First impressions are everything. If you want to make a lasting impression with your customers, you need to design your t-shirt artwork consistent with your brand identity and the message you’re trying to convey. Keep in mind – these designs will live on for many years, so it’s essential they look good!

To help avoid some of the common mistakes made when designing your t-shirt, here are 9 things to consider while designing your next t-shirt for your brand:

1) If you have to use clipart or stock photos from Google Images for your shirt designs do your research. Not all clipart is created equally. When possible hire a professional t-shirt artist, your brand and image are worth it.

2) Before starting your design know what garment or garments your finished design will be printed on. Take into consideration the color of the garment, the type of garment(s), and the size range. 

3) Choose your fonts wisely. Make sure it compliments your logo and pick fonts that are bold and legible from short distances

4) Do not over complicate your design. Keep things simple and uncluttered. Your message should be clear.

5) Make sure there is enough contrast between your design and the shirt color, especially with the text. Royal blue ink on a black shirt for instance is hard to read due to the lack of contrast and similar values.  Use colors that contrast so that people can read your messae easily from afar

6) Make certain that your logo is clearly legible in the design.

7) Never use photos, designs or artwork that you do not have the rights to. Be original.

8) Strike a good balance between your design and the text being used. Avoid too much text and choose fonts that are clear and legible.

9) Think about how your completed printed t-shirt will be used. Why are you doing personalized t-shirts?  Your design should center around that.  Never underestimate the power of a great t-shirt design.

Here is an example of t-shirt artwork done right:

9 Important Things to Consider While Designing Your T-Shirt For Your Brand

The design considerations are endless, and there’s no one perfect way to go about it – which means that every designer will find themselves pondering these considerations at some point.

So what can be done?

Follow these simple tips!

If using clipart or stock photos from Google Images not only is there an abundance of these types of images on the internet, but many are low-quality and do not look professional. Don’t forget about the sizing and placement of your design when creating your t-shirt.  Also, pay particular attention to the substrate (the material content and texture of the garment(s) you are printing) Paying attention to these elements will have a very positive impact on your design and make all the difference in how your final product will look on the customer.

Contrast and color can have a very positive or negative effect on your final design. Your finished  t-shirt design should jump off of the shirt.

Do everything you can not to end up with a  “generic” design when it comes to your t-shirt design.   When it comes to custom t-shirts, your strategy should reflect the message and values of the brand behind them – not something that looks like every other t-shirt out there. If you’re struggling with ideas on where to start or need help designing an illustration specifically for your brand’s look, feel free to reach out!

We offer complimentary 10-minute consultations when selecting custom t-shirt artwork.

If you want more insight into what we do at Excel Sportswear, check out our next blog post “How to Design Custom T-Shirt Artwork for Your Brand.” We cover everything from what kind of t-shirt designs are suitable for your brand’s look, ideas on where to find inspiration, and how we can help you get started with designing your t-shirts.


T-shirt design is a fun and creative process, but it’s not as simple as you might think. The art of t-shirt printing requires careful consideration before the first pen stroke, or digital brush stroke is made. To avoid any costly mistakes that could delay production or make your shirt look unprofessional, keep in mind these 11 do’s and don’ts for your t-shirt designs. We can help you with designing your tees if you need assistance!

– Do know your audience and keep their needs in mind when designing artwork for your tees. Educate yourself on the best practices for a t-shirt design to make sure you’re up-to-date with industry trends while staying true to your brand identity.

– Don’t design an image that doesn’t relate to what’s written or spoken about by dealing with a specific subject matter. A good rule of thumb is don’t put words on shirts unless they’re relevant to the text printed on them.

Don’t invest too much time into customizing images without considering whether it will be worth it in the end – this applies both from an artistic standpoint and financially. Keep these pointers in mind if you plan on designing t-shirt art for your brand.

Do stay true to a recognizable style, use custom color palettes you’ve developed, and maintain good contrast.

Don’t create an overly complicated design that’s not conducive to simple reproduction in the chosen garment type or on other products like paper banners or stickers. Also, avoid using too many different styles within one t-shirt design because it will become confusing at best, unprofessional at worst – remember that simplicity is key!

Use this checklist of points when designing shirts for your brand, so you don’t end up doing something counterproductive to what you’re trying to achieve with your marketing materials; now go out there and do great things!