Tips on Customizing & Designing a Shirt- Part I

Tips on Customizing 

& Designing a Shirt- Part I

Have an ingenious idea for a design that you would like to get printed on a shirt? A message you would like to spread and wear on your chest or sleeves? An identity you would like to adorn for your business, corporate team and school?

When it comes to designing a shirt, there are endless possibilities and no limits. Regardless of the message you would like to convey and express, or who you are designing the shirt for, everything is plausible when it comes to T-shirt printing.

Tips on Customizing & Designing a Shirt

From customizing a company shirt to your class tee, you may have encountered certain uncertainties and common questions- what kind of design should I go for? Is my design printable? Are there any printing limitations to my design?
Well, if these are some of the questions you have faced prior to designing your shirt or questions you are facing right now, fret not! We have some tips for you to take into consideration before you dive into designing and printing your designs  on your shirts!

Identify Your Purpose- Your Intention

Your Purpose, Your Intention Shirt

One of the first things, and most vital thing to consider before designing your shirt, is to identify the purpose behind your shirt. Be it a goal, a message or spreading awareness to your campaign, it is important to have an idea on what you want your shirt to represent, symbolize and stand for.

Is it a uniform identity to be worn across your staff to represent your company? A class T-Shirt with the same corresponding visual printed on the front, and individual names and numbers at the back? A simple heartfelt message running across the front, that you would like to convey?

Take some time to consider what you would like your shirt to portray, convey and express. Identify the purpose behind it, and your intention.


1.2 Brainstorm Your Design

Be it a shirt for corporate use, an event, or a camp t-shirt, when it comes down to T-shirt designing, the fundamentals remain the same.  Here are some things to take into account during the process of brainstorming and coming up with your next shirt design.

  • Types of Shirts + Possible Design Placements 
  • Styles + Getting Inspired
  • Typography
  • Colors

I: Types of Shirts & Possible Design Placements

There is a wide spectrum and range of T-shirts- from regular round neck tees, to v-neck shirts and polos. Knowing the type of shirt you are working with, the shirt colors of your preference, and the fabric material will give you an idea of what are some of the possible designs you can work with, and possible design placements on the shirt of your choice.

For instance, when coming up with a design for a business corporate polo shirt for your company, you may consider having your company logo designed prominently on the left/right chest, and the company name designed at the back of your shirt. A frontal design on a polo shirt below the placket will not look as appealing as one placed on the left chest. 


II: Style- Get Inspired

Designing a shirt is far from easy, with the prospects of multiple ideas and boundless possibilities. If you are struggling to come up with an idea, get inspired!

Take a break, look around online and see if any design catches your eye. Consider coming up with a short list or a reference board of some of the design styles you have taken a liking to, before finalizing the motif that you are after and coming up with your design.

On the other hand, if you have various ideas for your design and are uncertain on the direction to head towards, you may want to consider combining certain ideas together to create a cohesive design, or limit your options, to ensure that your design remains simple while speaking for itself.

III: Typography

While typography may not appear to be the most important factor in your design, it is undoubtedly one of the few major elements prevalent in most designs- especially if you are looking to achieve a shirt design with words, messages and passages. There are many fonts to work with, and here is a breakdown of the different font types that can be incorporated into your design. 

Classic serif fonts come with vertical lines projected at the end of each stroke.  Some prominent examples include Times New Roman and Baskerville. Serif fonts convey a sense of tradition, and are used professionally.

Sans-serif fonts- without any ‘tails’ or serifs, sans-serif fonts are seen to be contemporary and modern. Examples include Calibri and Helvetica.

Script fonts- seemingly written by a brush or pen to look like calligraphy, script fonts are highly versatile and diverse, adding some fun and artistry into your design. This font can also be used as an accent.

Deliberating on the font you should use in your next design? Well, keep it simple! Select a font that corresponds best with your design and one that will place greater emphasis on your message you would like to get printed on your tee.

IV: Colours

When it comes to t-shirt designing, colors play a significant role- be it the printing colors, or the process of selecting your base t-shirt color. While selecting the choice of printing colors based on the physical Pantone Color Guide book, it is important to note that what you see on your screen will have a slight colour difference of up to +/- 5% to the actual physical print on the t-shirt.

Pantone colors

Afterword + Stay Tuned to Part II!

There are many things to take into consideration before you dive into designing your very own shirts. Regardless of the message you would like to convey and express, or who you are designing the shirt for, always remember your purpose and consider the variables of what goes into your design- the type of shirts you are working with, style, typography and colors.

If you are printing a t-shirt for the very first time, or deliberating on questions you may have pertaining to designing a shirt of your own, we hope that this article has given you some insight and tips on designing. Stay tuned to Part II!

At T-Shirt Guys Singapore, we enjoy partnering with brands in their journey to enhance customer retention, branding and catalyze marketing through customized t-shirts. As a custom t-shirt supplier, we have had delightful opportunities to work with clients from all walks of life, in many different industries around Singapore. We house advanced t-shirt printing techniques which will help you achieve crisp, clear designs regardless of the type of material you want – all at cost-effective prices. We would love to specially design a customized t-shirt to meet your brand’s marketing objectives.


Ready to wear a unique identity on your chest? Contact us!

+65 9711 7732  / +65 9720 1044


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