Facebook Icon Instagram Icon Twitter Icon Youtube Icon Hamburger Icon Search Icon

Custom T-Shirts - Affordable custom printed t-shirts and apparel from Underground Printing, offering online ordering with no minimums, no set up fees and no art fee. Custom T-Shirts - Affordable custom printed t-shirts and apparel from Underground Printing, offering online ordering with no minimums, no set up fees and no art fee.

How to Design a T-Shirt: The Ultimate Guide

How to Design a T-Shirt: The Ultimate Guide

Taran Dobbins
6 minute read

For events and corporate merchandise, t-shirts are always a great option. Convenient and comfortable for a variety of occasions, t-shirts are unisex and suitable for all ages. For amateurs, though, figuring out how to design a t-shirt from scratch can seem like a daunting process.

For starters, where do you get started and source your merchandise from? Besides this, there are other questions, like how to go about the printing process and the most economical way to get it done.

So, to make things easier, in this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about how to create and design a t-shirt. We’ll touch on various things you need to keep in mind, like your design, colors, and even finding the most suitable blend. 


What Are Custom T-shirts?

Custom t-shirts, or customized t-shirts, are t-shirts designed, for branding or your personal requirements. These shirts can be made at home with heat transfer or with screen printing or more easily through a printing company. 

When it comes to the most economical and hassle-free way to design a t-shirt when printing in lower numbers, using online printing companies with a wide variety of merchandise like Underground Printing is a cost-effective route. 

Printing can often be a messy and costly process if done the DIY way. Why? Well, working with more technical processes, like screen printing, has a steep learning curve. Besides this, choosing sublimation and heat-transfer prints from home can have their own quality and material-centric issues.

How to Get a Relevant T-Shirt Design?

When it comes to how to design a t-shirt for your brand or event, it depends entirely on your theme and demographic. That said, once you settle on the cut and color you want to work with, everything else falls into place. 

For brands working with logos, using your brand color or a color scheme generator can help you find a scheme that is cohesive. So, if you’re looking to create an imprecise t-shirt design, these are some ways to go about it.

Use Your Existing Logo

For existing brands, using your existing brand logo and colors is a quick and simple process. Also, this can help you create a t-shirt that resonates with your company's interests and brand promotion

In the case of events, having a logo or typography associated with the occasion can work well. Making use of logos and typography, if done minimalistic can look classy and sophisticated. 


Also read: 7 Top Corporate Apparel for Raising Morale in 2022

Hire a Designer

While not the most popular option, as it can get expensive, making use of a designer to create your t-shirt mock-ups can be wise. While this can seem like an unnecessary cost, it can pay off if you’re planning to print your t-shirt in large volumes or in the long run.

Use Free Website Software or Templates

When it comes to affordable ways to create t-shirt designs, making use of free software is a viable option. On that note, when it comes to how to design a t-shirt, sites like underground printing, allow you to customize your t-shirt with your own designs, clipart, and typography. 

How to Design a T-Shirt in 5 Easy Steps

1. Settle on Your Color Scheme and Design

When it comes to any clothing option, settling on a color scheme that best reflects your brand or overall theme is vital. For anyone having a tough time deciding, creating Pinterest boards or having samples of various color schemes is a great place to start.

When it comes to how to design a t-shirt, it depends largely on your creativity and budget. In the case of major events and companies, working with designers on mockups can help ensure your t-shirt design looks polished. For most brands, however, making use of a logo or typography, looks smart and sophisticated. 


Also read: Trending T-Shirt Design Ideas of 2022

2. Decide on Your T-Shirt Cut and Blend

After this, based on your expected requirement, you should decide on what kind of cut and 

material to use. While cotton is most absorbable, moving towards a blend that makes use of polyester as well can improve overall comfort.

Besides this, in terms of sizes, choosing a unisex fit can help with inclusivity. However, for more female-centric brands and events, going for a woman's cut can look a lot more flattering. Regardless, it’s important to pick the most suitable t-shirt type to promote your event or brand image.


Also read: Top 5 Print Locations for Custom T-Shirts

3. Pick a Suitable Vendor for Printing

While there are several competent wholesalers, printing t-shirts affordably requires high-quantity orders. Besides this, taking care of quality control with overseas vendors can be challenging. For individuals looking to create custom merchandise for corporate apparel or personal events, making use of online custom printing options is the most cost-effective way to go.

This goes especially in terms of merchandise options and overall cost. Also, when it comes to quality issues, they have effective infrastructures in place. Also, sites like Underground printing allow you to see a mock-up in real-time.


4. Test the Finished Product

After sharing your design, or creating your design mock-up with your vendor, it’s important that you order a small sample size of the various sizes you plan to purchase. This way, you can check the overall quality and see if the sizes align with your requirements and expectations.

If you attempt to print the t-shirt on your own, trying a few test runs on a limited number of t-shirts can help you understand the shortcomings or acceptable quality of DIY printing. Granted, if the quality is not a priority, DIY is one way to go.

5. Place Order with of a Sensible Size

After testing out your product, you’ll need to place an order of a sensible quantity size. While this can seem daunting, it’s better to stay conservative, and order as and when needed. Most printing agencies and companies provide an average delivery time and if you align this with your requirements can keep things economical.


When it comes to designing custom  t-shirts, there are several things to keep in mind. As discussed in this article, we went over color scheme, design, t-shirt cut, and even vendors. 

While designing t-shirts can seem intimidating given the potential wastage, it’s a simple process that requires basic logic. So, you should now know how to design a t-shirt and the steps involved. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are custom t-shirts difficult to create?

Not at all! Given the several options available online, designing and ordering custom t-shirts is both economical and easy to do these days.

What are some ways to customize t-shirts?

When it comes to customizing t-shirts, embroidery and print are the most common routes. With computerized embroidery and heavy-duty printers, both are a lot more affordable than they used to be.


Start Designing

« Back to Blog