Whatever the job – we can deliver

Chosen by our in-house expert (more…)

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.


Whether it be for promotional purposes or internal staff, company t-shirts are all about generating buzz outside, or within, your organization. Let us walk you through some of the ways t-shirts build brands offline.


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


icon printing

You’ll need to find out the maximum print dimensions for the print method you have in mind. For example, our standard direct to garment printing and screen printing dimensions are 350mm wide x 450mm high. This area will vary depending on the printing company, as most can not go overly close to seems or hems. We also have oversized screens and “all-over” printing available.

2. What are your turnaround times?

Some places can pop a few t-shirts out in a day, others need a few days to process your order. If you’re pushed for time, then this will be a top priority question for you. Here, most jobs are turned around in 4 to 7 working days, but we’re also able to work to an express turnaround that comes at a slightly higher charge.

3. Do you have a minimum order?

This will vary depending on what print process you’re after. T-shirt screen printing will always come with a minimum order quantity, due to the screen set up. Our minimum order for screen printing is 20 items, and for all other print processes (direct to garment, embroidery and transfer printing) our minimum order is 10 units of the same design. We are able to print a direct to garment sample, this sample cost is then refunded once you place a higher order.

4. Are there any hidden fees?

Be aware of illusive set-up charges. Screen Printing will always come with set-up cost – which we are very honest about right from the beginning. However, the great thing about direct to garment t-shirt printing, is that there are no set up costs. Another thing to watch out for, are charges that apply to tweaks made to your artwork file. We don’t charge for a slight amend to your artwork file, but some print companies will charge for anything from a text font change to a digital logo colour amendment.

5. Do you offer an artworking service?

Most print places offer an artworking service. What you get for your money for the work carried out can vary quite considerably. Some places will charge £50 an hour to work on your file – so watch out, you may get stung. We don’t charge for small changes – the only time we do charge is when a digital file is created from scratch, for which we charge a flat-rate of £14.95.

6. Do I get a visual proof of my order before my job goes to print?

Before you place your order, check to see if you get a visual proof or “mock-up” of your design on a t-shirt template, so you can double check print proportions and placement. Some places may charge for this service, we don’t however.

7. What digital file types do you accept?

This is an important one! Printers can often accept most file types as long as they are a decent size and hi-resolution, so 300dpi. We prefer .png files (click here to find out how to save your artwork as a .png file) and for Direct to Garment printing, and vector based artwork for tshirt screen printing and polo shirt embroidery.

8. What are your delivery costs?

Our standard delivery UK wide is £9.95. You will need to inquire if you require your printed garments to be sent overseas. Extra costs will occur if you require express or next day delivery. We are able to deliver pre-9am, pre-12 and also on Saturdays.

9. Are you able to match specific colours?

When digital direct to garment printing we are not able to match colours exactly. However, we are with screen printing, so if you have a specific PANTONE colour in mind, do let us know. This will be standard practice across all t-shirt printers london.

10. How do I care for my printed garments?

If you have any queries regarding care of your garments remember to double check with the printers. Each different print technique requires slightly different wash and iron care. The most durable print type is screen printing, the least durable is transfer printing – so bare this in mind.

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


Life in colour (more…)

We are big on t-shirt screen printing here at Icon Printing. If you are after long lasting, super durable print results – this is the print method to go for. Here is a behind the scenes peek into what happens when we screen print your t-shirts…

1. Preparing your artwork…

We normally require a vector file for screen printing; so anything that is created in Adobe Illustrator is ideal. We can work with other file types, but an extra artworking cost may occur. Once we have your vector file, we check it over – making sure all the colour layers are separated and that there are no gradients or hair line graphic elements that may not transfer to screen properly.

2. Transferring your artwork to the screens…

Your artwork is then exposed to the screen. This usually done using photosensitive emulsion in a light booth (shown above). If your artwork has more than one colour in it – each colour will need to be exposed to a separate screen.


3. Mixing the ink…

The great thing about screen printing is that any colour can be matched perfectly. This is usually done by weight, to ensure precision colour matching – which is especially important when matching Pantone© colours. We are also able to print using neon and florescent colours, glow in the dark and light reflective ink to name a few.



What a cracking year 2012 turned out to be! We’ve had the pleasure of working with some fantastic individuals, start-ups, labels and brands – so here’s a BIG THANK YOU to all our customers. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2013, but here are a few highlights from last year…

Made In Chelsea star Caggie Dunlop printed her second line of t-shirts with us, in time for the fourth hit series on Channel 4. Caggie’s brand ISWAI is an inspiring and imaginative label, that brings aspiring fashion designers ideas to fruition.

Early this year we worked with Red Bull to turn around 400 screen printed t-shirts in under 7 days. This was in time for their series of Culture Clash gigs, where some of the biggest names in music – such as Magnetic Man and Major Lazer battled it out. Fans were able to vote for their favourite artist and win free merchandise.

Red Bull Culture Clash music gigs T-shirt

Another exciting run of prints were Direct To Garment printed for a music event in Folkstone that was “self organised” by fans of the band Hot Chip, via the website Half of the 200 t-shirts were individually numbered 1-87, for lucky fans to receive as a “thank you” for all their support.

Hotchip music gig printed t-shirts

To top the year off, Icon Printing also had the pleasure of printing some of the garments for the Professor Green X Puma collaborative label. It really has been an exciting second year for us, but this year is going to be even better as we aim to print half a million t-shirts!

Professor Green X Puma T-shirt

Icon Printing specialise in custom t-shirt printing and and polo shirt embroidery in East London. For an instant quote, check out our website or drop us a line at: