How to Design Your Own T-Shirts

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Okay, so you went through our intensively built design gallery filled with glorious nerdy designs.. And you couldn’t find one you like (Impossible! I know!)


But lets just hypothesize… And now you want to design your own shirt…


This is How to Design Your Own T-Shirts


What you need:

  • Photo/Vector manipulation software. Relativistic Designs uses Adobe Illustrator CS5.. a little pricey for the average consumer, I recommend Inkscape for vector graphics and Gimp 2.0 for pixel graphics
  • A creative design idea
  • Time (Your daily 3 hour Facebook time can be sacrificed for this cause.)
  • A steady hand with a mouse… Or one of those fancy digital artist trackpads

What you should know:

  • Designing is hard and frustrating. Try allocating your time properly.
  • Don’t bother messing with expensive t-shirt printing services, Send the design to us at and we’ll print the design WITHOUT any extra charge, all you pay is ink, shirt, and mailing package.
  • As a plus side, if you do that, we’ll give you 50% of all profits from that design(if we decide to include it into the gallery) for 3 months.
  • Designing is also fun. You can let the creativity flow and come up with something amazing.

Steps to a wonderful design:

  1. Plan your design. Start by asking yourself what the purpose of the shirt is. If you plan to advertise your company or band, you will have to emphasize visibility, clarity, catchiness, and logo; with a purely artistic shirt, however, you will need to spend the most time on color coordination, composition, and originality. Full, pixel, artistic shirts are not recommended as they are very difficult to design and may come out differently due to monitor adjustment.Think about the overall tone and effect. Do you want something dramatic? Funny? Minimalistic? Nerdy? Artistic? Cartoonish? Photorealistic? What color scheme would best compliment this tone? Make sure you know the fundamentals of matching and coordinating colors. How much of the shirt should your design take up – and will it need a front and back design? Sketch these ideas on paper until you have a solid sense of the direction you’d like to take your design.You can also print a photo onto the design.. Choose something thats not blurry, because if you think your monitor is HD, wait till you see the shirt.
  2. Scan, sketch or trace your design onto your photomanip software. Illustrator traces many pixel graphics to vectors, with relative success. OR, you can just draw straight on with a mouse and a unbelievably steady hand (I had a computer science teacher that drew EVERYTHING on paint with a mouse. Skills)
  3. Play with filters, colors, brightness/contrast, saturation, or any other effects at your disposal. Add lines, flourishes, splatter effects, and other embellishments that might make the design more dynamic (where appropriate). Make sure that the entire layout is internally consistent by keeping proportions reasonable, styles consistent, and colors cohesive. But, when submitting to us, vector graphics should have less than 3 colours, just for ease of printing..
  4. Add some words! Say something, and use a cool font like the Relativistic Designs logo.


Do consider the feel and quality of the shirt before deciding on pixel or vector graphics.. Shirts printed from Vectors using Flex Print has a glossy, high quality line feeling that you get from sports jerseys.. Shirts printed from pixel or photos are just ordinary shirts with designs on them.


Thanks for reading! Do note if you decide to print your own funny and nerdy tees.. Thats a totally new guide, perhaps next time! :)


Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.

~Aldous Huxley

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