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The Fine Print: Let's talk about tees!

Design A Shirt Cheap, No Minimum

It’s tough to decide which t-shirt printer to use when looking to design a shirt cheap. No minimum orders further narrow your choices since many screen printers require a minimum of 36 or more to bring the price per shirt down to something you can afford. But this makes no sense if you’re trying to buy a custom t-shirt for a small event or just as gift.

Digital printing on t-shirts makes it easy for us to offer this service at a surprisingly low cost to you. Digital printing is also known as direct to garment printing since the process works much like a printer you might use to print copies on paper.

Digitally printing personalized garments also makes it affordable to print a design that uses a lot of colors or requires intricate, fine details. Digital even makes printing photographs on t-shirts possible. This is why we see a lot of instances where someone requests a print of their cat, dog, or children. Some even request memorial t-shirts to be printed commemorating their loved ones. We’ve printed memes, original art for indie artists, band merch, funny sayings, inside jokes and pretty much anything you can think of. Digital printing makes many things possible that cannot be achieved through screen printing without incurring great costs.

here are some cons to digital printing however. Typically, a digitally printed shirt’s design will not hold up to rigors of washing like a screen printed t-shirt can. This method also requires that the t-shirt product consist of 100% cotton for the ink to adhere properly. Although we use state of the art digital printers, it’s simply something that currently cannot be avoided and we try to make that clear to customers when they place their order.

Having printed millions of custom t-shirts over the years, we know the best materials to work with and the best t-shirt printing techniques in the industry. Along with expertise we offer some of the lowest price points without sacrificing quality which happens when cheap products are used to keep costs down. Our customer’s satisfaction is extremely important to us whether you order just one t-shirt or place a bulk screen print order with us.

We know a customer that orders just one t-shirt today can just as well purchase a bulk order in the future once they experience our outstanding customer service and receive a printed product they can be proud to wear or give as a gift. Design a shirt today with confidence and put your trust in the best t-shirt printers in the industry. Get free 10-day shipping in the U.S. as a bonus! Take a look at some examples of what can be done when you're looking for a no minimum required option to design a shirt cheap!

5 Iconic Fonts for T-Shirts

Arial has been around since the 80’s when it was designed to be a replacement for the Helvetica font in Microsoft software. Since Helvetica is widely used, the team needed to come up with a very similar solution that would save the company the licensing fees required if they used Helvetica. Arial’s design characteristics are of the neo-grotesque style and perfectly balanced the width of the Helvetica type. Google uses Arial font in their search results and Skype’s logo is a rounded version of the font. Since it’s easily readable, it’s been a favorite of t-shirt designers. An interesting factoid, even though Microsoft replaced Helvetica in their software, Microsoft’s logo is designed using Helvetica!

Google Search Results with Arial font

Skype logo using Arial Round font

Bodonihas a distinguished and long history being crafted in the late eighteen century by printer Joseph Bodoni who operated a shop under the patronage of the Duke of Parma. The intent of this typeface was to dazzle the reader with the sometimes very thin strokes contrasted with thicker elements. Because of this, it sparingly used as a web font since often web type must be displayed very tiny. However, its life as a designer’s font has it being used in Hilton Hotel’s restaurant and bar menus and perhaps most famously, in the logo for the band Nirvana. It’s graced many a custom tee as it states elegance and boldness.

Nirvana Logo using Bodoni font

Cooper Black was created in 1922 by Oswald B. Cooper after being heavily influenced by one of his teachers, none other than Frederic Goudy (of Goudy type face fame.) It was released and was used abundantly primarily in advertisements of the day. Cooper Black has experienced many reintroductions into mainstream society perhaps most famously as font of use for The Beach Boys iconic album, Pet Sounds. However, one of the most beloved t-shirt designs of all time features Cooper Black seen below:

Vote for Pedro T-Shirt using Cooper Black font

Futura's design is based upon its name, the future. Many early 20th century typefaces were simply recycling traditional type styles used in signpainting. The font’s inventor, Paul Renner wanted to create something totally unique and leaned largely towards near perfect geometric shapes. Even though it’s quite old when speaking in digital terms, it’s was used as the main font in the wildly popular online game, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. You can also see it used in famous logos such as that of Absolute Vodka, Louis Vuitton and Red Bull. There is no mistaking its value when designing custom t-shirts since it’s in-arguably easy to read.

Red Bull branding using Futura font via Dawn Ashleyan addiction
Creative Commons License

Impact is as bold as its name and is intended to achieve IMPACT in advertisements and statements. Designed by Stephenson Blake in the mid 60’s he stated his goal was, "to get as much ink on paper as possible in a given size with the maximum possible x-height." We share his desire as concerns ink and have printed plenty of t-shirts with designs that feature this versatile and attention grabbing font. In fact, Impact is the “go to” font for all types of web memes

How to Inspire Brand Evangelists with Business T-Shirts

You know marketing is important and you’ve tried a lot of different tactics to engage your customers to interact with your brand both online and off. But what makes someone ready to be your brand evangelist?

The number one rule to engage brand evangelists is to provide them a product they will be proud to promote. When you ask someone to wear your event t-shirt, you’re basically asking them to align their image of themselves with your product or service.

When asking this of anyone, as a marketer or brand, you have to realize there is a lot of psychology behind it. People will ask the question, “How does this make me feel about myself?” There a basically four ways people think about this question. “Does this match who I am, who I think I am and who I want to be?” And worst case scenario, “Does this make me look like someone I do NOT want to be?”

Your job as a marketer along with your t-shirt designer is to reinforce positive self-concepts with your potential brand evangelists. Depending on what your ideal industry or individual consumer target is, your business t-shirt designs need to be aligned with what motivates THEM, not just your logo and what your product or services does.

Try coming up with designs or sayings that make your brand evangelist seem elite, smart or funny as a strategy. You may need to come up with several if your targets are broad. Also, remember one size does not fit all. Going for a cheap product that may be itchy, ill-fitting, likely to shrink after the first wash, or poorly printed isn’t going to match your ideal targets persona. Many women would prefer to wear a form fitting t-shirt product as well so if you have a lot of female customers, you need to give them an option that will fit a feminine vision.

Here are some examples of designs or slogans that speak to specific industries. You can tap into potential evangelists that are waiting be your company’s advocate if you give them a t-shirt design they want to wear!

Business T-Shirt Ideas for Graphic Designers

Business T-Shirt Ideas for Accountants

Business T-Shirt Ideas for Nurses

Business T-Shirt Ideas for Programmers

Large Orders can Swallow the Indie Designer

Starting your own brand offers a lot of challenges along with the rewards that come from being an independent designer. One of the biggest mistakes indie designers have shared with us is they incorrectly think that screen printing their own orders saves money. If time is money, (and it is,) you can spend your valuable time doing much more important things like building your brand and coming up with “it” wear. That’s why you started down this road in the first place, right?

When you get to the point that a manual press cannot reasonably support the volume of your orders, you start treading water to keep up, costly mistakes are made and the passion you have for your brand is compromised.

Even if you have in depth knowledge and expertise in screen printing, the time and effort it takes do your own printing can rob you of design inspiration. You may find that investing in your own quality equipment can deprive you of much needed resources to market your brand. Partnering with an established screen printer like also open up access to discounted product pricing as well as comprehensive access to hard-to-find goods.

We have strong relationships with product suppliers and since we buy our supplies in bulk, we enjoy discounted prices that we extend to t-shirt designers that choose to work with us. Some very successful brands roots began with us and we shared their growing pains with support, expertise and experimentation. In fact, some of our most prosperous brands do outgrow us when they get to the point they can afford the equipment and staff to bring everything in-house, but we know we have been a pivotal part of that success.

Partnering with DesignAShirtalso offers integrity and protection of your designs. When using other screen printers, even those that offer a free website, you compromise the ownership of your design as part of their terms of service. Your designs can be used in their marketing materials, modified, and even sold which is a big win for them because they use your content to make their brand look great. For our brands and resellers, we never take credit for your designs on our social channels or in our marketing material ensuring your brand remains YOUR BRAND.

The 5 Little Known Facts that Impact Your Custom T-Shirt Order

Many people think that when they order a custom printed t-shirt that there isn't much to think about. A t-shirt is a t-shirt right? Well it might surprise you to know there are a lot of aspects to t-shirt printing that require expert knowledge of fabrics and printing techniques. Here's a list of little known facts that can seriously affect the way your printed tee looks while it's new and after a few washes.

  1. Fabric Counts

    The type of product you choose for your t-shirt print is truly important as there is a difference in what types of ink will adhere to the fabric. This is why it is difficult to get a t-shirt printer to accept customer supplied goods. We don't know if the fabric was treated with chemicals that interfere with screen printing. Rock bottom priced e-Bay deals on bulk tees may end up being made from fabric that is not ideal for screen printing. Performance wear typically contains synthetic materials that require expert handling and may impact the cost of the printing. These are reasons why we encourage customers to speak with our knowledgeable customer service staff before deciding on any specific apparel product.

  2. Printing Light Colors are Dark Fabric
    When we print a light colored graphic on a dark fabric, in most cases, this requires an underbase of white ink so the graphic colors remain vibrant. Without the underbase, we would need to apply the colors with a heavy hand resulting in an undesirable thick print. This is one of the reasons that darker colored t-shirts will be priced higher than lighter ones.

  3. Why Quantity Lowers Price Per Unit
    This is really economies of scale at work. Every color used in a screen print order requires an individual screen to be burned that represent the areas of the image that will print in a specific color. Setting up a screen printing press takes time and expertise too so when a lot of effort goes into a small job, there is less opportunity to make a profit. Bigger orders have the exact opposite effect, that's why we reward our customers with a lower price per unit until we hit the law of diminishing returns.

  4. No Minimum Required T-Shirt Orders
    We don't require a minimum purchase on many of our products and that's a big hook for many of our customers that just want to give one t-shirt as gift or to commemorate a special occasion. However, since screen printing requires a great deal of setup time we cannot offer that method on very small orders. Instead, we use a technique called direct to garment printing. It's basically like a single print from any printer but using techniques and inks that are specific to the garment industry. While digitally printed t-shirts look fantastic, the graphics have a tendency to fade over time. When printing using the digital method, only 100% cotton t-shirts may be used as is dictated by the specialized ink used.

  5. Size Matters
    When choosing a t-shirt product, it’s important to pay attention to sizing guidelines. This is an invaluable resource to gauge how well a t-shirt will fit if you are not familiar with the product. A large in one product brand may fit you like a small in another. Particularly pay attention to descriptions that include “slim-fit or junior fit.” This is a great indicator that the shirt will run smaller than you expect. Likewise, if you plan to squeeze yourself into a size that’s smaller than you normally wear, you may experience some distortion of the print area. This is particularly true of any ribbed fabric.