T-Shirt Graphic Design: What Works and What Doesn't


If you've ever created a graphic design, you know that there are a few things that just work and make your design look professional. But there are also some things that make it look amateurish, and those mistakes should be avoided at all costs. Here's what works for me when creating a t-shirt graphic:


When it comes to typefaces, there are tons of options out there. You should use a simple and clean typeface that is easy to read and has a good contrast between the text and background color on your design. When selecting your font, think about what kind of message you want to send with your shirt design. For example, if it's something like "Bacon," maybe don't choose a script or ornate style since this might be a little too much for your audience.

In addition, make sure that the typeface you choose is relevant to the audience that will be purchasing these T-shirts (such as those who love bacon). Also consider how often people see these types of shirts in their everyday lives—if they're familiar with them already then perhaps using something more unique would be better suited for getting someone's attention rather than just sticking with something generic like Comic Sans or Times New Roman (which both have been used countless times before).


Logos are the foundation of your brand. They should be simple, but still recognizable. They should be distinguishable from competitors, and they should have a timeless quality so that they don't feel out of place decades into the future.

A logo has to work on its own—it doesn't need to overcomplicate things by trying to tell a story or provide detailed information about what you do (though it can). When you're designing for a t-shirt, you want something that looks good even when printed in one color or grey scale! That way you're able to keep costs down while still making sure customers get an accurate representation of who they'll be wearing once they put on their new shirt (or hoodie). A lot of thought must go into this part because it's also one of the most important parts!

The design will be printed on the front of your t-shirts, so it has to be legible and easy to read. This means paying attention to the spacing between letters and words as well as making sure there aren't any spelling errors. You'll also want to make sure that it looks good in all sizes, whether they're displayed on a tiny phone screen or blown up on a billboard.

Black and white, or color?

Black and white is classic, and timeless; and you'd know if you've ever had to pay for printing that it can also be less expensive to print than color. If you are printing a lot of shirts, black and white can be a lot cheaper.

Color can help convey emotion, or make a statement. Color can make your brand stand out from the crowd of other brands on the market today (especially if it's an eye-catching color). It's more important that the color fits your brand, than if it's a popular color. Chocolate brown is very trendy right now for the fall time but that doesn't mean it has to be included in your t-shirt graphic design - you never know what the "in" colour will be next year!

Another thing to consider is how long your brand will be around. If you're just starting out, and trying to build a customer base, you may want to stick with simple designs for now. Once you've established your brand, then you can start adding more complex graphics and color into the mix.

Trends/Pop Culture-based Prints

Trends come and go, so it's important not to use them just because they're popular. You might think your design is clever, but if the trend doesn't go with your brand or the message you are trying to convey, you could end up alienating potential customers.

For example: A company that creates custom t-shirts for kids' birthday parties may have seen a lot of shirts with dinosaurs on them in recent months—but that doesn't mean that this company should start using dinos as graphics on their own products. Instead, they might want to stick with bright colors and fun fonts. Or maybe they could incorporate some flowers into their designs instead? Whatever it is, it has to feel right for the brand and connect with its audience (in this case: parents).

Another problem with following trends is that you might run out of ideas. If your business is based on custom t-shirts for kids' birthday parties and you're always using dinosaurs, what will you do when it's time to come up with new designs?


If you want to find out how relevant images affect your brand, there's a simple way to do it--just ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is this image relevant to the brand?
  2. Is this image relevant to the product?
  3. Is this image relevant to my audience?

If you can answer "yes" to all three questions, then that's a good sign! It means that your potential customers will be able to understand and remember what they're seeing. This is because most people won't think about what goes into designing something like T-shirts, so any time spent trying too hard or creating crazy graphics might end up looking bad in their minds (and therefore not sell).

If you can answer "no" to any of these questions, then that's a bad sign! It means that the image you're using may not be relevant enough for your audience. This could make them feel alienated from what they're seeing and end up turning away from your brand as a result.

If you want to make sure that your brand is inclusive and relevant, then it's important to pay attention to how people react when they see your images. If they seem confused or upset by what they're seeing, then it might be time for a redesign!


Clutter is a bad thing in design. It's distracting, and it keeps your viewers from getting the message you're trying to send them. Clutter can be caused by too many colors, too many fonts, too many images or text, or any combination of those elements.

You can fix clutter in your design by removing elements that don't work together well and adding space between them so they don't get too crowded. Also try changing up the colors of all the elements involved so they're not competing with each other for attention and causing confusion for your audience.

Design is a process, and you can't expect to create something great the first time around. It takes practice and patience. If you're having trouble with one aspect of your design, try focusing on another one instead. If you keep working at it, eventually all the pieces will fall into place and you'll have a great piece of work that looks beautiful and professional!

Understand your process

In order to create the best t-shirt design, you need to understand what makes a t-shirt design successful and unsuccessful. You also need to understand your process for creating a t-shirt design, so that you can create one that is not only visually appealing but also appeals to your audience. Not every designer will have the same style or like the same things in their work, so it’s important that you understand this as well. Every designer has different ideas about what works in a good design and what doesn't work so well.

As long as the designer is willing to work with you and help you improve, then they're doing their job. The most important thing is that you understand what works in your art, so that you can adjust it accordingly if necessary.


As you can see, there is a lot to think about when designing a t-shirt. It’s important to make sure that your design is going to look great on the fabric and will be able to stand the test of time. Unlimited design services like Teamtown can create a variety of different t-shirt designs to choose from for one affordable monthly fee. Slight changes from one colourway or print run may affect how well it looks on an individual shirt, so it’s best not to go too crazy with typefaces or imagery (or both). But overall, if you follow these guidelines and use common sense when creating your own t-shirt designs, we guarantee they will look great!