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You don’t have to be a professional artist to come up with a killer design for custom T-shirts.

That being said, if you don’t have much experience, it can be hard to know where to start. There are a few common graphic design pitfalls that can make your custom shirts’ embroidery or screen printing look less than ideal.

For the best results, follow these tips.

1. Try some fun fonts — just not too many.

Don’t be afraid to try something other than the simple (often boring) typefaces you see every day. Try something stylized, like a script or extra-bold lettering.

Just don’t mix more than two or three fonts, or your custom shirts might end up looking too busy.

2. Layer text over basic artwork.

Custom T-shirts tend to look best when the images and text “interact.” Try having your words slightly overlap some sort of imagery.

Don’t make the images too intricate, or your custom T-shirts’ screen printing or embroidery could look messy. But if you stick with simple shapes and just a little overlap, you’ll be golden.

3. Make the text easy to read.

The last thing you want to do is order custom shirts in bulk and then find out that you can’t read any of them.

Don’t worry; this guidelines is simple to follow. To optimize your custom T-shirts’ screen printing, make your text no smaller than 10 points, and try to avoid serif fonts. To ensure your custom shirts’ embroidery is legible, go no smaller than 20-point type.

4. Pick just one or two colors.

A professional graphic designer may have sophisticated methods for figuring out which colors go best together when, but it doesn’t need to be that complex for our purposes. If you opt for just one or two colors for your custom shirts, you’re less likely to run into issues with clashing.

5. When in doubt, keep it simple.

The more detail you include, the more room there is for something to feel off, even if you can’t quite put your finger on it. As you design your custom T-shirts, remind yourself to simplify wherever possible.

This advice isn’t just for amateurs; it follows the aesthetic of many professional artists. In fact, some of the most popular and graphically impressive T-shirt designs out there are actually the simplest.

Designing your own shirts can be so much fun. But if you still aren’t confident in your design skills, that’s OK. We can help. Contact K2 Awards & Apparel for expert advice and support, and get custom T-shirts you’ll love.

Design Your Custom T-Shirts Today

Put your design on any of our many styles, colors and materials for custom shirts you can wear with pride.