How much t-shirt to design

Step by step - 9 steps on how to get started as a shirt entrepreneur and successfully start your own fashion label:

Step 1: you are hungry. You want to get something going. A t-shirt label!

First of all you should be clear about it: You are not the first one to have this dream. There are tons of brands out there, and many of them fail as soon as they are created.

Therefore our first tip:
Think big. But be realistic. The chances that you will become the next Marc Ecko are relatively small. In order to be successful, one thing applies above all: nothing comes from nothing! So roll up your sleeves and stay tuned!

"Winners never quit and quitters never win."
Vince Lombardi - football coach

Read more - Our link tips
Interview with the founder of the world-famous streetwear label Stüssy (English)
Guerilla Fashion - The History of the Streetwear Label Surpreme (English)
Interview with Eric Wodegnal, the founder of More Than a Shirt
Mikey Trapstar’s 8 Secrets To Starting a Successful Streetwear Brand

Step 2: Before you start working on a business plan and the like, first work on your idea!

Most shirt labels have their origins in subcultures or sports such as skateboarding, graffiti or BMX, others are based on topics such as the common hometown or revolve around a specific topic such as nightlife.
It is important that you have an idea that, ideally, does not yet exist. Sure, with the 100th RUN DMC logo ripoff you can definitely sell a few shirts, but you will definitely not be promoted to the next Stüssy. That is not to say that you should not be inspired. But remember: the success of your label depends on your idea.

"In order to be irreplacable one must always be different"
Coco Chanel - fashion icon

Step 3: Without a good motive, no good T-shirt!

"Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think is still the secret of great creative people"
Leo Burnett - successful recruiter

Quantity planning, the design of the online shop and the condition of the shirts should be postponed first, because of course you need a few good motifs beforehand. Of course, what is good is always in the eye of the beholder. However, we can say from experience that above all motifs that are either through: Good design (well-set font, skilful illustrations, clever use of color and shape), an impressively good idea or through humor (and by that we do not mean the hundredth fun -Shirt) are successful.

And now the most important tip: Before you put your savings into a large contingent of printed T-shirts in different sizes, first test how your shirts are received.

Read more - our link tips

Branding inspiration on
100 Original Fun Designs On T-shirts For Geeks And Designers
The 100 best free fonts of 2015

Step 4: Bake small but delicious rolls: the first T-shirt!

Since we were not really satisfied with the currently existing solutions on the German market, we founded our design platform for you. There you can sell t-shirts with your prints without any risk and earn from the first shirt sold. In this way, if your motifs are in demand, you can build up a small amount of start-up capital before you really have a whole collection made.

You benefit from our many years of experience in textile printing, our state-of-the-art Kornit digital direct printing machine, the fair-produced T-shirt blanks made of organic cotton from Stanley & Stella, and the fact that we take care of the shipping for you.

Step 5: get the hang of it!

In order to make your designs successful, it is now time to stir the drum. The social media channels are of course recommended for this. Post information about your fashion label on Facebook, take photos for Instagram or start writing your own blog. But of course you can also advertise your brand offline. First of all, you should equip yourself and your crew with your designs. Go party together in your outfits, organize photo shoots, tell people about your label! Or you go all out and organize a party to make your label known. You may be able to distribute your designs to local celebrities, online stars or other influential people and thus reach a wider audience.

Step 6: Potential top label or one-hit wonder?

No matter how well designed your shirts are. If you don't sell them, you will have to adjust a few screws in your dream of owning your own label. So at some point after the start-up phase, it will be time to make Kassensturz. What was your cost? What did you sell? How much revenue did you make? Because one thing must be clear to you: Selling a few T-shirts is not difficult. But the foundation for your own t-shirt label has to be a little more than 15 shirts sold online. If you have online profiles, compare your numbers with those of more popular shirt labels. Were you able to put money aside or did you invest everything directly again? If the whole thing is not to remain a hobby then it is also time to think about a trade.

Step 7: DO WORK! Just don't let up now!

You should be aware that a good design is far from over. Now you have to add more. It is important to stay true to the line you found at the beginning without repeating yourself. The best are the motifs that show that it is your label, but still look fresh every time! Keep in mind that there are people who like large, bold prints, while others may prefer a more subtle, minimal style. Different colors can also be a key to a variety of different motifs. One or two logo shirts and three to four different motifs form the ideal basis for a first real collection.

Step 8: The big fish - order your own collection.

We also have the ideal solution for you for this next step: our textile printing service. From a quantity of 10 pieces we are the ideal partner for you. Four types of printing, as well as embroidery, a huge selection of textiles, from T-shirts and hoodies to college jackets as well as a large range of accessories such as baseball caps, beanies, backpacks and jute bags are just waiting to be refined by you. In order to get a first impression of the applicable prices, you can use our professional print configurator, with which you can create your own offer in PDF form or send your request directly to our employees from the print shop. With us everything is handcrafted. Thanks to personal customer service, you are practically step by step. Your collection is in the best of hands with us!

Step 9: make money.

Now it's up to you how to proceed. We definitely recommend that as soon as a hobby becomes serious, you should seriously deal with things like setting up a company and registration, accounting, taxes and the like. Firstly, since this would go beyond the scope of this, and secondly, we are not business consultants but textile printers, we deliberately do not give you any further tips. However, do not take it lightly. A company doesn't just run by itself and you have certain obligations to fulfill. So seek advice from someone you trust! We wish you every success and look forward to the next inquiries.

Creating a t-shirt design: what is important? What can I pay attention to? - Inspiration and search for ideas

Surely you already have a basic idea in which direction your design should go.

We have to do something with cats!
- Sweet, fluffy! I love cats!
No, no, no ... cool cats. Street hangover!
- Grumpycat! Maru! Lil boy!

As you can see, for every topic there are thousands of different directions in which to go. So in our case it should be cats. But we need some style in which the whole thing should be designed, an idea that gives us the direction. Nothing easier and nothing harder than that! Internet, we need your help!
Cats ok! But not too good and fluffy please. A little pinch of rock'n'roll to step out of line a little.
So, make yourself a coffee, get a beer, have some snacks ready: it's time for a little surf session. Blogs which you can find on the blogging platform Tumblr, for example, or the work of other designers which you can find on platforms such as behance are best suited for this. The Google image search or photo sites like Flickr can also serve as a visual source of inspiration.

A few suggestions on our part:

Of course, you can also find inspiration offline at every corner. For example, we recommend books to you! Go to the flea market, look for cool books, go to your library and check out the art and design corner.

Moodboard - Mood-what? Collect inspiration!
You collect (in your case) all kinds of visual inspiration on a mood board. T-shirt designs that appeal to you, illustrations, photos, no matter what. The easiest way is to create a folder on your computer in which you can save images that appeal to you and that correspond to your desired idea. Let the pictures work on you, they can help you to find your style by providing a certain basic visual mood in which you develop

Important: You should let yourself be inspired, firstly, copy-paste is not particularly creative and secondly, you can get into problems with stolen ideas / designs if you want to resell them.

Typography - not all fonts are the same
Even if you have never created a design, you will be influenced by the font and its effect on a daily basis, even if only subconsciously through advertising and design. Would you like a little example? How do these fonts and the respective written word, which you see on the right, affect you? As you can see, the meaning of a word can be strengthened or weakened by writing. This is of course also important when designing your t-shirt print motifs!
To develop a basic understanding of typography, there are tons of helpful tutorials and tips on the web, and of course good books too. We recommend the following links:

Typical typography mistakes
The 100 best fonts
Lots of free fonts for your design

With the free fonts, you just have to make sure that they can also be used for commercial use.

Combining fonts
The combination of different scripts with each other also needs to be learned! Combinations of different fonts often appear inharmonious. Of course, you can also break specific rules here, but when choosing fonts it makes sense to pay attention to legibility and a coordinated, harmonious image

A must-have for your own T-shirt label: the logo
A logo can be many things: lettering, a combination of image and words, an abstract symbol, graphic shapes. There are no limits for your creativity. However, what is important when designing a logo:

It should have a high recognition value.
It should be unique.
It should be reproducible in a wide variety of sizes.
In the best case, it should also support your idea visually!

In our case, we decided on your combination of text and image and teamed up two different designs. The name Wild Cats is to be underlined by the combination of a "wild" font and an "elegant" one. The graphic elements are indicated scratch marks of a cat, as well as an uncontrolled drawn area that serves as a background for the writing.

The motif for your t-shirt print: illustrations
You are very old school with real pens and paper and have you drawn something cool? Now do you want to put this drawing on a T-shirt? No problem. Or? First of all, it must be said: It is not enough to simply scan the drawing. This CAN work for very rough black and white drawings on a white or light t-shirt, but unfortunately this is rarely the case. Scanned drawings can only be printed on T-shirts using direct digital printing, similar to photos. However, with these scanned graphics, no color fastness, no transparency or other effects can be applied to the textile.
Digitally post-processed graphics, which are then often in the form of vector graphics, are better.

You can find a detailed tutorial on how to get from a drawing on paper to an editable vector graphic here.

You can use another tutorial that guides you step by step through the process of digitizing a drawing here see.

Combining fonts
When choosing the color for your designs, make sure that the colors harmonize with each other and also think of the color of the textiles that are to be printed on. Of course, your own taste is required, but there are websites such as Adobe Color CC that provide you with a variety of color palettes from muted to bright. Here you can get inspiration or find suitable colors for a color of your choice.

Of course, you can also develop color palettes yourself. Look for pictures that you like in terms of color and use, for example, the free browser plug-in "Colorzilla" to extract individual colors.

The colors used on your own shirt label can become a distinguishing feature! Every street wear enthusiast will recognize the surpreme red immediately! In our case, we opted for a rather unspectacular classic that is used by many t-shirt labels: black and white! However, the whole thing is loosened up by the targeted use of a yellow-green.

The requirements for the print data
In addition to a good design, it is of course also important that the file is created in a printable format from the outset. Above all, the resolution and the size determine the feasibility. Ideally, print data is created in the original size. That means: If a motif is to be printed in A4 size on a textile, it is best to also create it in A4 format. The resolution is also important. Most screens display graphics at 72dpi, however, when printing, a resolution of at least 300dpi is required for good print results. This is particularly important for raster graphics; vector graphics can be scaled without problems if they are created correctly. You can find a detailed explanation of what a vector graphic actually is here: What is a vector graphic?

Create graphics in their original size
Create graphics in CMYK color mode
Create graphics with a size of at least 300 dpi