So you have this idea; You want to get t-shirts made and sell them. Sounds easy enough. And then you remember that you can’t really do a whole lot if you don’t have any designs.
In this blog post I’ll talk about 5 ways for you to get some really awesome t-shirt designs for your brand so that you can get them printed and start selling sooner, rather than later.
1. DIY (Design It Yourself)
Alright so this one may not work for everyone, but clearly if you’re trained in graphic design this is a good place to start.
If graphic design is something you’re interested in but have no clue where to start you can find plenty of free tutorials online, and if you like what you find there you can get some more in-depth training through your local community college or online at websites like Skillshare and Udemy.
While there are a few free programs out there for graphic design, if you’re serious about doing your own design work I would certainly recommend learning Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Depending on what kind of design you’re going for, one of these two programs is certain to be able to help you pull it off. If you don’t already have Adobe programs they do offer a 7 day free trial on most of their software which you can get here.
While going the DIY route will certainly have the biggest learning curve if you don’t already have the skills and experience of being a graphic designer, it does allow you to have complete control over your designs, can save you money, and can lead to a bigger sense of self-accomplishment.
As a graphic designer turned screen printer I must say it took me a long time to be comfortable with the idea of Fiverr. A lot of designers, or people in any industry that has services available on Fiverr will continuously claim that websites like this are devaluing the profession. And while I don’t think that they are completely wrong, the world changes, business continuously evolve and innovate to offer more competitive pricing and it’s just going to continue like that so there really is no point in ignoring it.
Anyway if you don’t already know Fiverr is an online service based marketplace where you can go to find people who will do just about any digital service for extremely affordable prices. If you head over to Fiverr’s website and do a quick search for T-Shirt Design, at the time of writing this article there are 6,377 services that come up. I’m sure if you take a bit of time to go through there you will find someone who will satisfy your design needs regardless of what style you are going for.
3. Online Marketplaces
If you’re strapped for time or resources there are plenty of online marketplaces like Creative Market, Creative Fabrica, The Hungry Jpeg, and endless others where you can find some ideas. While these marketplaces are typically used to sell fonts, textures, stock photography, and other related items you can also find plenty of pre-designed illustrations and editable t-shirt design templates. There are even bundles that you can purchase with hundreds of designs available all for one price. With something like that you could be set for quite some time while only spending a fraction of the cost of what you might pay for one custom design.
While purchasing from online marketplaces like these will certainly get you some higher quality work it is still probably best if you have some basic understanding of Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop, this way you can take the templates that you purchase and make small modifications to the colour and text on your own.
4. Buy T-Shirt Designs
I just recently came across buytshirtdesigns.net so it is relatively new to me but after looking through their website there was no way that I couldn’t not include it on the list. While it is technically an online marketplace for designers to sell their work I didn’t want to group it with the ones that I mentioned above because this one is unique in the fact that it focuses strictly on t-shirt designs.
While there are certainly a good amount of not-so-great designs on Buy T-Shirt Designs there are also thousands upon thousands of really great, high quality, vector t-shirt designs to choose from. You can purchase individual designs for as low as $3, and much like the other marketplaces mentioned above you can purchase large bundles of designs for extremely affordable prices.
5. Find a Freelancer
Unless you aren't a designer yourself (and sometimes even if you are a designer yourself) this option is likely to yield the best results, but it is also likely going to cost you the most money.
There are plenty of graphic designers out there that have a primary focus on designing t-shirts for bands, brands, and the like, many of whom have their own unique style that they typically work within. Finding the right designer may take a little bit of time and research but once you find the right one you'll be well on your way to success!
To get you started on your journey of finding the perfect freelance designer for your brand I’ve listed a few of our favourites below. Check them out, and don’t forget to let them know I sent you!
Alex Tillbrook Design & Illustration - www.alextillbrookdesign.co.uk
Halfheart Media - www.halfheartmedia.com
11/26 Art Studio - www.1126artstudio.com
Brandon Stecz Designs - www.bsteczdesigns.com
Alexander Buhaj Designs - www.buhajdesigns.com
Delta Options - www.deltaxoptions.com
No matter what route you decide to take and what kind of budget you’re working with to have your shirts designed you can surely find something that will stand out in a crowd and get you started on your path to running a successful brand!
Once you have your design ready to go, head on over to the products page, find something you like, figure out the pricing all on your own or reach out for a quote! I look forward to helping make your new design come to life!