How to create successful t-shirt merchandise?

How to create successful t-shirt merchandise?

If monetizing creativity was simple the world would be full of artists, but we have the key to a shortcut.

Having an idea is a great starting point for developing T-shirt merchandise, but it takes much more than a brilliant idea to make a profitable product. The fashion business is highly competitive, which is the reason why small brands who are just starting out have to use all means available to them to position themselves as leaders on the market. In the age of Internet fashion designers no longer have to rely on traditional design and distribution methods, since platforms like Printify enable them to create and distribute their merchandise online.

#1 Finding a Niche

Looking for the right way

This may sound like a terrible cliché, but knowing exactly who your ideal customer is, will help you develop more successful T-shirt merchandise.

The fans of popular music bands, cult movies or video games all have one thing in common. They love wearing T-shirts. You can start your own business in just a couple of hours if you already have the designs, but spreading yourself too thin and trying to offer your products to a wide range of customers can be a mistake.

Instead, it is better to find a niche, because in that way you can give your brand a strong visual identity as well as build a loyal customer base.

You should invest all your efforts into making your brand memorable and unique, since the competition, you’ll be facing is already doing the same thing.

#2 What are the Most Popular T-Shirt Design Categories?

Even though there are countless niches you can choose, there are only a few T-shirt design categories. You can either apply text or images to the canvas or combine the two.

Text-Based Designs 

There are so many great examples of text-based designs, from the iconic Keep Calm series to movie quotes or simple but direct slogans that contain just two or three words. Coming up with the text you want to print on a tee is a bit more complicated than it sounds, as the messages have to be perfectly adjusted to your audience.

How to create successful t-shirt merchandise? 1
Etsy, Gogottees

Image-based designs

Pictures often say more than words. The Rolling Stones tongue or the Smiley face are some of the most iconic images ever printed on a T-shirt because the messages they convey are strong and clear. Less is more is the best design principle you can adopt because placing too many visual symbols on a T-shirt can come across as chaotic and blur the point you’re making through your design.

How to create successful t-shirt merchandise? 2
Source: Etsy, FreeWillShirts

#3 Getting The Colors Right

How to create successful t-shirt merchandise? 3
Image Source: Pexels

Matching the colors of the design and the color of the tee is probably the most important task you will face while developing your T-shirt merchandise. Text or images you apply to the T-shirt have to be clearly visible and easily recognizable, which is why the background color and the color of the design have to be complementary. Strong contrasts between colors are usually effective, but this isn’t the only guiding principle you can rely on during the process of designing a T-shirt.

Simple combinations of two colors, like, green and black, red and white or in certain situations different shades of blue often produce the most aesthetically pleasing results, while combining more than two colors on a single tee doesn’t necessarily translate into good design.

#3 A Quick Design Placement Guide

How to create successful t-shirt merchandise? 4
Printify Mockup Generator

Where on a T-shirt you’re going to place a print depends on the type of the visual effect you’d like to create. A logo can be positioned just inches away from the top of a T-shirt or it can be printed across the entire front depending on what you want to do. It is best to do background research and find precise dimensions for print placement on the front or the back end of a T-shirt before you start designing text or images, because it may save you a lot of time and money during the printing process.

Once your design is ready you can upload it to the Printify platform in just a couple of clicks, but you have to keep in mind that the recommended file size is 4192 × 4795px and that its resolution should be at least 300dpi.

Prinitfy lets you add as many layers to the designated print area of the T-shirt, so you can quickly combine several visual elements. The size or the position of the layer can be selected by inserting values into appropriate boxes, or by simply dragging the image and using the Scale and Rotate slider below the preview window.

Clicking on the Variants & Costs icon will enable you to pick the size of a tee or choose one of the available colors while hitting the Preview button lets you see how the final product is going to look like.

Experienced designers already know that there are dimension guides they can use to position the layers perfectly since inserting random values into the Left or Top boxes located in the Positioning menu can produce underwhelming results.

#4 The Best Selling Types of T-Shirts on Printify

The Best Selling Types of T-Shirts on Printify
Source : Printify

There are no strict rules regarding which materials the T-shirts you use to print your designs should be made of, but market research shows that cotton is more popular than any other material used for printing on T-shirts.

Let’s have a look at some of the best selling types of T-shirts on Printify.

Bella+Canvas Unisex Jersey Short Sleeve Tee

Designed specifically for women, the Bella is cut slimmer than traditional unisex t-shirts with shorter arms and torso so they look great and feel comfortable. The Canvas line of t-shirts is of cutting edge style and function, with short and long-sleeved options, the style never fails to impress and is amongst the best activewear in the industry.

Bella+Canvas Unisex Jersey Short Sleeve Tee
See Bella+Canvas Unisex Jersey Short Sleeve Tee in Printify Catalog

Gildan Unisex Heavy Cotton Tee

The casually elegant Gildan is available in eight different sizes. This 100% cotton T-shirt will become an instant hit in any wardrobe with its classic fit and light fabric with many colours to choose from.

Gildan Unisex Heavy Cotton Tee
See Gildan Unisex Heavy Cotton Tee in Printify Catalog

Next Level Men’s Cotton Crew Tee

Classy, elegant and casual at the same time, this t-shirt is an absolute hit among designers and customers alike. Equally suitable for working out or going out, the crew neck and premium fitted t-shirt is a classic choice.

Next Level Men’s Cotton Crew Tee
See Next Level Men’s Cotton Crew Teein Printify Catalog

Gildan Unisex Ultra Cotton Tee

A great choice for designers who want to produce everyday garments with unique prints, this t-shirt has a classic straight fit and lightweight fabric, suitable for almost any occasion.

Gildan Unisex Ultra Cotton Tee
See Gildan Unisex Ultra Cotton Tee in Printify Catalog

Next Level Women’s The Boyfriend Tee

Besides being super-soft and a joy to wear this classic tee is also stylish. This feminine tee runs a little smaller than usual and is a signature style instantly loved by all who wear it.

Next Level Women’s The Boyfriend Tee
See Next Level Women’s The Boyfriend Tee in Printify Catalog

Next Level Women’s Ideal Racerback Tank

Designed for women, looking your best on a hot summer day is easy if you wear this racerback tank. With a slim body-embracing fit, this high quality tank will be sure to turn heads.

Next Level Women’s Ideal Racerback Tank
See Next Level Women’s Ideal Racerback Tank in Printify Catalog

Bella+Canvas Women’s Favorite Tee

As its name suggests, this tee will become an irreplaceable part of your outfit soon after you purchase it. Soft fabric and 100% cotton it is available in many colours.

Bella+Canvas Women’s Favorite Tee
See Bella+Canvas Women’s Favorite Tee in Printify Catalog

Gildan Men’s Fitted Short Sleeve Tee

A quick glance at this T-shirt made out of 100% ring spun cotton is enough to understand why designers love printing their creations on it. It is classic, soft and comfortable for the active lifestyle.

Gildan Men’s Fitted Short Sleeve Tee
See Gildan Men’s Fitted Short Sleeve Tee in Printify Catalog

Bella+Canvas Unisex Jersey Short Sleeve V-Neck Tee

High-quality prints can be applied on the front, back, both sleeves or in the neck area of this unisex tee. With a v-neck, this tee is high-quality and comfortable enough to wear all day.

Bella+Canvas Unisex Jersey Short Sleeve V-Neck Tee
See Bella+Canvas Unisex Jersey Short Sleeve V-Neck Tee in Printify Catalog

Next Level Women’s Tri-Blend Racerback Tank

Next Level Women’s Tri-Blend Racerback Tank
See Next Level Women’s Tri-Blend Racerback Tank in Printify Catalog

Made out 50% polyester, 25% soft cotton and 25% rayon, this tri-blend racerback tank is a popular choice for printing. Slim-fitting this tank is suitable for the gym or in town – this statement piece will fast become a staple in any wardrobe.

#5 Choose the best Print Provider for you on Printify

Searching products on Printify
Printify fulfills with print providers worldwide

In case you are new to the Printify platform and you still don’t know which print providers are the most popular, we are going to take you through some of the platform’s most reliable print providers.

Printify print providers (Jan, 2019) review:

ArtGun

This Florida-based provider is often praised for the consistent quality of service it provides to its customers. ArtGun has turned garment customization into an art form.

  • Available T-Shirt Models: 22
  • Available colors: 24 (Additional Models)
  • Print Areas: 6
  • Print Techniques: Direct to garment printing (DTG)
  • Price Range: 6.39$ – 12$ (with Printify Premium)

See all products from ArtGun

InkLocker

The InkLocker has transformed the Print on Demand industry by combining speed and quality. Their network consists of nearly a hundred US-based fulfillment locations.

  • Available T-Shirt Models: 2
  • Available colors: 20 (Additional Models)
  • Print Areas: 2
  • Print Techniques: Direct to garment printing (DTG)
  • Price Range: 6.10$ – 7.77$ (with Printify Premium)

See all products from InkLocker

DJ

This is a family run business,  that specializes in DTG printing. Their passion for art and their creativity is the secret ingredient of all of their products.  

  • Available T-Shirt Models: 11
  • Available colors: 89 (Additional Models)
  • Print Areas: 2
  • Print Techniques: Direct to garment printing (DTG)
  • Price Range: 6.10$ – 11.76$ (with Printify Premium)

See all products from DJ

MyLocker

Over the course of the last decade, MyLocker has become one of the largest print on demand companies in Michigan that offers printing services on a wide range of products.

  • Available T-Shirt Models: 26 (+4 for kids)
  • Available colors: 66 (Additional Models)
  • Print Areas: 2
  • Print Techniques: Direct to garment printing (DTG)
  • Price Range: 6.10$ – 22.46$ (with Printify Premium)

See all products from MyLocker

T-Shirt and Sons

This UK-based company is famous for its diversity as it provides printing services on both clothing and accessories to high-profile clients around the world.

  • Available T-Shirt Models: 11 (+1 for kids)
  • Available colors: 35 (Additional Models)
  • Print Areas: 2
  • Print Techniques: Direct to garment printing (DTG)
  • Price Range: 5.95$ – 10.13$ (with Printify Premium)

See all products from T-Shirt and Sons

Fifth Sun

The long list of clients that includes companies like Nintendo or DC Comics speaks volumes about the quality of service this company offers.

  • Available T-Shirt Models: 4 (+2 for kids)
  • Available colors: 24 (Additional Models)
  • Print Areas: 5
  • Print Techniques: Direct to garment printing (DTG)
  • Price Range: 6.78$ – 13.16$ (with Printify Premium)

See all products from Fifth Sun

MWW On Demand

As one of the leaders of the textile and custom printing industry in the US. MMW On Demand focuses on perpetually improving the quality of its services through technical innovation.

  • Available T-Shirt Models: 2
  • Available colors: 2
  • Print Areas: 5
  • Print Techniques: All over print (AOP)
  • Price Range: 18.32$ – 20.48$ (with Printify Premium)

See all products from MMW On Demand

#6 Don’t Underestimate the Importance of You

Design-Agency-for-print-designs

You don’t have to be a full-time professional designer to start your own successful t-shirt merchandise business! When you are first testing the water with your designs and products, provided you have some knowledge of use software products such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW, you can create some initial designs to market to test your ideas and get those important first sales through the door.

As your business grows, you may want to consider hiring skilled designers that will ensure your products meet the highest industry standards and help you expand an scale your business.

Conclusion

Gaining access to the global market has never been easier because platforms like Printify make the process of creating and distributing your products effortless.

However, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so you have to invest a lot of time and energy in order to develop your T-shirt merchandise and enjoy the fruits of your success.

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1 comment

  1. Auguste Hill
    July 14

    Very helpful; thanks.

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