You may not have a deep understanding of everyone on your Christmas list but if you know just a little bit about their personality, this t-shirt design guide can help you score points on their list. Think of the main trait that stands out most in your mind about that person and read the brief description to see what kind of t-shirt design will make an excellent personalized Christmas gift. It’s easy to change the t-shirt style and colors in our custom tee shirt design studio.
I work best with my selves
I got this
Not my circus, not my monkeys
You can’t always be strong but you can always be brave
Life is way more interesting inside my head
I never lose. Either I win or I learn
Excuse me, I have to go be awesome
Tacos and Tequila
Cupcakes are muffins that believed in miracles
Thankful, grateful & blessed
Me? Crazy? I should get down off this unicorn and slap you
Mind over matter
Cranberries are a staple of Thanksgiving dinner and have been since English settlers first came to the continent. It’s likely the berry was introduced to these early inhabitants by the American Indians living here. Since then, the little cranberry has been an overachiever of the berry world. If you have been down the juice isle lately in your grocery store, you’ll see that cranberries have made their way into almost every juice blend. You can find cran-grape, cran-apple, cran-cherry, cran-pineapple, cran-orange, and more. Let’s not forget cranberry lemonade, it’s crantastically overwhelming how many brands have jumped onto the cranberry express. At this point, what cranberries can teach you about t-shirt design has got to have you perplexed.
There are over 100 varieties of cranberry that grow in North America. It’s difficult for farmers to control the variety based on seeds from a berry because bees may pollinate from a different variety. As a t-shirt designer, learning to offer variety in your designs broadens your opportunities. Not to discount having a specific style. Most art professors drill the idea of developing a specific sense of style into student’s heads. Otherwise how else would you stand out or become a recognized artist? But when you’re marketing your designs commercially, offering a variety of styles casts a wider net of potential customers.
You could categorize your different styles into industries, segments of society, genders, interest, and audiences. Having a wide variety of styles in your portfolio also supports your creativity. Challenging yourself as an artist to explore American Kitsch, Art Deco, Pop, and Street styles widens your horizons and exhibits to potential clients your ability to translate visions into realities based upon the mood or idea they’re trying to convey.
Beyond pervading into the other fruits hold on the juice market, cranberries have made their way into:
- Baked Breads
- Rice Dishes
Cranberries eaten fresh can be a little too much for the average person because of the tartness factor. However when combined with sugar to overcome this, the dish becomes a delight. Even if people don’t like the taste of cranberries, people can still enjoy the health benefits cranberries offer in extracts and capsule form. As a professional t-shirt designer, it’s not just about your art. You need to have the business skills to adapt and thrive. Think about time management to make deadlines, management of your material resources, problem solving, critical thinking, social perceptiveness, active listening skills, and the ability to persuade both your client and to project that persuasiveness into your designs to achieve the end goal. You need to appeal to all types of customers like the cranberry by offering a multitude of ways for people to consume and digest your design aesthetic and business style.
Offer a variety of price points depending on the complexity of the design. This will appeal to both low end and high end clients. Don’t forget, just because your client is a small business with a small budget, it doesn’t mean it will stay that way forever.
Some of the cranberry vines that are being cultivated today were planted over 100 years ago and are still bearing fruit. Obviously you’re not going to be working as an artist for that long. Well perhaps if you believe in the antioxidant benefits of cranberries this could be an arguing point. But sticking to t-shirt graphic design long enough to develop a robust portfolio is important. If t-shirt design is your passion, this shouldn’t be a problem even if you need to branch out to other design jobs to stay afloat while you’re building your t-shirt design empire.
Cranberries are typically harvested by flooding the bog where it’s grown. The berries have pockets of air which allow them to float to the surface and this makes it much easier to harvest. Anthocyanins are a type of super healthy flavonoid which give cranberries their beautiful red color. And anthocyanins increase in concentration when the cranberry is exposed to sunlight. Exposure to sunlight happens far more when cranberries are water-harvested.
Exposing yourself to the sunlight as a t-shirt designer is paramount to your success in building your brand. Think of every possible way to advertise yourself. Go to Meetups where your target audience is likely to be, of course wearing your best demographically targeted design is helpful. Research the hashtags that are frequently used by your target audience and include them when posting your designs on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Adopt your own hashtag like #joedesignstees and have it printed somewhere on your t-shirt designs that you personally wear. If people aren’t ready to hire you on the spot, your personal hashtag will be memorable without having to shove your business card in their hands.
List yourself on graphic designer for hire websites. Share your work, all of it. Most artists are really critical of their own art. But if you’ve been in the business for any amount of time you’ll likely be familiar with clients choosing your least favorite mockup. There’s no accounting for taste so even if you think people won’t be impressed, put it out there.
Okay, the Native Americans understood the inherent goodness of cranberries centuries ago beyond its value as a food. They used cranberries as a dye, and as a medicine for treating the blood, as a laxative, to treat fever, and stomach conditions. Through modern scientific research, we now know why this berry is an outstanding dietary supplement. They have acquired the coveted moniker of “super food” and stand in the ranks of kale, gogi berries, and flax seeds. Some evidence suggests they can help with cardiovascular disease, cancer, aging, and most famously, urinary tract infections, (UTI’s.) If you’ve ever had a UTI, you’re probably very familiar with the value of cranberry juice.
As a t-shirt design artist, making your value proposition stand out amongst the competition is going to be a struggle because it’s very competitive. Developing a value proposition will require that you know who your customer is. You need to understand how to solve their problems. In t-shirt design it might be conveying their message in an appropriate manner. To do this you need to put yourself in their shoes. Think about what that client’s business is about, what do they offer to their customers? Are there industry standards they’re trying to exceed?
You might not think this level of thought is really your place as a t-shirt designer, but capturing the essence of your client’s message in such an evolved manner will certainly put you ahead of competition. A t-shirt artist that is able to inspire the client’s marketing department to think about the product or service in a different way is extremely memorable. Distilling your ideas into a t-shirt design that speaks on its own is an outstanding feat.
It’s hard to find much of anything negative about cranberries online except that they can be quite tart and the acidity level may not agree with some. Obviously cranberries don’t have publicists, (although there were some raisins in the 90’s that probably did,) but a positive public image is crucial to any business. In a competitive occupation like t-shirt design where there are many choices of designers to work with, maintaining and building your reputation is simply part of business.
Some clients can be very difficult and demanding. It’s hard to always keep your cool especially when it comes to something as personal as your art. However, the damage that can be done by a few bad reviews is hard to overcome. It’s inevitable in business that at some point you’re going to have dissatisfied customers. Since those are usually the ones that are the most vocal in expressing their dissatisfaction to everyone that will listen, always try to work on a resolution. Even if the resolution requires calling it quits and refunding their money. It may sting a bit but over time it’s better to have the good will of the Internet than the private satisfaction of knowing the customer was just a jerk.
It’s even better if you can get the jump on anything negative being posted by asking happy clients to review your work on sites that matter like Google My Business, Facebook, and on any freelance site from which you were hired.
Believe it or not, t-shirts make the news on a daily basis. We believe it’s because t-shirts are like modern day bumper stickers, except they require far less commitment. Some t-shirts slogans, while not meant to make people rich, are provocative and help to support awareness campaigns like Black Lives Matter. Some concepts catch fire and start a trend like the face flip up reversible tee. And who can forget the social firestorm from the Inception t-shirt war. between Macauley Culking and Ryan Gosling? Websites just for inception tees were launched! T-shirts, or rather the slogan or ideas printed on them are capable of creating very lucrative situations depending on how and where the concept behind them is executed. Here are 7 ways t-shirts can make you rich however imaginative.
Looking to land that new job? Send personalized t-shirts to employers. It’s way more memorable than a thank you note and much more creative than a box of cookies. This idea might be specific to some industries, like creative work, apparel design, promoters, or any casual employer. Don’t get too creepy though like stalking you’re interviewer on Facebook. It’s much better to observe their office décor to get a sense of their personality.
If they will be your direct manager, a funny industry saying or something specific to the job role might delight them and keep you top of mind. Did you ever hear of the guy that wore a red t-shirt underneath his suit that said, “Hire me, I work hard?” He got the job. Of course whether you’re a success or not will be all about the design or message of the t-shirt.
Looking for a job as a screen printer? Why not showcase your mad printing skills by printing your resume on a t-shirt? There’s no better way to exhibit your potential than pulling off a flawless print with a lot of lettering.
Advertising your business with t-shirts is a very effective way to spread the word especially for a startup company that needs to advertise to a specific crowd. Think about who your ideal customer would be and plan your strategy around creating a t-shirt slogan and logo that will appeal to them. Enough to make them want to wear your shirt. If you’re marketing to millennials, great news, it’s the generation that seriously loves t-shirts. But keep in mind they are likely to be more conscientious of the fabric, fit, and design. Consider printing your custom t-shirts on eco-friendly products. This generation is also consistently online, so if your design has a curiosity element, you’re a Snapchat away from getting them to research your company.
Giving your shirts away for free is of course a practically guaranteed way they’ll get seen but have you ever considered paying college students to wear your t-shirts around campus? Most college age kids are happy with pizza and beer money so it’s an avenue to consider. Of course, giving t-shirts to your employees, friends, and family helps. Wear your own t-shirt and don’t be shy to use wording like, “ask me about so-and-so” or “what’s the big deal about so-and-so” product or service. It’s an advertising trick that’s worked for decades.
Being an incredible t-shirt designer is a tough one. Let’s face it, this is one saturated market. Anybody can design a shirt and offer it for sale these days. And even if you’re a great designer, being a designer and full-time marketer with a big dash of crazy luck is what it’s going to take to succeed.
There are of course really notable exceptions like Johnny Cupcakes. What makes this business different? It’s an idea within and idea. T-shirts displayed, marketed, and themed around pastry. It’s brilliant and obviously resonates well with the target audience.
designer on sites like Dribble,Upwork, and 99 Designs. Offer designs you’ve made for fictional businesses up for sale with an explanation that you will customize it to the potential client’s business. As your portfolio of incredible t-shirt designs grows, so will your customer base.
Another way to make money as a t-shirt designer is to specialize in a specific type of client. People love niche artistry and they feel more confident in you as a designer because you can showcase yourself as someone that really understands their social or business vertical.
For example, go after the fit crowd with designs for gyms, yoga studios and fitness competitions. Another example would be a specialty in bar in pub designs. Yet another is specialty design work for Greek life. Some verticals will require special licensing like the Greek example so you’ll want to include that extra cost in your quotes.
Working closely with a custom t-shirt printer that has experience in collegiate and Greek licensing is highly recommended. But there is a lot of money to be made in that area so you may find it worthwhile to invest more for a bigger return.
Supporting your client as a professional promoter entails a lot of different types of advertising but how far can you take small budget clients with t-shirts? Custom t-shirts for any event or party are one of the most basic and low cost advertising you can offer. Your client will appreciate that you have ideas that don’t cost a ton and have a life even after the event is over. What other advertising can do that? Using t-shirts as souvenirs or party favors basically ensures the memorability of your client. With tactics like this, your reputation will increase along with your bank account.
Getting elected with custom political t-shirts may not make you rich overnight but it’s an excellent way to take you down a path of notability. Along with your stance on difficult debate topics, t-shirts unite your base of supporters. It will be quite a long time before people forget the Donald Trump slogan, “Make American Great Again,” or Hillary Clinton’s “I’m with Her.” Although these slogans are meant to embody the entire campaign ideologies, they make great content for t-shirts and other promotional materials. After you’ve won and done your civic duty as an elected official, the speaking fees will flood in.
Win the Price is Right Game Show with a custom t-shirt message. Half the battle of getting picked to “come on down” is catching the eye of the official contestant picker. An article revealed that getting picked is not random. It’s actually based on enthusiasm and energy. Wearing a custom t-shirt that expresses your enthusiasm weighted with your winning smile and perky demeanor is one way to hear your name called. Winning the showcases and making it to the final round is all up to you.
Start a movement with custom t-shirts as your method of influence. Social entrepreneurship is as hot as it gets. Combining the concept of doing social good with a for profit model might seem contradictory, but if the motive and the business are aligned and complement each other, why not use the market to drive positive change? Spreading your organizations message with custom t-shirts is a type of word of mouth advertising. When your supporters feel good about their investment with the company, they literally will want to show it. Driving interest in your business through all avenues is the name of the game. Think of ways to communicate your message with an expressive slogan or even a single word. And that’s how t-shirts can make your rich.
Custom photo t-shirts are a popular choice for Christmas, birthday, and gag gifts. But even if your t-shirt idea is just for fun, you still want it to look as nice as possible. Editing photos for professional production used to take quite a bit of expertise, but with the development of photo editing apps and software, just about anyone can produce a high quality, print ready photo.
Beginning with a great image is the most optimal start. One of the most important things to take into account for photo t-shirt printing is the resolution of the photo you want reproduced on the shirt. A high resolution photograph will reproduce the best result. But what does high resolution mean?
Digital photographs are made up of pixels. Each pixel represents the smallest unit of a digital image that make up the entire photo. If you have a high resolution image to start with, you can increase the size of the image to print nicely on a shirt without degrading the quality. If you start with a low resolution image and try to increase the size to print on a shirt, there simply aren’t enough pixels to maintain the integrity of the photo. That’s when you get a grainy, blurry reproduction.
Almost any cell phone has the capability to take pictures nowadays and newer models typically offer pretty outstanding quality. But to take the highest quality picture on your cell phone, check the resolution settings of your camera. Typically you’ll find settings on most mobile devices via a gear icon. High resolution photos result in larger file sizes though. Take a few test shots of anything and see if you can still email them to yourself. Most popular email services set a limit on the file size you can send. Play around until you find the highest setting that still allows you to transfer the image and upload it to our custom t-shirt design studio
Make sure your phone’s camera lens is clean; a microfiber cloth will work fine. Taking pictures of your subject in natural outdoor light is best, but that’s not always possible. If you shoot indoors, make sure it’s in a well-lit area, but be conscientious of shadows. The light source should be in front of your image, not behind or you’ll have issues with silhouettes.
Get as close to your subject as possible relative to the composition or staging of the photo. Don’t rely on zooming in later while editing because this will distort and degrade the quality of the photo. Obviously, you’ll want to stay as still as possible when taking the photo. If you have difficulty with this there are mini tripods made especially for cell phones that you can purchase. If you plan on taking lots of high quality photos, some more expensive tripod kits even come with specialty lenses like micro and macro zoom.
Even if you take and outstanding cell phone shot, there’s probably still room for improvement and enhancement. Straightening the horizon is the first step unless you’re going for a specific effect. Cropping your photo to focus on your subject is the second step. If you have a high resolution photo, cropping out superfluous background matter shouldn’t be an issue; you can also improve the composition with cropping. Professional photographers often compose by situating the main subject off center. If your printing a custom photo t-shirt from an old photo or a low resolution photo, you may not have this option because the photo might show up too small on the t-shirt to have an impact.
Think about the layout of your image too. If its landscape, meaning horizontally composed, there is a limit to the printing capability of a digital t-shirt print. By uploading your picture to our design studio, you can see a real proof of how large the photo will be on the t-shirt within the confines of the t-shirt printer area. If you photo is more of a portrait layout, meaning dominantly vertical in makeup, you have some extra freedom as far as the size of the final print on the t-shirt.
Correcting flaws and enhancing the image is really easy with all of the resources that are available for cell phones and the photo editing software available for other digitally captured photos. What corrections and enhancements will improve your photo t-shirt gifts?
Almost any photo editing software will offer an auto enhance feature. Sometimes this isn’t enough so you can individually address brightness and contrast. Don’t go overboard, if it needs a ton of brightening, you may have taken the picture in poor light and it might be better to retake the photo rather than have a washed out image.
Removing red eye is essential; you’ll likely have this as an automatic option. Sharpen your image to bring out the clarity of the subject. You can change the mood of the picture by adding warm or cool tones depending on the effect you’re wishing to project.
Most photo t-shirt orders we receive are simply square or rectangular. If you want fancy edging like a grunge border, you can find a solution or just ask us to do it for you in design notes in checkout. Note that fade to transparency doesn’t work out very well with either digital or screen printing. Adding a border to your photo in a photo editing app or software can pull off some great results and can add additional character to your photo t-shirt gift.
Here is a pro tip on digital images from the web. In most cases, a photo from the web will have copyright protection, which means we or any other reputable custom t-shirt printer will not be able to reproduce the image without express permission from the copyright holder. But furthermore, images that are taken from the web are typically 72 dpi, which is extremely low resolution. Images on the web are not meant to be blown up to huge sizes, but they should load on the page quickly, which means a smaller file size. If you have rights to an image and the web is the only place it’s archived, we can print it. We just hope you’ll understand that the result is not going to be representative of our capabilities as expert t-shirt printers considering there is only so much that can be done with a low resolution photograph.
What if you’re trying to memorialize a photographic memory from before the age of digital? For some younger people, this is hard to conceive, but once upon a time, photographs were handled by professional film developers and there was no digital anything. You would receive your photo in tangible, physical form and if you didn’t save the negative, that was the only method of archiving the memory. If you want to commemorate a piece of history on a t-shirt, you’re best plan of action is to scan the photo.
Clean the surface of your old photo with a microfiber cloth. Also clean the glass of your scanner. If it’s dirty in any way, use a tiny bit of glass cleaner. Be sure to dry it thoroughly and check closely for any specks that remain. Set your clean photo onto the clean surface of the scanner. Scan your photo at the highest resolution it is capable of producing. Some enhancements can be made afterwards like sharpening and other photo adjustments but if it’s a poor original photograph, there is only so much that can be done to improve its quality.
Once the image has been translated into digital pixels, upload to the design studio. If you have any questions concerning your custom photo t-shirt, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our customer service professionals will assist in making you and your t-shirt gift look great for Christmas, memorials, birthdays, anniversaries and anytime gifts.