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How to turn your art into a t shirt design


So you’ve created some artwork that people want to buy. Nice work! Ever thought about applying your designs to more than just paper? Creating printed t shirts, tea towels and tote bags can help you reach a larger market and sell more work. There’s just a few steps you’ll need to follow to turn your illustrations into the next wearable trend.

Making your t shirt design print ready

If you’ve drawn your t shirt design on paper, you’re going to need to scan it in a high resolution format. That means dialling up the scan settings on your scanner to at least 600dpi.

Now for the important step. Deep etching. This means removing the paper background so that it becomes transparent. Photoshop is the perfect tool for this and you can learn how to deep etch in photoshop here. Don’t have photoshop? No problem! You can hire a designer on fiverr to deep etch your custom design for you easily, cheaply and quickly.

If you’ve used a tablet to create your design then you can skip the above process. Just make sure you save your t shirt design at 600dpi in PNG format.

Choosing the right garment

High quality t shirts are important if you want to make a good name for your brand. AS Colour are a great place to start. They make the best quality basics, come in a heap of colours, are great value for money, have high ethical standards and hold up really well in the wash. AS Colour have stores in most capital cities around Australia, so it’s well worth popping in to try on some garments. If you’re in Brisbane you can also pop into The Print Bar to see their range.

Getting pre-sales

butterfly illustration printed t shirt design

The last step is to drum up some sales! Pre-orders are a safe way for you to start selling without spending a lot of money on a large number of printed t shirts. We recommend creating a mockup of your t shirt design that you can post on your online store and share on social media. You can find t shirt mockup templates online that will allow you to display your design on a t shirt before even printing it. Once you’ve made some sales you can then order your designs through The Print Bar and ship them out to your customers.

Now you’re on your way to getting your illustrations out to the masses!