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6 Best Practices When Designing a Band T-Shirt

T-shirts can act as a great way to raise awareness of your music, which is why we use them so heavily in our FanDistro reward platform.

However, there are a number of potential pitfalls that the unsuspecting T-shirt designer can fall into if they are not careful. We have prepared a list of six best practice tips to help you to make the most of your band T-shirt designs.

1 - “Less is more”

As well as being striking and visually attractive, your design should also be clear. If a potential purchaser can’t tell whose logo is on the shirt or what any text says, it is unlikely to appeal to them. People buy band merchandise to show their support for the group and to let other people know what they are into - make sure your design is clear and uncluttered for maximum visual impact. Remember that the most successful band T-shirt designs include imagery that people can associate with the group on the very first glance.

2 - Consider your background colours before finalising your design

This is an important point for two main reasons. |The first one is for aesthetic purposes. Make sure that if you are using colours they look good together, don’t clash and contrast enough so that people can make out the design clearly. Secondly, certain fabric colours may require a different printing process or transfer type, which must be considered if you are printing the T-shirts yourself. For example, when printing on black fabric at home, you need to use a transfer with a white back ground rather than the clear you would use on a white fabric.

3 - Think of your T-shirt design as advertising - first impressions count!

Before creating your design, carefully consider your band’s image, and how you want to portray them to people who might not have heard your music before. Certain genres of music (such as black metal, for example) are generally associated with particular font styles, colours and imagery. By using appropriate components to make up your design, potential listeners can get an idea of what style of music to expect from you. This is an excellent way to increase interest in your band, and recognition of it’s branding.

4 - Consider your target audience

Answer these questions before starting your design - who is your target audience and what are they likely to wear? It is no good designing a cute, girly T-shirt for a hardcore band whose fans tend to wear black clothing with gothic designs. Equally, a punk style shirt might not appeal to a boy band’s core fan base. However attractive the finished product is, it will not sell if it does not fit with your fans’ clothing preferences.

5 - Keep it individual

While it is important to consider the existing styles worn by your band’s scene, you still want your design to stand out from the crowd. Make your design as unique and individual as possible. After all, you want people to see it and immediately associate it with your band. A generic or clich├ęd image could have a negative impact on how people see your brand - you are an individual and you need to make sure your merchandise reflects this!

6 - Quality

Finally, it is important to create a product that is of the highest quality that your budget can stretch to. A local band starting out obviously wouldn’t have as much leeway with their funds as an established act, but it is still worth thinking about. Choose a decent quality T-shirt and either a professional printing company or a high quality home printer. Once your merchandise is made, exercise good quality control - if a shirt has gone wrong, remove it from the batch. The last thing you want is for fans to associate your band with a shoddy product!

By following the above best practice guidelines, you can make sure that your band’s T-shirts look good and make the right impression. The best way to ensure a high quality design and end product is to make sure that you devote enough time to the initial planning and design stages. This will avoid costly mistakes as a result of rushing in head first and unprepared, and help you to create a unique product that you can truly be proud of.
Image Credit: Beautification Syndrome

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