Design a T shirt for the First Time

Designing a tshirt for the first time can be the most interesting and exciting thing in the world, because you are literally creating art – and you get to wear it later! For those who are already into art and are interested in designing shirts for selling, this would be a good primer, too.

Design Considerations

T shirts The first thing you need to know about designing a shirt is that the design has to complement the canvas (the shirt itself) and the art has to be distinct enough to be able to captivate its audience immediately.

You might be thinking: well, isn’t that what gag shirts are all about? Well, not really. Gag shirts primarily employ humor to get people’s attention. A custom shirt doesn’t have to be a gag shirt at all. There are quite a number of choices when you are designing a custom shirt:

  1. Pure text quotes
  2. Combination of text quote and image
  3. A combination of images
  4. Single art image in full color
  5. Color-modified image plus text

The permutations for shirt design are endless and the kind of design that you will be settling for will depend mainly on the message that you want to convey with the design in the first place.

Some tips for creating the best design:
  1. Take your time in designing your shirt. If you have to rest in between the drafting sessions for your design, do it. If you need to redo your design or create a second or third version, do that as well. If you give your design the necessary time it needs to ferment perfectly, you will get the best-looking design for a custom shirt and it would all be because you didn’t rush things.


  1. Source inspiration from the things that matter to you in life. Think about the things that you are passionate about, the things that interest you, and the things that make you feel alive. These are the best sources of inspiration for shirt designs, and art in general.


  1. Don’t be afraid to take inspiration from previous designs. Remixing old designs and combining images is the way to go. Knowing a little bit about editing will go a long way in creating custom shirts.
The customizing process

Custom shirt websites generally have three steps for creating custom articles of clothing. Step one is selecting the type of shirt or garment that you want to customize. There are quite a number of garment types to choose from and we will be discussing those at length later.

When picking the garment type, make sure that you have the function of clothing in mind as well. Where is the shirt going to be worn? Who is going to wear the shirt? The type of shirt should be appropriate for the person/people wearing them.

The second step is designing the shirt. There are two ways to get a design onto your shirt. The first step is to create your own design at home and upload the image to the website’s customizer app. The customizer app is online software that projects the design that you have and saves the t shirt format, so that the store can then print and subsequently ship your new custom shirts to you.

Your second option for getting a shirt design is looking at the image or template database in the custom shirt website you are browsing. A good custom shirt shop online should have a size-able database of ready to use images for print on shirt.

After choosing the image/s that you want on your shirt, you should also be able to add some lines of text on the shirt. While this is not always possible, it should be a basic feature of an online image editor since the custom shop would only be recording the final render of the design that you want printed on your shirt.

Finally, the third step is placing your order for the shirt/s. After checkout, you will be given an ETA for the arrival of your custom shirts, and voila – you will have newly customized shirts delivered to your home in a couple of days.

Selecting the garment

The most common types of shirts used for custom-printed shirts are short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts, and hoodies. These three are also the most popular because they are so versatile.

While a percentage of people who customize shirts do it for their personal wardrobes, a significant number of custom shirt customers purchase shirts for promotional and commercial purposes.

Garments are usually segregated into two: male shirts and female shirts. These two groups of garments differ in their make and dimensions. Shirts for women are usually made from lighter garments, and are cooler on the skin.

They also come in lighter colors, though it is still possible to get women’s shirts in really dark colors.

Second aspect is the fit. Women’s shirts were meant to accentuate the curves on a woman’s body naturally, without being too snug or tight. Men’s shirts often have relaxed fit, because the male body heats up quickly and not all males want body-hugging shirts.

T shirts Long-sleeved shirts are better for colder weather, and these can also serve as uniforms for different kinds of production crews (thus, we emphasize here that custom shirts can be used for commerce and industries).

Again, long-sleeved shirts for men are different from those sold for women. Long-sleeved shirts for men are often made with heavier garments, with a more square appearance.

Now if you are looking for something that is hardier against cold weather, your best bet would be hoodies, that come in a variety of types, too: regular lightweight hoodies, extra dry hoodies for fitness, performance hoodies for athletics, and heavy hoodies for cold weather. Generally speaking, the more specialized the hoodie is, the pricier it becomes. But don’t worry: those that exceed the $20 mark are high performance hoodies that will last for years, easily.


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