Posts Tagged ‘Good Design T-shirts’

Understanding Professional T Shirt Design

Monday, August 20th, 2018

What are the secrets of professional t shirt designers?

 We have all been there. You are browsing shirts in a department store or warehouse sale and you come across shirt designs that just wow you. The impact is so great and your connection with the shirt is so strong that you begin to wonder – how do professional t shirt design like these come about, anyway?

The truth may surprise you, but it actually has a lot to do with how the shirt designers perceive the end-users of all their offers. In short, the customers who buy the shirts in the first place.

  1. They have targets.

Tshirt“Targets” or goals are what keeps t shirt designers going every day. They want to reach out to their market. They want to make shirt buyers feel that they are understood and that there is a big connection between the design on the shirt and their lives. Believe it or not, this is the basis of the connection between shirts and wearers. We wear shirts with designs because we feel that the designs are associated with us.

Creating a shirt design is like getting into the mind of the person who will be wearing the shirt and creating an idea that is almost the same as the idea in the wearer’s head. There are several levels to this: the general concept, the main idea, the specific design.

The general concept is the keyword that fires up the search for a good design. For example: “coolness,” “edgy,” “romantic.” These are just keywords at this point in time. They’re the general direction, like east, west, north and south. When the designer has a general concept in mind, he goes on to search for the main idea behind the design.

A main idea would be like:

“Girls are cooler than boys.”

“Boys rule.”

“Teenagers are tough.”

“Life is hard.”

The main idea is the thought or statement that the design will be conveying. “Will,” because the design doesn’t exist yet. The third phase is the most difficult part: creating the specific design.

A shirt design has elements or variables that combined, hopefully convey what the designer intended to communicate in the first place. Start with a single variable first (like one element/image) and slowly fan out. Don’t try to combine multiple images at first, so you can get a feel of how the design is evolving. And most importantly: have fun while designing!

  1. They listen closely to clients.

 When a designer is hired to design specific kinds of shirt designs, they listen closely to what the client wants to get from the transaction. Client desire is always number one. This doesn’t mean that the designer is somehow stifled.

The designer’s skills should be put to the test every time someone pays him to create a beautiful design. But the point of the exercise is to create a new design with another person’s ideas in mind. That is the real challenge – and a test of the designer’s work ethic, too.

Experienced designers say that creating a new shirt design is actually an effort to connect to someone. This connection isn’t so easy to do when you don’t know exactly who will wear the shirt. So intuition and experience have a lot to do with successful shirt designers. A shirt designer’s talent begins to really shine through when he is tasked to create a design from scratch and the client doesn’t have an idea how to make the concept shine. The designer is tasked with phases one to three of the design process.

  1. Color rocks

Right next to design is the color that you choose to put on the custom shirt itself. Whether you are gunning for a monochrome finish or a vintage look, the color is the number one thing that people see, and the rest are just secondary details.

Why does color matter so much?

TshirtWe like to compare color with music. People just like or love music, the same way that they like or love color. Some color combinations barely make an impact on people. Others just hit them so powerfully that they say “hey, I need this shirt!” Sometimes, people’s choice for colors don’t make sense. It doesn’t have to make sense for us anyway. Your color preferences are probably influenced by stuff that people aren’t aware of, anyway.

Colors have an identity or projection that are understood differently by people. The most common categories of color are:

– Simple (one to three colors)

– Pop art (multiple colors in cartoonish layout)

– Eclectic (multiple colors and abstract layout)

– Surreal (dark/psychological figures and layout)

– Vintage (color palette is different from what is used now)

Whatever you think might be a good pick for your design, use it. The color combination that you select should match what you are trying to convey. The concept and main idea behind the design should make it to the final rendering of the images on the shirt, too. The best way to test if your design is working is to ask at least one other person what they think of your design. Ask them things like “how does this design make you feel?” or “what do you immediately think of when you see this design?”

Getting feedback for your design is so crucial for the process of arriving at a good design. While we’d like to think that raw talent or insight is enough to produce good designs, the fact of the matter is that you still need other people’s input to improve your ability to design shirts.

  1. Take your time

Bring elements together in a variety of ways. Don’t rush the creative process if you have lots of time to make the design yourself. And if that doesn’t work, try to find a pre-made design that works for you. Custom shirt websites usually have hundreds, if not thousands, of pre-made templates and designs that you can simply select and have made. Find a template that speaks your message for you!