Corel’s top 5 tips to enhance t-shirt designs

by Rob Fletcher | 13/05/2022
Corel’s top 5 tips to enhance t-shirt designs

Corel, a specialist provider of professional graphic design software, offers five simple tips printers can use to design creative, beautiful and polished t-shirts that are sure to satisfy every client.

If you are a graphic designer working on screen printing projects, then the chances are that you work on a lot of t-shirt designs. This sort of work is big business for many companies in the print sector and competition is rife for jobs.
To get your fair share of this work, you should ensure you are delivering high-quality work to clients for each job you produce. A key element of any good t-shirt design is to create the perfect design, which requires much more than just playing around with fonts and colours.
After all, you want your design to be around for some time.

Research your audience 

When designing a t-shirt, you want to create something that stands out from other brands and entices and excites people while still representing the core values of the customer you are designing for.
For this reason, you should look to find out what these core values are and use these as the foundation of your design. There should be harmony between the company brand and the logo, so be sure to check the client’s website and get a full understanding of what it is they do or sell, as well as what customer type they are trying to attract.
“Are you trying to convey trustworthiness, luxury, safety, security, fun or other factors,” Corel said. “Once you have the answers to these questions, you can get to work creating something special for your client.
“Be sure to do a bit of research to see what other brands with similar target demographics are creating so that your design is unique and stands out in a good way.”

Be strategic with colour

One sure-fire way to instantly draw people’s attention is to use appealing colours. You may be required to use certain brand colours when designing your t-shirt, but you can easily expand your colour palette in this scenario by using different tints of these colours.
Be sure to choose colours that will look good when printed on a variety of different t-shirt background colours, especially more common colours such as black, white and grey. One way to do this is through using the colour harmonies feature in Corel’s software.
The client you are designing for may also have a custom brand colour they use for t-shirts. If this is the case you should ensure your design is bright and clear against that background.
“It's always best to avoid using multiple colour palettes in a design, as this can result in non-complimentary colours clashing with one another,” Corel said.

Get creative with design placement

Although centering the design is the most common placement for brand promotion, it is also key to remember that t-shirts have plenty of real estate to work with, so do not be afraid to get creative!
For example, you could design a wrap-around image that goes from the front of the t-shirt to the back, apply a design to the sleeve for added visibility, or go for a bold and bright design placed front and centre. 
Printers may also want to consider creating multiple versions of the design if they are going to have it appear on the front and back of the t-shirt. For example, you may design a bigger, bolder design for the front and a simpler version across the back shoulder area, or indeed vice versa, with the main design on the back and a smaller version on the front.
It is also certainly worth mentioning that printers should know and understand the type of t-shirt they are working with – such as the cut and fabric type – as these factors will impact how the final printed design will look.

Fine-tune details with the right software

Creating a t-shirt design your audience will love is easier to accomplish if you are using the right design software, and this is where Corel can certainly help.
An ideal graphic design solution should allow you to quickly and easily carry out tasks such as import images, set a background page colour, add and manipulate text and objects, and use various effects.
For example, the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite enables users to create contours, easily fit text on a path, align elements, and group these elements to make it easy to apply the design consistently to an entire area.
“Using software that makes it easy to execute the steps needed to create your t-shirt design will not only make the process more efficient, but also ensure that your design looks just as good printed as it does mocked up,” Corel said. 

Ensure your design is print-ready

All your hard work could be for nothing if you forget the final step – getting the job ready for print. Before you send off the piece to be printed, you should consider a number of critical factors.
Printers should consolidate multiple shapes they may have used to create your design by merging them together into one unified shape, in order to help avoid any confusion when your design is printed.
Printers are also advised to export the design in a resolution and file format that is preferred by the service bureau, to ensure that it prints clearly. In addition, if printing on a darker substrate, you will need an underbase – such as a white or light-coloured base – to help the colours “pop”.
Now you’re ready to get started on your custom t-shirt design and set new trends within this exciting and creative market!
Corel will be exhibiting at the European Sign Expo 2022, where visitors will be able to find out more about how its products can help them produce high-quality work for vehicle graphics are a wide range of other application types.
To learn more about Corel and its range of software products, please click here. or more information, visit EFKA at European Sign Expo 2022 on stand 5.2-A50, Europe’s leading visual communications exhibition and see the latest innovations and trends within this sectors. Register now and use the code ESEG201 to receive a 30 euros discount and pay only 50 euros for your registration. 

by Rob Fletcher Back to News


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