Business in the Front, Business in the Back: 7 Tips for Designing Company T-Shirts

The t-shirt is a wardrobe staple that never goes out of style. That’s why the average adult owns at least 30 shirts.

Designing a custom company shirt is a great way to create uniformity among employees. It also helps to boost brand awareness and promote your business to potential customers.

So, where to get started on the design process? Read on for 7 smart and creative tips for designing company t-shirts.

1. Define Your Brand

Company shirts should always follow your branding guidelines. So, start by determining the concept of your design and how it relates to your brand.

It helps to think about your existing company signage and print marketing materials. You want to try to keep everything on-brand to stay consistent.

The t-shirt design should include your brand colours, logo, and slogan. You also want to use the same text and font style for your shirt design.

Think about the layout and if you plan to use up space on both the front and back of the shirt. Larger images work best on the back of the shirt for visibility.

If you’re creating a custom design, you can go with a company that also offers graphic design services. Check to see if this gets included in the price of the t-shirts. You also won’t have to worry about converting any files when going this route.

If you’re working with a graphic designer, be sure they give you the right artwork files. T-shirt printers will likely need a vector format so they can make any needed edits. Working with a graphic designer may also add to your turnaround time and project cost.

2. Consider Your Style of Business

When creating a shirt design concept, it helps to think about how you want to portray your business. This also includes how you want your target customer to view your business.

Business shirts for restaurants can be bold and eye-catching with colourful designs. Landscaping shirts often look best in natural colours like green or blue.

Professional services are often more minimal in design. A black and white colour palette is both simple and sophisticated.

Remember that certain colours portray different emotions. Blue evokes feelings of trust. Orange and Yellow are cheerful while creating warmth.

You also want to make sure your shirt printer has all the right colour codes for your design. It helps to give them the exact Pantone to colour match.

3. Set a Budget

You’ll want to set a budget for your business t shirts before you start collecting printer quotes. Start by determining the number of employees who will need shirts.

You also want to account for extra shirts for new hires or shirts that get damaged or lost. Some businesses also prefer to sell their t-shirts as merchandise.

This is a great way to boost sales on a website or in-store. Branded t-shirts also make for great promotional gifts for top customers.

Once you have an idea of quantity order you can also determine how many sizes you’ll need. Some printers also have minimum order requirements to be aware of. With higher order numbers, you’ll likely get a lower price per shirt.

Price per shirt will also vary depending on the fabric and style you choose. Most shirt designers go with a crew neck, polo, v neck, tank, or long sleeves. Both cotton or synthetic blended fabrics are popular, depending on your printing needs.

4. Think About a Marketing Message

Company t-shirts are not only for bringing the team together and creating uniformity. You can also use them as a smart marketing tool to help boost brand awareness.

Do this by including your website and contact information on the back of your shirts. You can also promote social media handles if it fits your business.

You may also want to print a creative call to action on your shirts. This can be an incentive to get people to contact you. Free offers are often an effective marketing message.

5. Pick a Printing Style

Business logo shirts have different printing options, depending on the look you want. Screen, vinyl, and digital are the most common types of t-shirt printing.

Screen Printing

Screen printing gets favoured for offering quality at a cost-efficient price point. This makes it a great option for larger orders. Screen printing also works best on cotton material.

This printing style involves making a screen for every colour you use in your design.  Then the screens get placed on top of each other during the printing process. If your design uses many different colours, this can increase the cost.

Vinyl Printing

Vinyl is a durable material that stands up great to many washes without fading. It gets applied to the shirts with a heat transfer process.

Vinyl printing works well for most shirt fabric types, including polyester blends. It also creates a nice texture on the t-shirt’s design. Vinyl can also become expensive with designs that use many colours.

Digital Printing

Also called direct-to-garment printing, this style uses ink to print on the t-shirt. It’s a great printing option for shirts that are 100% cotton.

Digital printing is great for highlighting specific design details. As the printing method can transfer these details in a perfect way. Yet, a black or dark coloured shirt may not show the design as well.

6. Check Your Artwork

It’s smart to always check any artwork proofs before going to print. Have your colleagues, friends, and family look them over too. This way you can be sure to catch any spelling errors or incorrect contact information.

There is often some back and forth between you and the printer to get the perfect design. So you want to be sure looking closely at the final artwork before approving. You can also get a sample made to see the shirt in person beforehand.

7. Expand Your Collection over Time

As your business grows, so can your company t-shirt collection. You can evolve your t-shirt design or add in some different style options. This can be tank tops for summer or long sleeved shirts during colder months.

You can also use a new design to promote an upcoming event or change in the company. Limited edition holiday-themed shirts are another idea.

Get Inspired with Custom Company T-Shirts

Company t-shirts are a great way to promote your business and uniform your team.  With different printing methods, you can make a great shirt design for any budget.

Got a t-shirt project you’re ready to start working on? Learn more about how a free consultation can help you develop some great design ideas.

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