Guest post by our friends at PrintLocker
Coming up with a fresh design that leaves an impact and significance isn’t just challenging, it can be exhausting. You may be blessed with an epiphany for a creative design that will blow the industry away, but you’d definitely be one of the very few lucky ones which many others would turn upon in envy.
So what makes a good t-shirt design?
More often than not, it’s a feeling you get in your gut as you lay your eyes upon it. It’s one of those “you’ll know when you see it” type deals with a challenge to quantify that feeling and break it down into a list of tips for designing great graphic t-shirts.
Here are some overlooked fundamentals behind great t-shirt designs which will help you begin your creative journey when consolidating your ideas.
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1. Focus on your audience
When it comes to bottom lines, excellent t-shirt designs share one thing in common – they all catch the idea of the intended target audience to the point of sharing a great desire to wear it. In fact, not only do they wear it, the connection they have with the design will mean that they will never get rid of the t-shirt, ever. Connect with your audience and your audience will connect back with you.
2. Design for the client
If you’re looking to create impactful art that will be worn by the people you want to appeal to, you need to design for that audience and not yourself.
With a stubborn approach focused on your own agenda, the results will lead to a display that your audience comes secondary to you which will deter their affinity towards you, the artist, and your product.
The result? An utter waste of time on both your part and theirs. And if you’re contracted as a designer to provide a service to a client, it becomes a sign of disrespect toward the service being offered. Be the better designer and work with your client to make sure their expectations and goals are met which will lead to a better anticipated end product.
3. Color is the key
Humans are naturally drawn toward light and color. Put simply, color sells.
Whether it’s a single color on a black t-shirt, it will be the very first connection between a buyer and the t-shirt which will help them decide whether they can relate to it or not.
The t-shirt graphic design industry is a challenging one with many different preferences for such a wide audience. Some individuals prefer plain t-shirt graphics while others want a vibrant flow of colors and others may prefer a rustic, vintage look instead.
With all these different preferences clouding your creative space, it is always paramount to focus on who your target is and predicting what they can connect with.
More often than not, design comes secondary to the colors being presented as many designers are well aware that certain designs will not bear the same impact if shown in a different color or shade.
4. Consider how it will look when worn
Albeit a simple thought, it’s important to ask yourself what your t-shirt design will look like when worn. Remind yourself about who the audience is – their age, their gender and their purpose. As a rule of thumb, a good approach is to ask yourself if you would wear it. Put yourself in the target audience’s shoes and imagine what it would feel like wearing your t-shirt.
The points above all revolve around the creating substance and purpose behind your t-shirt design. So long as you combine idea and purpose with the focus of your client and audience, the outcome will always be favorable.
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