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Blog / Beginner's handbook / 50 T-Shirt Design Ideas for Every Occasion

Beginner's handbook

50 T-Shirt Design Ideas for Every Occasion

50 T-Shirt Design Ideas for Every Occasion
Sandra Ķempele

By Sandra Ķempele

26 min read

Simply put, t-shirts are amazing for everyday wear. They’re super comfy and come in a seemingly unlimited number of colors and styles. From their humble beginnings as an under garment, t-shirts have now become one of the most popular apparel items. 

What’s more, there’s a growing demand for custom t-shirts with printed logos, slogans, and quotes. That’s because t-shirts are the perfect messengers. It’s a chance to show your support for a cause or highlight what you’re passionate about. 

We’ve previously covered hoodie design ideas on our blog, but this time it’s all about inspiration for your next t-shirt design. So read on for 50 unique t-shirt design ideas and get inspired!

Cool t-shirt design ideas

First off, it’s a good idea to explore what’s trendy right now and look for some cool design ideas that are getting attention online. Notice what stands out to you. Try to strike a balance between a design that makes you excited and a popular trend.

Whether you’d like to take a light-hearted approach or make a bold statement, here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Statement t-shirts

What are you passionate about? Are you a firm supporter of animal rights or want to promote sustainable practices and greener choices? A t-shirt can become a canvas for your statement to the world. 

Designs like this “eco over ego” graphic help draw attention to an important message and work as a great conversation starter. They’re also a way to align yourself with a cause and help show who you are without the need to say it out loud. 

Think about the causes you want to support and let your design reflect that.

Source: Adidas

2. Humor

It’s well-known that laughter is the best medicine, but it’s also good for design inspiration! Think of catchphrases, puns, or jokes that put a smile on your face, and turn it into a funny t-shirt. 

For your designs, pick themes based on your interests. For example, yoga lovers will enjoy this funny cartoon-style design with a twist on traditional yoga poses. 

Or go for a pun that’s a play on words and will appeal to those who love a good one-liner, like “Mountains aren’t just funny. They’re hill areas.” 

3. Animals

Are you a fan of animal print? Put a spin on popular leopard and zebra prints, or make a custom pattern like this all-over cheetah print. It’s eye-catching and would be the perfect addition to any whimsical wardrobe.

Animal lovers will also enjoy a graphic design tee with a custom illustration of their favorite animal, like this cool-looking zebra rocking a pair of black shades. Picking an animal as the main design element is also a great t-shirt design choice for kids, so consider offering this in different sizes.

4. Fantasy

Designs with mythical creatures are having a moment thanks to popular games, books, and TV shows. Explore this cool trend by featuring dragons, werewolves, or other fantasy creatures as your main design element. 

Imagine wearing it for game night or while watching fantasy adventure films with friends. A mythical fire-breathing beast printed on a dark color t-shirt would also be perfect for Halloween.

mythical tshirt design

Source: Etsy

5. Vintage

Vintage goes hand in hand with nostalgic, retro designs that are great for evoking a particular mood. Are you a fan of the Roaring ’20s or perhaps lovin’ an ’80s groove? Think of patterns, colors, and typography that reflect the style you’re going for and let that inspire you to create your own unique designs.

If you’re interested in vintage fashion or like taking trips down memory lane, throwback designs will be a good fit for you. Vintage t-shirt designs would also make a great outfit choice for themed events, like a 1920s party.

6. Collage

Creating a collage is a cool way to mix and match parts of different images to come up with a quirky, original design. You can use free online tools like BeFunky or a paid software like Photoshop to layer photos, text, and illustrations. Just make sure that all the source material you use is compliant with copyright regulations

Whether you’re an art buff who wants to get creative with illustrations or just want to have fun experimenting, this is a fresh t-shirt design idea that’ll definitely showcase your imagination.

Need inspiration? Check out this collage design where vintage images come to life when combined with custom illustrations. 

collage tshirt design idea

Source: Etsy

7. Cyberpunk

If you’d like to hop on a t-shirt design trend, check out the cyberpunk aesthetic. It’s a street fashion style that features futuristic elements related to cyberspace, science, and technology. It draws inspiration from the rapid tech innovations in modern life. 

For cyberpunk-inspired clothing, go for a limited number of bold colors. For example, choose a dark background with purple, blue, or neon print. Make sure to include some tech terms like “hardware,” “data,” and “reset”

This style will appeal to people who are into tech and enjoy watching futuristic sci-fi movies like Blade Runner and The Matrix. Or, anyone who appreciates contemporary design trends and wants to get noticed. 

tech tshirt design

Source: Asos

8. Comic strips

When thinking of alternative designs, comic strip t-shirts are a creative choice. Comic book designs strike a balance between creative writing and illustrations, and can evoke popular illustrated books and graphic novels. It’s a good gift idea for a teenager who loves reading comic books or enjoys a particular character.

Comic strips are super customizable with elements like speech bubbles, font style, icons, and character illustrations. The best part? You can make your own comic strip designs with online tools like Canva or Creately.

comic print tshirt design

Source: Etsy 

Cute t-shirt design ideas

In terms of style, you might notice a more minimalist approach (less is more) and a toned down color palette with these tees. Lots of minimalist designs right now draw inspiration from nature, typography, geometry, and art. So explore some cute t-shirt ideas that are gaining momentum and see what best reflects your personal style. 

9. Plants

If you’re looking to add some greenery to your life and wardrobe, go for a houseplant or flower design to make the most of plant-inspired trends this season. 

Whether flowers are the focus of your design, or just a garnish, they’re a great way to add intricacy to any design. Flowers and botanical illustrations showcase beauty, our natural world, and growth. 

Monstera leaf pattern has become a trend in interior design, but you don’t have to stop there. A fresh green color paired with a decorative leaf pattern looks just as good on a t-shirt. 

If you’re keen to experiment with even more plant-inspired designs, we’ve covered more fun designs in our blog on custom sticker ideas.

10. Typography 

Looking for a cute style with a graphic design twist? Typography and lettering are your friends. 

With hundreds of fonts out there, pick your favorite and highlight the beauty of the written word.

For inspiration, check out this bold black-and-white design celebrating the letter “a.” Or go all in and play with the whole alphabet by adding cozy seasonal elements like this autumnal A to Z design, perfect for a teacher or a parent looking to teach the alphabet in style.

11. Coffee and tea lovers

For many of us, early mornings start with a cup of our favorite caffeinated drink. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for a tea or coffee lover, or just want to publicly proclaim your own affection for it, a cute t-shirt is the answer.

Anyone who appreciates a hot cup of coffee can seek inspiration from this cartoonish design with coffee poured in a joyous cup. The fun graphics with big, bold fonts capture the excitement of a fresh cup of joe while also paying homage to the retro diner aesthetic.

And tea lovers don’t have to look too far for a pun—check out this design with a smiling teabag and the phrase “it’s a tea shirt.”

12. Minimalist

The sleek minimalist look will appeal to those who prefer a more understated style that shows love for simplicity. Even a simple line drawing can deliver a cute message, like this continuous line drawing of a heart in gilded tones

Minimalist designs can also be playful. For example, this imperfect circle is a clever way to reshape a geometric design. What’s more, it subtly elevates a classic white tee.

13. Geometric patterns

Patterns naturally add visual interest, and different geometric shapes (triangles, circles, cubes) are easy and fun to experiment with. The geometric style is versatile, can be worn by everyone, and it’s great for all ages.

To create your own design, go for stylized geometric shapes and symmetry or choose a pattern from our Design Maker.

geometric pattern tshirt design

Source: Printful


14. Painted designs

A fun way to make your design stand out is to seek inspo from art techniques—watercolor, oil painting, charcoal, or pencil drawing. 

You can get the painted effect by going for an artsy design like this watercolor illustration of a cat. Or highlight bold paint strokes, and make the process of painting the main design element. 

Whichever direction you choose, expressing your idea with an artistic twist will help create an eye-catching t-shirt design.

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Business t-shirt design ideas

Branded clothing for work can help build a sense of community, whether it’s at work or during team-building events. If you want to leave a positive impression on partners and customers, we’ve gathered some easy ways to create custom designs for your business.

A simple way to reap the benefits of branded company shirts is to design a t-shirt with your company logo. To get started, you can use our free Design Maker to place your business logo on a t-shirt, and pick the best placement. 

Having a large logo will stand out when printed across the chest, but for a more subtle look, you could print the logo on a t-shirt sleeve. With lots of colors and fits to choose from, try to experiment to see what best reflects your business and what your team and customers could relate to.

business tshirts

Source: Printful

16. Mission statement or slogan

If you’re looking to increase employee motivation and solidarity, how about printing your company values or mission on a t-shirt? 

Slogans are also great reminders of your brand, and custom t-shirts work well as gifts to celebrate milestones. Check out this t-shirt design inspired by Apple with a reminder to be unique and think outside the box.

17. Motivation

If you’re self-employed or run a small business, sometimes you might need a little bit of motivation. For times like these, have a t-shirt on hand with inspirational text that sparks enthusiasm and gets you back to the business owner mindset, like this simple-yet-effective text “Remember your why.”

Source: Etsy

18. Celebrating small businesses

Running a small business comes with its challenges, but why not amplify all the good things a local business can bring to a community?

Spread the word about celebrating small businesses with a shirt that encourages customers to shop local. For example, tap into the small business market and create a t-shirt design that’s all about supporting local business. 
support your local business tshirt design

Source: Etsy

Embroidered t-shirt design ideas

Embroidery is the perfect design addition to a simple t-shirt if you’re into a minimalist look and are enamored with intricate detailing. It is chic and elegant, plus more texture than a regular print. 

Embroidered details will also appeal to anyone with a neutral wardrobe looking for a pop of color. They’re fun embellishments to t-shirts for all ages. Read on for a selection of trendy and timeless embroidered t-shirt designs. 

19. Floral embroidery designs

Flowers are among the most popular embroidery designs, and have been for years. That said, there are loads of ways to stand out with original floral motifs.

If your t-shirt has a pocket, play around with wildflower designs, like these blooming flowers in light pink, red, and lilac. 

From year to year, different flowers go in and out of trend. If you’d like to tap into the current floral embroidery trends, then go for sunflowers, daisies, and flower bucket arrangements.

20. Emojis

Simple, minimalist icons are a great choice for embroidery designs. With hundreds of emojis available for your design inspiration, it’s a trend worth exploring.

Think about which icons fit well with your personal style or your brand. If you’re seeking a gift for a loved one, design a cute t-shirt with a heart-eye emoji.

emoji embroidered tshirt

Source: Etsy

21. Art

The practice of embroidery is part of a long-standing tradition for folk artists. So no wonder artwork is still a great source of inspiration for modern designs.

Pick your favorite artwork or think of a famous artist, and let that inspire your own design. Intricate embroidery like this portrait of artist Frida Kahlo will surely be a hit with art and design lovers.

embroidered frida kahlo shirt

Source: Etsy

22. Food

Foodies, this one’s for you! Create a fun, minimalist design with a dessert or a snack that’s close to your heart. 

Here are some trendy favorites, spanning different food groups and meals:

23. Cities and travel destinations

Are you a fan of the hustle and bustle of large cities? Then why not look to New York, London, or Paris for inspiration? Picture where you’d like to go for a trip and ease your travel bug with a nod to some iconic landmarks, like this embroidered t-shirt with the Paris skyline.

If you’d like a fun, colorful embroidery design, check out this stamp from Tokyo (bonus points for having embroidered sushi!). It’s great for showing your appreciation for different cultures or highlighting cities you love or would like to explore.

24. For kids

Bright, cheerful embroidery is a fun way to add personality to a simple white t-shirt. Pick a classic kids favorite like a ladybug or go for a text-based design saying “Cool kid” or “Cutie.”

Embroidery can also be very practical. For example, you can add your child’s initials to a t-shirt sleeve to personalize it. That way it won’t get lost when mixed up with other kids’ stuff during a sleepover or summer camp. 

ladybug embroidered tshirt idea

Source: Etsy

If you’d like to explore more options, here’s a glimpse of cute icons for some kid-friendly designs from our Design Maker:

School t-shirt design ideas

School is not just about learning, it’s also about expressing yourself and your creativity. From kids in elementary school to high school seniors, everybody can benefit from a custom t-shirt that shows off their personality. 

If you’re searching for design inspo that highlights your passion for learning, helps with motivation, and sparks imagination, read on for some fun school t-shirt design ideas. 

25. Elementary school

When back-to-school season is upon you, give the gift of motivation and inspiration to show up and have fun at school everyday.

A popular idea is to mark the first hundred days of the school year and celebrate in style, like this dinosaur-themed shirt happily does with the design “I roared through 100 days of school.”

elementary school tshirt design idea

Source: Etsy

26. High school

A high school senior might also want a little motivation to keep going, so why not gift a shirt with “Senior 2023” on it? It’ll make them proud of how far they’ve come! Don’t forget to add a little graduation cap or other cute reminders for students gearing up to graduate.

school senior tshirt design

Source: Etsy

27. After School Clubs

For casual everyday tees, look into themed after school club designs. Is your child into photography, theater, or perhaps a chemistry whiz? Put their interests front and center by highlighting them on a t-shirt. 

For some design inspo, check out these cute ideas for school t-shirts:

28. Teachers

School is not just for kids and teens, it’s also a place for enthusiastic teachers and educators who would gladly rock a t-shirt all about learning. 

When putting together a custom design, why not go for an inspirational phrase in bold letters? Pick a darker shade background to let the bright shapes and colors stand out. Add some sparkle and you’ll have something like this t-shirt: “It’s a beautiful day for learning.”

You could also gather all the elements you associate with education (pencils, books, a globe, etc.) to create a heart-shaped design around the word “Teacher.”

Sports team t-shirt design ideas 

Sports team t-shirts are typically made for sports fans as a way to show their support and solidarity. But sometimes fun team t-shirts are also worn by players and coaches to represent their team. If you’re looking for some fresh ideas that go beyond your team’s name and logo, we’ve got you covered. 

29. Basketball teams

Are you searching for basketball t-shirt design ideas for school practices, basketball summer camps, or gym sessions with friends? Here’s some design inspo:

  • Iconic sports moments—famous stops, blocks, or crazy dunks

  • Motivational quotes by a player you look up to (see this quote by Lebron James)

  • Design a team mascot

  • Make a championship trophy your central design element

  • Game day vibes for a positive mindset

30. Soccer teams

Designing a team mascot is a great way to personalize your soccer team’s t-shirts. It can be simple and focus on representing the team spirit. For example, this t-shirt highlights the brave lion as Cincinnati’s team mascot. Although fierce in the wild, lions as mascots are often big softies with a kind spirit, and make for a cute soccer t-shirt design idea.

If you’re seeking a tee that stands out, go for a typography design in the shape of a soccer player. Feel free to customize it with word associations of your choice (coach, free kick, goal, sport, etc).

31. Volleyball teams

Are you into volleyball, but out of ideas for a volleyball t-shirt design? 

Whether you’re an avid player or enjoy the occasional game with friends, show off your volleyball skills with a custom design. For example, check out this twist on the classic evolution of humanity design with a great final volleyball save. But if your serves are better than your saves, then consider a cheeky statement t-shirt like this “If you want a soft serve, go get ice cream.

Whichever direction you take, this’ll be a good fit for beach volleyball or indoor volleyball players looking to show off their love of the game.

Family t-shirt design ideas

A custom family t-shirt design is a great way to create a lasting keepsake that reminds you of the good times spent with family. It’s also an excellent way to celebrate special occasions like family reunions or Mother’s Day. Explore some ideas that cherish family bonds and will be a good fit for celebratory moments. 

32. Mother’s Day

For Mother’s Day, think about creating a t-shirt that celebrates the special bond between a mother and child. For example, turn your childhood drawings into an adorable t-shirt design! This example shows how to bring children’s drawings to life in a cute way.

Learn more: 55 Mom Shirt Ideas for the Best Moms in the World

Another interesting design choice is including childrens’ names with a nod to their birth months, for example, adding a matching flower that corresponds to the month they were born in.

33. Father’s Day

Personalized Father’s Day t-shirt designs can make a thoughtful gift and spread love on this special day. 

Below we’ve gathered a few quick dad shirt design ideas to try out:

  • A humorous quote or phrase, or simply #dadlife

  • Graphic design elements that celebrate their interests or hobbies, like a favorite sports team or a gaming reference

  • A photo or illustration of a memorable activity or shared experience

34. Siblings

Going for a matching gift for a brother and sister? He-said, she-said kind of messages can make for an awesome gift like this “She did it! He did it!” matching t-shirt design. Similarly, shirts like “Big Bro,” “Little Sis” are perfect as a gift for baby showers that’ll make for darling sibling pictures. 

35. Family reunions

Family reunions are all about having a good time, catching up with family members, and making new memories.

If your family has a crest or coat of arms, consider using that as the basis for your t-shirt design. This would be a great way to honor your family’s heritage and history. Don’t have one? Try your hand in designing it yourself!

Family reunions can also be a great time to rep the meaning of family with a phrase that captures its essence like “Family—where life begins and love never ends.”

family tshirt design

Source: Etsy

Seasonal t-shirt design ideas

Make the most of the changing seasons and let upcoming holidays inspire fun t-shirt design ideas. Holidays are also the time when lots of people are looking for the perfect gift. Below we’ve gathered some seasonal inspiration for you to start designing and be ready for all occasions. 

36. Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating love and affection, so why not showcase that in a themed design?

Red, pink, and white are all popular colors associated with Valentine’s Day, so try starting from there. Next, think of including a classic symbol of love like a little heart or delicate flowers, or perhaps both! This would be perfect for a matching couple’s design too.

If you’re going for a more playful way to celebrate love, create a design featuring an iconic couple: Romeo and Juliet, Bonnie and Clyde, or even Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

37. St. Patrick’s Day

When spring comes around, it’s time for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations all around the world. If you want to capture the fun of the holiday with a nod to Irish heritage, we’ve got a few t-shirt ideas for you:

  • A classic design featuring a shamrock or clover, the symbol of Ireland and St Patrick’s Day

  • A funny image featuring a leprechaun or a pot of gold

  • A design featuring a traditional Irish symbol or motif like the Celtic knot

38. Easter

For an Easter or spring-themed t-shirt design you could either go all out using bright colors or opt for light pastel shades; both reflect the joy and renewal of the season and are often used in spring-inspired designs. 

If you’re up for having fun or inspirational phrases, think of something like “April showers bring May flowers” or the more Easter-appropriate “I’m eggcited!” Make sure to include a nod to popular Easter symbols like bunnies, eggs, and blooming flowers.

39. 4th of July

The 4th of July is a day of celebration and national pride for many Americans. For your celebratory t-shirt designs, start by considering what elements are most closely associated with this holiday. 

Here are some ideas for bold and eye-catching designs:

  • Slogans or phrases that reflect the spirit of the 4th of July, like “Celebrate America”

  • Creative graphics or illustrations that capture the essence of many 4th of July celebrations like fireworks, flags, the Statue of Liberty or other patriotic symbols

  • Incorporate the American flag into your design in a prominent way using bright, patriotic colors, or graphic elements like stars and stripes.

40. Halloween

For the spookiest season of the year, keep it classy and incorporate popular Halloween symbols like bats, skeletons, or cobwebs, into your design.

For something a little more intricate, try creating a design featuring a classic horror movie character, like Frankenstein’s monster or the Mummy. For a lighthearted take on the holiday, think of a playful pun, like “Boo-tiful” or “Ghost busters.”  Whatever design you choose, make sure it captures the spooky fun of Halloween.

Looking for more inspo? Check out our blog for ​​12 Halloween Shirt Ideas to Creep It Real

41. Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate family and be grateful, so think of a message you’d like to convey through your design. It’s also about delicious food!

If you want to focus on the family gathering aspect of Thanksgiving, you could create a t-shirt featuring a group of people gathered around a table, or all the food traditionally served on Thanksgiving.

You could also create a design that captures the essence of the holiday without even mentioning Thanksgiving in particular. A shirt featuring falling leaves, pumpkins, or other fall-themed imagery is a subtle way to celebrate the season.

42. Christmas

For a Christmas-themed t-shirt design, go for a playful and festive feel that captures the joy and magic of the holiday season. One of the directions to take could be picking a main focus, such as a Christmas tree or a snowman, and adding holiday-themed elements like mistletoe, snowflakes, and twinkling stars. 

You can never go wrong with the white, red, and green color scheme, with splashes of gold and silver to add some shimmer and shine. Think of including a festive saying like “Merry and Bright” or “Let it snow!” 

Overall, pick a design that’ll help spread Christmas cheer and celebrate the cozy holiday season in style.

43. Birthdays

Many birthday t-shirt design ideas feature quirky birthday sayings like “I can’t keep calm, it’s my birthday” or “Age isn’t a number, it’s a state of mind.”

But if you’re looking for ways to change it up, design a t-shirt with a zodiac sign or highlight your year of birth. This’ll be a good fit for your birthday party but can also be worn year-round.

Hobby t-shirt design ideas

You can make t-shirts for whatever you’re up to—be it camping in the woods or cooking your favorite meal. Let the design reflect your interests and you’ll have something to wear whenever it’s time for your favorite activity.

44. Camping

Spread your love of the outdoors by rocking a t-shirt that celebrates being out in nature.

A minimalist design with camping graphics will put you in the mood to reconnect with nature, pitch a tent, and cook over the open fire. This is a good fit for anyone with an adventurous spirit—wear it camping with friends or keep it as a reminder to plan your next outdoor adventure.

camping hobby tshirt design

Source: Asos

45. Photography

Camera lovers unite! Ready for a custom t-shirt that’ll show your passion for photography? If you’re usually the person behind the camera lens, a themed t-shirt will make sure that your talent gets attention too. 

To connect with fellow photographers, pick a design that’ll spark conversations about lens selection, tripods, and the best photo equipment. 

If you’d prefer to highlight why taking photos is an awesome hobby, go for a more funky, experimental design with descriptive text like “Capturing moments.”

46. Cooking

Chefs and home cooks alike will appreciate custom t-shirt designs that show their love for cooking. 

Just as coming up with new delicious recipes gets your creative juices flowing, make sure to explore offbeat food and cooking hallmarks for your designs. Experiment with graphics, font, and different layouts. And of course include elements like cooking utensils, ovenware, cutlery, and your favorite foods!

cooking hobby tshirt design

Source: Etsy

47. The beach

Loose-fitting t-shirts and sandy beaches are a perfect match. So for the summer weather seek design inspiration from beachwear—lots of bright colors, palm trees, and surfboards. 

Comfy t-shirts will also be great for sporty activities like playing volleyball or running on the beach. A chill retro surfboard print shows your appreciation for sand, sun, and adventure, so it’d be a good fit for anyone who appreciates a laid-back lifestyle.

48. Gaming

Take your love of games to the next level and create a tee all about gaming. If you have some favorites that never go out of style, why not rep those games with a cool t-shirt design?

You can also design a t-shirt that gets you into gaming mode whenever you sit down with a controller. Even if you don’t play video games yourself, this’ll be a fun gift for a teenager or the gamer in your life.

gaming tshirt design

Source: Etsy

49. Reading

T-shirts are great for evoking a particular mood. When it comes to reading, you probably think of a relaxed environment that’s perfect for picking up a book and engrossing yourself in a story. Check out this simple t-shirt with “Books, coffee, rain” that’ll be a real treat for anyone who’s sure to cuddle up with a good book on a rainy day.

Another way to get inspired by books is to make them the centerpiece of your design. Are you an avid reader with shelves full of books? Be proud and make a statement about your love for reading. For example, this “Book rescue” t-shirt celebrates having a big collection of books.

50. Music

Music lovers and festival-goers are sure to have t-shirts with their favorite bands on them. But imagine having a custom print that shows your passion for music and can be rocked at a concert or a music-themed pub quiz night. 

If you’re going for a statement shirt, think of a phrase that feels on brand for you. For example, something like “Concerts are my happy place” can instantly bring back memories of awesome shows.

Maybe you’re into playing music and want to share your excitement for it? This funky t-shirt with loads of colorful guitar illustrations is a great t-shirt design inspiration for a gung ho guitar player or anyone who wants to pick up an instrument. 

Feeling inspired but need some support to get started? Below we’ve gathered some top tips that will set you up for success.

How to come up with creative t-shirt design ideas in 3 steps

When deciding on a t-shirt design idea, first picture the occasion when you’d like to wear the tee, or what kind of design potential customers might enjoy. Then, research design ideas and trends to get your creative juices flowing. 

Follow these 3 simple steps below, and you’ll come up with the perfect fit in no time! 

1. Understand your niche

Before you get to designing, think about whether you’re making the shirt for yourself or others. If it’s the latter, reflect on who you’ll sell to and identify your niche. Your designs should appeal to your target audience.

If you’re having trouble finding a niche, think of what you’re knowledgeable about. Hobbies, events, specific interests, or anything else that has the potential to draw the attention of a community can become your niche market.

For more ideas, take a look at our blog post on How to Find a Niche for Your Online Store​​.

2. Do your research on t-shirt designs

With a direction and ideas in mind, it’s time to create your custom t-shirt designs. This is easier said than done, so first ask yourself what’s trending in the design world right now? You want your store to be fresh and current. Second, review the list of ideas above and see which ones spark your creativity and give you the urge to start designing. 

3. Take advantage of online resources

If you’re already a design pro, then you know how to create your t-shirt designs. Get started using Photoshop or these Photoshop alternatives.

But if you’re not a seasoned designer just yet, executing your ideas can be a challenge. Luckily, you’ll find plenty of help online. Below we discuss design tools and tips to keep in mind.

Tips for DTG designs

T-shirts are universal—almost everybody owns at least one. But there are lots of different cuts, styles, and fabrics to choose from. Here’s our advice on how to pick the right t-shirt for your DTG (direct-to-garment) print design.

Pick the perfect t-shirt model

The style of t-shirt you choose in part depends on your niche. Is your target audience interested in an affordable basic? Then opt for a Gildan. Are they style-oriented? Then go with a fashion-forward Bella + Canvas.

Other key factors to consider:

  • Are you selling to men or women?

  • Does your audience prefer loose- or tight-fitting tees?

  • What price range do they expect?

  • What colors are trendy?

Read more: Top 7 Quality T-Shirts for Your Store

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Keep print file guidelines in mind

Pay close attention to Printful’s print file guidelines before creating your designs. They’re a little different for each product, but these are some basic rules to follow:

  • Submit your design files to Printful in PNG or JPG.

  • Your designs should be at least 150 DPI (dots per inch). Anything smaller and your design will look pixelated when printed.

  • Make sure all of your elements are opaque. DTG printing doesn’t work well with designs that are see-through, so your colors should be solid.

Use our Design Maker’s mockup feature to get an idea of how your product will look, but remember that what you see on screen won’t always look exactly the same when printed in real life. Order samples at 20% off to test your designs before selling them to customers.

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Final takeaways

From bold graphics and typography to vintage-inspired illustrations, there are endless possibilities for designing the perfect t-shirt. The key is to know your target audience and what they will respond to, while also staying true to your own personal brand.

Consider the trends that are popular at the moment and how you can put your own spin on them. Keep in mind the importance of color and composition. This will have a big impact on the overall look and feel of your design. Think about the layout, fonts, and graphics and how it all comes together to form a cohesive design.

Whether you’re looking to make a t-shirt for a specific occasion or want to add new clothing items to your store, have a go at designing a t-shirt that stands out. Be bold with your designs and have fun with it!

Read Next: 7 T-Shirt Design Trends for 2023


By Sandra Ķempele on Feb 28, 2023

Sandra Ķempele

Guest author

Sandra is a freelance writer and educator with a background in art and communication. She holds an MA in Art Museum and Gallery Studies, and in her free time enjoys reading, museum visits, and outdoor adventures.

Sandra is a freelance writer and educator with a background in art and communication. She holds an MA in Art Museum and Gallery Studies, and in her free time enjoys reading, museum visits, and outdoor adventures.