You want to create designs for t-shirts. This can be a great idea: t-shirts are real white canvases where you can express your talent.  

Why do you want to do it?  

You may have already noticed that there are many cases for which you could embark on the creation of a textile design.  

But you, you precisely, why did you decide to go ahead? What do you expect from this project, what is your goal in starting it?  

If it’s just to entertain your friends, a small silkscreen set or an order from a supplier of custom t-shirts might do the trick. If you intend to sell them or create them for your business, the process will not be quite the same. At all levels. Think about it. 

Who are you sending these shirts to?  

A t-shirt is a communication medium. It is also an outfit that can be worn from 6 months to 70 years of age. Beyond the size of the garment, what you will display on it will not quite present the same message according to the intended audience. You will not be able to afford certain types of drawing for a younger audience. And if your target is 50 years old, they may not appreciate the same design as teenagers.  

Anyway, before you start drawing, you need to know who you are doing it for, especially if it’s for a commercial purpose. 

Is there a market for my designs?  

This issue, market research, is both very specific and very random.  

You will be able to interview thousands of people on the street, study what is sold in the shop, and follow all the useful recommendations. However, this won’t guarantee success.  

And, conversely, there are success stories of t-shirts that sold out when no one expected them.  

At best, you can already verify that no one has ever had the same idea as you. You will thus avoid losing your energy on this particular project (but it may be to better mount another one!)  

Do you have the necessary skills?  

In the design of a t-shirt, it’s not just the design. You also have to take into account the textile printing technique, the choice of fabric, even the shape of the t-shirt, the sewing... Are you qualified in all of these fields? 

Especially since you may need to go even further, think logistics, stock, shipping, online or physical store orders. Then promotion, communication… 

If your goal is commercial, your approach may not just stop at drawing a design that will be reproduced on a garment. There are suppliers that you can delegate many parts of the work to. But you can also decide that it will be more profitable to manage them by yourself. And that’s a choice you will quickly want to look at.  

To decide on the design of a t-shirt is to go a little further than the drawing stage. You will have to ask yourself the same questions regardless of the medium on which you decide to work, especially if it is led to be carried by others.