Design your own t-shirt design

Hello custom t-shirt designer!

Yes, it is an honor and a privilege to be chosen by a group of peers to do something special. Even if you were not chosen by a group of peers but are looking to design your own t-shirt design for a personal reason. At T-shirt and U we want to help you thru the process.

Overwhelmed with questions?

While at the same time it can be quite a task and a little scary at first. Just trying to figure out if anyone will get it or understand the message, design or general meaning. Will it result in what we want to accomplish? What is the logo and it’s placement? What will be the main color of the shirt, logo and text? What will be the theme, in general? What is it that I can use to complete the task at hand? What is it that we or I am trying to accomplish with this design? or T-shirt?

And there are many other questions that come about in our mind that can begin to discourage us.

Creating a mental block just from negativity that can stop us from following thru! While, it can be a little trying to figure out where to start. Especially, when given the distinct honor to make your own t-shirt design that a whole group will approve of. And that others will respond to positively. It can be overwhelming at the beginning!

But it doesn’t have to be such a steep hill to climb that seems impossible when looking at it at first. It can be a joyful, fulfilling experience of an incredible accomplishment of success.

At T-shirt and U we can help!

Yes, you may ask yourself, “What have I gotten myself into here?”. But do not panic, take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Now you can relax. What I am about to share with you will take an overwhelming responsibility and turn it into the joyful experience it should be. A journey of fun and inspiring enlightenment.

The T-shirt and U desire here is to help people, like you! By guiding you along the right avenue so you can get your design from the concept in your mind to the print on a t-shirt. Actually, it doesn’t only have to be for a t-shirt it can be for a whole catalog of merchandise. Such as cups, bags, shoes, hoodies, caps and a whole lot more.

The sense to be overwhelmed is only that the process has just begun. What you have done is to be chosen by those who know you to take a very special occasion, message or theme and make it even more special. Or you have chosen on your own to share a special message. By sharing your message, theme or concept with others through a process that is a totally natural use of the senses.

That which is visual to move upon the heart of others to bring attention to a cause, function or theme. That they may acknowledge through understanding by helping in various ways. By contributing to a cause or cheering on a team. By agreeing with the direction the message is sending to supporting the group by the awareness.

Only it doesn’t have to be this massive storm you see ahead of you. So let us work through it here to “calm the storm”, so to speak.

The Organizer!

Everything going on in this society is happening through something called a process. That’s right with everything we do in life there is a process involved! A partial difinition of process by Merriam-Webster:

1 a: PROGRESS, ADVANCE //in the process of time

   b: something going on : PROCEEDING

2 a(1): a natural phenomenon marked by gradual changes that lead toward a particular result          //the process of growth

     (2): a continuing natural or biological activity or function //such life processes as breathing

   b: a series of actions or operations conducing to an end //especially : a continuous operation or treatment especially in manufacture                                                                                                          (

Just knowing this alone can ease any discomfort from fear and anxiety of starting and completing a journey to design your own t-shirt design. That’s right, just having the process in an organized format to follow can and will relieve alot of doubt and calm the storm.

For each step in the process can lead you to progress toward the next step. Therefore, as you advance you will continually proceed until you have the desirable result. From the concept to the printed product. It truly is a process enjoyable and as easy as waking up in the morning on how to design a t-shirt!

A Step by Step Process!

Alright, maybe it is not easy to wake up every morning of every day for some of us. But, if you have read this far I would say you get it! Wow, like you just start waking up and then you are awoken rubbing your eyes. Roll over, push yourself up and just sit there on the bed with your feet hanging toward the floor.

Then it is not far from the thought of “what do I have to get done today?” to enter your mind. A slight mental block at first then a view of the good and bad along with the priority of order necessary to accomplish them all. Awe! The process of starting a new day every day. Truly with everything we do in life there is a process involved!

Design your own t-shirt design
Decisions and Choices

So it is with the order to design a t-shirt. The process is simple and easy. So, no more worries! There are some decisions to be made. Although, no one has to stress over them. Why? you may ask.



Because if your doing this for yourself the stress is only what you are applying to yourself. It is your time and your project. Relax and make it fun there is no time limit that you do not have control of. And if your a chosen one then you can always get others opinions and ideas on any changes to what you come up with. Either way just use a simple process and enjoy the journey.

To have answers we must ask questions.

First, let us ask ourselves a few questions. Keeping in mind that someone is going to be asked to print whatever the design is. The details can be worked out with the ones doing that part. Somethings may not be able to be done when it comes to that part of the process.

But, no worries! Those professionals doing this all the time have the knowledge necessary to make adjustments and keep with or even enhance your concept. Sometimes even being able to bring what you have envisioned to life in a way you just couldn’t translate to the screen.

Ask yourself these questions:

1.   Do I have a logo or symbol to work with? Or do I have to create one? It is necessary to know  whether it will be necessary to find art work (for us non artists) or if the group has a logo  available. It may be a symbol for a cause or logo of a recognizable charity. This is dependent on the particular group, cause or message desired to present.

If, you have been asked to create a logo or symbol, it is probably because you are known to be  quite  some artist yourself. Though, if you are not, Relax! There is plenty of art out  there on the sites that offer printing. You can do as I did once. I took two pictures of art and  put them together to get the picture I wanted. Hopefully, I will print this one soon and have it in my gallery to see.

2.   What color will the logo or symbol be? Alright, now we know what the picture, ie logo, will be. It must be determined what color it will be. If, it is an established logo then it probably is already a certain color. If, you are creating your own then it may be necessary to know the answers to the next questions. Remembering the more colors there are when it comes to printing the more there may be in cost to print. And the more difficulty there may be for those doing the printing.

3.   What is the text to be read? This is important to understand in several ways. The whole  message has to fit onto a t- shirt in this case. Along with the logo. Also, it has to be readable. That is seen without a magnifying glass. So, a logo that is noticeably related to a cause already speaks for itself. It may only need a few words to relay the drive to act.

For instance, if I were to show you this: You may already recognize this!


The pink ribbon is notably related to the cause of Breast Cancer Awareness. What text would bring this to have someone act upon a particular drive? Maybe something like this, “Awareness comes from Educating” or “Help to Educate”. This would bring attention to a drive for bringing more preventable knowledge to the subject of breast cancer. But, not necessarily having to say breast cancer because of the noticeable logo. For more information visit

While a newly created symbol may have to state what it is standing for. For instance:

If I were to show: You may need more information to completely understand!

While, If I were to add to the text in an effort to educate what the symbol of the blue heart was for

like this:









Now it may make a little more sense.

 The blue heart is about Human Trafficking and bringing awareness to it is the drive to act.

To learn more about Human Trafficking visit: (

In the examples’ given, I would not use the second one as is. I drew this with the free window paint that came with my system, ie old system. I would go with just a blue heart and text maybe but not all the shades. As well, I would place the text in a different arrangement. Depending on cost. And what the printers may have to go through to actually print it. So this layout would be insufficient for my personal preferences.

In the first picture, it is designed by It is understood that one could use it as is. But, it would be wise to check the policy of the site as to make sure there is no intellectual property rights/copyright infringements with any symbol, picture or logo’s used.

FYI- most printing companies have a whole set of templates with art work available. So do not stress over any of this! Though, you can upload your own special art work and utilize your talents, if you so desire. As you see it was fun to draw and save my own art work. Though, I get a great deal of personal enjoyment utilizing the art work of real artists from the templates available. As well, you can choose from different font settings for the text.

4.  What color will the t-shirt be? The shirt color can make a difference depending on the logo color to be used. You would not like the outcome of a red logo or words upon a red shirt, per se. For such situations would make it difficult to see and therefore read. The whole idea is that others can see and read what is printed. So you can truly share the inspiration and passion of the message.

With this in mind dark on dark or light on light may not be the best suited combination. You will notice with the platforms available on the printing company sites that you will be able to set up the whole design and text on a shirt for reviewing before ordering. Not only that, but they will usually give you a final proof to look over before it goes to print.

Now you can see!Why it was said in number 2 above that it may be necessary to know the  answers to the next questions. If, your logo is one you can change the color of, then you are ok on this topic. But, if you use a logo that is noticeable by its color, like the pink ribbon, then you will probably not want to use a pink shirt . Although, with a white border around the ribbon you just might be able to make it work.

5.  What color will the text be? Now that you know the logo and t-shirt color with the text to be used. The letters must be determined as to what they are going to be, as far as color-wise. You can now make this determination without contradiction to the visibility of it. As well as, determining what is going to stand out the most.

You may want it to be the words of the message or you may desire it to be something else that pops out at first to catch the eye of those who see it. It may be that you want it to be the picture or symbol to catch the eye to encourage a passerby to read the message. Either way you are to a point of putting it all together!

6.  What is the layout going to be? It all comes together right here! You have step by step walked through the process of the information you need to complete how you are going to design your own t-shirt design. It really is that simple! Now just go to the site that will print your design and utilize the platform they offer to put everything you just decided on in a personal layout on the t-shirt of your choice.

This is where you make the decision of the words arching around the logo or symbol. Slanting with it or just a straight line is needed. As well as the proper fonts for the message itself. The layout will bring your design to life as all who look upon it will be drawn to your message. Thereby, joining you in your passion.

This is actually just you laying out everything in a particular manner. Just the way you envisioned it in the original concept you had in the beginning. This is all decided now for the final touches of your most passionate masterpiece. Everything you was worried about in the beginning just melted away with a series of questions to guide you along a path to design your own t-shirt design.

Organize it by the Process!

It truly can be an overwhelming task to undertake when at first you do not have a process to help organize it all. That in itself can lead to procrastinating. Remember that there is a process to everything we do in life. With the proper process the plan can be followed step by step from seed to fruition. That is from concept to completed design to wearing with accomplished success.

This should help eliminate the uncertainty. As I learned from Alice Boyes, Ph.D. ( Because, anxiety can lead to procrastinating. And anxiety can be caused by intolerance of uncertainty. So remember these few things:

  • Do not over complicate this process
  • Do not be to hard on yourself
  • Do not expect failure


Stay focused on the big picture! You have the material knowledge to defeat this now with the process outlined above. If doubt begins to sit in just a few people for their opinions. A simple, “Hey, what do you think of this?”. Can open up a whole new view. It may surprise you on how much other people will see to tell you about.  And how willing they are to give up great advice.

Hopefully, what this short process outlined will do is provide a more simplified journey from your planning from scratch to printing a finished product. Let’s summarize it so we are focused:

        1.   Have a logo, symbol or artwork. Whether creating it or already available. Or using the printing sites templates                        and platform.

        2. Decide what color the logo, symbol or artwork will be.

        3.  Decide what text or phrase will be used. Choose the fonts, style and size. As well as the arrangement around the                      logo or symbol.

4.  Decide what color the t-shirt will be. As well as the style.

        5.  Decide what color the text will be. May depend on budget/cost and visibility.

        6. Go to site plateform, of your choice, with all this information and lay it out on a t-shirt to view using their                              platforms available.

        7. Make necessary adjustments to what you are viewing. Whether the text will slant, arch or curve around logo or art                 work. Or if it will be straight in line with it, above it or below it. Even if the colors are still desired or to be changed.

        8. Save what you have created and prepare to order the print.

This is the process that will organize your passion from an idea to a printed product. Making your cause come to life in a way others can share your inspiring enlightenment. Let this series of actions be conducive to you fulfilling your journey with the joy and fun it’s deserving to be.

Now your ready and relaxed enough to go to a T-shirt printing site and utilize the available tools to accomplish amazing things. So go now to design your own t-shirt design with a positive outlook of the process ahead of you!

Hope this has been helpful and ask that you leave a comment. and invite you to read more articles on T-shirt and U, A Protestant Connection.




This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Thank you very much for this great article. I think that is a great t-shirt you made on the sidebar. Thanks for the advice about making t-shirts to. I agree that everything is a process. That is a very wise thing to say. Great website it is looking very good so far good writing and good formatting. I will make sure that my friends know about it so they can get t-shirts here.

    1. Thank you Charles for the positive feedback. Please do share it with your friends and return in the future.


      1. You clearly know what you’re talking about. Wow, there are many things to pay attention to before printing a T-shirt. I’m not sure if I wouldn’t mess things up … 😉 I know someone who does this for a living, he spends hours printing, and then he makes his deliveries. He loves it 🙂

        1. Hello Christine, just organize it by the process! Believe you me, you want mess things up anymore than Thanks for the confidence encouragement.

  2. Hello Tim, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. I actually plan to make a t-shirt which will promote my online business. I already have a logo but I don’t know which colors to use. You helped me a lot with your tips and now I hope it will do the job. Making t-shirts in a promotional way is very rewarding yet not so expensive.

    1. Awesome Daniel, always good to hear an article is actually helping others. I agree it is rewarding in many ways! Thanks,


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