Here are 9 steps to getting professional, high-quality t-shirt designs.

Did you know that just about every American owns a t-shirt? In addition, each American buys 9.5 shirts per year on average! We’re here to help you get your brand in front of more customers with high-quality custom printed tees at competitive prices as one of the premier blank garment decorators and one of its leading suppliers of branded apparel.

Do you own a company or are you part of an organization and require high-quality t-shirt designs? Is your company looking to establish a brand identity through custom apparel? Do you want to promote your business with printed shirts?

If that’s the case, this blog is for you. We’ll go over the ten steps we take when designing professional, high-quality t-shirts.

Many people are unaware that they can obtain high-quality custom t-shirt designs.

There are numerous steps you must take in order to find the best company for your requirements. Here are ten questions to ask when looking for a custom t-shirt designer:

We’ll help you get your brand in front of more customers with high-quality, custom apparel with leading edge applications.

There is so much information on this topic so take your time and get through the ten steps at your leisure.

First and foremost

Determine the type of t-shirt you desire. Today there are more choices than ever when it comes to t-shirts. Everything from your basics to high fashion with a wide array of fabrics. Choose from long sleeve t-shirts or tank tops, sweatshirts or hoodies or many other options! We won’t bore you by listing them all… so feel free to look into other resources if your interest is piqued on any particular garment style that hasn’t been mentioned yet).

What is the first step in creating a professional custom printed tee shirt? Creating your design. Are you looking for something simple where you can combine some clip art elements and text to get the job done or is there a special occasion or some other reason that requires the help of a professional artist to help bring your ideas to life? If quick and simple is what you are looking for there are many online companies that provide t-shirt builder options where you can simply choose pre-made graphics and add some text in the fonts of your choice. If you are looking at creating something completely custom and unique there a few companies out there that offer professional design and printing services that allow you to express your ideas and they will literally bring them to life. It really comes down to your needs and the purpose of your new shirt when choosing the right company.

Why are you doing shirts?

Step two

What sort of turnaround time do they provide? How quickly will my design be completed and delivered?

In the case of an online company with a shirt builder option, it may take a few days (or less) to complete from start to finish, whereas in-store options may be completed immediately. Time is money, and money is time. This is the most frequently asked question when we design custom t-shirts There are many opinions on how long it takes to design a t-shirt, but the time frames vary greatly based on the complexity of the design, the type of apparel and the time of the year. Many t-shirts are event driven and thus time sensitive, it is always the best practice to plan ahead to allow enough time to get the job done right and avoid rush charges. We have an expansive website that has many examples of our work that we can use to estimate how long it may take for your shirts to be designed, printed and shipped. The good news is that once we complete putting together your t-shirt design ideas our team will get to work on it right away.

Step three

Find a graphic designer or a company that can handle everything from all aspects of the design to printing it on a garment of your choice.

This person (or company) must have the knowledge of creating artwork for printing on apparel. There are many things to consider when printing your artwork on fabric and this knowledge will be invaluable when it comes time to print. This process can be time consuming, but it ensures that you will get the right results once completed, saving everyone in pre-press and production valuable hours! When looking around online, make sure the company or person has a lot of examples of their work so you can see what previous clients had them do. This will give you a pretty good idea of their capabilities.

Take note: We’re not your typical custom graphic’s t-shirt printing company. With 14 in house illustrators and years and years of combined experience we are unique in that our designs are illustrated by hand and designed in collaboration with your ideas and needs in mind. True custom art. Our goal is always to go above and beyond what our customers expect from us. We create graphics that are unique to you and your business or organization. Shirts that will leave a lasting impression on not the people who wear them but also on the people see them. Walking talking Billboards and the best word of mouth advertising you will find.

Fourth step

Send them any information they require, such as design notes, text and images. The better the information and reference the better the result. Do your best to communicate your ideas and provide as much reference as possible.

If you need assistance with sizing or placement of the design or any other technical issues please talk with your designer. Companies like Rush Order T’s and Custom Ink offer online ordering options where you can build your t-shirt utilizing the tools on their websites.

We will never shy away from our own brand Excel Sportswear when it comes to custom apparel! We have so much design experience when it comes to your custom apparel needs. Everything is housed under one roof and our artwork is designed in conjunction with our printing techniques to insure the end product prints perfectly. We can’t emphasize enough how important this knowledge and experience comes into play in the final product.

You’ll love your shirts! Especially when you get exactly what you want. No compromises. Not close to what you wanted or kind of what you had in mind…exactly what you had in mind and when it comes to the garment we have a wide range of shirts to choose from, so you’re sure to find what you are looking for!

Check out our one of a kind designs. If you’re looking for a new t-shirt that’s unlike anything else you own or have ever had you have found the right place.

Fifth step

Choose your garment or garments.

There are so many options when it comes to selecting the brand and type of garment you will be using as the canvas for your new design. A lot of it comes down to your needs and your budget. Brands like Hanes, Jerzees, Fruit of the Loom, Gildan and Port Authority typically have the biggest selection of shirt colors and sizes and are usually the most cost effective. More contemporary brands like Bella Canvas, Next Level, Anvil and American Apparel offer softer fabrics with a more modern silhouette or retail fit. You will have the option of 100% combed and ring-spun cotton, 50/50 cotton / poly blends and also tri-blends which is a combination of cotton, polyester, and Rayon. These shirts come with a higher price point. There are also many choices when it comes to fleece. Do your research here. The right garment can make all of the difference. If you are printing highly detailed artwork we would suggest trying the brand Cotton Heritage, these shirts have maybe the best print surface we have seen.

We will always offer our advice when it comes to choosing the right garment. It is all part of the process. We always want you to have the best canvas when it comes to printing your custom design.

Sixth step

Choosing your imprint color for your high-quality shirts. This will be largely based on your subject matter in your design, any logo’s that are being used and also your budget…more color more money. With traditional screen printing just about any pantone color can be achieved. You will also want to take into consideration the color of the garment you are printing on. You will need to choose color that will contrast and complement with the shirt color. If working with a graphic designer or a professional t-shirt company they will be able to help you with this step.

Seventh step

Choosing you shirt sizes?

Most basic t-shirts are sized universally. Check your closet. What brand of t-shirts are you wearing? Brands like Gildan, Fruit of the Loom, Hanes, Jerzees, and Port & Company will fit pretty much the same if using their basic 100% cotton or 50/50 blend t-shirt. Brand like Bella + Canvas, Next Level, American Apparel and Anvil have a more retail or fashion fit. Do you research here, you can find sizing charts and measurements for just about any garment online.

Eighth step

Determining the size of your print areas and locations. For the majority of t-shirts there is typically a front and a back imprint however you can also decorate other areas of the shirt such as the sleeves. The more print locations the more costs. Your needs, the scope of your project and your budget will come into play here. You can find many examples of imprinted t-shirts online to help give you some ideas. You can consult your graphic designer or professional t-shirt company as well. Be sure to ask the person or company that is printing your shirts what their capabilities are as far as print location and imprint size. Not all printer’s capabilities are the same.

Ninth step

It’s finally time to wear your Custom Designed Printed Shirt!

There are a lot more steps involved in creating and printing your custom t-shirt than most people think but when executed properly it is a very fun and rewarding experience. A lot happens during the art and production process and hopefully, most printers and companies have good quality control measures in place. At Excel, we place a ton of emphasis on quality control. When the customer receives their shirt it has to be a very positive experience, especially when so much work goes into creating and printing your custom shirt.