Among all of the graphic designers in the world, many of them have probably had a go at designing some cool artwork for t-shirts. The t-shirt, after all, is one of the world’s most purchased products, and a lot of us wouldn’t know what to do without them!

If you have yet to design for apparel goods, today is your lucky day! Below, we present over 20 useful t-shirt graphic tutorials written by fellow designers, followed by a selection of great resources (such as vector apparel mock-up templates), an inspirational showcase to get your brain thinking and some great websites where you can submit your new t-shirt graphics.

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T-Shirt Graphic Tutorials

Create a Balanced T-Shirt Graphic

  • Work with vector image tools to trace stock photos.
  • Learn how to make great compositions.

Balanced T-Shirt Graphic

How to Design a T-Shirt on a Budget and a Tight Deadline

  • Use existing vector packs to produce new graphics.
  • Work with limited color schemes.

Designing on a budget and tight deadline

T-Shirt Design in Photoshop

  • Work with the Saturation Settings to manipulate photos.
  • Use the Circular Marquee Tool to produce custom shapes.

T-Shirt Design in Photoshop

Super-Slick Screen-Printing Separations with Illustrator

  • Set up documents and bleeds ready for screen printing.
  • Use Calligraphic Brushes to trace photographs.
  • Separate colors to be ready for screen printing.

Screen Printing Separations

How to Create Photorealistic T-Shirt Mock-Ups

  • Use apparel templates to produce realistic digital mock-ups.
  • Use layer masks to hide unwanted areas of a graphic.

Photorealistic T-Shirt Mock-Ups

Screen Printing Effects

  • Simulate silk screen imperfections in Photoshop.
  • Learn how to use alpha channels.

Screen Printing Effects

Create a Custom T-Shirt Stencil Design

  • Create stencils for your t-shirt artwork.
  • Use craft knifes and spray paint to produce home-made t-shirts.

Custom T-Shirt Stencil Design

Screen Printing Tricks

  • Get your hands dirty and produce home-made screen-printed t-shirts.
  • Use various objects from around the home to save money on one-off production tees.

Screen Printing Tricks

Separating Colors for Screen Printing in Photoshop

  • Use the Magic Wand Tool to select individual colors.
  • Use registration marks to help line up artwork when screen printing.

Separating Colors for Screen-Printing

How to Win at Design by Humans

  • Learn tips and tricks for submitting your artwork to Design by Humans.
  • Use Pantone Color books to get your colors correct.

How to win at Design by Humans

How to Prepare Artwork for Screen Printing in Illustrator

  • Use various Pathfinder Tools to separate your colors.
  • Use the Magic Wand Tool to select individual colors.

Prepare Artwork for Screen-Printing

Designing Ultra SceneXCore Apparel

  • Manipulate stock photos using various tools.
  • Use existing vector images to spice up your artwork.

Ultra SceneXCore Apparel

Create a Three-Color Illustration for Screen-Printing

  • Separate colors in Photoshop to be ready for screen printing.
  • Learn about trapping to avoid slight alignment on press.

Three-Color Illustration for Screen-Printing

Easy Color Separations for Screen-Printing in Photoshop

  • Learn the process of screen printing and how it all works.
  • Learn how to separate your artwork colors in Photoshop.

Color Separations for Screen-Printing

How to Create Awesome T-Shirt Mock-Ups like Jimiyo

  • Use the Transform Tool to correctly position your artwork.
  • Use the highlight and shadow levels to give your digital mock-up a realistic look.

Awesome T-Shirt Mock-Ups

DIY Vintage T-Shirts

  • Combine Photoshop and Illustrator to produce stunning artwork.
  • Use an imported sketch as a guideline.

DIY Vintage T-Shirts

Rapid-Fire Illustration Tutorial

  • Use the Live Trace Tool to quickly and effectively trace traditional ink drawings.
  • Use the Pen Tool to create custom shapes.

Rapid-Fire Illustration

How to Create a T-Shirt from Scratch

  • Use various Photoshop Tools to create custom shapes.
  • Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to delete unwanted areas of artwork.

T-Shirt from Scratch

Create a Complete Apparel Tech Pack

  • Learn how to prepare your files correctly.
  • Learn how to separate colors correctly.

Complete Apparel Tech Pack

CMYK Process Printing for the Emerging T-Shirt Designer

  • Learn how to mix existing resources to create a good composition.
  • Work with unusual color schemes to produce eye-catching artwork.

CMYK Process Printing

Digital T-Shirt Mock-Up Resources

After giving a few of the above tutorials the once over, you should have enough knowledge to begin making your own separated t-shirt artwork. Below are several links we have collected to help you present your work in the most stylish way possible.

GoMedia Ultimate Apparel Vector Collection
GoMedia Ultimate Apparel Vector Collection

Freebie T-Shirt Template

T-Shirt Templates: Free and Paid
T-Shirt Templates: Free and Paid

Free Blank Vector Clothing
Free Blank Vector Clothing

Huge Collection of T-Shirt Design Mock-Up Templates
Collection of T-Shirt Mock-Up Templates

VIP Mock-Up Templates
VIP Mock-Up Templates

T-Shirt Inspiration

Now you’ve got everything you need… except maybe for some ideas! Take a look at these great inspirational posts to help you get your thinking cap on!

Where To Sell And Submit Your Artwork

Below we have collected various online stores and open-ended competitions that invite you to submit your t-shirt designs, with the chance of getting them printed and taking home some well-earned cash!

  • Design by Humans
    An ongoing design contest and community where artists and t-shirt lovers can create, buy and talk about everything related to art and t-shirts.
  • Threadless
    Threadless is a community-based tee-shirt company with an ongoing open call for design submissions.
  • Teetonic
    Teetonic is about passion for design. It wants to create the best t-shirts and is always open for submissions.
  • Allmightys
    Submit designs to win tees, commisions, fame, friends and more!
  • Oddica
    Submit your artwork for a chance to earn 41% of every sale made.
  • Zazzle
    Make money online by selling your designs on hundreds of retail-quality products! It’s free and easy.
  • Cafepress
    Design, make and sell your t-shirts.
  • La Fraise
    This is pretty much the French version of Design by Humans.
  • Spreadshirt
    Create your own t-shirt shop for free, and fill it with your very own designs.
  • BigCartel
    BigCartel is a simple shopping cart for artists. Create an account and start selling!

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About the Author

Callum Chapman is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator based in Cambridge, UK. He is also the creative blogger behind Circlebox Blog, a design-related blog that offers articles, inspiration, tutorials and free high-resolution textures.

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© Callum Chapman for Smashing Magazine, 2009. |
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