If you’re interested in starting your own t-shirt business but are stuck on what exactly to print on your t-shirts, this article will help you understand the 5 main types of t-shirt designs and where you can source t-shirt design inspiration from. The knowledge and resources in this article will help you improve your t-shirt designs with the intention of encouraging you to create t-shirt designs that meet your design goals and that your customers will love.

By gaining design inspiration from others you’ll be able to understand what makes a particular t-shirt design work more than another, and you’ll be able to gauge which of the 5 t-shirt styles you prefer and find the most effective. Overall, sourcing design inspiration is a great way to save time, gauge your preferences and know which mistakes to avoid.



This design focuses almost exclusively on messages, phrases or slogans, with little-to-no images or photos on the t-shirt. The major characteristic of typographic t-shirt designs is written word. The creativity for this type of t-shirt design is in the development of the phrase, message or slogan on the t-shirt, as well as deciding which font, or pairings of fonts, to use.  When developing typographic designs you’ll have to consider the fonts, the hierarchy of words and the spacing/arrangement of the words/sentences.


This t-shirt design is characterized by hyper-realistic images. T-shirts that focus on photography designs focus on an image itself, and any text is complementary. Since your image is the main factor of this t-shirt design type, the printing method is especially important so the image looks exactly as it should. The Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing method is the best way to achieve good quality prints on your t-shirts, so it should be your first choice.


This type of t-shirt design has elements of both typography and illustration. The major design parameters include images that are usually paired with typography to create a stylized, illustrative t-shirt design that’s interesting and eye-catching.


This type of design is created with the sole purpose of promoting a product, brand, or a company. To create an effective branded design, you need to be well versed with your own brand and know exactly how you want it to be “branded”. This means knowing what font choices, color pallet, fabric, style of t-shirt and overall design accurately reflects what your brand is.


Abstract designs spark people’s interest by being repeated or nonsensical arrangements of images or text that don’t have a particular narrative, representation or meaning behind them. The focus of abstract designs are to be interesting, unique or aesthetic rather than meaningful and can be patterns, shapes, lines, or any combination of those.


Are you looking for custom t-shirt screen printing services to make you look great during the holidays? If this is an idea that you have been toying with for a while then the following advantages could help make you more convinced. It does not matter what your intentions are as you can always wear your t-shirt anywhere you want and carry with you the brand of your business. The following are some of the many benefits why you should consider custom t-shirt screen-printing. Furthermore, all apparels produced this way come out in a flexible because of the state of the art printing technology used.


Quality apparels regardless of the quantity produced all at an affordable price

It is impossible to get a great deal or get discounts from purchasing pre-made t-shirts or other apparels. This type of screen-printing is perfect for companies that are considering branding their attires at a reasonable and affordable budget. You do not have to sacrifice a part of your marketing campaign for this but instead, you stand a chance to make savings that can be used in more important areas of the business or company.

Quick and accurate because the screen printing is done by professionals

What this means is that using custom t-shirts is an effective way to advertise your business without missing big business events to sell products, brands, and services. This type of printing services guarantees you a stress-free and hassle free day throughout the holiday period. You do not have to sacrifice any of the things that are important to you. You can always market your brand and enjoy your holidays all in one go.

Screen-printing is perfect for companies that are starting out

Any company that wants to expand their outreach and target more customers but lack the funds to do massive campaigns should consider using custom t-shirts. This is an easy way to expand brand awareness fast and target larger audiences. The good thing is that you do not have to use a large amount of money to get it done.

Creativity with designs is possible

Screen-printing technologies have the ability to detail small and large designs on customized apparels. This means that there is nothing that cannot be achieved with this technology. If your concerns are about image or script distortion then you can rest easy knowing that nothing will happen to it. What you need to do is find a company that specializes in quality screen-printing for promotional apparels. Make the most out of this type of printing for the benefit of your business.


Labelling is an important aspect of branding. It helps make identification of things easier. Have you ever wondered, why not all labels look the same? This is because they are made from different materials. What are these materials?


1. Industrial Vinyl:

This is a suitable material for outdoor labels. Most good quality industrial vinyl materials offer 9-11 years of resistance from UV radiations. Also, labels made from these materials are chemical and weather resistant. The material offers excellent flexibility, which makes it ideal for application on sharp curved surfaces, as well as rivets. Vinyl labels are typically used for pipeline labels, rental equipment, fleet decals, and cable tray labels.

2. Polyester:

The polyester labels come in several types and shapes. Most popular option is a metalized look, which offers a chrome finish or mirror like perfection. Sometimes it is confused with a stainless steel. This material is suitable for outdoor and indoor applications, and ideal for labelling control pipes and panels. Most polyester labels can easily withstand harsh operating conditions or weather conditions, and equipped with a long lasting adhesive. Various popular choices exist for polyester materials, such as chrome or mirror-like finish, which looks like a stainless steel.

3. Polypropylene Labels:

These labels are considered ideal replacements for vinyl labels, and provide excellent solvent resistance. Polypropylene labels are affordable than polyester labels, and they offer better clarity. These labels are distinguished on the basis of their coating, adhesive, and colors. The following are some popular types of these labels:
i) Chrome (Silver) BOPP Labels: This label material is oil and water resistant, and has a mirror like finish.
ii) Clear BOPP Labels: These are clear polypropylene (BOPP) material. This material offers same properties as chrome silver labels, such as water resistance. Clear BOPP labels are well-suited for window stickers.
iii)Removable White BOPP Labels: These labels have less adhesive than regular BOPP labels.
iv) White BOPP Labels: The labels have a permanent adhesive, and is impervious to water or oils. These labels are ideal for body and bath products, and several food and beverage products.

4. Recycled Labels:

As the name suggests, these labels are created from 100% recycled material. It is a #55 paper material, which is an ideal option, if earthy appearance is desired. Kraft labels are not suited for lamination, hence are not water or oil resistant. These labels are ideal for machine applications. The label must be removed in hot water. Vellum labels and Kraft labels are the popular types of recycled labels in use today.

5. Satin Labels:

These labels are basically satin acetate cloth labels, which are ideal for spirit or wine labels. Satin labels will add a beautiful dimension to your product packaging. It is also ideal for holiday gifting purposes.

6. Fluorescent Paper Labels:

These labels are flood coated on the synthetic material. Most fluorescent and foil paper labels are available in colors like red, pink, orange, and green. The labels of this type are used for alerting people.

7. Foil Paper Labels:

Foil paper labels are available in dull, bright, silver, or gold. These Labels are generally used as holiday or food stickers.


Before you create that T-shirt, you may want to know which printing method to use. Though the heat press and screen printing are the two most common and popular methods these days of printing, we will be describing 3 more methods.

That is important if you want to keep customers coming. Customers can slip away from your sales pipeline if they don’t get what they want.


1. Screen Printing:

It is the most common with the pros. Another name for this design is silkscreen printing.

For this method to work, you will need a stencil, and a nylon mesh. You set up the stencil, which is held by the nylon mesh. A water proof material will block the negative space that you want to design.

The negative space is the only part permeable for the dye. Ink is then flooded into the screen.

The screen printing method is ideal for printing high-quality t-shirt designs, because it guarantees ultimate replication of the design. The screen printing methods gives a shirt a unique, cute and impressive look that customer love.

Most companies that use the screen printing methods for mass production of t-shirt designs for your business. If you want a single or unique design for yourself, it may be impossible.

This method is suited for one color per screen. It is not ideal for super complex multi-color designs.

2. Direct To Garments(DTG):

Like the screen printing method, it is also popular among hobbyists. It easy to do but it will require knowledge and skills if you are not going to get professional help. All you need for it work is the textile printer and ink .

DTG works like a paper printer in the office. The only difference is that, in this case the ink is going to the fabric. You first need to upload the design to the computer, which then creates uniqueness and creativity.

The Direct To Garment method is excellent for printing out super-complex design. It gives a soft feel on the hands when you touch the final design. The ink used doesn’t create thick extra layers on the shirt, because it is thin.

However it has one problem. You can end up with a low resolution design with dot patterns if you have an inferior textile printer. You can’t use this method to create design for dark fabric, because the ink is thin and won’t look well.

DTG is least durable and the fabric may fade in a year or less.

3. Dye Sublimation:

Dye sublimation works well on light shirts or fabrics. It cost to produce a dye sub but in the end, the customer ends up with a professional done shirt by experts.

To bring out the best results in this method, you need to have deep knowledge in dye sublimation. Dye sublimation is perfect for printing polyester like cream fabrics. They are unforgiving when you bring cotton fabric to the scene.

You will need a special type of dye which is liquid. The liquid dries up when it meets the polyester fabric. When it has dried well, it solidifies on the fabric, then you can apply heat and pressure for sublimation to take place.

When the solid fabric is exposed to heat and pressure it turns into gas. The fabric molecules then expand and the gas sips between the gap that appear in the cloth. In the end, the molecules contracts again when you remove the heat.

Dye sublimation is excellent for printing polyester shirts with minimal enduring designs. Shirt done through sublimation are durable and looks cute.

4. Heat Press Printing:

If you have small orders of shirt, it is economical to use the heat press printing. It saves you resources and time.

This method incorporates a design printed on a special paper called transfer paper. Here is how it works.

You take a shirt, press it on the best heat transfer vinyl, then apply heat and pressure. A more similar approach like the dye sublimation with slight differences. You do the process until the heat softens the dye on the paper until it gets a beneath the cloth.

After that you take the glossy paper transfer and strip off the dye which leaves you with the intended design on the shirt.

If you are working with super complex designs, then heat and press method is ideal for you. However, it won’t work well with dark fabrics because of its translucent dye.

Shirts printed through heat press printing are durable.

5. Vinyl Cutting:

In this method a special soft clothing is cut into shapes or designs, then transferred to a shirt.. Then these special designs are then placed onto the t-shirt using the heat press method.

With this method, you can print one-off designs and even produce them in large numbers. It is the best alternative for printing multiple garment types.

Vinyl cutting machine gives you the options of using different layers to print different colors of a design. Vinyl cutting is used in designing sportswear, slogan or small graphics.

However, it suffers from one thing: They are letter-types parts that you can’t use with it. T-shirt printed through vinyl cutting are durable.