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As we love to say in the design world, ‘Less is More.’ Designing your company t-shirt doesn’t need to be overly-complicated, and in fact, it will probably turn out better if you keep things simple.

If it’s your first time designing a company t-shirt, here’s a quick walk-through for creating both a risk-free and interesting tee design.

A logical starting point is creating a blank canvas. The best place to do so will┬ábe in Illustrator, or any other vector artwork program. As a standard template, we’d recommend starting with a 350mm x 400mm canvas.

All setup? Next step is making clear what these t-shirts are all about.

Are you leading a start-up tech company and thinking team t-shirts could be a way to get your team excited about the company culture, while also looking great at events, meetups, and conferences? Or maybe, you’re on the marketing team at an SME company and you’ve been given a budget for staff t-shirts before the summer months? Either way, getting a clear picture of who will be wearing the t-shirts and where they will be wearing them, will help get the ideas flowing.

Now comes the design, here are some tips:

– Complex images won’t translate as well onto fabric as a simple 1-3 colour logo or text.

– Keep “readability” or legibility in mind. Think: people should be able to read your t-shirts as they quickly pass by.

– Do you have set brand colours already? We can print in your Pantone colours if you supply codes. Otherwise, think about which colours are going to look nice together and on the colour t-shirt you’re after. Dark purple might not pop very well on a black t-shirt, but if you print onto white t-shirts it’d be a stand-out look.

– Choose a font, one that matches your message or your logo/branding.

– Think up a creative way of showing off your company culture, maybe that means a funny one-liner or maybe you hire an illustrator to create a quirky drawing.

Once your design is on your template, have a look at the sizing on a real t-shirt. Using a tape measure and a real t-shirt (pay attention to the size/brand) you will have a better idea of how it will all look in the end. Once you’ve done all that, you’ll be ready to get in touch with your printer and make it all a reality!