One of the first things that professionals working in the t-shirt design and printing business find out is that not everything that looks great on a computer screen or even as a hand-drawn graphic or design translates to a great look on the shirt.
With screen printing shirts of any type from long-sleeved t-shirts to polos or heavy duty t-shirts, taking the time to go over the details of the design will be important. This last check will help you prevent common mistakes that can result when the details are overlooked either in the design, t-shirt choice or the printing options.
It is very important to consider the colors in the design in relationship to the color of the shirt. Lighter colors on a light colored shirt are going to look washed out while darker colors on a dark shirt may not be visible or only moderately visible.
In most cases, changing the color of the elements of the design that are going to be next to the shirt will give enough of a break between light or dark colors to give a distinctive, crisp design.
It is important when screen printing shirts, to choose a top quality shirt that has a flat surface. Ribbed fabrics pose a problem as the ink doesn’t penetrate into the grooves of the ribs. Once they are stretched from wear, the ink is going to look patchy because of the stretch of the fabric, not because of poor printing.
The size of the area for printing needs to take into consideration the neckline, the location of seams and even pockets on the shirt. While you can screen print over seams and pockets, it will create a difference as the screen will not directly touch the shirt surface immediately on either side of a seam.
Fabric and T-shirt Choice
Finally, choosing a quality t-shirt is going to result in a superior look when screen printing shirts. These shirts don’t stretch or pull and they have very smooth surfaces, making for a uniform look to the printed area that is consistent over the shirt and between shirts.