Graphic t-shirts are a great way to make a statement and stand out from the crowd. Sure, you see funny or cute designs at mall stores but think of the THOUSANDS of other people buying that same shirt. How can you stand out when your purchase will only make you blend in?
Image: The Design Studio at ShirtPickle.com
The answer is to design your own. I will take the opportunity to plug our t-shirt designer here, however we are not the only one out there. You may not think you’re creative enough to come up with a t-shirt design, but it’s really simpler than you’re giving yourself credit for. If there is one thing I have learned by being in the shirt business, it’s that less is most definitely more.
Your custom shirt is only a few clicks away and I’ve come up with 10 tips to get you started:
1.) Keep It Simple – A word or phrase is often all it takes to make a great shirt. Scroll through Pinterest and you’ll see many great examples of graphic tees using only text. What sets them apart are tools like pretty fonts or large lettering.
2.) Draw From Your Life – Literally. Do you doodle in the margins of your notebook during those long lectures? Scan them and there you have a design no one else is guaranteed to have. Think about your passions or what makes you laugh. Chances are, that’s just how those mass-produced mall t-shirts are made.
3.) Inside Jokes – Speaking of what makes you laugh, you and your friends undoubtedly have hundreds of phrases that no one else gets. The ones that make you giggle uncontrollably at the drop of a hat. Most often during the most serious of occasions.
4.) Celebrity Sightings – If you find yourself lost on the celebrity gossip sites instead of working on that dull group project, chances are you’ve seen a graphic tee or two. Replicate those looks without the price tags (50 dollars for a t-shirt?) and you’ll have your own celeb chic for a fraction of the price.
Image: Build a design at ShirtPickle.com
5.) Use Design Sites – Creating digital images to put on shirts doesn’t require you to have the latest Photoshop or Illustrator software. A good t-shirt design site will take all kinds of image files (JPEG, PNG, PDF, etc.) which you can create on your laptop at home. Some good graphic design software sites to try are Canva and PicMonkey which have several free options and tutorials to get you started.
6.) Experiment With Color – Another way a great shirt comes to be is by playing with different color combinations. A blank canvas can be intimidating, however, so there are resources available to get the creative juices flowing. I’m a big fan of Coolors, myself, which pairs colors together that I never thought would look so good.
7.) Be Bold… – Go big with your text size. Be sassy with a saying. Pair a bright orange font with an electric blue t-shirt and wear it when cheering on your team. Your t-shirt says what’s on your mind and in your heart without you saying a word.
8.) …Or Not – On the flipside, simple black text on a white tee is a classic look that will go with nearly everything you have in your closet. A cute little coffee cup doodle speaks to your love affair with caffeine. Less is more, as they say. Unless we’re talking about chocolate in which case, more is more.
9.) Photography – Yes, you can put photos on a t-shirt. It can be a funny and embarrassing picture of your dad as a kid to wear to is 50th birthday party. A picture of the grandkids as a gift to Nanna. Or, take a look through your Instagram for that amazing flower photo you took with the perfect filter applied.
10.) Have Fun – Really, it all boils down to this. Creating something unique doesn’t have to involve feeling pressured to make the “perfect” design. When something comes from your heart and, in the end, makes you happy, that’s all that matters.
We would love to hear from you and would be happy to help with any ideas you might have. Comment here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime.