10 Mistakes in T-shirt design that affect your business


Started your new entrepreneurship venture? Or you are about to start one? 

Well, “Never start a business just to make money but to make a difference also”.

And Mistakes are proof that you are trying! 

T-shirt design business is of low investment and requires less human resource but still every business or venture does require creativity, dedication, time, extensive research and ofcourse ‘HARD WORK’. 

So, before beginning this business you must keep some key points in your mind and avoid some mistakes which may harm the business.


  • Not knowing the target customers and not doing enough research- Do your homework properly!, Know your Niche, by that you will get to know your business requirements and operations. Know the tastes or choices of your target customers. Do accurate profiling of your niche clients. What kind of designs look appalling to them? What design elements are they looking for? Study the market and it’s demand and also the competitors for what they are offering. Feedbacks and reviews from different people and platforms must be taken into consideration. Do a well defined business planning and blueprint making. Ensure proper planning of sales, marketing, production and operations. 
  • High investment at the very beginning and mismanagement of Inventory-‘Do not blow your budget’! Seriously!. Make a right strategy and approach. Start from a small scale and low budget production. Check your print quality by selling your product in smaller amounts and gauge the response. Do a test print always, otherwise you will end up stocking t-shirts in huge bulk in your inventory and there will be utter wastage. Have a very well managed inventory. You can also sell your t-shirt to a local store or mall to see if the outcome is coming up right or not. See the profit margin and do proper calculations if you have gained what you have estimated. Observe the errors and loopholes in the phases of production, operations and sales and note them. Study the nuances of operating the business. Do not pool the resources thinking of gaining big profits quickly. Avoid unplanned use of resources, use them sustainably.  This way you save yourself from incurring loss and debts. Idea is to take a ‘Small step’, ‘Think’, ‘Analyse’, ‘Note’ and ‘Improve’ as there is always a “Scope of Improvement”! So, in this way you see if your designs are really working or not.


  • Compromise with the Quality– A big ‘NO’!. Customers are attracted to high quality. Quality matters not quantity. You can earn high for your quality product. The fabric of a T-shirt should be of top-notch. It should be comfortable and durable. Likewise fabric, the t-shirt design should also be of fine quality. The t-shirt design should be checked for its colour, durability and appeal.


  • Errors with Typography and Placement of design – Typography is about how the text will appear. It’s a craft of arranging the text using different fonts, letter spacing, sizes, contrast, typefaces etc., So, if the t-shirt design includes some text then it should give better visual appeal. For example, instead of using all caps letters if you use two or three different types of fonts then it will certainly make a difference to the t-shirt design. Along with typography the placement of design on the t-shirt holds equal importance as it plays a big role in the look and feel of the whole t-shirt. 


  • Sizing – Yes, it matters and creates a difference. The design of the t-shirt should be done with proper sizing. Do not play with the size! It may make or break the design. Sizing depends on the style of the t-shirt also as design to be printed may have limited area over the t-shirt. Decide the sizing of Design as per it’s nature and characteristics of the fabric. Designers go for the standard size. So too big and too small can make the design look awful. For example shapes like square and circle look good on small or medium size. So, do look at this aspect of designing. 


  • Low resolution image – If you have sourced the design from somewhere else then do ensure its resolution. An image must be of 300 pixel per inch (ppi) or dot per inch (dpi). Avoid blur and cloudy images. If you have taken the image from Google then for the optimal resolution you can go to Search & tools -> select large size for optimal result. Do not take the image from any chat apps or any social media platform as images over there are in compressed form so it will not possess high resolution.


  • Not using Vector Format -This is vital for image storage for any t-shirt printing technique. By vector format you can resize the image or design without compromising with its quality. Even if your image is of very small size you can scale it up to bigger size again keeping the quality very optimal. It will ensure the quality of lines and curves of the image. It is for getting the good finished image.


  • Ignoring Colour aspect- All the colours and contrast of the design plays a major role. You need to analyse the design and it’s colors and the color of the plain t-shirt, they should blend with each other well. Provide your clients with ‘n’ number of color shades. Make sure the design is not smudged. Avoid pixelated images, and smoothen up the images before printing on the t-shirt. Do extensive work on Color mix and matches, it’s look and appeal. 


  • Not Cleaning your tools – Very important and very easy to forget! In the t-shirt design business you are working with various tools and machinery, so it needs to be cleaned timely. Lot of residue of fabric ink and substances often left behind and gets mix with your next batch of T-shirts. Do clean your tools and machine before the next project.


  • Not maintaining the good customer relationship – A good t-shirt design will not sell right away. You need to build strong relations with the customer. Do not overcommit and overproduce! Know your capacity building. Deliver the order on time. Never promise or give assurance to the client on a certain date if you are not sure that the order will be completed on the promised time. Key is – “under promise and over deliver”. Take lead time from your client to ensure the timely deliverance.

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