Tips for Better Designs


Here at The Adair Group, we encourage all of you designers to chase your entrepreneurial dreams. Just because we supply the bulk tees for your T-shirt business or start-up, it doesn’t mean we don’t care about the designs that go onto them!

Designers, illustrators, graphic artists, and calligraphers alike are finding that putting their work onto apparel is a popular means to make money creatively. Think of how cool it will be to see your designs being housed in popular stores across the country.

It’s not impossible; you can reach that point even if you have been in business for a while now—everyone can use some improvement.

We want your business venture to succeed just as much as you do, so we equipped you with expert design tips to jump start your process or improve your already stellar illustrations:

1.     Take your time.

Don’t rush creativity. Take your time to make the best design that you can. Rushing yourself or putting unnecessary pressure on the completion of your t-shirt will only result in an unsatisfactory product.

2.     Imagine your design.

To help you visualize, print your image on paper and place it on a t-shirt to see the difference from screen to shirt. This little trick goes a long way.

 3.     Attend to details.

Attention to detail is mandatory in this business, along with great artistic ability and determination. This allows for beautifully intricate pieces to become a success. Yet, simplicity has also proven successful for tee designs. No matter which end of the spectrum you want to use, be sure to pay close attention to all details of the graphic.

4.     Consider your market.

This is hugely important to your business and needs to be done early on. Decide whether you want to target men, women, children, or adults. Once you narrow down your target audience, conduct research on what they like, what that group is buying, etc. You want to make sure your images appeal to your audience.

Also, you may want to eventually reach everyone, but when you start out try to narrow down your audience to a specific group. This will help you focus on what they want and how to appeal to them in particular. After some success with one group, then you can attempt to reach others.

5.     Subtle humor goes a long way.

The humorous tee often has a bad reputation. When done poorly, they can be rude, in your face, and tasteless. However, when done properly, they can turn heads and become a huge success.  By properly, we mean to use humor subtly, and remember the design needs a good balance to be effective.

6.     Crazy about color?

It is important to grasp the concept of which colors work well with each other. Choose complementary colors and make sure to take advantage of tools such as Global Colors in Illustrator and Halfnotes: These will help you work with the colors you need and save you tons of time.

 7.     Prepare for the best.

Ask any expert in any field—you want to prepare yourself and your work properly. Before heading to the printers, make sure to outline the text and expand your strokes. Watch tutorials available on the web for Illustrator or Photoshop, and learn how to bring the perfect product to the printers.

8.     And, speaking of printers …

Having a killer design and the talent to match is only half it. Your t-shirt will only be as good as your printer. Invest in a quality printer that will give you the effect you want, or find a printing company that uses the top technology. Screen-printing is an art, and you want to be sure your product is handled with care and respect.

Whether printing at home, or relying on someone else’s services, do your research, and invest in quality. You want the best possible product to showcase your hard work.

9.     Educate yourself.

It pays to know your industry and know it well. Tees have utilized so many graphics from almost every subculture out there. Bands, artists, athletes, skateboarders—the list goes on! Pay attention to what is happening in pop culture, and educate yourself what works and doesn’t in the industry.

10.  Stay ahead of the curve.

It’s totally fine to have the latest trends inspire you; however, don’t just copy them. Try to stay ahead of the curve when designing. Fashion trends always change, so it pays if, as a designer, you are able to come up with fresh ideas.  

Now, that you are equipped with all that you need to know, get designing! We can’t wait to see what you come up with. And, remember, for all your wholesale T-shirt needs, think of us!

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