Designing your own custom t-shirts for printing can be a fun way to make money. Whether you’re opening up your own t-shirt business or designing a shirt for your intramural sports team, here are a few considerations that you need to keep in mind when coming up with your design.
1. Image Theme and Tone
Is there a certain tone that you want your t-shirt to convey? Funny? Serious? Sad? Or do you want your shirt to be structured around a certain theme, like making fan apparel for a TV show, or celebrating seasonal events? Brainstorm a handful of ideas for printing, and come up with mock-up designs. Print them off and decide which you like best– at this point, it’s always good to get feedback from your friends and family.
If you’re using a popular image, it may be copyrighted, so remember check that you have the right to use that image before you print a t-shirt. And when you’re deciding what to print, make sure that your image is clear and can be easily viewed and any text can be read from a distance.
2. Pick a Shirt
Once you have a design in mind, pick some cheap t-shirts to print it on. Consider your color scheme: bright pink text on a lime green shirt might be a little too striking, and blue text on a blue shirt will be close to invisible. Choose contrasting, complimentary colors. One way to do this is by checking a color wheel.
Make sure that the dimensions of your image translate easily over to a printed t-shirt as well. Decide where on the shirt you’ll print your design– is it going on the front? The back? The sleeve? The hem? Remember that printing on additional locations will add on to the cost of producing this shirt.
3. Find a Market
If you’re planning on selling this shirt for profit, make sure there’s a market for it before you print it. Social media polls are a great way to get feedback. If you’re printing a shirt in a specific area of interest, seek out a community online that is dedicated to that same interest. Ask the community members if they like your design– make sure your target market likes the shirt so you can be sure you’ve got a chance of turning a profit.