Our Lovely art

Custom Apparel Designs

Meet Steve

With nearly 40 years of experience in the apparel and souvenir market, Steve Deland is a top graphic designer who has worked with clients from small businesses to Fortune 500s. His commitment to quality and attention to detail make him one of the Northwest’s most sought-after designers. By investing in his services, you can guarantee unique, top-notch artwork that will make your business stand out.

At only $100 an hour, Steve’s expert eye and creativity represent the best value for your business. His art can make your company stand out, creating a lasting impression on potential customers and boosting your reputation. Get the best quality graphics and make an impact – you won’t regret it.

-50% Hot Summer Collection

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5 Reasons hiring a graphic designer can help enhance your brand?

1.) A graphic designer can create a consistent brand image for you.
2.) A graphic artist knows the new and emerging trends.
3.) A graphic artist creates innovative and creative ideas according to your needs.
4.) A graphic artist adds a professional look to your idea.
5.) A graphic artist will work personally with you to achieve exactly what you're looking for.

Is PNG or JPEG better for T-shirt printing?

A .PNG file is needed for (DTG) Printing. A hi resolution (300dpi) .JPG that the background can be cropped out will work with a little editing if that is the best you can provide.

Can you use Canva for designing T-shirts?

You can use Canva to layout and show your idea, but the finished art piece needs to be in vector or .PNG format. You can do a design in Canva with a transparent background and save it as a .PNG file and that would work for DTG Printing but vector art is needed for screen printing and Canva does not support that. Again, a hi resolution (300dpi) .JPG that the background can be cropped out will work with a little editing, but not preferred.

How do large companies source graphic t-shirt designs?

Most people that order shirts are in that position for the first time and are new to it so the internet is the go to for most people looking to print apparel. Your local printers though are your best option. You can work with them and have the personal interaction with them and really build a relationship with your supplier that you cannot get over the internet. This way there are no 3rd party miscommunications during the ordering and approval process.

Where do you prefer to have a graphic on your t-shirt, the back or front, and why?

If you are prone to wear a jacket then a front print is advised. If you ride a motorcycle or bike and or don’t like to feel like you're wearing a billboard advertising something then a back print is preferred. If you're advertising a brand or company logo then a simple left chest design and full back design works nicely.

Why are vector graphics more suitable for t-shirt printing than raster graphics?

Vector graphics breaks the art into layers and colors that are editable. Needed for screenprint. Raster art is basically a .jpg or tiff. They can be edited for DTG printing but cannot be used for screenprint.

What design software do you use to design t-shirts?

Corel Draw Online Suite, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are the market preferred programs.

How should I prepare my artwork for t-shirt printing?

A .PNG file or Photoshop file saved in layers for (DTG) is best. .AI or .EPS or .CDR file for Screenprinting.

What are the dimensions of the graphic for a t-shirt?

Maximum size for a front or back design for (DTG) is 15” width by 19” height. Maximum size for screenprint is 13.5” width by 14” height. Left chest designs are usually around 4” by 4”.

Which design elements are featured on the back of a t-shirt?

A full back print featuring your company logo and pertinent info such as a large phone number and website for advertising your business.

What t-shirt designs look unattractive when worn in public?

This depends on what you are trying to achieve. A design that has lots of text and is not ledgable or a design that is layed out poorly and not identifiable is bad. If you're advertising for a business or some other form of trying to pass on info to the public then to much info is not a good idea. Tends to be small print. People cannot take in all the info in passing. Ideally a clean and bold design that is easy to read and process the info printed in passing is the best option.



Explore our vast showroom filled with styles and top brands such as Carhartt, North Face, and Cutter and Buck. From stylish jackets to caps and safety shirts to classic polos, we have something for everyone.


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Online Exclusives


Get ready to explore a range of unbeatable online-only offers that are set to revolutionize your custom apparel experience. We have curated these exclusive packages with your unique needs in mind, offering exceptional value and quality that you won’t find anywhere else!


Dominic Nguyen

DTG Operator

Dominic Nguyen recently joined our Direct-To-Garment department. He says he loves the family work environment at Northwest Custom Apparel. In his free time, Dom likes to listen to music, hangout with friends, and play video games. He comes from a very big family which can be very chaotic at times, but is always exciting.


Erik Mickelson


Erik Mickelson’s position as Manager is more than a job, it’s a passion. It’s always fun and exciting because he enjoys marketing, computers, and coming up with innovative ideas to help NWCA grow. He majored in accounting and finance at Washington State University, graduating in 1996, and returned to school to obtain his Master of Business from WGU, graduating in 2016. Erik continually strives to advance his education through podcasts, audiobooks, and industry tradeshows. He is married to a remarkable and caring wife named Wendy, a Registered Nurse, with whom he shares his many hobbies and a love for the outdoors.



Ruth Nhoung

Production Manager

Ruth Nhoung is our Production Manager and Northwest Custom Apparel is lucky to have her. Thanks to her vast knowledge of machine embroidery and dedication to creating a comfortable and supportive work environment, the production plant runs smoothly and customers are pleased with our work. She is a loving mother and grandmother and enjoys spending quality time with her siblings. She says, “I love everything about Northwest Custom Apparel: the people, the atmosphere, the work, and the customers. I love what I do and I embrace all of NWCA’s core values”.


Steve Deland

Art Director

Steve Deland has been our amazing Artist since 2017. He loves working at Northwest Custom Apparel because he appreciates the goal-oriented, progressive-thinking management style. He is most passionate about his art, which includes scroll saw woodwork, and his five grandchildren.



Taylar Hanson


Taylar Hanson is a highly acclaimed Saleswoman at Northwest Custom Apparel. She has a BA in Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles from Washington State University. “Go Cougs!” The best part of Taylar’s job is getting to work with longtime customers who trust us to do the best work and take care of their needs. She is passionate about appreciating nature, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.


Nika Lao


Nika Lao is very knowledgeable in how the business is ran because she began as an Embroidery Machine Operator and has worked hard to become the excellent and personable saleswoman she is today. She enjoys the stress-free environment and the many chances to connect with her co-workers over potlucks, BBQs, and bowling parties. Nika is a proud sister of two highly successful brothers and can boast mastering three languages herself: Khmer, Thai, and English. She is an avid camper, enjoys going to farmer markets, and loves cooking.


Bradley Wright


Bradley Wright has been a vital team member of NWCA since 2017. As our accountant and knower-of-all-things, Bradley is proud to work closely with his wonderful colleagues. He studied at the University of Washington. These days he dedicates his free time to his new house.


Alicia Wada

Shipping Clerk

Alicia Wada is passionate about helping her co-workers at Northwest Custom Apparel in any way that she can. She works in our Shipping and Logistics department. Alicia, who goes by Ali, has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics. She lived in Japan for ten years and recently brought her family to America in 2019. She is interested in learning crafts and textile art from around the world.


Brian Beardsley

DTG Supervisor

Brian Beardsley has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. He is our DTG Supervisor. Brian loves that he gets to work with high-tech machines in a fun atmosphere. He has a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. He said, “I always wanted to create visually interesting assets in a variety of mediums”. In his free time, he enjoys building and painting models, playing video games, designing, and playing his guitar.


Antonio Massey

Production Team: Folder

Antonio Massey recently joined NWCA in June of 2022. His role on the Production Team has greatly improved our processes and productivity. Antonio is always willing to lift heavy boxes or help his co-workers during busy times. In his free time, he enjoys playing with his dog and mastering video games.


UT Tri Tran

Embroidery Machine Operator

UT Tri Tran loves Northwest Custom Apparel so much that, although she has already retired after a long career in machine embroidery operations, she is happy to return part time. She says, “I love the family style work environment and how everyone shares food, laughter, and fun on a regular basis.” In her free time she is dedicated to living a healthy and peaceful lifestyle with her friends and family.



Embroidery Machine Operator

BunsereytheavyHoeu, who goes by Theavy, won our Operator of the Year in 2021. She takes on many roles in the production team. She says, “These are not my co-workers, these are my family! I cherish all the memories we make together”. When she goes home to be with her family, she makes the most of her time with them by holding family get-togethers and even karaoke competitions.


Sreynai Meang

Embroidery Machine Operator

SreynaiMeang is a hard-working Machine Operator. She is most passionate about helping people. Sreynai, who goes by Nai, likes to exercise in her free time and talk with her family in Cambodia.


Kanha Chhorn

Embroidery Machine Operator

Kanha Chhorn has been an Embroidery Operator with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. She is delightful and always makes everyone smile and laugh. Kanha takes on additional tasks that allow us to exceed our customers’ expectations. In her free time, she can be found at her local temple or spending quality time with her family and friends.


Savy Som

Embroidery Machine Operator

SavySom is one of our Machine Operators who is passionate about embroidery and sewing. She enjoys working at NWCA because of its flexibility. She has two teenage sons and loves spending time with her family on the weekends.



Embroidery Machine Operator

SorphornSorm has been a Machine Operator since 2011. One of her four sisters works here as well. Her other relatives are in Cambodia. In her free time, Sorphorn studies English, listens to music, and enjoys exercising.


Sothea Tann

Production Team: Trimmer

Sothea Tann recently joined the Production Team in 2022. She finds Northwest Custom Apparel to be a good working environment with helpful and friendly staff. In her free time, Sothea spends quality time with her family and, overall, focuses on a peaceful and happy lifestyle.


Jim Mickelson


Jim Mickelson, after a successful career with a major oil company, founded Northwest Embroidery in 1977. This was the first commercial embroidery in the Pacific Northwest. Over the years, Jim has become the guru of embroidery never refusing to answer a question or offer advice to his fellow embroiders. Jim and his wife Leeanna raised four wonderful children who went on to successful business careers.