How to design a tshirt

For a lot of us, t-shirts are a part of our identity. (And for others, free advertising!)

Are you looking for an alternative means of promoting your business, or making some side income with merch? Do you want to commemorate a special event, like a family reunion or bachelorette party? Whatever your reasons, the fundamentals of t-shirt design remain the same; it’s what you do with them that counts.

In this BAM guide to T-Shirt Design, we’ll run through the each step of the design process, from the inception of an idea to getting your shirt mass-produced. No matter how much (or how little) experience you have, these t-shirt design tips will give you everything you need to know.

Figure out why you need a shirt

No matter your reason for making a shirt, it’ll always involve a little bit of branding. If you’re using t-shirts for promotional purposes, branding is your main goal. Even if it’s strictly fashion, you’ll still need to weave consistent brand themes into all your products. For personal use—like commemorating an event, for example—you want to make sure your t-shirt design communicates clearly.

Brainstorm your design concept

At this stage, you have to rely on your creative and artistic instincts to communicate the messages you want to say. Don’t forget these questions we talked about before:

What is your brand?

Who is your market?

Why are you designing a shirt in the first place?

Put all of that together, and you’re ready to start dreaming up your t-shirt design.

Find a kick-ass printer

Once your design’s ready, it’s printing time! Find one that offers the method you need at a price you can afford. Of course, extra features and discounts to sweeten the deal are great, too.