How to create an awesome T-shirt

We’ve been getting some mind blowing art on Paintcollar lately and we wanted to give our users a helping hand to create awesome T-shirts. Sometimes getting the best out of your artwork can be a little confusing. But don’t worry, we’ve got a comprehensive T-shirt design guide that should answer most of your questions!

Image format

When you design a T-shirt, it is preferable to upload your artwork in 8-bit PNG format. This is because if your image is in PNG format, it can have transparent backgrounds. Your image does not necessarily have to be a rectangle that covers the entire design area of the template. In fact, when you upload an image in PNG format on our T-shirt template, the original T-shirt colour can be seen through the transparent part of the image. Doing this can actually make your T-shirt look much better! Here’s an example.

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In this case, the uploaded image does not have background the background colour removed. As a result you can see a red box with sharp edges. Doesn’t look too nice, does it?

On the other hand, when you use a PNG image with the background removed, it instantly makes your T-shirt look much more appealing.

You can use any design software that supports PNG files to accomplish this. The two most popular ones are Photoshop and GIMP. PNG files can only accommodate RGB colours, however our printers print your tees in CMYK. The best way to get a stunning print is to create the image in CMYK and convert it to RGB just before you save your document. If you are using Photoshop you will find these settings under Image > Mode. In Gimp you can use File > Export To. But don’t worry because whichever colour settings you use, you’ll always get a superb print.

How to use transparent backgrounds

You can either directly create your art on a transparent background or remove the background from an existing artwork. There are different ways of doing this depending on which designing software you use.

Creating designs on a transparent background

The maximum size of the T-shirt design area is 2400 x 3385 pixels. You can either design on a new transparent layer of this size, or use a big enough size according to your convenience and then position the design on the T-shirt template.

If you are using Photoshop, this is how you set up a new transparent layer.

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Similarly, if you’re using Gimp, it will look like this.

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You can now either design on this new layer or import your existing artwork onto it.

Removing backgrounds from existing artwork

If you already have artwork created, you might want to remove the background before you upload it on the T-shirt template. Posters, canvas prints and other products look appealing with a good background colour but as we mentioned earlier, in the case of T-shirts, you can use the fabric colour to your advantage. To remove backgrounds from existing images, you can use the tools provided in designing softwares like Photoshop or GIMP. There are many tutorials available online to help you learn how to do this. We’ve listed a few resources here to help you out.
1. Removing background in Photoshop tutorial 1 (Magic Wand Tool):

This works best when the background is of a solid colour and there is a high contrast between the background and main graphic.

2. Removing background in Photoshop tutorial 2:

3. Removing background in GIMP tutorial 1:

4. Removing background in GIMP tutorial 2:

Finally, your completed T-shirt design should ideally look something like this:

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Let’s take another look at what removing the background does for T-shirts.

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Once you have finished creating your awesome T-shirt design, save it in PNG format. If you’re using Photoshop, use the “Save for Web” function. In GIMP, it should appear in the drop down options in the save dialogue box. If you do not see the PNG option, then check your settings under Image > Mode and set the file type to RGB (Photoshop and GIMP).

Now that your image is ready, it’s time to Start Designing!

  1. Click on “Start Designing” button in the main menu or anywhere else in the website.
  2. Click on the T-shirt tile to create a new T-shirt.
  3. Select your image and click “Open”. The image will then appear on the template and your interface will look like this.tutorial image7
  4. Position your design within the bounding box provided and select the display colour from the given options. This is the default colour that will appear when anybody views your product.
  5. Click “Add or Remove” to choose the colours in which your T-shirt will be available for sale. By default, all colours are selected. Click “Done” after you have made your selection.tutorial image8
  6. Set your profit margin in terms of percentage of base price. As you increase or decrease it, you can see the currency value change in the table.
  7. Click “Upload and Close”.
  8. Enter the title, description and tags (if you have not entered them already while creating other products within the same project).
  9. Click “Save”
  10. Click “View”. You will then see the product as a customer would. You can also view the entire project on your profile page.

For a complete video tutorial on how to create products with Paintcollar, please take a look here.

Not that hard, is it? Well, what are you waiting for?






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