Looking to create a personalized t-shirt without sacrificing too much of your valuable time? Cut through the noise with our straightforward guide on how to create custom t-shirts. From setting your objectives to finalizing your order, we outline key steps for a shirt that matches your budget, style, and occasion. Creating your ideal custom t-shirts can be easy and painless and doesn't need to eat away at your schedule.

A family sitting outside enjoying a picnic. They are each wearing a matching family vacation shirt design.

Key Takeaways

  • Establishing specific objectives and priorities for custom t-shirts is essential whether for personal use, organizational branding, or special events. Having a clear understanding of your objectives when creating custom t-shirts is crucial in managing budgets, timelines, and ensures the t-shirt design effectively embodies its intended message.
  • Choosing the right material and print method for custom t-shirts is important and should be based on factors like comfort, budget, order size, and design complexity to ensure the order meets the customer needs.
  • There are many ways to design your custom t-shirts. Using the Design Studio, you are able to upload logos or designs, start from a premade design or create your own t-shirt design from scratch using the design elements and tools.
Artistic perspective of an automatic screen printing press showing shirts being printed.

Quick Backstory

A room filled with. A behind the scenes image of UberPrints beginnings.
UberPrints beginnings - almost 20 years ago.

When we got started in 2005 (yes, that was almost 20 years ago) we were actually selling blank t-shirts. Seriously, that was a thing. One day we got a call, "can you put my design on this". Absolutely, and so UberPrints began...

We've been printing t-shirts for a long time now. We have watched the industry evolve. Over time we have perfected our process and we now are able to provide an incredible experience for customers in need of custom tees. Here we have outlined our guide for ordering custom t-shirts. We hope it helps.

What are your Goals and Priorities?

Have you ever noticed the role custom t-shirts play in building community within groups? They are a key ingredient in building school spirit during various events and club activities. On the sports teams, these t-shirts become more than just t-shirts; they are symbols of team identity, decorated with school/team colors, emblems, and slogans or mascots. Beyond the academic scene, envision a family gathering where each person is wearing a matching t-shirt, transforming a simple piece of clothing into an wearable memory.

A group of runners that are all wearing the same shirts promoting the event.

Businesses too have discovered the value of custom t-shirts as a subtle yet effective marketing and branding tool. Within the community, these t-shirts serve as mobile advertisements, promoting brand awareness in a way that seamlessly integrates with everyday life. For more on this check out our article on how businesses use t-shirts for marketing.

A male landscaper wearing a t-shirt that features his company's logo.

When setting out on designing your own custom shirt, it’s crucial first to define its purpose clearly: whether for individual expression, upcoming event or representative of an organizational identity – understanding your core intentions will guide the creation process so that your t-shirt design reflects the purpose.

Custom t-shirts go beyond basic tees. They act as a medium for sharing messages, creating a sense of belonging, and allowing for personal creativity. Key considerations such as cost-effectiveness, deadline, choice of materials and style options should be considered when making decisions. By paying close attention to these aspects and incorporating them into your planning, you lay the groundwork for a smooth and exciting experience in creating your personalized t-shirts. For guidance on how to sidestep common pitfalls in custom t-shirt ordering, be sure to read our article about the top mistakes to avoid when order t-shirts.

Choosing the Right T-Shirt Material and Style

Detail image showing different t-shirt materials and styles.

Crafting your very own custom t-shirt requires careful consideration of both the fabric and style. Opt for classic cotton t-shirts which offer a great mix of resilience, cost-effectiveness, and an array of color choices. For those prioritizing fabric quality and comfort, tri-blend tees could be ideal due to their superior softness and light build while still maintaining high-quality standards. The nature of your project along with your financial plan will significantly guide you in choosing the most suitable t-shirt option.

If you’re aiming for an upscale custom shirt design, opting for premium fabrics can truly take your creation up a notch. The weight of the fabric is crucial. Lighter materials yield more softness whereas heavier ones are typically more durable. Your choice in style and material doesn’t just influence the starting cost, but also impacts how comfortable it feels when worn.

Investing a little extra in premium t-shirts may seem costly initially, but might prove worthwhile if you desire unrivaled fit and exceptional smoothness for personal custom-designed t-shirts.

Detail image of our premium triblend t-shirt.

We offer many guides on the blog to help you choose the best t-shirt for your project. Check out our guide on 3 popular custom t-shirts compared for a comparison of 3 of our top tees. If low cost is you priority, check out our most popular cheap custom t-shirt options. For supersoft custom tees, our guide to the best premium custom t-shirts will be useful. These resources, along with others, are designed to guide you through the selection process to find the options that best meet your requirements.

Designing Your Custom T-Shirts

A topdown image of a business owner that is in the planning and design stage of creating their custom shirts.

Crafting your own t shirt design can be an exciting yet challenging project. Fortunately, you have many pathways you can take to get the perfect design. Our extensive collection of t-shirt design templates covers numerous categories, offering you an ideal launching point you can further customize. These templates are far from simple stand-ins. They offer professional-grade designs which will ensure your business or group’s shirts exhibit a modern and sophisticated look. Read more about how to use design templates in our article - using design templates to create professional t-shirts.

Two rows of folded shirts that feature a variety of templates that can be customized.

When selecting one of these designs, it’s more than just picking out artwork—you’re also coupling it with the perfect accompanying t-shirt for the best looking tees. Applying color theory transforms each shirt into something special by influencing moods and aesthetics through strategic color choices. Understanding color theory is essential in the design process, as it influences the aesthetic appeal of the shirts. Whether you prefer a cohesive look with analogous colors, a bold statement with complementary colors, or a minimalist vibe with a monochromatic palette, color plays a key role in the overall design of your custom t-shirts.

A topdown view of t-shirts showing examples of different ways in which to use color.

If you're looking to start from scratch, our Design Studio has thousands of clipart images and numerous fonts for you to use. With many unique clipart options, you can create a distinctive t-shirt design that stands out. Designing your own t-shirt can be a straightforward and enjoyable process in our Design Studio.


For those who already have their own design or simply want to add a logo, our studio provides an effortless image upload feature. After uploading your artwork, you can easily adjust its size and position within the design area, allowing you to see an instant proof of your custom t-shirt.

Selecting the Right Print Method for your Order

With your personalized t-shirt design in hand, you’re now faced with the task of selecting an appropriate printing method for bringing your custom tees to life. This choice hinges on several considerations: order size, complexity of the shirt design, and how quickly you need them.

An example of how a shirt is digitally printed.

For detailed images on a smaller scale run of shirts, Direct-to-Garment (DTG) or Digital Printing is highly recommended. DTG printing is great when producing small batches with complex imagery, but it might not be as economical for larger quantities.

An example of how a shirt is screen printed.

For bulk orders, screen printing is the way to go. Its economic advantage becomes pronounced at higher volumes. Hence screen printing suits bulk orders perfectly well. Read more on the differences in our article on digital vs. screen printing printing t shirts.

An example of a hat being embroidered.

If what you’re looking to customize heavier garments like polos, embroidery should be considered since it offers this unique finish touch to any garment. Whatever method you choose should correspond closely with your particular requirements including volume needed and desired delivery date.

Finalizing Your T-Shirt Creation: From Artwork to Order

An image of one of our art department members reviewing a customers design.

Once you actually place your order, have confidence that our specialists at UberPrints will thoroughly examine your design. We want you to love your t-shirts. In the event there are any issues or clarifications needed, we'll reach out to you so we can discuss possible modifications.

To preserve the quality and extend the durability of your custom t shirts, it’s crucial to give them the proper care they deserve after dedicating the effort in creating them. A basic yet vital step is laundering your t-shirts with cold water. This helps avert any loss of vibrancy in color and keeps the print on the shirt intact.

Its also best to flip them inside out prior to washing. By doing so, you minimize abrasion against the print during wash cycles which can considerably enhance their longevity.

Making the Most of Bulk Orders

A stack of t-shirts from a bulk order that are getting ready to be screen printed.

Diving into the realm of bulk purchasing can offer substantial advantages. Ordering t-shirts in large quantities not only affords you significant savings, but these discounts become more pronounced as the number ordered rises. And, bulk orders typically earn you free shipping which saves you even more.

To get the steepest discounts, screen printing is the printing method to go with because of its efficiency in producing large quantities. You'll get the most savings possible for ordering a large quantity with the same design.


If you've made it this far, hopefully the task of creating your custom t-shirts is more clear and inviting. From defining your goals to selecting the right materials and embracing the best print method, each step is important in creating the best custom t-shirts. Just remember to give your t-shirts the care they deserve to ensure they last for years to come and you should have everything you need to turn your vision into reality. We can’t wait to see the unique and inspiring designs you’ll bring to life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my own design for custom t-shirts?

Indeed, it is possible to personalize custom t-shirts by either uploading your own design or utilizing design tools provided in the Design Studio.

What is the best material for a custom t-shirt if I want premium quality?

Opt for a premium t-shirt if you’re seeking superior comfort, soft texture, and durable quality all in one lightweight garment.

Is screen printing or digital printing better for my custom t-shirt order?

For larger quantities, screen printing proves to be the more economical option. Conversely, if your designs require intricate details or you have a smaller volume of items, digital printing is preferable.

It’s essential to evaluate both the complexity of your design and the size of your order to determine the most suitable printing method.

How can I ensure my custom t-shirts last a long time?

To preserve the quality of your custom t-shirts and protect their print, it’s advised to wash them inside out in cold water.

By following this method, the longevity of your shirts will be significantly enhanced.

Are there advantages to ordering custom t-shirts in bulk?

Purchasing t-shirts in large quantities when opting for custom designs can lead to a substantial decrease in the price of each shirt. This bulk buying is not only budget-friendly, but includes free shipping for orders over $100.