Over the last century, T-shirts evolved from being a simple undergarment to a styling staple in fashion. In fact, custom shirt printing is quickly becoming the $10 billion-industry Credence Research Inc. forecasted it to become by 2025.
Whether you’re looking to start a new clothing line or boost your brand relevance with a company shirt as a corporate giveaway, you need to create a custom T-shirt design that would stand out. To help you out, here are five design ideas you can try for your next custom shirt project:
There are plenty of T-shirt design techniques out there, but nothing can compare to the nostalgic effect offered by vintage designs. From the use of textures and distressed gradients to odd transparent shapes and timeless retro symbols, vintage shirt designs offer a blast from the past that most people cannot resist.
To top that off, these designs can bring forth an aesthetic that will look the same for longer. For example, printing distressed gradients by reducing the opacity of the design prior to printing gives shirts a worn or faded look. This aesthetic can retain the same appearance through the years, especially when used on a shirt manufactured with top quality textured material.
Use Bold and Simple Graphics
Because everyone wants to be unique in styling their T-shirt, people often easily confuse over-complicated ideas as creative designs. While it may be good to think it thoroughly, the key is to keep your goals in mind to avoid going overboard with your design.
If you’re after a good recall, it is wise to go for graphics that are bold and simple.
Make the logo a solid black and white image and place it front-and-center of your company shirt. This will ensure that the audience – who, in this case, are the people who will wear the shirt and those that they will encounter – aren’t distracted from the logo. You will also do well to use a shape or symbol that people can easily recognize as being connected with your company.
Maximize the Negative Space
In other forms of art, negative space has been effectively manipulated to add dimension to the design. You can do this with custom-made T-shirts as well.
To achieve this effect, you need to create a balance between the printed and non-printed areas of the shirt. One great iconic brand logo that has been able to pull this off belongs to FedEx. The designer of the company logo added a hidden arrow in the negative space between “E” and “x” – a shape that effectively signifies the nature of the logistics firm’s services.
Humor It Out
Be it jokes or puns, humor is usually effective in catching people’s attention. This may be why the most popular and most ingenious jokes or puns are used as custom shirt designs.
If you’re designing a shirt for a company with a fun personality, you can use humor that resonates with people. Since not everyone has the same sense of humor, you must remember to keep it simple.
Also, it is advisable that you study your target audience first before finalizing the design. This will ensure that you choose the right phrase or joke. You can also reword it in a way that your customers will understand and, ultimately, make sure that they recall your brand.
Go for Eye-Catching Hues
Building awareness is one of the main purposes of customizing T-shirt designs, be it for a new clothing line or to establish a start-up company. To do so, it is crucial that most people – if not everyone – notices your shirt.
One of the most effective ways to do this is by choosing eye-catching colors that are in stark contrast with each other. People typically go with colors that go well with both black and white since both allow almost any color to stand out.
Of course, you can also pick other hues for your canvas, but make sure that it doesn’t have a similar shade as the design. This means that you shouldn’t print a logo with pink, orange, or red elements on a red T-shirt as the design will not pop out as it should. The same goes for dark logos on a black shirt and pastel hues on light-colored shirts.
Plus, remember not to go overboard in the number of colors you use. There are cases when too many vibrant colors distract people from the actual image you want them to notice on your shirt. One or two hues should be enough.
Make Your Shirt Stand Out
T-shirts serve as a great promotional material and a medium to express yourself through creative words and artistry. Make sure you create the right design for the job to ensure that you and your shirt (and brand) stand out from the crowd.
Momin Rabbani is the Founder of Emirates Apparel in Dubai, a trademark of Aston GB General Trading Co LLC. The company has secured authorised UAE distributor status of the world-famous American brands Fruit of the Loom and Russell Europe, also known as Jerzees. Emirates Apparel aims to be the leading supplier of quality promotional, work wear and leisurewear garments in the UAE.