Clothes Design 101: T Shirts | Skillshare Projects




Clothes Design 101: T Shirts

Do you have a fantastic idea for a t-shirt? Would you just like to learn more about how to create your own t-shirt, even though you don’t really have a design in mind yet? Clothes design may seem complex, but there are fashion design classes that can help you come up with a design and turn it into a t-shirt you can sell. Even if you’ve never designed anything before, you can create an amazing shirt that other people will want to purchase. 

To start designing your own t-shirt, you may want to take one or more of the fashion design classes available online. These classes are done at your own pace, which means you can take your time and go through as many classes and lessons as you would like to be more confident in your ability to create an amazing t-shirt. They’ll start at the very beginning, showing you how to create your design, and you can move onto more advanced techniques when you’re ready.  

Digitally Create Your Design 

T shirt design today has come a long way from the past, even though vintage shirts are popular right now. Instead of using pen and paper to create your design, you’ll be able to use image design software. Programs like Adobe Illustrator are incredibly popular today. Illustrator provides you with all of the tools you need to create the perfect design from scratch. 

It's a good idea to take a class or two online about the design software you want to use. Illustrator can be a bit overwhelming for the beginner because there are so many tools to use and ways to use them. A basic intro class will help you get an idea of how the program works and what you can do with it before you even start working on your design. 

From there, you can take more advanced classes or go ahead and play with the software a little bit and start creating your own design. If you run into something you don’t know how to do yet, there are plenty of tutorials that can walk you through it. With all the information you could need at your fingertips, it won’t be long before you can create the design you’re imagining.  

Take Time to Work on Your Design 

What you’re imagining for your t-shirt right now might not be the right look for it. Though it looks great in your head, it might not be just right when it’s created on the computer. Once you’ve created the basic design, take the time to play with it a little bit. Alter how it’s going to look, how it will fit on the t-shirt, and what colors you plan on using. You don’t want to rush this step because you’ll want to make sure the design looks perfect before you have the t-shirt printed. 

It may be a good idea for you to learn more about t shirt design online before you finalize your design. While you may like how it looks right now, there could be small adjustments you can make that will make sure shirt go from pretty good to amazing. Design classes provide you with an overview of everything you’ll need to know to select the layout of your design, choose the right colors for your design, and make sure your design looks good on the t-shirt no matter who might be wearing it. 

The longer you spend on the design, the more it will show. Designs aren’t usually created overnight. Sure, the main concept may pop into your head at a moment’s notice. But to get everything perfect, you’re going to want to slow down and see what you can do. If you change something and aren’t sure it looks good, you can always undo it and try something else. Chances are, the longer you take with this step, the better your design will look when it’s on a t-shirt.  

Carefully Choose the Base T-Shirt for Your Design 

You’ll spend a lot of time on the design for your t-shirt, so don’t ruin it by choosing the wrong base t-shirt. The t-shirt you’ll use has a huge impact on how the shirt looks once the design is on it, and you’ll want to consider more than just the color. This is a huge part of t shirt design and one you won’t want to breeze through to try to get your shirt printed faster.  

  • Material – Think carefully about who will be buying your shirt and what material they might be looking for. Most people will want a light-weight t-shirt, especially if the design is large. If you’re designing a t-shirt for beachwear or outdoor events, for example, this is even more important because the buyer won’t want to wear a heavy shirt when they’re in the sun.  
  • Style – Should the shirt be form-fitting or more relaxed? Should the neckline be standard or should it be a little lower? Consider the style you’re going to use carefully as this can change how your design looks on the shirt. The difference it can make just between form-fitting and relaxed shirts is amazing and could take away from your design if you use the wrong one.  
  • Color – Unless your design is white or mostly white, stay away from dark colors. Your design will just blend in with the rest of the shirt and won’t be easy to see. Instead, think carefully about the colors in your design and choose a t-shirt color that’s going to complement them without overpowering your design. 

Learn How to Prepare Your Design to be Printed 

You’ve created an amazing design you’re happy with and you’ve decided what t-shirt you’ll have it printed on. The next step is to choose a printer and prepare your t-shirt for the printing process. You will definitely want to learn more about t shirt design online to prepare for this step and work closely with your printer to make sure the t-shirt comes out perfect. 

When you’re preparing an image to be printed on the t-shirt, you’ll want to create your design in the size it will be on the t-shirt. If you’re printing it in multiple sizes, choose the largest one. The design can easily be made a little smaller by the printer to go down a t-shirt size but can lose quality quickly if they have to make it larger. When you make it the largest size to start, you’ll be able to ensure the quality is what you want.  

Your printer will have a preference for the type of colors you should use. Note, this isn’t the actual color you’ll see, but how they read the color. Most printers will want you to use RGB or CMYK. However, double check this before converting the colors to the format they prefer so you only have to do it once. You should be able to easily do this in your design software so you can see how it looks and make sure the colors still look the way you want before you send the file to the printer. 

Your printer may have information on their website about what else you need to do to prepare the file for printing. Check out this information and make sure you follow everything carefully. The instructions are there so they make sure they’ll have what they need to create the t-shirt you want. If you have any questions about what to do, the printer will often be willing to work with you to ensure you have everything ready before you send it to them.  

Start Learning More About Designing Your Own T-Shirt 

The information here is just the beginning to help you get started designing your own t-shirt. If you’re ready to start learning more about t shirt design, check out the online classes available today. If you have no experience, you’ll want to take one of the beginner classes you can get a good idea of how the whole process works and what you’ll need to know before you start working on your first design. 

Once you’ve finished a beginner class, or if you already have some experience, there are more advanced fashion design classes available so you can get the help you need for specific parts of the design process or for how to boost your design even more. Don’t forget to also look into classes to help you learn how to use your design software so you can use it to its full potential. 

You don’t have to be an expert in clothes design to start creating your own t-shirts to wear or sell. You don’t have to have a ton of money to get started either as the software can be inexpensive and you can always have t-shirts made-on-demand or in small runs at a time. All you need is an idea.  

Start browsing the fashion design classes now to learn more about designing your own shirt and everything you can do to make your idea stand out. With the right help, you can start designing amazing t-shirts and perhaps create your own t-shirt business. If you have ideas in mind, the sky’s the limit for what you can do.  


PRO TIP: Not sure what your next design will be? Want to incorporate texture, but not sure where to start? Check out some watercolor tutorials or acrylic painting guides to help inspire creative ideas.


Please sign in or sign up to comment.