8 Common T-Shirt Printing Mistakes


Posted by AllDayShirts on to Printing Techniques.

Custom t-shirts are always in demand. The t-shirt designing and printing business is booming nowadays due to the need of customers wanting to buy or gift items with a personal touch. While there is a lot of money to be made in this business, there are also many places where you can falter and go wrong if you are not careful. Regardless of whether you are about to try t-shirt designing and printing for the first time or have done it many times before, you should be aware of some common t-shirt printing mistakes.

However, there are several key factors you need to keep in mind that will help you avoid making various common t-shirt printing mistakes that can cause a huge setback for you. 

Let's take a look at some of these common t-shirt printing mistakes to avoid if you are trying to set up your own t-shirt business. 

1. Choosing the Wrong T-shirt Fabric Type

T-Shirt Scorching

When you are in the business of designing and printing t-shirts, it is important to never compromise on the type of fabric material you select. You are the artist, and the t-shirt fabric is your canvas. And if you have a bad-quality canvas, your artwork will not come out the way you want. While many types of fabrics are available, it is necessary to understand that not all materials perform the same way when printing your design. 

Different printing methods interact differently with fabric. Therefore, you should identify what type of fabric works best for the printing technique you plan to use.

2. Using a Bad Font for the Design

Plain Font T-Shirt

One of the most significant things when you design your t-shirts is choosing the right font and typography. Typography means the visual arrangement of words, while font means the style in which the text is written. Therefore, you have to choose suitable typefaces or fonts that interact well with the other elements of the design are just right. In addition, you have to make sure that the letter spacing and line spacing are just right so that the overall design is aesthetically pleasing. 

3. Creating an Overly Complex Design


Your ultimate goal should be to create a great t-shirt, not just a great design. Graphic concepts with too many details are most likely to become unachievable when you scale them down to fit onto a t-shirt. For example, several small accents on the design might not be visible to the naked eye, thus taking away from the overall composition and giving an overcrowded look instead. 

If you feel your design might be too complex, it is always better to print one sample at scale to see what it looks like in real life before printing your t-shirts. 

4. Infringing copyright laws

T-Shirt copyright infringement

Before you start creating designs for t-shirts, it is essential to understand copyright laws. Some of the elements your plan to include might be owned by other companies or artists or have trademarks. You cannot just blindly use graphics or even phrases you find on the internet. You have to be careful in using your own creation or selecting public domain elements or free for commercial use.

It is essential to be knowledgeable about design copyright laws to know what you are getting into before designing t-shirts, and you can avoid making costly printing t-shirt mistakes. 

5. Getting the Size of the Design Wrong

t-shirt design dimensions

When creating t-shirts, it is common to make mistakes while sizing your design as per the t-shirt dimensions. Most new t-shirt designers forget that their graphic proportions will look different depending on the type of t-shirt and its various sizes. For example, your design may look good on a large adult t-shirt but become oversized when printed onto a kid's size t-shirt. 

The dimensions of your design need should consider the purpose of the t-shirt, the characteristics of the actual design, and the properties of the fabric you are using. Also, remember that even specific shapes, like squares and circles, tend to look better when printed in smaller sizes. So, keep in mind the total printable surface area instead of just the height and width of the t-shirt and design.

6. Bad Selection of Colors

Color contrast selection

Not all colors turn out the way they appear like on your computer screen. The background color of the t-shirt plays a considerable role in determining what the final colors of the design look like once printed. For example, having dark-colored designs on dark garments will not create the right look unless that is something you intentionally want to achieve. For example, black ink on navy blue or black fabrics will not have enough contrast to be decipherable. You need to remember that the colors should look visually appealing against the fabric background.

It's also important to consider that while a multi-colored t-shirt might look highly appealing, it is likely to burn a hole in your pocket. The more colors you have on a t-shirt, the more complicated will be the printing process, which means the more expensive it will be. While using multiple colors might not make a difference if you're heat pressing your design, it is best to limit your ideas to only two to three colors if you are using screen printing. 

7. Poor Quality of the Image

More often than not, graphic designers tend to save images in the wrong format for printing. The image resolution is as important as the image size itself when saving graphic files.

A vector image is always preferred to achieve a professional-looking t-shirt. But if a non-vector, or raster image, is used, it needs to be of a high resolution, at least 300 DPI. If you print a graphic below this resolution, it will appear blurred when printed on the t-shirt.

 Having a great quality design file will give you a top-quality output when printing the t-shirt. This is a critical factor to remember to avoid t-shirt printing mistakes.

8. Placement of the Design

bad logo placement
When you make a t-shirt, the design placement matters a lot. This refers to the exact location of where you will print the design within the shirt's area. 

Many newcomers are not aware that a standard full-frontal placement is not exactly halfway between the top and bottom of the shirt. So often, you get a belly print, which looks odd. So pay attention to the exact arrangement of your design. 


Unique t-shirt designs make for excellent gifts, keepsakes, and even giveaways, and being aware of some of these common mistakes will help you print professional-looking t-shirts and establish your brand. 

Understanding typical design fails will help you save money and ensure that you can provide your customers with top-quality and attractive t-shirts that look good and are comfortable to wear. 

If you are ever in doubt about what the result will look like and want to avoid costly mistakes, it is best to buy different blank t-shirts from our large selection to test against different colors, sizes, and fabrics. 

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