideas on the t–shirt or execute the same through embroideries / appliqués. While cotton or cotton and polyester blends are best suited for screen printings, soft fabric like linen, cotton or jersey are apt choices for embroideries. If you care for drape do select modal.
2. Next comes the difficult part of conceptualisation of the pattern. You may use simple slogans, logos or complicated motifs to decorate your t–shirt. If you are thinking of using humorous quips make sure you are utilising clean jokes. Profanities or crass humours reflect poorly on the wearer’s personality.
3. It is also advisable to stay away from clichés like smiley faces and cartoon characters unless you can introduce some fresh elements into the design. Skull and other Gothic patterns might be much in vogue but decide whether you would like wearing them if you are designing for self.
4. Insist on the depth of tonality and colour contrast. That way your design would be conspicuous from miles away! Avoid clutter at all costs. This also includes the introduction of more than one central character.
5. If you are designing for a group of friends think if you can conceive ideas revolving around a central theme. Many corporate clients prefer following the same for their employees too.
6. Those who like needlework may prefer being adventurous with their techniques. Using cross – hatching for shading, coloured edges for a monochrome illustration, accentuating the negative spaces are some of the ideas that you may toy with. If you are using appliqués make sure your design does not turn out to be childish, i.e., if you are not designing a child’s tee.
7. For quotes or slogans choose a typography that can clearly be read from a distance. Outline the chosen font for clarity and ease of execution during embroidery. If you are doing this for commercial purposes then you may require to pay the font foundry unless the chosen typeface is a free one.
8. Creating mock–ups in actual size is a good idea. If that is not possible use some kind of guides before working on the actual.
9. If you doing this for the first time you will have to work on improving your printing skills along with understand the mechanisms of the printer you are about to work with.
10. Understand that your primary audience as well as the customers will be the young people or at least the young at heart. Your custom designed t–shirts should appeal to their tastes and sense of aesthetics.
I can assure, by following the above mentioned 10 t shirt design tips, you will enjoy creating your own customized t shirts as much as you would wearing them.