How to design and print your own awesome t-shirts

How to design and print your own awesome t-shirts?

T-shirts are fashionable. When you wear them, you can show your support for your favorite sports team, make a joke at a friend’s expense, repeat a cause you believe in, just look good, or any million other things. Sure, with the internet you’ve never had so much choice, but if you want a truly custom t-shirt, you’ll need to design your own.

As we print custom shirts in Dallas, in this article, I will show you how to do it. You must have basic knowledge of Photoshop to continue. If you’re brand new, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Photoshop CC The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud Feeling overwhelmed by Photoshop? Not sure how to perform even the simplest of tasks? In this guide, we’ll take a look at the absolute basics of Adobe software. , each of these great sites for learning Photoshop 7 Amazing sites for learning How to use Photoshop 7 Amazing sites for learning How to use Photoshop If you want to get to the point where you really understand how to harness the power of Photoshop, you need to: learn from the best. Here are seven amazing pages, that will take you there. or one of my favorite Photoshop courses 10 great online courses to learn all about photography 10 great online courses to learn all about photography Even if you’re already a competent photographer, one of the best ways to improve yourself is by watching online courses. Here are ten of Lynda’s amazing deals.  

Printing options

Before we dive into the design, let’s talk about the printing options. The simplest thing is to download some ink transfers like those from Avery (UK). You print your design on a transfer and then iron it on a blank t-shirt. This is a really cheap way to make custom t-shirts.

Unfortunately, it’s not perfect.

Iron-on transfers don’t last long. They will last a few washes but then start to fade. You’re not going to make a T-shirt that you can wear for years.

If you want your custom t-shirts to last longer, you need to have them professionally printed. Most cities have a local somewhere that should be able to print custom designs. I recommend going in and checking their work before ordering.

If you want to print more than a handful, you can use a service like Teespring.

Coming up with a project

The first step in designing a T-shirt is coming up with a design. In terms of difficulty, this is the toughest part.

Some considerations include the following:

  1. You can print anything on transfer paper. Is it going to be all text, all graphics, all photographs, or any mix of the three?
  2. Simpler designs take longer. A photo may look terrible after just two washes, but a T-shirt with a letter can last dozens of washes. When in doubt, stick to bold graphics and text.
  3. How big will your project be? If you are printing your own it will be limited to 11″ x 8.5″. Custom printers will likely have a larger area.
  4. How many details do you need in your project? If you want people to be able to read it from more than a few inches away, you have limited options in that regard.
  5. On which shirt do you want to print it? This will change the colors used and how text is handled in the project. The black writing on a black shirt is unreadable.
  6. Most home printers cannot print in white. If you want white writing, you need to go the professional route.

Once you know what you want it to look like, it’s time to start in Photoshop. I’m going to make a simple MakeUseOf design that I want to print on a black T-shirt, but you can do whatever you want. If you followed my lesson on Designing Your Own Logo How to Design a Simple Logo in Photoshop Here we show you how to make a simple geometric logo. The situation calls for its use.

Setting up the document

Open Photoshop and then click on New Document . Select Print and then select the size that matches the transfer papers you are using. If you are in the US, it will most likely be a letter. If you are in Europe, it will be A4.

Select either Portrait or Landscape orientation, then click Create .

If you work with a professional print shop, ask them what document settings work best for the printing process.  

Adding a project

Now that you’ve set up your document, it’s time to start adding design elements. Mine has two components: a PNG with the MakeUseOf logo and some text elements.

To add any images or graphics, go to File > Place Embedded… and navigate to the file you want to add. Select and click Embed.

You may write anything you want onto your t-shirt by selecting the text tool (keyboard shortcut T) and typing. in the Character panel you can customize the appearance of the text. I used a 74pt Myriad Pro Bold with a tracking setting of -40. Through Creative Cloud Everything you need to know about Adobe Creative Cloud Photography [+ Gifts] Everything you need to know about Adobe Creative Cloud Photography [+ Gifts] The Adobe Creative Cloud Photography program gives you access to Photoshop, Lightroom and much more . Make Use Of readers, here’s your chance to win one of three copies! , you have access to all the great TypeKit fonts, so you’ll have no problem finding something to suit your project.

Move the elements around the canvas until you’re happy with how they look.

When you’re done designing, remove the Background Layer . When it comes to printing, it can complicate things. Here is my finished project.

Design printing

Now that you’ve finished designing, it’s time to get ready to print. This is where you need to start following the instructions provided with the transfer paper or T-shirt printer guidelines. They are all slightly different, so I can only give general advice.

If you’re printing to transfer paper, make sure you have the right paper for your T-shirt. You can get transfer paper for white or lightweight T-shirts and for black T-shirts (UK). Your paper choice may make or break the final product.

Do not print directly onto expensive transfer paper. First, make a few test prints on plain paper. They will help you detect any problems in the project.

When you’re ready, load the transfer paper into the printer and print your design. Iron it on a T-shirt and you’re ready to create your own style.


Designing a T-shirt in Photoshop is very similar to doing anything else; you just need to remember a few extra things. If you are trying to improve your skills in Photoshop 5 easy ways to improve your skills in Photoshop 5 easy ways to improve your skills in Photoshop. Getting better with Photoshop doesn’t have to be difficult. Here’s a closer look at five simple tips. A custom printed tee is a great way to show off your latest work.