A Comprehensive Guide to Designing Your First T-shirt


It is observed that most t-shirt designers are becoming more innovative in the business due to the competition it carries. This development however appears to be difficult for a beginner in the system; especial those involved in t-shirt printing in Australia. Well, this may not be reality because if you follow some basic step with an expected goal in mind, finding a foot in the industry would not be really challenging. I am not writing this piece as a guide to start a t-shirt printing business. It is rather put together for a beginner who wants to give t-shirt printing business a try. We shall explain first on the inspiration you need to run the first design, how to print and do some marketing in order to establish a position.

Finding the right inspiration for nay project has to do with the fun attached to it. If you find fun in doing your thing, you can even apply extra effort towards making that task great. Passion brings the best in you. With this knowledge in place, you need to get a theme for your design that can distinguish you from others. The team can be gotten from anything at all that keeps you cool and entertained, either from the music or the sports world.

Once you have achieved this, the next thing to look out for is your audience. Which category of people are you designing for? Research about their gender, their age bracket and find out where in the world they are located. Furthermore, try to discover their style of dressing, the regular type of image that is often seen on their clothes.

Being able to get a theme or a customized pattern and getting to know your audience will then lead you to making the next move. That move is, finding inspiration that would drive you to work. This inspiration should go alongside with your theme. It can from an ideology a certain people share towards sports; it could also be about college life, or even about some youths who gather at a coffee shop every morning. You need to know that creativity in this case, is very important to the success of your new craft.

Another important point to note here is that you should generate units in your template. Fifteen inches by twelve inches is the normal biggest screen size that is obtainable in the market. In marketing your printed designs, you’ll have to display them publicly on reproduced samples.  The importance of this is that people get’s to see your design before the real printed shirt. I’ll like to mention again that the most common way of printing, especially t shirt printing in Australia is screen printing due to it’s historical beginning, dating from ancient China. Though, technology has since then improved.

An Introduction to T-shirt Screen Printing

Transferring screen printed work to material is quite a complex process especially when you’re involved from start to finish. You can conquer this challenge based on your level of knowledge regarding the art. Printing on a t-shirt material has it’s own challenge due to the process involved in printing, it’s softness and flexibility, the type of ink which is being used and it’s leaky nature. Being aware of this challenge is just a way of identifying the problem but we shall examine how you can conquer them as you design and print on t-shirt material.

We will first look at the different ways how paper and material react to printed designs. When printing on paper, you will discover that it is leaky just like material and the ink dries fast especially when it is mixed with little ink. That is why it can easily interpret from what is on the computer to the print. Material on the other hand is also leaky. It lets the ink to soak and get through into the material than on paper and it gives the material a fantastic print. This also goes a long way to determine how colors look especially when you apply a light color on a thick material.

The way out to this observation as it is done in t-shirt printing in Australia is applying the light color more than once with flashing during the color application. Flashing is an act of using a heat lamp on an applied ink before printing it again using the same screen. This flashing method brings out the real color strength on the printed t-shirt. The heavy pressure applied during the usage off a printed t-shirt requires the toner ink to completely stick to the material and maintain it’s brightness and quality. In order to achieve this, you have to apply the three major types of ink on the material designs. They are known as: water-based ink, plastisol ink and discharge ink.

Due to the focus of this write-up, we will be looking at the plastisol ink which is the most popular of them. One of the many advantages of using the plastisol is the brightness and long life. The odd side of it is it’s thick nature when touched. Designs with plenty thick ink will certainly create discomfort when it is worn. Here is the way out. Try to apply intense lightening so plastisol can easily go soft. Another thing to observe here is that materials always stretch and looses it’s original shape. So, ensure that the colors in the design edge are correctly applied. As I conclude, I will say that being aware of these challenges and the ability to find a solution can really produce an awesome result.