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7 Ways to Find a Designer to Create Your T-Shirt Designs

By Reading Time: 4 minutes

We’ve often said that to start an online store with Printful, all you need is a design. We (together with existing ecommerce platforms) take care of the rest.

Disclosure: some of the links to products or services in this article are affiliate links, meaning that Printful might earn a commission if you sign up or make a purchase through the link (at no extra cost to you). Read more here.

But what if you can’t even make a design?!

Photoshop and Illustrator are expensive programs, not to mention not everyone is blessed with an eye for design or with time to acquire the necessary skills to make those designs.

With all of the available tools at our fingertips, it’s inexcusable to write yourself off as a potential apparel store owner just because of the itsy-bitsy fact that you might not have design resources available. In this blog post, we’ll outline a few ways how you can find a t-shirt graphic designer to create designs for you.

Here’s a list of resources that you can use to find and hire a talented designer who has the skills to turn your vision into a tangible product.

1. Chat with the graphic designers on Printful’s Graphic design services team

The help you’re looking for may not take very long to find – the talented and professional in-house graphic designers at Printful will be happy to help you overcome your design-related obstacles.

They can create and adjust print files not only for Printful, but other print platforms as well. On top of that, the team can redesign your logo, design a completely new graphic based on your ideas, or create a unique piece of art that can be digitized and made a part of your design.

The Printful designers already know how to create designs that match Printful’s print guidelines. If you work with a freelancer, make sure you share our print file guidelines with them to avoid print problems later.

2. Crowdsource your t-shirt design ideas with 99designs

If you have a t-shirt design idea but can’t create it yourself, then consider 99designs. You describe the idea you’re going for and set the amount that you’re willing to pay for that particular job.

Designers will then submit their versions of the design, and in the end, you’ll be able to choose your favorite from the pool of designs. Keep in mind, the amount of designs and quality of designs depends on the amount of money you offer for that particular assignment.

Source: 99designs

The 99designs’ Find a Designer tool makes it super easy to search for a designer that meets your aesthetic taste and design needs.

3. Find your dream t-shirt graphic designer on Dribbble

This is the platform of choice for established designers. You can browse through their portfolios and get to know their personal style. If there’s anything that particularly interests you, then you can get in touch with the designer and ask them if they’d be willing to work with you.

Designers who are for hire will have a “Hire me” button on their profile, like this one:

Dribbble - hire me
Source: Dribbble

4. Find a freelance designer through freelance sites

There are a bunch of tools that facilitate the process of finding, hiring, and paying for freelancers. These platforms also include reviews from other users, so that you have a better idea of the person you’re about to work with. Some of the most popular ones include:

UpworkFreelancer, and Guru.

A snapshot of Upwork’s interface.

5. Find a quick, cheap t-shirt design through Fiverr

This is less of a “freelancer” site than it is a site for anyone who wants to offer their skills for $5. This is an entry-level space, and the basics are offered with an option to upgrade your purchase.

This might be better for simpler designs that you need a hand executing.

T-shirt designs for a fiver
T-shirt designs for a fiver

6. Offer to sell existing designs

There are a bunch of great designs out there that aren’t being sold. If you’ve spotted a design online that you think would be great on a t-shirt or a poster, why not reach out to that designer? Offer to put it up on your store, and share the revenue.

That’s what Startup Vitamins did with one of their most eye-catching posters, “This is a bullshit free zone”. Originally designed by the London-based creative agency Sell!Sell!, they agreed to share the design for a portion of the profit from sales.

Bullshit free zone

Another option could be purchasing extended license editable design bundles. Check out Thefancydeal, they offer some awesome designs! Or head over to Envato Elements, where for $29/month, you get access to 500,000 amazing illustrations, fonts, mockups, and more. (Disclaimer: these are affiliate links).

7. Find a t-shirt graphic designer in real life

Last but certainly not least. In fact, you might want to try this one first. It’s so easy to not convey your message online, that you would be much more able to explain face to face, having a conversation with the designer.

There are a few places you can go to look for a designer. One great opportunity is using the Meetups option. Go to and enter “design”. It’ll give you the closest design-related events. Bam! You’ve got a room full of designers!

BONUS: Make use of your store’s logo

Your t-shirt design can also be your store logo. In fact, that’s what a lot of retail giants do. Brands like Ralph Lauren and Lacoste have an entire collection of shirts with their brand logo.

There are a bunch of tools available that can help create a logo at an affordable price. One of them is Logaster logo maker.

Logaster makes creating a logo easy. Type in your company name, choose from 22 different categories and then preview hundreds of free logo templates. Logaster can eventually generate one that suits your needs. You can customize the logos and download them for free. Later, you can download a high-resolution version of your logo for $9.99.

Create your own custom t-shirt design

After reading this, you’re now aware that there are plenty of easy, affordable ways to find a designer for your t-shirt designs.

But if you still want to bootstrap, then take advantage of our mockup generator to easily create custom t-shirt designs yourself. We have a built-in text tool, as well as smileys, shapes, and line drawings.

This is great for simple, or text-based designs. Add your design goes directly on the product, so you don’t have to use any additional software.

So that’s that! We can no longer say “all you need is a design” to start your store. With all the design resources available, now the right phrase will be “all you need is an idea.” And you’ve got ideas, haven’t you?

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  1. Herbert Moore

    Entrepreneurs should work with a graphic designer because generic images won’t influence many sales. When picking designs, always consider the market. If something is trendy, it may make a great t-shirt design.



        1. Madara Zute

          Hi there,
          Yes, we ship products to India.

          Printful isn’t available in and doesn’t ship to Cuba, Iran, Crimea, Syria, and North Korea. We’re available to all other countries and ship internationally.

  3. David Singletary

    Truly amazing post… You can also opt for web to print solution for print commerce personalized product. These software are so flexible that any one can edit or add the design and make them personalized with their own messages.

  4. John Mahoney

    I agree that making sure you find a good designer in real life can help you get the most out of custom t-shirts. I can see that understanding how this industry works can help you get the best design and get the best service possible. I would want to make sure I hire reputable people to help me with the process and make sure my money is well invested.

  5. Julian

    Hi Julia,

    Great name! ;-). Great article! We have tried freelancer and its hard to get good designs from freelancer sites because the designer does not have the time to learn more about the brands identity & look. Most likely they wont have a clothing line that works together. You need to have your entire line be cohesive and in sync.


  6. Ana Gonzalez

    I agree, not being a designer can’t be an excuse for not having designs to sell!! Not anymore, especially with all these options to buy or hire tshirt designs. – Great post, Julia!

    On another note, do you guys consider making the designs yourself? I don’t mean struggling on Photoshop, Gimp, Illustrator, etc, but using a web based tool instead, Placeit recently released design templates, a tool aimed for tshirt sellers! I wrote a feature overview here, hope you find it useful:

    disclosure, I’m a part of the placeit team 🙂

  7. Marcus Coons

    I loved when you talked about how we can use all the options we have at our fingertips to start a design that we can put in a t-shirt. It makes sense that taking the time to evaluate your options carefully can help you create the best design to advertise your company. As I see it, taking the time to assess your needs and your likes can help your designer put into paper your ideas about what you want your t-shirt designs to be.

  8. Rola

    I have a question. Legally speaking, if I pay someone for a design, then put it on my tshirt with MY brand name on it and sell it.That’s legal? Or do I have to somwhr aknowledge the designer.

    1. Nora Inveiss

      That’s a good question! I suppose it depends on the agreement you have with your designer. In most cases, I’d assume that a designer is aware that what he/she creates will be used for the client as they see fit. It might be a good idea to put it in writing if you have doubts!

  9. wanda russell

    my daughter have some beautiful designs that she wants to have print and also sell them. She’s a beginner. Please send me some info on how to start.

  10. Sharon

    First of all the post was great, I have a family get together coming up and as you said some are not blessed with an “eye for design” yet I have some ideas for a printed shirt for the family. Have you done something like that? I also wanted it to be funny. I will have to get in touch directly but just wanted to say great post.

  11. Chandana Rai

    Thank you For sharing the Great article and this article is very helpful for me. we follow this technique in my activities to improve and I have learned a lot from you

  12. Hazel Owens

    That’s interesting that you can use the Meetup option as a way to find a designer to help design the shirt you want printed. This would be very helpful since it’s sometimes easier to describe a design in person rather than over the phone or through an email and this way you can see how they interpret it. This could also help a company find a place to get the T-shirts made since the designer may know a good place to get a printed T-shirt so you can be sure to get a professional printing place to do the designs for the company.

  13. Katie Wilson

    Thanks for the tip about finding a design service to help you print t-shirts. It would be good to talk with a professional to ensure that you get the proportions right. My husband and I are looking for someone to print a few t-shirts, so we’ll have to talk with a professional first.

  14. Steven Bowen

    Hey, this is a really amazing and informative post I’ve found recently. The t-shirt design tools you have described here are useful, they are helpful in creating custom designs for tees and would like to add one more which really helps in designing t-shirt by your own that is I was looking for such a thing, thanks for providing this useful article.

  15. Anna

    A lot of information there thanks. When it came to printing t-shirts for my companies annual picnic the funny design is what everyone remembered, so find a good designer was key and luckily we did that.

  16. Michael Harvey

    Good read. I think POD is the new version of dropshipping junk from AliExress. Now the creatives have a place to go but it will still be the marketers that win in this space. Designers still need to learn how to generate traffic. Marketers can always find a way to get products designed. But your average joe designer will still have a huge uphill climb to get his designs in front of eyeballs. Great info in this article though, thanks!

  17. MargaretSmith

    This is really amazing and the blog is all about what I am looking For, I am looking for good T-shirt Printing service Provider to print the 3D logo in our college football team jersey. I have also contact with Moment Screen Printing and collect some information how they are providing the t shirt printing service and all that.

  18. Christian T Shirt Designs Online

    Well to find a t-shirt designer you have to perform various task such as you need to do is research over various freelancing market or I say place where you need to hire a graphic designer for it as those having good ratings and reviews go for it and hire them just asking few questions from them in depth.

  19. Pratik Shah

    Thank you for such a nice information.

    If you find the idea of giving your customers an opportunity to design their own apparels, appeal you, you must embrace to t-shirt design software.

  20. hr

    Last week, my mother saw a lot of clothes suitable for her sister on this website. Because she is coming to her sister’s birthday, her mother wants to buy a sweater for her sister, but her mother found that the seller is in China. She is worried about quality problems, but she I want to buy that sweater for my sister. What do you say about my mother?

  21. James Borst

    I like your recommendation to talk to a designer face to face at design-related events. My wife and I have a few design ideas for t-shirts that we’d like to use for family photos. We may also consider funny t-shirts for the pictures as well.

  22. JobsClerk

    Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy the overall look of your web site is excellent, let alone the content!

    1. Madara Zute

      Hi there,
      Thank you so much for your kind feedback! We’ve been blogging for several years now and it’s definitely been a learning process. 🙂

  23. T Shirt

    Extraordinary article. I ran over your blog and felt this was an incredible site and couldn’t imagine anything better than to be included on your blog or perhaps just referenced.

  24. James Brian

    I was thinking to hire a t-shirts printing designer for my apparel business. This blog is quite informative for telling us what should be the main features of the best t-shirt printer. Thanks for sharing this blog with us.

  25. David Brown

    wow whats a great information article.It is very helpful for the designers. Your idea is actually outstanding. Thank’s to share us such an important thing.

  26. Derek McDoogle

    One of my friends is getting married this year and some other friends and I would like to throw a bachelor’s party for him. I like how you suggest searching online for ideas to design t-shirts for the day of the party. I will ask them to help me look for the logo or design that they would like so that we can print it on some t-shirts and we can wear the same one on that day.

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