Designing your own T-shirt is a great way for businesses, influencers, and entrepreneurs to make extra money and spread brand awareness. Before you try to sell your first T-shirt, however, you’ll need to learn a few design basics. This design placement guide will help you create an effective design to maximize your potential for success.
The T-shirt design size can make or break your product. Although getting the right design size can be tricky, there are some common sizes and measurements that work best for apparel. Keep in mind that for screen printing, the area is set for the front and back.
Design Sizing & Placement Guidelines
Make sure the top of your design starts at least 1” below the neckline. You’ll need to account for different necklines, including scoop necks and V-necks. The reason for this is the printing process has a 1” to 2” standard offset from the neckline. As a result, aligning your graphic 1” below the neckline mean
2. Centered Designs
If you’re creating a centered graphic that will cover a large portion of the chest area, keep in mind that the total area for an adult shirt is about 11″ x 13″. A centered design should remain within that boundary. Place the design 3” to 3.5” below the collar or neckline to ensure it falls exactly where it needs to be.
3. Pocket Placement
Many designers choose to create a simple but effective T-shirt design with a logo or image placed on the left chest or pocket. The left chest design should appear 5.5” to 8” below the shoulder seam and 4” to 6” from the center of the shirt. Print area dimensions for left chest of pocket designs on adult shirts should be about 3.5” x 3.5”.
Finding the Design Center
Placing a detailed graphic might seem intimidating, especially when the design features a variety of elements surrounding a central graphic. In this case, center your design by focusing on the important central element.
If you’re designing T-shirts online using software, use one guideline at the top of the element and another one that hits the side. You can then select the object using a marquee tool and drag it to where the guidelines meet. Following these steps leaves you with a graphic that’s perfectly centered and ready to go on a T-shirt.
Athletic Shirt Designs
Logo placement on shirts used for basketball jerseys and other dry fit tees may vary. For example, team names can be positioned straight across or on an angle depending on your personal preference. If you’re designing team shirts and want to showcase local sponsors, place the sponsor information on the back below the player’s name and number.
Maximizing Placement Options
Why limit your designs to one or two placements? In reality, more placement options translate to higher profits for most businesses because you’re giving your customers more variety.
Let’s say you have a gorgeous design that features a short quote over a simple, linear design. For example, your design consists of the words “Happy Camper” atop a line that resembles a vintage camper. You may think a T-shirt looks amazing with the graphic oversized and centered, but you could be missing out on additional sales by not offering a style featuring the same graphic, only smaller and placed on the left side of the chest. Play around with T-shirt design size and placement options and see which ones your customers respond to the most.
T-shirt logo placement doesn’t have to be difficult. Adhering to recommended guidelines in terms of sizing and placement will ensure your branded apparel looks professional and leaves a lasting impression. And once you’ve nailed T-shirt designs, you can then branch out to sweatshirts, hats, pet outfits, and other apparel!