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How To Design A Shirt On A Budget

If you’re trying to design a shirt on a budget, this article is for you! It will not only keep you on financial track, but also save you loads of time. This list includes things such as checking for hidden fees and minimizing your colors.


Build your inventory

Start building up your vector art inventory so you can pull from it for a later project. T-shirt design services or freelance designers can push the cost upwards, so if you have the skills and capacity to do it, save yourself the money and start creating for fun in your free time. Down the road, you could potentially combine two or more ideas into one to design the perfect shirt for your budget.

Check for hidden fees

While looking for a t-shirt screen-printing company, make sure to check the small copy for hidden fees. If you want to design a shirt for cheap, check for charges like “setup”, “startup” or “screen fees”. Believe it or not a lot of promotional printers add on an additional fee to your base cost for multiple colors, locations, sizes, etc. and you might not see it until it’s too late. When you receive a quote, look it over carefully to make sure there there’s no surprises!

Submit proper art files

Submitting proper art files will eliminate any additional art cost when you’re trying to design a shirt on a budget. A proper art file usually consist of a print ready file such as an ai, eps or PDF. Also, before you submit your files, make sure the fonts are “converted to outlines” or attached to your order, all linked images are embedded and the text in your design is legible. Looking over and checking off these details will set your shirt up for success

Choose the right shirt

The “right” shirt is obviously one that fits your budget, but it also means choosing a brand that’s good quality and will last. We’ve said it before: it can seem expensive to pay for custom printed t shirts, but it’s more expensive to pay for a shirt that no one is going to wear. So what kind of shirts do people actually want to wear? They want super soft, long lasting and memorable t-shirts. There’s a good number of products that fall into this category, but if you’re looking for something more specific, we can help you find it.

Minimize colors and locations

It is possible to print anywhere from using multiple colors on your t-shirt. Depending on your t-shirt printing budget, you can add or reduce the total number of colors and locations in your design to meet your needs. The more colors, the more expensive. Keep in mind there are other shortcuts to “add” more colors without adding cost. One of the coolest ways to do this is by using negative space (or in this case the t-shirt color) in the design as an additional color.