T-Shirt Design

T-shirts can be an effective way to bring credibility to your business and brand. A well-designed t-shirt can create a walking advertisement that can promote visibility and showcase not only your business in general, but bring about awareness to new products or services. I do not offer the actual production or printing of the t-shirts, but have focused more on providing my client the design, which they in turn send to a company that specializes in printing t-shirts.

Starting with the design:

The first consideration with the creation of a t-shirt will be the design. A well-designed t-shirt can enhance your brand and image while a t-shirt that is poorly designed will bring little or no value and may actually detract from the credibility of your brand. The design of the t-shirt should promote either your business in general or a new product or service.

The design can be purely custom and many of these online t-shirt printing companies allow you to create custom shirts with web based software located on their sites. In many cases, I recommend using the web-based t-shirt printing company such as http://www.customink.com/ and going with design files provided by either me or that of my client’s designer.

Selecting a t-shirt printing company:

Once you have your approved t-shirt design, the next step would be to find a company that will print your t-shirts. This can be a web based or a local company. The advantage of the web based company would be the cost of the shirts. Many of these bigger companies offer printing services that do not allow most local companies to remain close with price.

The disadvantage with selecting a company that is not local or web based is associating the personalized service with a company that is not in your particular city or area. A factor in this decision would be budget and your specific location. If you are in a more highly populated city, the better the chance of having a more competitive t-shirt printing company in the area.

Type of t-shirt printing:

T-shirt printing will fall to one of the three types. These are digital printing, silk screen and iron on. The best choice depends on the budget, type of the design and desired purpose of the t-shirt.

Digital t-shirt printing:

Digital printing is best used when the design contains a large amount or detail in the design. This type is best suited with a lighter colored t-shirt so that the design will shine through. This is a new form of t-shirt printing that may not be available in all t-shirt printing companies.  This method basically uses a modified inkjet printer to print the design on the shirt.


Screen printing has been around as long as t-shirt printing itself. This involves different colored stencils. This is the most common method of printing and is best suited for less-complicated designs and those that are on darker colored t-shirts. This method tends to last longer than the rest.

Iron on / heat transfer:

This method involves the creation of the design on a specialized transfer paper. Heat is then applied to adhere the paper to the t-shirt while under pressure. This is the most low-cost method of t-shirt printing. This method does not require the complexities of screen printing as there is no need to set up the screen.