Blog, Embroidery, Industry Tips, Marketing, Promotional Products, T-Shirts

Perfect Tips for Designing & Selling T-shirts


Designing and selling T-shirts is no small feat. There are lots of steps you’ll need to take to run a successful clothing business. Fortunately, some of those steps are fairly easy to do. By the time you’ve read through our list of pocket tips, you’ll be well-prepared to take your endeavor to the next level.

perfect-tips-designing-selling-t-shirtsStarting steps

  • Decide what products you’re going to sell. Are you sticking to all T-shirts, or do you want to try out some other stuff, too?
  • What style of shirt is going to work best for your brand? There are lots, so have a think!
  • Figure out who is going to design your stuff — will you be doing this, or will you hire someone to do it for you?
  • Think about where you’re going to sell your tees: Online? a physical store? or in a Pop Up Shop?
  • Give your brand a clear, distinct personality — What will make it stand out?
  • Choose your brand name carefully.

Kornit Printed T-ShirtsMoney & Practical Talk

  • Set your budget and consider your profit margins.
  • If you need to print a lot of shirts at once, look into bulk T-shirt printing to save money.
  • Figure out where you’re getting your funds from — maybe you can do some crowdfunding?
  • You’ll need to decide on a payment method: Usually, PayPal and credit cards are good enough.
  • Create a space online to sell your products. Some people choose e-commerce shops, others do it through social media, and lots have their very own site.

T-Shirt BAndDesigning Your Products

  • Go online to find inspiration. Look to some offbeat sources for inspiration too, like buildings, kitchen gadgets and more!
  • If you’re not designing stuff, here’s where you can get free images for your designs.
  • If you’re going to hire someone to do design work for you, pick a designer carefully. Check out their portfolio and talk to them in person.
  • Use a mood board to play around with your ideas.
  • Try out how ideas will look by using T-shirt templates how your concept will look in real life.

design-bands-merchandise-part-3-productionPrinting Decisions

  • Come up with creative ways to personalize your stuff. Here are some ideas specifically for jumpers, but they’ll work for lots of different pieces of clothing, too.
  • Think about what sort of T-shirt printing technique you want to use when you plan and design.
  • Once you’ve chosen your printing technique, think about your fabric choices, too.
  • Now, it’s onto color combinations! There’s more of a science behind it than you might think.
  • Take combining different design elements into account too, like geometrical figures and photos or a plain design on a textured tee.

Marketing Your Products

  • Decide who you want to sell your T-shirts to, and talk in a tone that appeals to them.
  • Don’t be afraid to use social media channels to promote your brand. Start with one or two you feel comfortable with.
  • Use Twitter to instantly deal with customer feedback. It’s quick and easy!
  • Marketing using YouTube videos can be a good tool to show customers your brand, your products and your professional know-how.

Displaying Your Products

  • Pick good-quality photographs for any displays you create.
  • When you do your photos, shoot and style your models in a way that fits with your brand and is consistent.
  • Create a mock up to show off your stuff to potential customers and clients.
  • If you have a physical store, consider coming up with a personalized uniform for your employees. It can be a great way to establish your brand.

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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