5 Top Tips in Designing Amazing Screen Printed T-Shirts

by Wendy Croxford

in Permaset Blog

15 Aug 2016  | 0 Comments

We see some fantastic T-shirts designed by printers who use our inks, and there seem to be a few characteristics that set these designs above the average. Here are our top five tips for creating an amazing T-shirt design and getting the best results from your screen printing process.

Tip #1: Begin with a strong concept

Perhaps you’re working with an illustration you’ve had in mind for a while, or maybe you have a clever play on words about a trending movie, meme or character. Solidifying your concept on paper before doing anything else helps you to iron out the details and avoid mistakes down the track. Think about how colours, type and imagery will all work together in the design.

Tip #2: Stick to a few choice colours

The KISS adage has never been truer than in T-shirt design. Using just two or three carefully chosen colours for your print will ensure the design is clean, bright and aesthetically pleasing; not to mention while you’re screen printing it’s much easier and faster to work with a few textile printing inks at a time! Check out complementary colour schemes and monochromatic shades for colours that work well together.

Free the Reef Flippogram Boy printing tee

Video of a boy printing his own ‘Free the Reef’ t-shirt using Permaset eco-friendly, water-based inks.

Tip #3: Use the shirt colour to its best advantage

You already have a background colour to build upon, so be sure to consider the best background tone for your design and how this ‘white space’ will look when printed. You could use water based inks in similar tones as your T-shirt for a cohesive look, or bring out a strong colour behind soft-coloured inks or vice versa for maximum impact.

Tip #4: Consider typefaces

If you’re adding words to your T-shirt, designing the typeface is a crucial decision. There are a myriad of fantastic free fonts available online, and many of these are also free for commercial use. Look for typefaces that suit the style, tone and meaning of the words, play around with handwriting your own type for unique results, and choose screen printing inks that provide high contrast against the shirt colour and design.

Tip #5: Think about highlights

Amazing results can be achieved with a touch of gold, silver or pearl white. Less is typically best when it comes to adding metallic screen printing inks to your design, so consider how a small amount could transform an illustration or piece of text. Other highlighting options include glow-in-the-dark colour, foil effects and glow colours to help bring your design to life.

T-shirt printed with Permaset Metallic Copper ink by www.littlegoldfox.com

There’s nothing more rewarding than the moment you lift the final screen on your awesome new design. Do you have your T-shirt design ready to go? Explore our full range of eco-friendly, water based inks available to create your wearable masterpiece.

Permaprint does not contain ozone depleting chemicals such as CFCS or HCFCS. It is also formulated free of aromatic hydrocarbons. Permaprint premium is free of volatile organic solvent and does not contain PVC resin or Phthalate plasticiser