Design Basics

It’s time to create compelling designs for your audience.

Don’t have any design experience? No problem. There are a ton of design tools and professional graphic designers who can help get you started.

Let’s start with the basics…

Ok, so when it comes to print on demand designs, it’s all about the messaging. Now that you’ve found some design ideas you should have a good understanding of how designs look.

Simple is better.

You’d be surprised at how simple some winning designs can be… literally just text! Now, of course, the aesthetics matter, but you don’t need some overly designed shirt to be able to sell it. That would take you longer to create or cost you more to have designed for you.

Bold is better.

Designs often look great in its digital format, but then appear illegible or bland when displayed on a product. Thin text or small patterns and details can hurt your legibility when printed. For guaranteed visibility, make sure to use bold fonts and patterns.

Minimum Colors Perform Best.

Designs with a basic color palette can have a tremendous impact on the success of your designs. Our research shows that the majority of the merchandise from our top 100 campaigns featured two colors or less.

Gradients never print well and should always be avoided. In place of a gradient, we suggest utilizing halftones to achieve the same color fade effect while ensuring proper print quality.

When using halftones (which creates a gradient effect), it’s best to keep the style consistent and avoid mixing a continuous tone gradient in the design.

Choosing a Font

The right font can make or break a T-shirt design. The problem is there are thousands of fonts available, many of them free, ranging from traditional too outlandish. How do you choose? Check out this informative guide to help you identify the best fonts so you can make the best choices for your next T-shirt design. Enhance your brand with easy-to-use powerful customization features.

The time has come to bring those ideas and plans to life. This is where we really begin to visualize your napkin sketches and make them into beautiful pixels.

Design Sizing and Placement

1. Necklines

Make sure the top of your design starts at least 1” below the neckline. You’ll need to account for different necklines, including scoop necks and V-necks. The reason for this is the printing process has a 1” to 2” standard offset from the neckline. As a result, aligning your graphic 1” below the neckline mean

2. Centered Designs

If you’re creating a centered graphic that will cover a large portion of the chest area, keep in mind that the total area for an adult shirt is about 11″ x 13″. A centered design should remain within that boundary. Place the design 3” to 3.5” below the collar or neckline to ensure it falls exactly where it needs to be.

3. Pocket Placement

Many designers choose to create a simple but effective T-shirt design with a logo or image placed on the left chest or pocket. The left chest design should appear 5.5” to 8” below the shoulder seam and 4” to 6” from the center of the shirt. Print area dimensions for left chest of pocket designs on adult shirts should be about 3.5” x 3.5”.

Finding the Design Center

Placing a detailed graphic might seem intimidating, especially when the design features a variety of elements surrounding a central graphic. In this case, center your design by focusing on the important central element.

If you’re designing T-shirts online using software, use one guideline at the top of the element and another one that hits the side. You can then select the object using a marquee tool and drag it to where the guidelines meet. Following these steps leaves you with a graphic that’s perfectly centered and ready to go on a T-shirt.

Maximizing Placement Options

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