Printing T Shirt Designs

Tee Shirt Design Step by Step Guide [2021]

Tee Shirt design evolution overview

Are you looking for some help, to design custom t shirts? It is a great idea to explore. Let us give you a brief overview of tee-shirt ideas for making and designing through evolution and trends that involves creativity and merchandise. 

Nowadays, the Tee shirt is the most widely used piece of clothing the world over, it comes it different sizes, colours and designs. But if you would like to find its origin, it was first used by the US Navy men as an undergarment item beneath their uniforms. 

Then some garment companies try to market it as an outer garment and eventually Tee shirt claimed popularity in the public realm when Marlon Brando wear it in a film called “A street car named desire”. That was the beginning of the Tee shirt become a trendy outer garment, and it is still authentic till date.

What Motivates You to Design a Tee shirt

Knowing the evolution of Tee shirt design gives you a context to understand the innovations you would like to bring in by doing it your way. It is your turn to find out what motivates you to design your tee shirt. Whether you want to wear it yourself to flaunt your design sense, or you are thinking of a business startup by having a sample testing before you come out full-fledged into the field. In both cases, this is the step by step tour for you to complete your desired adventure of making your tee shirt design. 

Selection of Plain Tee shirt 

You can find a wide range of sizes, colours and cuts available in the plain tee shirts, available online. The sizes vary from small to XL or XXL, the colour range is almost unlimited and by cuts, we are referring to neckline [round, v-shaped, collar] and fitting of the shirt [skin tight or loose fit]. It is observed that normally people opt for white or black Tee shirts to get the design printed on them. The probable reason is that all the colours stand out on both black and white backgrounds. But we also see vibrant colour bases of shirts with fluorescent printed designs, so this should be the next decision to make. Select the colour and type of Tee shirt and then put your design idea on it.

Design Ideas & Style 

There are several design styles or ways that can be explored to finalize your tee shirt design. The main elements or design approaches that are mostly used are explained below. You need to know which is appropriate for your design idea. Mostly the combination of the elements is used, for instance, text with graphics or photos with some scribbling over. 

Read More: T Shirt Design Ideas


Typography mainly focus on the written text, the content can address a message, a tag line of a brand, a social service massage or a funny line. It is really your choice. 

Typography on T Shirts
Typography on T Shirts


The photography on the tee-shirt mostly depicts an association or has an emotional value attached to it. That is why you mostly find tee shirts with photography on it of celebrities, actors or singers. There is another trend that is popping up, which is to print your friends or family member photo on a tee shirt and make it into a customized special gift.

Graphic Design

Graphic opens up a huge potential in terms of options of design, style, colour palette and form. It can help you achieve any image transformation from line drawing to detailed pattern or artistic tools make graphics look like paintings. There are specialized designers who are experts in tee shirt graphics and can be of great help if needed.


Abstract images on tee shirts are quite trendy nowadays, such designs are usually worn by artists or musicians to look cool and intriguing. These designs are a combination of realistic and non-realistic design elements which create another layer of meaning. 

Abstract Image Design On T Shirt
Abstract Image Design On T Shirt

Also Read: 15 Funny Slogans to Make Your T-Shirts Awesome

Tee Shirt Printing Types & Techniques

Direct to Garment Printing

Direct to garment printing is also known as digital printing, it is a process of the full coloured images onto the garment or a shirt. This process is best for printing on natural fibres such as cotton, bamboo, hemp, and linen. 

Digital Transfers

Digital printing is a method to print complex designs through heat transfer. It also provides options to print on bags, caps along with the shirts. The process is to print the customized design onto the transfer paper and then ink thermally transferred it to the garment of your tee shirt. 100% cotton is the most appropriate fabric material for the tee-shirt to get the digital transfer printing quality right.

Vinyl Transfers

It is a process of heat transfer printing of the vinyl layers pressed onto the garment and make it a part of it via heat press. There is a range of metallic vinyl sheet options to give your design a special effect. Combed Cotton and Polyester garments are best to use for vinyl transfer printing.

Also Read: Things You Should Know Before You Buy Heat Transfer Paper


The sublimation process should only be used on white and high polyester fabrics or tee shirts. This process involves a special kind of inks jet printers and sublimation inks for dyeing. It offers a 100 % fast colour vibrancy and long-lasting quality of print.

Read More: The Complete Guide to Sublimation Printing

Conclusive Line

The customized tee shirt design is an established business industry that is operating online successfully. If you are interested to explore this field of a startup with exciting tee shirt design ideas, this article will give you a simplified overview to show you a direction. As we discussed the process of finding your inspiration, to the selection of tee shirt fabric type, design and styles and printing methods available around. Learn more earn more. Happy day.

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