Uniforms are not to be overlooked (more…)

Choosing the perfect font for a brand, logo or t-shirt design can be a challenge. Ida, one of our specialists on the ICON Printing team, shares her tips to help you find just the right type. (more…)

Artwork files are essential to the print process. We require certain formats for different print methods and in order to achieve the highest quality prints we’ll need things to be spot on.

We put together some general guidelines to help you get started.


We had such a great time live screen printing at Tent London in collaboration with People of Print last week.

One thousand tote bags were carefully printed with the five winning designs created by Adrian Zorzano, Matt Lewis, Jess Gray, Kate Farley and Thom Lambert, then given away across the four days. Take a look at some of the fantastic snaps taken by visitors below or find out more about our screen printing service here. You can also check out ICON on Instagram for more print-focused pictures!

A photo posted by Jon Cefai (@see_cefai) on

A photo posted by The Office Group (@theofficegroup) on

A photo posted by Talitha Palmer Roberts (@tpalmerroberts) on

A photo posted by Alfred & Wilde (@alfredandwilde) on

A photo posted by Katie Barber (@katierosebarber) on

A photo posted by @faybamblett on

A photo posted by Kate Farley (@katefarleyprint) on

As this is Icon Printing’s 100th blog post (*insert party popper here*), we thought we’d do something a little bit special. We got in touch with a seriously super designer, who goes by the name of Supermundane. His designs are anything but that!
How did you get started in Illustration and Graphic Design?

I trained in Graphic Design back in the early 90s and spent the first part of my career working in various design companies until my personal work got noticed and I was offered a job by SleazeNation magazine. Since then I’ve continued to work in magazines as well as various other illustration projects and personal art. I’ve always been interested in doing lots of things and experimenting, this is something I’m still doing everyday.


Find it tricky deciding what to wear in the morning? Bored with what’s in your wardrobe? Come 2050, these could no longer be daily concerns, according to designer Joshua Harris.

3D printers are already appearing in garden sheds and garages around the world as hobbyists tinker and develop their own designs in the comfort of their own homes. But Joshua believes that using this technology to print out clothing will be the norm in the coming 40 years, as 3D printers take their place among other household appliances we use every day.

He believes this idea will revolutionise the fashion retail industry, as it brings clothing production into the home. Currently, the 3D Clothing Printer is just a concept but according to Joshua, making our own clothes at home; with less resources and in less time would become a necessity by 2050. As more and more people would migrate into the cities, the fashion trends would change and as a result people would start looking for new clothes.

“Being able to print your clothes in-house (literally) would mean there are no wasteful transportation costs, or factory costs associated with the clothes you buy,” he stated. “Not only is this saving you money, it’s saving the environment – a combination your rarely hear these days.”

So how is the Clothing Printer going to work?

The Clothing Printer would come with thread cartridges of different colors and you can use seven different cartridges at a time, that are placed inside the printer. According to Joshua, fashion designers can make cartridges for their clothes and once the user buys the cartridge they can then directly print them at home. In case you are bored of a particular cloth, you can put it back into the printer and it would be broken down into threads, these threads would then get into the cartridge and can be used in future.

Mr Harris’ design was placed in the semifinals of the annual Electrolux design competition in 2010 and the brief for contestants was to come up with a solution to deal with the rapid urbanisation of the population by 2050. It certainly would make our lives easier and our clothes more manageable. Sadly we’d be out of a job but just think of all the endless possibilities!

Icon Printing are based in Shoreditch, London and are t-shirt direct to garment and t-shirt screen printing specialists. For more an instant quote, please visit our website. You can email us at:, or call on: 0207 183 8431

These typography tips will ensure the type within your piece of design is a success – whether it is paper based, for the screen or for t-shirt screen printing…

trend tee

TIP ONE – Be aware of type “trends”.

Know that much like trends in fashion and style, typefaces too are effected in the same way. It’s good to know what’s ‘in’ but try not to rely too heavily on trends, because just using the latest typeface won’t make your work instantly great. Instead of simply surfing the net for new fonts, open a book, and research some tried and tested classics.


tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing

TIP TWO – Don’t use too many.

Less is more! So limit yourself. If you have ten different typefaces within one piece of design, it’s going to look crowded and cluttered. Remember, you can create variety in other ways like experimenting with font size, weight or case.


tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing

TIP THREE – Serif or Sans Serif?

Quick design lesson. Sans serif = type with no small projecting features called at the end of strokes. Sans serif fonts have a slightly more contemporary and clean feel to them, but a classic serif can be a great choice too.


tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing

TIP FOUR – Letter spacing.

Use leading, kerning and tracking to make sure there’s room for your type to be read and digested properly.

Leading = the space between the base lines of text.

Kerning = is the spacing in between individual characters.

Tracking = is the space between groups of letters rather than individual letters.

Whether you’re designing type within a logo or laying out a long-format piece, don’t just let the default setting decide.


tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing

TIP FIVE – Smaller is (sometimes) better.

This pretty much only applies to print/paper based design. The easiest way to make something look sophisticated and tasteful is to make the type smaller. Not illegibly small, but take a second look at your layout and see if you can’t nudge everything down a couple of point sizes. Having said that, tiny text doesn’t print onto garments that well – so don’t go too small when t-shirt screen printing or direct to garment printing. Small text is also problematic when creating logos for polo shirt embroidery.


tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing


TIP SIX – Be legal.


Just because you downloaded a typeface off the web or from a friend doesn’t mean you can use it wherever you want. Like stock photography: you have to know the copyrights before it goes to print.

tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing

TIP SEVEN – Keep typefaces different.

When choosing typefaces to work together, make sure they complement each other instead of matching. If you choose two that are too similar, it might look like a mistake or an inconsistency in the font.


tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing

TIP EIGHT – Remember legibility.

Sometimes it’s easy to get so caught up in the ‘look’ of things; there might be an amazing photo behind it, black on black might be super-slick, and the type might be tiny – and that’s the look you’re after. But at the end of the day, the single most important thing is that it is legible!


tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing

TIP NINE – Will it print well?

Be aware, some fonts that have fine, hair line sections – such as the font shown above. Those light lines won’t screen print well, so choose carefully.


tips for perfect type for t-shirt printing

TIP TEN – Take your time.

Picking the perfect typefaces can take a lot of work. It’s easy to start using your personal ‘defaults’ or favourite pairings. It’s worth spending time discovering new options, and making sure you’ve covered the above pointers.

Icon Printing are based in Shoreditch, London and are t-shirt direct to garment and t-shirt screen printing specialists. For more an instant quote, please visit our website. You can email us at:, or call on: 0207 183 8431

T-shirt Transfer printing is one of four customisation techniques we offer here at Icon Printing. This print method suits some end requirements more than others, but what is impressive – is the range of effects and finishes that are available. Almost any kind of print effect (from colour to texture) is achievable on most fabric types.



One very popular item we often find ourselves customising, is the trusty tote bag. We are based in Shoreditch, east London – and in this area you can’t walk two minutes down the road without seeing one dash past you. Londoners love them. That’s why they make such great promotional items, merch and give-aways. For high volume orders, getting your tote bags screen printed would be your best bet and they will last super well. For more of a promotional ‘hand out’ bag, totes that are digitally Direct to Garment printed are a fantastic option.


Here’s an example of a DTG printed canvas tote…

digital Direct to Garment Printed canvas Tote bag


We printed these natural canvas tote bags the other week for the Courtauld Institute Of Art, they were designed by Bullet Creative. These were digitally Direct to Garment printed and as you can see, this particular print technique has handled reproducing this “painting style” image really well. Even though canvas tote bags often do have a slight texture to them, DTG printing can still adhere to this particular surface very nicely, with the full colour artwork not suffering at all.

If you have any questions about any of our printing techniques, drop us a line at: or give us a ring on 0207 183 8431. For more info on Digital Direct to Garment printing on t-shirts and tote bags take a look at our website.


We often get asked which t-shirt gives the best print results. If we were to recommend just one from the vast range we stock, we’d go for the GILDAN Softstyle Adult Ringspun T-Shirt (GD001).

Here’s why…

Our recommended t-shirt for screen and DTG printing

PRICE – It’s the cheapest t-shirt we stock. They’re so reasonable and great value for money, price per unit starts at just £1.91

QUALITY – We stock another Gildan – the Heavy Cotton Adult T-shirt (GD005), that comes in at the same price as our recommended Softstyle Gildan, but the quality is noticeably different. The Heavy Cotton Gildan isn’t as soft, has a baggier fit and isn’t finished as nicely – the hem stitching is really basic.

PRINTABILITY – This Softstyle Gildan is 100% cotton, so any of the print techniques we offer will take to it really well. It washes and wears well too. This style comes in so many different colours, the brand Gildan are great for that.

WEARABILITY – It’s very soft and comfortable to wear. It is a perfect length and the sleeves don’t gape too much.

N.B. If we were to recommend a t-shirt that produces even better print results (this one does come with a slightly higher pricier tag), we would go for anything by Earth Positive. These t-shirts give outstanding print results, as the weave is nice and tight. So, if you’re feeling flush – these are definitely the ones to go for!

The reason we stock so many T-shirts, is because we want to be able to offer something for every budget. And if you still can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, we can help you find it. Choosing a T-shirt depends on your intended spend per unit and what you’re actually going to use your printed T-shirt for. It could be a promotional give away, fashion resale or for uniform, etc. We reckon our recommended Gildan would fit the bill for all of these requirements, it really is a great tee.

If you would like any more information on the types of custom t-shirt printing we offer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!