Blog, Industry Tips, Marketing, T-Shirts

How to design a t-shirt for a charity


Think of your storytelling.

If you want people to support your cause, they better understand what the charity is about right away. The message should be well-designed and clear. What do you want to say? Reflect on it and try to come up with a graphic way to communicate it. If you’re not an expert you can always ask for help to a graphic designer. Some may even lower their fee if it’s a charity.

t-shirts-for-charitiesThink of your potential supporters.

Who’s likely to contribute to your cause? Is it going to be young adults, or is it an older crowd? Are they more likely to be men or women? Are they fitness fans? If the t-shirts are going to be handed out during a marathon then it might be a good idea to choose garments with fabrics that can transpire and withstand physical exercise.

Think of continuity.

Are the t-shirts going to be handed out as a one time thing or is this a once a year event? A tee that’s designed for a specific event will be more valuable as it will create a sense of urgency and can profit from a fleeting design. On the other hand, a t-shirt that’s meant to be used over time may have less of an impact, but can feature a timeless design and in the long run create a statement.

Here are a few design ideas:

distressed logo

Pay a tribute.

What’s the reason for this fundraising? Are you trying to help someone in particular or is it a group of people? A t-shirt can be a good way to pay homage to them. Maybe a picture of their face is not necessary, but instead  a signature or a drawing of their hobby, for example.

Say it loud and bold.

A picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes all you need is a clear written message. If your campaign has a powerful slogan then why not print it in a cool-looking font?

A nice illustration.

Unicef is known for using cute illustrations to sell products and collect donations. The work of a good artist will raise the value of your product and can even create a collection if different illustrations are painted on different pieces.


About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!

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