Tips for Better Custom T-Shirt Design

Cheap shirt printing

Screen printing has been around for centuries. In fact, it first became popular between 960 and 1279 AD, during China’s Song dynasty. The process, simply put, involves the spreading of ink through a screen which has an image burned onto it. Multiple screens can be used to build up multi-color images or styles, resulting in unique images that are used for poster and shirt printing. Screen printed custom tshirts are often used by companies for employee shirts as well as by teams and organizations.

Custom T shirt design for screen printing takes a few extra considerations, since the process prohibits extreme detail or color layering. Here, we’ll provide a few pointers about screen printed custom shirt designs that will make sure your next screen printed shirts turn out perfectly.

Basics for Screen Print Design

When you design custom t-shirts for a screen printing project, follow these important guidelines:

  • Use solid colors. Ultimately, you will need to print onto a solid black film, so transparency, opacity, drop shadows, bevels, embossing, and gradients are out of the question.
  • Keep your work in layers by color in your digital colors. Each color you use in your design will be applied on a separate screen.
  • Don’t get too detailed. Very fine details are often lost in the printing process.

What to Avoid

There are a lot of mistakes made by first-time designers of custom tshirts. Avoid making these common errors:

  • Using a low resolution jpeg. Your art should be a minimum of 300 ppi at print size.
  • Printing incorrectly. Make sure your images align correctly, and that they are provided in the right order.
  • Silly spelling mistakes. Many a great design has been ruined by failure to read the copy. Make sure everything is spelled correctly and that everything makes sense.
  • Going color crazy. Simple designs tend to work better for first-timers. The more layers you have, the more complex (and probably more expensive) the design.

Designing custom tshirts is never as easy as it sounds. Don’t be afraid to ask for input or advice, or to enlist help if you feel like you’re in over your head. Custom tshirts are an excellent advertising opportunity, and you certainly don’t want to bungle it with bad design. Do your research, take your time, and design simply. You’ll be glad you did.

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