Thinking of launching your very own custom shirt design business? If you are, there are so many ways to get cheap shirts that you can custom-design before selling for a profit.
This has been the formula for a long time of many shirt customizes, and the formula simply works. The benefits of selling your own shirts with your custom designs are many:
– You can build a community around your shirt brand.
– You can be as experimental with your designs as you want to be.
– You are free to express yourself with your shirts.
– Your shirts can be a channel for your personal advocacies, and people can pick up your advocacy by knowing viewing and buying custom shirts.
– Custom shirts are relatively cheap even in lower quantities, and you can order from the United States and have them printed and delivered in a matter of days.
– You don’t have to start off with a large inventory of shirts at all. You can buy five, ten, or however many you think you need and market those first.
But how do you reduce the learning curve and ace the shirt design process? Here are some great tips:
I. Try a formula that has already worked.
We’re not saying that you should copy other designs outright, but you can take inspiration from how other designers use font typefaces, scaling, images, and the like.
If you don’t know how to design shirts but you are artistically inclined, know that there are key differences between t shirt design and conventional art that you may be more familiar with.
The key differences are:
– A shirt design almost always has a background and a foreground. The foreground is what the viewer sees first when viewing the design.
Deciding which elements to place in the foreground is important, because you wouldn’t want to end up with a design that has no emphasis at all. Some elements have to stand out in the design, to grab the attention of the viewer.
– The background of the design is not the most important set of elements. Contrasting is used to make the central text or image stand out.
This is what people will see first before the background. When working on your background, you need to make sure that the color tones and brightness are well-adjusted for the final effect that you need.
– Any text on the design are manipulated throughout outlining, or adding lines to separates lines from each other.
This is done to create an orderly design that is easy to read, has high recall, and is remarkable when viewed by anyone. A shirt has to be attractive to viewers, yes, but it also has to follow the rules of elemental balancing, especially when you are combining texts and images.
II. Be creative with your graphics
With all the software and guides available to almost anyone today, it’s a great time to be designing shirts. It’s imperative that you learn how to create your own graphics, or at least modify existing ones so you can give old graphics a new spin.
If you have ever used an image filter on a mobile app like Instagram, you probably have a good idea as to how a few sliding buttons can give an old image a new look and identity.
That’s a good beginning – playing with the color saturation of images, the brightness, even the white balance, but there is still so much to pursue and experiment with when your main material is digital art.
The keyword here, if you are looking for one, is inventiveness. Inventiveness is all about creating something new, something that other people haven’t seen before. It’s about taking an old concept, giving it a new spin, and making people say “hey, that’s quite creative!”
The definitions of art have changed so much in the past few decades that the environment for art, especially pop art, has become so liberal.
This liberal environment is good for beginning designers because you can start from where you are at the moment, and bloom where you are currently planted.
There is no pressure to learn a lot immediately, but you do have to keep learning more of how modern design works on shirts, to make it big in your chosen market.
III. Emphasize your message
Each design has a specific message that we want to communicate with our viewers. When you make a shirt design, you are making something to communicate a message. No one ever creates a design just because it’s beautiful or attractive. There is always a message, no matter how faint, that accompanies all types of shirt design.
With this in mind, it’s important that you know how to emphasize the elements that have a huge role in communicating your actual message on the shirt. There are several ways to emphasize an element:
- Changing the size or scale of the element.
- Making the element more prominent by changing the color/color tone, and borders of the image or text.
- Changing the position of the elements on the canvas.
IV. Symmetries matter
There are various types of symmetry working alongside each other when you are crafting a shirt design. The first type of symmetry is the overall symmetry – how all the elements correspond to each other on the canvas. The second type of symmetry is the relational symmetry of individual elements to each other. We take note of the second type of symmetry because we want to make sure that the hierarchy of elements is correct, and that we are emphasizing the correct elements before finishing with the design.
One way that you can emphasize elements without wearing yourself out is by adjusting the thickness of the lines of the elements. This will give the emphasized elements a much needed boost without requiring change in the color tones, and other more complicated elements. And the best thing about this modification is you can change the thickness of lines by using a simple image editing app like MS Paint or Gimp.
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