Tips for Designing a Good Tshirt for Screen Printing

Whether you’re starting a business of selling t-shirts or want to create some merchandise for your pre-existing brand, you want to ensure that the product is of the highest quality possible. There are various factors to consider when creating t-shirts that look great and are long-lasting.

For instance, opting for screen printing is generally better than other printing methods, as the colors are more vibrant and lasting. However, ultimately it all comes down to the design of the t-shirt. If it isn’t appealing, then all the time and money it took to get them printed can go down the drain.

You can avoid this mistake by following these tips for designing a good t-shirt for screen printing.

Tips for Designing a Good T-Shirt for Screen Printing

The process of designing can be daunting, especially if you’ve never designed anything before. However, if you have an idea of what you want your t-shirts to look like, you can always find ways to bring them to life.

Sometimes, it can get a little difficult to get your creative juice flowing. So if you need a push to get the creative process running, the following tips may help.

1. Visualize Your Designs

Before you can start working on bringing your design to life through screen printing, you need to have a picture in your mind of what you want the t-shirt to look like. If you’re creating merchandise for a brand, this process may be slightly easier as you have a reference. On the other hand, if you’re designing t-shirts for the purpose of selling them, you have all the creative liberty to experiment and come up with innumerable designs.

Additionally, it is important to understand that the design may not look the same on a t-shirt as it would on the web. So try to imagine how the design would fit on a t-shirt. If you can find similar illustrations on the internet, print some out and place them on an actual t-shirt to get an idea of whether it works or not.

2. Explore the Concept

Once you have a basic idea of your design, take some time to explore. Unless you are a child prodigy in designing t-shirts (In which case, you likely wouldn’t have been on this page), chances are that your first design wouldn’t be the best one you can come up with. With a little experimentation, you can improve your design and come up with even better samples.

Don’t be afraid to explore your concepts from various angles. If you feel more comfortable sketching by hand, create a number of sketches with small and big modifications until you create something that looks good on a t-shirt. Of course, you could always use illustrator or other similar apps if that’s what you prefer. The important thing is to explore the concept as much as possible.

3. Try to Keep Things Simple

Yes, tiny, intricate details can make your design look more aesthetic and delicate. However, it is also important to keep the quality of your prints in mind. Smaller, more detailed designs may look good in the beginning, but they tend to fade out faster. Simpler designs also tend to look better on t-shirts and leave a lasting impression. Everyone can easily notice that large Spider-Man logo on your shirt, but how many people would care to read a tiny quote on the pocket?

Additionally, make sure that you understand the process of screen printing. Since this method works better with bold and vibrant designs, it will help to create designs with this in mind. That being said, if you feel that more intricate designs would bring out the message you’re trying to convey better, you can always incorporate them into your work. Just make sure it would work with the printing method of your choice.

4. Be Mindful About the Colors

When it comes to creating designs for a t-shirt, you want to opt for more vibrant and contrasting colors. Similar to the previous point, bright designs tend to pop out more and make your design more noticeable.

If you’re working on Adobe Illustrator, turning on Global colors can be a lifesaver. It will save you a lot of time and will give you a better idea about how the colors would look after they’re printed on a t-shirt. It will also save you from a potential shock if the colors don’t come out as you would have expected otherwise.

5. Placement and Sizing

Finally, you need to consider how the design would be printed on the t-shirt. Where exactly do you want it placed? Do you want it to cover the entire shirt or just part of it? Would it look better on the front or the back? Would a smaller design look better than a large one?

More often than not, people choose to place their designs on the middle front of the shirt. This is the ideal placement for any design as there is enough space for the design to breathe and be visible. On the other hand, logos work better when they’re scaled down and on the top left. However, you scale the design up or down, place it on the sleeve or the back, or make any modification that you like. If you have a reason in mind for doing so, don’t hesitate to put it into action.


Once you have your design in mind, you will need a good printing house to put them on a t-shirt. If you’re looking for a reliable screen printing service, consider visiting Groggy Dogs. We provide great service at affordable prices and can also handle bulk orders. Head over to our site to get a quote today.