T-shirt printing – 3 things to keep foremost in mind. These three inexpensive tips are easy to follow, simple to use and will give you lots of satisfaction when you wear your personalized shirts soon.
Lets begin with the end in mind. Instead of rushing off in a hurry and ordering shirts online to be printed I suggest starting with the end in mind.
Why do you want to print a shirt? Is it for work or is it for a birthday party? Maybe it’s for a fun run soon or just as a gift for someone? Could it be as a memory of a trip recently taken?
Each of these events above may result in picking a different garment for the wearer to keep in mind. Maybe the climate around you may dictate what you wear. It is important to keep this in mind while deciding to print designs on shirts. A hoodie as a gift in summer may not be as acceptable as a crew neck T-shirt. So lets begin!
Tip 1: Why Do You Want To Print Your Own Shirt?
This is an important question because it will lead us to the purpose of the shirt, the fabric it is made off and whether it’s a Jersey or Hoodie for winter wear or a Sleeveless T-shirt or Scoop Neck shirt for a hot summer event.
Let me give you three examples here to help you understand how this planning stage is very important before you run off buying shirts randomly online.
Example One! Lets imagine you are planning a bucks night out one Saturday soon with the boys. It’s all about the groom as its his big day out with the guys. The bunch of friends decide that the theme will be around the groom’s football team.
The decision is that everyone will wear a T-shirt custom printed with characters of the footy idols with a twist. Each footy player will be done up as a cartoon character instead of using the players’ images. This could be a great party with even greater shirts. Get a graphic designer to come up with some sketches of characters for the whole party.
Example Two! You have an outdoor event happening around fitness. Your fitness club needs shirts with logos printed on the front and back as well as the sleeves. The club wants a polyester shirt and needs the shirts to be cost-effective. Now because the shirts are not cotton I suggest thinking about screen printing the logos and designs onto the T-shirts instead of digitally printing the images on. To get the best prices most printers suggest that a minimum of 20 shirts must be printed at a time. So once you got your shirts sorted out all you need then is to go onto tip #2 to get quality shirts printed.
Example Three! Imagine you are planning a birthday party for a 6-year-old girl. There are going to be 30 kids coming along and you want shirts to match the party theme. You can either go for a T-shirt or a sweatshirt to suit the children. Ordering in bulk will be cost-effective for you as most printing companies offer discounts for large bulk orders. Once you know what the purpose is for its time to move on to tip #2 below.
Once the type of shirt is known now its time to decide what you like printed on tip. We have a choice of images, designs or TEXT. Here we shall focus on the image or photo we will print on the clothing. This leads us to Tip #2.
Tip 2: What Images Sizes Are Best For Printing?
I find that most people who approach me to get their T-shirts printed do not have the proper photo size to begin with. What most people do is they grab free images off Google or Facebook. Though these graphics may look OK on a small screen they seldom are the right size to print on a much large surface such as a shirt or jumper.
The images from the internet are reduced in size and are around 96 dpi resolution or around 5 cm by 5 cm in dimensions. These images will not be big enough to even look good on the breast pocket of your polo business shirts.
If you were to try stretching the image across the back or front of the Tee you will get a pixelated image printed due to the poor quality of the image you used.
The solution is going for big file size images. The recommended resolution for good images is a minimum of 300 dpi or about 30 cm by 30 cm in dimensions. Three times what is mentioned above. These are large files and if stretched will easily produce great quality printed shirts when you print the graphics onto the garments.
There are many sites that offer great images for a small fee. Here are 3 paid sites that I recommend:
Some Free Sites To Grab Your Designs from are:
- BURST by SHOPIFY
Useful Points To Keep In Mind When Choosing An Image.
Always make sure you do not use images without the permission of the person who created them. Google these terms below to make sure you pick the correct images without getting into trouble.
What is Creative Commons? Creative Commons is a nonprofit business group that helps with the distribution and the use of creativity and knowledge via free tools that are legal to use. Now the use under the Creative Commons licenses range is from full use of the images you want to utilize to with no attribution to allowing only certain uses and no changes to be made to the images used. Make sure you understand the licenses before you use images if you go after free graphics on the net.
What is a public domain? Works in the public domain are those whose copyrights have expired, have been forfeited, or are inapplicable. Finding something on the internet does not mean it is in the public domain. Again it is your responsibility to make sure you pick images that are without copyrights.
What is royalty free images? Most Royalty-free images aren’t necessarily free. In many instances, all you have to do is purchase the images for a small one-time cost so that you then have the rights to use the image for your own purposes. You are allowed to use the images as often as you like. The “free” in “royalty-free” only means that you do not have to pay royalties to the owner of the image every time you use it. For a comprehensive read on royalty-free images, check out this guide by Amos Struck.
Tip 3: How Do I Pick The Right Color Of Shirt To Pick On?
We have gone through deciding the occasion the shirt will be use for. These could be the buck’s party we spoke about earlier or it could be a team event for a local fitness club or even a birthday party for 5-year-old.
We then went off and got some cool images from the internet using either the free or paid sites I mentioned above. So the last step is picking the type of T-shirt and the brand we want for our event soon.
If it’s a night out in a cooler climate we should consider either using a full sleeve Tee shirt or even a hoodie or jumper to have your photos printed on. For hotter tropical climates use a shirt with no sleeves if it’s a beach party or a half sleeve shirt with a crew cut for comfort. Good brands are AS COLOUR or GILDAN to name a few.
Make sure the shirts are 100% cotton as these make better printed shirts. They are much more comfortable to wear.
Pick The Shirt Colors!
Now we move into picking the colors of the clothes you plan to print on. Always use contrasting colors as your guide.
What do I mean by this? If you were to have images with brighter or darker colors go for a lighter colored shirt. Avoid using a dark image on a black or navy blue shirt. Pick a white shirt or a lighter shade of blue to print the pictures on. Your prints will stand out on the Tees and you will be very happy with the final outcome.
Conclusion! In summary we have gone through the T-shirt printing process of identifying why or where you will wear the garment. Next we found images suitable for the occasion. Finally we looked for a T-shirt that has the right color to bring out the best results with the printed shirts once the T-shirts are printed. I hope these tips will help you create great custom printed shirts.
Claude Fullinfaw runs a T-shirt printing business in Brisbane and helps people with advice on how to create personalize shirts to capture fond memories on garments they wear.
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