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Articles on designing your own custom merch, growing your brand, and managing manufacturing as a small business.

11½ Ways to Build a Better T-shirt

So — you’re looking to make a batch of custom t-shirts for either a brand or a business. Don’t swallow the lie that screenprinting is the only affordable customization route. What you can’t afford is to not be noticed.

But in a world dominated by branded threads, $80 “fashion T”s and mass-produced T-shirt campaigns, it’s hard to standout without putting your cost estimations out to dry. TeeSpring, CaféPress, the local print shop? They let you “stand out” by giving you free or low-cost screen-printing — in a market full of millions of other people with the same thing.


Great ideas just aren’t enough anymore.

Take hope, t-shirt designer-to-be. Here’s eleven (and a half) custom modifications that used to be “for big brands only” — until we put them in everyone’s design-the-ultimate-T-shirt toolbox.

Printing Methods

Sure, we do screen printing. Better and cheaper than the other guys — and with multiple colors and printing locations (and better customer service). If your design is simple but breaks TeeSpring’s 9×9 inch “printable area” rule, We’ll be happy to take a look.

But dare to be bold with the vivid detail of direct-to-garment print — a souped-up fabric printer leading to ultimate detail, precision and color that’s affordable at even low quantities. And if you’ve got a bold design, try the simulated process print, a version of screen printing that uses more opaque, intense colors that work great on black cloth.



Spent more than ten hours developing your brand? You owe it to yourself to make the small investment of trim on your t-shirts. Woven labels with your brand logo, care and size labels tailored specifically to your fabric and custom hangtags to swing in the sale floor breeze — these things say that your brand has arrived. And that you can justify fashion-quality prices. 


They say you can’t print money but… you can. 


Patches are all the rage these days. Check out your favorite brand and we’ll bet 10% off your next purchase* that they’ve got an apparel item with a patch of some sort on them. Patches fit any brand theme, can last as long as the shirt themselves and — surprise — don’t actually cost that much, especially when you’re integrating into an existing t-shirt order. Choose from (or all) five poppin’ patches: natural leather, eye-catching embroidery, intricate printing, rugged PVC or old-school chenille. Patches on your t-shirts add a literal and figurative dimensionality to clothing that turns heads.


At this point, even we want to buy this t-shirt. 

And more

Did we mention that the above options are available for numerous shirt styles? Buttoned polos for professionals, long-sleeve shirts for winter and sleeveless shirts for the basketball court? That’s a “half-option” for us, but have fun with calls you’ll have to make at TeeSpring or CafePress to get some alternate threads. No matter the time or place, we’ve got the shirts to suit the occasion.

Don’t accept the boring t-shirt mantra. Everyday, more and more people are getting The/Studio experience and finding out whole new meanings for the word “custom” — but don’t take our word for it. Send your logo to our designers today and they’ll make it happen on any style of shirt you want — free





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