It’s hard to resist an attractive-looking t-shirt! No wonder custom t-shirts make for such amazing gifting options. They are versatile, and can be used by companies as promotional material, giveaways to employees, or to foster a sense of comradeship between team members.
You could also order them as keepsakes for an annual family vacation, college reunions, or as fun apparel for a bachelor/bachelorette party. Seriously… the sky’s the limit when it comes to innovating with custom t-shirts!
However, when it comes to custom t-shirts, nothing matters more than design. That’s right – design mistakes can cost you a lot with personalised t-shirts. For instance, if you are ordering them in bulk for your team members to wear on casual Fridays, and you mess up the design, it can get pretty embarrassing and cause you to lose face.
Here are some mistakes you should avoid at all costs when designing a custom t-shirt!
10 Mistakes To Avoid When Designing A Custom T-shirt…
1. Low-quality fabric
No matter for what purpose or occasion you are designing the t-shirt, quality matters. Ask yourself this question – would you wear a t-shirt that itches and feels uncomfortable? The truth is, everybody knows the difference between good quality and cheap quality t-shirts. Plus, the market is chock full of affordable, quality fabrics, leaving you with no excuse for choosing shoddy material.
This is especially important if you’re a corporate and have ordered custom t-shirts for your employees or as promotional materials. These t-shirts will represent your brand when worn in the outside world, and if they aren’t good-quality stuff, then it can be quite an embarrassment!
2. Complex design
A t-shirt and your audience can take in only limited information. If you try to include too many graphics, truckloads of text, and multiple colours in your design, your custom t-shirt will be the perfect example of ‘things gone wrong!’
Include only relevant information in your design; keep the graphics simple and choose colours carefully. The idea should be to get the message across swiftly, without having people to rack their brains over what they just saw.
Get this straight – It is a t-shirt, not a banner! Do not copy your banner content directly onto the t-shirt, but take a moment and select the information that will convey your message. Keep it crisp and catchy. Ban the ‘bannerisms’!
4. One Size ‘Does Not’ Fit All
If you’ve placed a bulk order of custom t-shirts in one single size, you’ve signed up for trouble! You will have to print your custom t-shirts in different sizes. Care has to be taken to ensure that no matter what the size of your t-shirt is, the design looks perfectly in sync with it.
It is not just the t-shirt size that matters, but also the print size. It shouldn’t be too small or too large. The print area will depend on the print size and will affect the placement as well. The print size will depend on the type of design you have chosen and also the properties of the t-shirt.
5. Too Many Colours Are A No No
Unless you are using a rainbow graphic on your custom t-shirt, stay away from using too many colours. Unless you can justify it with the design you choose. It can be overwhelming to look at, and then there is also the cost to be considered.
When using screen printing, the rule is – the more colours you use, the more expensive the t-shirt becomes. The norm is to use 1-3 colours. Remember, colours are an intrinsic part of your t-shirt design. If you go wrong in this area, your t-shirt goes wrong!
6. Contrast Imbalance
In any artwork, contrast plays a vital role in its visual impact. Contrast in design refers to the visual difference between the darker and lighter parts of the image. It is not always about achieving the highest contrast, but a visually pleasing balance.
It is not just colours you need to keep in mind, but also the text, the dominant colour, etc. If you have chosen bold colours for your t-shirt, then the fonts should be of contrasting shades to enable readability and enhance the appeal.
7. Poor Image Quality
It is very easy to get images off the internet and use them for your design. There is a glitch though. Have you checked the resolution of the images? Web images are usually low in resolution. They look great on the screen, but are not suitable for printing.
For professional-looking designs, the images should have high resolution, around 300 pixels. Anything below it will leave you with blurred images that cannot be printed on the t-shirts. The same principle applies to photographs. Images are crucial in t-shirt design. Make sure you don’t mess this up.
In addition to using good quality images, it is also essential to ‘decorate’ them a little. Use apt borders or edges to lend them a fascinating look. Try different options, but ensure that your photographs or images contribute to the appearance of your t-shirt.
8. Poor Fonts
Did you know fonts have their characteristics as well? Some fonts are ‘professional’ while some are ‘informal!’ The choice of fonts will depend on the purpose of the t-shirt.
For example, if it is for a corporate event, serif fonts work well, but for fun events, you can have some fun with the font choice as well. Then, it is not just about the font, but also the way it is used, including the letter and line spacing. A basic rule in printing is to stick to three fonts and not more than that.
9. Outdated Styles
You want your custom t-shirts to be a hit with the intended audience. So, the style needs to appeal to them. Nobody wants to wear designs that are outdated!
Make sure you are in tune with what’s trending. Not just the type of t-shirt in vogue, but also the fonts, design, and colours! This will help you come with a custom t-shirt that will have the required impact.
Even if you have a fabulous design, if the placement goes wrong then the custom t-shirt loses its intended appeal.
Where will you place your print? The standard or the ideal location is front or back, either full or half. You can opt for non-standard placement as well, but talk to the printing company and get their opinion as well. In that case, it is better to try a sample piece before executing the full order. The final look will also depend on the placement, so decide strategically.
Custom t-shirts can be extremely effective as keepsakes, gifts, or giveaways – but only if they look good and are comfortable to wear. Knowing about these design fails will help you be cautious, and get good-quality, attractive custom t-shirts.
If you are looking for t-shirt printing services in Mumbai, get in touch with Champu!
Note: The images used in the blog post are for representation purposes only.