How To Design Your Own Shirt

Who hasn’t thought of becoming a fashion designer at some point? Screen printing has made it easier than ever to create custom T-shirts, so it’s possible to give it a try. It isn’t as hard to design your own shirt as many people believe, but it does take a little bit of planning to get a good result. As long as you follow a few relatively simple steps, you should be able to create a shirt that you can be proud of.

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Select the Subject
The first step is to pick a theme for your shirt. That might be a club, an athletic team, a band, a favorite animal, or anything else. It’s usually best to avoid mixing too many different ideas on a single shirt to prevent the design from getting cluttered, but it is possible to combine two or three groups to create a single design.

If the shirt is for a band or other group that has a logo, this stage might determine most of the design. In other cases, it’s best not to worry about the details at this point. It’s best to start with the big picture and work down towards the details.

Choose the Colors
The shirt’s color scheme should come next, since it can inform the other parts of the design. It’s usually best to choose one or two colors for the bulk of the design, and to leave other colors for detail work. The primary colors should stand out from the rest of the shirt to prevent the design from blending in with the rest of it.

In general, the dominant colors in a design should complement each other. Colors that are opposite of each other on a color wheel are usually a safe choice, but they aren’t the only options. Hanging pieces of paper in each color next to each other on the wall and looking at them from a distance is a good way of checking to see if they look good together. Remember that most people see shirts from several feet away, so it’s important to look at things from that angle.

Determine the Details
Now is the time to hammer out the details. Start with the biggest parts of the design, and work towards the smaller ones over time. Since shirts are usually seen at a distance, and often while the wearer is moving, it can be hard to see small details. Focus on broader, more visible details and try to avoid cluttering the design to make sure viewers can pick out the important parts.

Ask Around
The last stage is to show your design to people and ask for opinions. People are often bad at seeing flaws in their own work, so this can mean the difference between fixing problems and leaving them in plain sight. It can be tempting to skip this step, but editing is the secret to creating a good design. After you hear the opinions, consider making a last round of changes to the design before having it printed.