Shirt designs might feel like an easy thing to come up with. All you need to do is slap together a nice font with some cool graphics, and you should be good to go… right? But when it comes down to it, not all successful and iconic designs come on a whim. There are things to consider and factors that affect the quality of work that you put out. Whether it’s a simple statement or a fun idea, there are a few things that you need to take a look at before you could create that perfect design.
You don't need to do the hard work-- we've done it already for you. Here are some tried and tested tips that would help you create an amazing design for your next shirts.
Know your market
Just like any other services and products, you need to know your market by heart. When designing your shirts, try to imagine who's going to wear it out in the public. Who are you creating this for? What do they like? Are they girls or boys or both? At the end of the day, this is an item that would post a statement, and this product is something that you wish people would wear.
If you want to know your market, a good exercise is pinning the 5Ws -- who are they, where can you find them, what do they do and what they like, when do you envision them wearing your apparel, and why would they bother to take a look at your design. Go from there and you should find some nice ideas on how to move forward.
Choose your colours wisely
When creating a design, your choice of colour can truly make or break if it were to succeed. Finding the right shirt colour and the right mix of hues to pair it with would be a challenge. Play along with complementary colours, or explore around halftones to give that nice textured touch.
Feel free to use available tools as well, such as Adobe Illustrator's Global Colours, to help you better nail down your design.
Make sure that you also choose the right shades to complement your design and pick combinations that would make it pop out when printed. Remember, you are not just designing a digital artwork-- you are creating something that would be printed and worn. Keeping these in mind would help you better decide.
Take the time to study
Like any diligent designer, it is always a good idea to dedicate a large chunk of your time studying techniques and design. Shirts have always been a closet staple, but more than comfort, it also serves as a platform for self-expression. It has become a symbol, a statement, and a huge part of subcultures-- letting people wear what they believe in.
Having sufficient background and understanding of what a shirt can stand for can help you better when creating designs. It can help you open your eyes to the different approaches and techniques that you can use to create and market your design. Shirts are powerful, and putting the effort to study how to maximize their reach can truly help you come up with products that would resonate with your target audience.
Always imagine what it would look like when worn
Here's a common mistake that we see with other designers: they create something cool, but when you wear it, the magic quickly wears off. When creating a design for a shirt, it's important to imagine what it would truly look like when worn by someone. Where would the design fall on the body? Which part of the design would go on specific angles of the body? Play around with logo and branding placement, and you'll find innovative ways on how you can incorporate art with the person who's going to wear it.
If you're having a hard time, it's always best to mock up a shirt design to get a visual idea of what you intend to create. You can also print out your design and play around with sizes and positioning so you actually find that sweet spot.
Don't limit yourself to what looks great in your eyes-- explore other concepts and go out of your box! It's always great to learn new ways on how you can create your design, so don't be afraid to play around. While it's easy to fall and follow the lead of what's trending and what's readily available in the market, it is still best to create something that's your own, pulled from your imagination, and crafted from hours of research and understanding what's out there.