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How to design a t-shirt that will sell


Everybody, at least once in their life, has probably had an idea for some cool printed T-shirts, right? Considering all those who are keen to enter the T-shirt world, we at Printsomehave created this small guide to help T-shirt designers plan. From creation, to the type of T-shirt printing that best suits expectations for the business and, hopefully, to helping sell theT-shirts too.
Tip #1: You want it to be cool
There are literally millions of options available when coming up with a design for your own T-shirt/fashion label. In this article we went through a few, so be sure to check it out! Think about what’s trending, research a lot on Mintees and Pinterest and make sure your original design will stand out. It’s very important to plan it according to how you’re going to be printing it later as well. Keep reading.
Tip #2: You want it to be cheap and easy to print
For volumes bigger than 100 printed T-shirts, the most cost-effective printing technique is, by far, screen printing. Unlike CMYK separation for offline press, where one colour adds up to another to create millions of variations, it works with solid colour separation in layers – always in vectorial graphics. You can have up to six on average if you want (high-end machines can have 10-14 colours though!). Of course the more colours you add to your design, the more it will cost, so you probably want to focus on the shapes and keep it between two and three colours.
There are other printing techniques available on the market, like transfer printing and direct to garment (ideal for photographs and high-resolution artwork graphics); the only down side to the last one is the higher final print price if compared to screen printing. So before the design process begins, you should consider the profit margin that suits your expectations for the budget you have and the quantities you’re after selling. Then it’s just doing the math.
Tip #3: You want it to be sold
After setting a reasonable selling price and opening for sale, you have to act like a marketer. If the idea is selling them online, you can create your own personalized e-commerce shop (there are good options for free or small fees per sale, like BigCartel). If you’re a person of contacts, you can even do it through a Facebook page. And, of course, if you have the resources, you can always have a web designer doing a professional e-commerce page as well.
Also make sure you publicise it correctly, and by that I mean taking good quality photographs (almost professional) – it would be even better if you have real people wearing them. Asking that handsome friend to model for you would do - it’s probably the most important thing to consider investing in, after the prints. Using cool graphics like the ones Hype Means Nothing did for their celebrity t-shirts – see below – adds up a lot of value as well!

Tip #4: You want people to actually wear it
You know how we have 20 tees but always use the same five? To be part of this ultra-exclusive club, you have to nail it. There’s no better way of getting people to get attached to your design than making it original and suitable for the audience you’re targeting. So research, look for the highest quality artwork, garment and print you can afford and go for it!


Junior Member
It is really very good article on T-shirt printing. I enjoyed it and learn much of things that I really don't know till now.
Thanks to you
Wow! Thank you so much! This article was extremely helpful. I have a complete obsession with anything to do with printing...especially printing on t-shirts. Most of my t-shirts are custom designed and this is a great! I will definitely have a look at the link you have provided.
Thanks for your comments guys! If you need any more T-shirt printing advice then give us a shout, we would be happy to help! Do you design your own T-shirts Lucy?
Printsome said:
Thanks for your comments guys! If you need any more T-shirt printing advice then give us a shout, we would be happy to help! Do you design your own T-shirts Lucy?
Yup, every now and then :)