GearLaunch Blog

10 Easy Steps to Design the Perfect T-Shirt

Posted by GearLaunch on May 20, 2015 7:42:00 PM

Coming up with the perfect t-shirt design is guaranteed to maximize your profit as a seller on GearLaunch. First, it's important to think about who you're selling to—what are their traits, likes, or interests? Once you've familiarized yourself with your target market, it's time to start designing. You should aim to develop your own signature style, but always remember to keep it simple!

Follow these 10 easy steps to design the perfect t-shirt.

1. Determine your target market.

In the ecommerce business, your target market is referred to as your "niche." It will be impossible to sell a product to everyone, so it's in your favor to target a more specific group. We suggest that you select 2-3 broader audiences that interest you and combine them into an even more specific group, or a niche. As an example, Chicago residents, women, and dog lovers can come together to form a shirt that says, "This Chicago Girl Loves her Dog." While this certainly doesn't sell to everyone, it *really *sells to that specific niche market.

2. Understand your market.

Once you've decided on your target market, you can start thinking about your design. To come up with the ideal combination of text, colors, and images to put on a t-shirt, you must familiarize yourself with your niche. Where do they live? What's the weather like there? What do they like to do? What are their passions? What makes them happy?

When brainstorming a design, always draw inspiration from your niche—they're the ones who will be wearing your shirts, after all. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself if you would really wear a t-shirt with your design. If you can answer yes, move on to the next step! If not, keep delving deeper in the process of understanding your niche.

3. Choose the right designing software.

It's finally time to get on a computer and begin designing. Don't bother learning a whole new system, just use what you're already good at. If you're new to designing, there are a ton of fantastic design tools that are free to use. Check out our recommended list for beginning designers here!


If you are a more experienced at designing, we recommend using either Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop. They are both easy to use and produce excellent results.

4. Keep it simple.

One thing to always keep in mind when designing a graphic is that less is more. With hundreds of different ideas going through your head, it can be tempting to add too many elements to the t-shirt design. You do want your shirt to be eye-catching, but you also don't want to overwhelm your customers. So make sure you limit the number of words, colors, and images in your design. It's always best to start off simple and add more if it's not enough.

5. Choose the right text.

This step requires two important considerations: the words themselves and the font. Really consider what you want your product to say. More importantly, what would your niche market want their new favorite t-shirt to say? Any phrases should be short and to the point, but just long enough to make a statement.

As font goes, mess around a little until you discover which one works best with all the other elements that make up your design. When in doubt, go with something simple and legible.

6. Choose the right color scheme.

A good color scheme can really help your campaign on GearLaunch and increase your profit. As always, your choice of color should be relevant to the needs and desires of your targeted customers. Like with font, we suggest that you experiment a bit with color. Don't be afraid of several rounds of trial and error.

Check out this Adobe program that lets you visualize multiple color combinations. It's a great way to color before constructing the other pieces of your design.

One thing to consider is the number of colors; GearLaunch does charge for each additional color!

7. Choose the right images.

If you're using somebody else's images, be mindful of legal issues with copyright and trademark. Refer to this previous blogpost if you're unsure about anything: 4 Copyright and Trademark Guidelines For Your T-Shirt Business.

Designing your own images is a great way to express your unique style. As always, let members of your niche influence your choices and try to stay simple, but be bold and make a statement.

8. Explore unique styles.

Once you've picked the text, colors, and images that cater to your niche and will ensure maximum profit, it's time to get a little more creative. Experiment with a variety of shapes, depths, textures, and symmetry until you're satisfied with your product.

Get inspired by these tutorials for 10 alternative design styles. These different techniques require a bit of extra time and effort, but they produce some really cool results!

9. Keep experimenting to see what works.

Don't be afraid to take a chance and try something that doesn't work. Write out your ideas, draw sketches, play around on color wheels. Trial and error is crucial. Show your friends—or even better, people in your niche—and utilize their feedback to come up with an amazing design.

10. Finalize all the details.

Your last step is to simply ensure that all of the elements mesh well together. Don't overthink it! You can always add more to your design or change another aspect, but eventually, you need to generate a finished product to sell to customers. Once you're confident that you've created the perfect, profitable design, upload it to GearLaunch and begin your campaign!

Ready? Sign up here to launch your ecommerce business.

Topics: Guides, Design

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