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Experiencing a dry spell in t-shirt design ideas lately? In t-shirt design as with most other creatively-inclined pursuits, these dry spells are bound to happen. During these times design ideas and inspiration are at an all time low, and when you do come up with anything there’s often something not quite right about it.
Fortunately there is a way to get out of this rut, and that’s by turning to fast, simple and reliable design ideas. These design ideas are easy to achieve yet are tried-and-tested to be attractive and popular with a lot of customers. Even if you’ve got little to no creative juices at the moment, by working on these simple designs you can slowly get those juices flowing again.
So without further ado, here are 5 simple t-shirt design ideas you can turn to when design inspiration is running low:
Vintage is a go-to design idea that many t-shirt printers turn to because not only is it fast and easy, it’s immensely popular. Just about everyone owns a vintage-looking tee, as its style is timeless and unique at the same time.
A vintage design can be achieved through vintage lettering, which is often quite special and artistic (think old world circus signs). The text can be anything you wish, so long as you’ve got that beautiful vintage lettering work down and give it that faded, used look when printing. When going for vintage designs it’s best to go for complementary colours or colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel. You could also use pastel colours for your text as these colours already have that faded look to them. Use organic cotton tees and water-based fabric printing inks so you get that soft, worn in feel.
Statement tees are all time classics. Their prints often reflect popular culture, but they can also be timeless sayings. They’re quite simple to make– all you need is a statement, be it a word, a phrase, a quote, a line from a song, even a little joke– and print in in big bold letters on your shirt. Statement tees are one of the simplest kind of shirts to make, as they usually just require one or two solid colours.
3. Geometric Prints
Big, bold and striking, geometric prints are another fast and easy go-to t-shirt design. Geometric prints can be as simple or complex as you want, and can be colourful or as simple yet striking as black and white.
Geometric prints combine a number of shapes and/or lines to create a unique shape or pattern. You’ll see a lot of these kinds of designs being worn in electronic music and outdoor concerts, but they’re also quite popular as everyday wear.
The most cost-effective way to go about printing geometric prints would be to use just one colour, or keep things safe and opt for black against white or vice versa.
Water-based textile printing ink would be the best choice for this as this ink is able to produce sharper, more defined edges of a design, which is something you definitely want to see in geometric prints. They also produce a softer feel perfect for keeping these tees comfy.
4. Accent Prints
A cute little picture on the pocket, maybe a cool little pattern on both sleeves– these types of designs may be small, but they can totally change the look of a shirt.Pocket tees are particularly great bases for accent prints. By putting a small yet attractive design on the pocket, you direct a person’s eye towards that detail and make a shirt look anything but boring. You could choose to print a cute little animal, your own logo, a funny quip, or fill the entire pocket with an eye-catching pattern or design of your choice.
4. Colour Block
If detailed designs just seem too daunting to make at the moment, just get colour blocking! Colour blocking is an easy way to create interesting garments and the design flatters most body types. Shirts with colour block designs often serve a dual purpose: they present an eye-catching design and are also able to create illusions, like make a man’s chest look wider or a woman’s waist slimmer.One thing you have to be careful with when doing colour block designs is to make sure your blocks are strategically placed, and that they are in the right colour. You don’t want to put colour blocks where they are most unflattering to the wearer, and with such a large area of the shirt being in one colour, you want to make sure it’s a pleasing colour.To achieve broad coverage with rich colour that doesn’t stiffen up your shirt, use water based ink for screen printing your colour block designs.
Get yourself out of the t-shirt print design rut by getting started with these simple but reliable t-shirt design ideas. And always be sure to use the best water-based screen printing inks for your works: Permaset Aqua. Take a look at our extensive ink range today and get in touch with us to know more.
Colormaker Industries are the manufacturers of Permaset eco-friendly inks located on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia. Colormaker is committed to supporting the environment and to the continual improvement of its environmental performance, recognising its obligations both locally and globally.
Week 1 – Day #5 – a few hold ups due to high winds and bad weather.
Week 2 – Day #8 done & dusted. There’s not a lot different to see, but if you look closely, you can see more wires & rail that has been installed this week.
Week 2 – Day #8. Solar Panels ready and waiting to be installed.
8. Week 3 – Day #13. We’re making good progress with 51 Solar Panels installed, and just another 305 to go!
10. Week 4. We lost 4 days to rain last week, but got the back section finished today. Ever closer to completion.
11. Week 5. The solar installation at Colormaker Industries has now been completed and we are so excited!
356 solar panels will generate all our electricity, and at times we’ll be exporting excess renewable energy back to the grid. At peak production, estimates indicate we’ll be generating enough energy to power 15-20 homes, and furthermore, the electricity Colormaker Industries produces will save the production of over 100 tonnes of greenhouse gas per year.
Take a look at the following photos for our completed installation on the roofs of our factory and office complex.
Check out the above video showing drone footage of the completed Colomaker Solar Panel project.
On Friday 27/9/19, we were honoured to welcome the Federal Member for Warringah, Ms Zali Steggall, OAM to officially open Colormaker Industries Solar Panel Installation by cutting the ribbon and switching on the solar panels.
Colormaker Industries is so very proud that now there’s a little bit of Australian sunshine ☀️☀️☀️going into every pot of PERMASET, PERMATONE & PERMAPRINT PREMIUM inks and PERMAPLASTIK scenic paint we manufacture here at our factory in Brookvale!
Visit the PERMASET Sustainability page to find out more about our other sustainability initiatives.
Part 2 – How to Create Great Colour Schemes for your Screen Print
In Part 1, we looked at getting to know PERMASET Screen Printing Inks by working with reductions to produce a range of tints from each colour in the PERMASET range. In this part, we’ll look at some tried and tested colour schemes for screen prints to get that perfect colour combo for your next project. So read on and get inspired!
Standout colour combinations are an effective way for your design to get the attention that it deserves. Printing colour on textiles, paper and other substrates can be tricky if you’re creating your designs digitally, so it’s always a good idea to screen print colour samples when assessing a colour scheme.
The Basics of Colour – The Colour Wheel
Most people are familiar with the colour wheel which we learned in school and is made up of primary red, blue and yellow. These primary colours, when mixed, produce the secondary colours of purple, green and orange.
Understanding the colour wheel and how it can be used to create colour harmonies is central to creating standout colour combinations.
The colour wheel can be further expanded by including 13 of the 19 PERMASET Standard Colours. (The PERMASET Standard Colours not shown on the colour wheel are White, Jet Black, Venetian Red, Brown R and Dark Brown.)
Also shown on the PERMASET colour wheel are tints (or reductions) at 25% and 6%, tones and shades. Tints (or reductions) are shown on the outer two rings and tones and shades are shown on the inner two rings. Tones are created by mixing grey (white and a little black ink) and shades are created by adding a little bit of black to the colour. Read Part 1 to know more about reductions. We will use unreduced (pure) PERMASET inks and their tints (reductions) in our colour combinations later on.
As you can see on the colour wheel above, there are some gaps and these should be filled in so we have a more complete range of colour choices when creating our colour combinations.
We prepared PERMASET Ink mixes of:
- 94% Yellow R and 6% Orange R
- 75% Yellow R and 25% Orange R
- 75% Mid Yellow and 25% Mid Green
- 50% Mid Yellow and 50% Mid Green
- 50% Blue B and 50% Purple
- 50% Rose and 50% Purple
- 75% Rose and 25% Purple
- 50% Mid Red and 50% Purple
These were printed and added to the colour wheel. The exact ratios of PERMASET Ink mixes don’t really matter that much – they are rough estimates to create colours to fill the gaps in the colour wheel. You can create your own blends to fill the gaps.
So now our colour wheel is ready to use to create vibrant colour combinations.
The Four Basic Colour Harmonies
The simplest colour harmony, the Monochromatic palette, is based on the tints, tones and shades of the same colour or hue.
Monochromatic colour palettes are gentle and soothing. Create interest by varying the brightness (or value) of adjacent colours in your design. This creates colour combinations with good contrast.
Analogous colour palettes are based on three or more colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel.
Analogous colour combinations give a sense of harmony and balance.
The design shown below is made up of colours blended from 50% Rose and 50% Purple, 75% Rose and 25% Purple, 50% Mid Red and 50% Purple at 100%, 25% and 6% reductions. Remember to create interest by varying the brightness (or value) of the adjacent colours in your design.
To achieve colour combinations of high contrast, complementary colour harmonies are created. These are colour schemes based on colours chosen from opposite sides of the colour wheel.
Colour schemes based on complementary colours have high energy and are visually interesting. Complementary colours schemes are a good choice when you want to make a statement with your design.
The fourth basic colour combination, a split complementary harmony results when one colour is paired with two colours on either side of the original colour’s direct opposite on the colour wheel (see the diagram below).
Colour schemes based on split complementary colour arrangements are high contrast and visually exciting. These colour schemes are a little more sophisticated than complementary colour combinations. The key to making complementary and split complementary colour combinations work is to vary the brightness (value) of the colours (by using reductions) for high pop value.
Breaking the Rules
If you find yourself always gravitating to the same colour or you just can’t seem to get that great combination to work, then these four colour harmony tips can help by offering tried and tested suggestions for you to use. There are other colour harmonies to discover too, so as you become more confident, go ahead and break the rules. The great thing about colour is to mix, print and see how you feel about it and have fun along the way.
It’s also helpful to keep a work book or colour diary. Record the mixes that you make and include a sample print stapled into the book. While it may slow you down at first, this book will become an invaluable resource as you keep adding to it. As you become more comfortable with this, you might also include info such as mesh size, squeegee type and number of pulls.
For further information about PERMASET® AQUA inks visit our PERMASET AQUA page.
There have been many different developments and trends in screen printing, and one of the most popular of these is printing your own tag inside your t-shirts. Printing your own tags is a shirt printing trend that’s not likely to go away anytime soon because it offers a lot benefits. The first being that screen printing your own tags gives you a lot of creative freedom and allows you to be imaginative with your tags and branding. Secondly, it can be a great marketing tool and thirdly, you can ensure that your brand name and other details stay on the shirt if the shirt tag is cut off, which is a common trend these days.
Part 1 – REDUCTIONS: Getting to know PERMASET® Textile Screen Printing Inks
Most artists and designers begin their artistic journey by exploring the colour palette. Of particular interest is how a purchased colour is expressed as its intensity is reduced.
Above: PERMASET AQUA Turquoise 100% (left) to 0.3% (right)