Author: Kenal Louis
Reading Time: 9 minutes

When did t-shirts first become popular?

T-shirts are probably the most comfortable and popular clothing brand merch known to humans. It has never gone out of fashion; it's what you'd call a constant. It has existed quite some time and here is how it came into existence.

History of t-shirts:

The first time t-shirts were seen in was sometime during the Spanish-American war between the year 1898 to the year 1913. They were issued to soldiers by the navy to act as thick underwear. They were white in color and the soldiers were required to wear them underneath their uniforms.

Somehow it moved from just being an army underwear to a normal wear, as crew members would sometimes take off their uniform jackets during leisure hours or parties and wear just the t-shirt on their pants, the main reason being that they didn't want to have to soil their uniforms, so the t-shirts could get soiled and easily be covered up by the jacket eventually.

It soon became popular among not only the crew members, or the navy, but everyone else. Its easy wash nature and affordability made it become usual underwear for factory workers, engineers, basically everyone who needed underwear beneath work clothes.

Eventually, it got made into different colors and was given to young boys and by the 1960s t-shirts had become very popular among both sexes and had gone from being just plain to having graphic designs and written messages on them.

From its inception till now, t-shirts have successfully stayed unbeaten in fashion, different designs have come out, different designers like Calvin Klein, Polo and a few others have released their own designs of t-shirts into the markets. T-shirts won't be going away for another century, as it seems like the go to outfit for comfort.

T-shirt Graphics Designer For Hire - Freelance T Shirt Designer

T-shirts Graphic Designer

T-shirts Graphic Designer - Freelance T Shirt Designer

Freelance Graphic Designer

7 Reasons To Hire A Freelance T Shirt Designer To Create Designs For Your T-shirt Company

Having a t-shirt with design makes it stand out from other t-shirts out in the market. A t-shirt with a design appeals more to the consumer than a t-shirt without a design. People are wired to pay attention to what design is on a t-shirt before they even pay attention to the person wearing it.

A t-shirt with the inscription 'we should all be laughing' attached to a big smiley face already makes the person looking at it laugh before they see the person wearing the t-shirt. Oftentimes, people buy t-shirts with designs more than they buy plain t-shirts.

Now you don't just ask anyone to create a design for your t-shirt, it has to be something creative and professional and that's where the work of the graphic designer comes in. You might say "it's just a t-shirt, the fuss is not needed", well here are 7 solid reasons why you should hire a graphic designer to create designs for your t-shirts company.

1: You save money: 

T-shirt production happens in bulk. It's not one or two or three you're printing, it's two hundred, thousands. Getting a graphic designer definitely cuts the cost for you.

2: Consistency: 

A freelance graphic designer gives your t-shirts a look that's quite unique, so there is always going to be something that points out to your T-shirts, that they all know, it's yours.

3: To make a statement: 

Each t-shirt is known because of how it looks and what design it has, a graphic designer will give you a design that will stand out.

4: To reach your consumer: 

A graphic designer knows what the consumer wants because he makes his research, so he fits it into what plan you have in your mind, and makes a design that the customers would love.

5: Lesser mistakes: 

A graphic artist is wired to get his design right the first time. So if there are any adjustments, be rest assured it would not involve a total overhauling of the whole design, they are professionals, they are wired to make lesser mistakes.

6: You save time:  

The shirts are made in bulk, so it's next to impossible for you who is not a professional to get all the designs done in time for the production to start, that's why they are there, it's their job, so expect a quick reply.

7: They make marketing quite easy: 

When your design is good, you do not need to market it for such a long time, the design usually sells itself. It doesn't stress you as the producer. It just goes on and catches the attention of the customer.

You have seen the reasons a graphics designer is recommended making the designs for your t-shirt company. Importantly, when searching for a graphic artist for your t-shirt company, be sure to get a professional who won't rip you of your money and give you a below-par design.

T-Shirt Designers

The Top 10 T-Shirt Trends

T-shirts are a constant in the fashion industry, and so are trends. So while the t-shirts remain still a popular way for any business in the industry to compliment their fashion branding efforts, the trends that constantly change get to it too. They have moved from the trend of being plain, to have inscriptions on them.

Well here are the top 10 t-shirt trends you should totally look out for this year.

1: Birdlike designs: Birds signify freedom without limits, they signify a kind of freedom that is somewhat unattainable to humans, so it's not at all surprising that people beginning to want that kind limitless freedom for themselves.

So the fashion industry, which is always in tune with the desires of the humans they attend to, has decided to bring their dreams on t-shirts. So when you wear a t-shirt, you are reminded that you can be free.

2: Cryptic art: Humans like the idea of being unpredictable and enigmatic. So the fashion industry is putting cryptic designs on shirts to help them achieve the idea of an enigma they have in their minds. So expect to see cryptic designs that would have you asking the wearer "What does that mean"

3: Weird images: Expect to see really weird and disturbing images as you go on. Recently, people would rather be described as weird than normal, so you'd be sure you see images that are rather bizarre and out of the ordinary.

4: Dull colors: last year, bright colors made the top list, this year dull colors like grey, black and violet are having a field day as they resonate with most of the designs for this year's trends.

5: Add-ons: This came on the list last year and it doesn't seem like it's going away anytime soon. At the hem of the shirt, or at the hand. There would he add-ons of either a totally different color from the shirt or something close.

T-Shirt Designer
T-Shirt Design

Abstract Sketches and Abstract T-shirt Designs

6: Abstract sketches: This should trend very well this year, probably because more and more people are beginning to like the idea of the minimalist theory, less is more. So abstract scribbles that won't fill up the whole space on the shirt should be expected.

7: One-sided typography: Instead of inscriptions that fill up the center of the shirt, they are placed on one side of the shirt, so something else can be placed on the other side of the shirt, probably an image.

8: Monochromes: These would never go out of trend. They are as constant as the t-shirts in the industry.

9: Flowers and florals: Flowers are beautiful and represent happiness, you should expect to see more floral-inspired designs that should light up the day.

10: Typography in italics: Looks like the industry is getting tired of the bold fonts, and are letting the italics take the lead.

T-shirts are forever, trends, however, are not. If you're someone who likes to move with the tide, well this list should help you get in tune with the movement so you won't be left behind.

Five things to consider when starting a t-shirt company.

The t-shirt market is as lucrative as it is competitive. So you just don't wake up one fine morning and decide that you want to have a t-shirt company. There are a lot of things you must consider very carefully before starting up a t-shirt company.

Here are 5 important things out of the long list of things you have to consider.

Know Your Niche From The Start

1: Your niche: The reason you know a lot of popular t-shirt companies is because they have a niche which they followed through. You have to pick your niche. Would you rather do typography all through? Or would you prefer images?

Your images, would it be relate-able or totally off the normal? It's important to before anything, pick a niche, decide what style you're about to venture into, what style would you like to take out to the market. Find your niche.

2: Your market: What market are you targeting? Is it the female market? Is it the male market? Is it for little kids, or teens? Knowing the market you're entering would help very well in the decision making. Know your market and be quite sure of whom you intend to sell to.

Creative T-Shirt Designer

Creative T-shirt Designs Still Matter

3: Your design: You cannot have a bad design and expect your t-shirts to get sold out. Your design is key, as a matter of fact, it's the whole point of the business anyway. Your design is what everyone looks at it's like your branding. 

It's the first thing anyone sees that would make them want to buy the shirt in the first place. Get a good designer, create a very attractive design that represents your niche. 

A design that would make your t-shirt stand out from the other t-shirts in the market should be the focus when creating the design. Something that talks about your niche and still makes a difference too.

4: Feedback on your design: Take your design out, post on social media, Reddit is a good idea, get feedback on the designs, see how the public reacts to this design, this would help you know how your customers will react when the shirts finally get to the market. Simply put, seek validation for these designs. As needless as this may seem, it's very important.

5: Product quality: It's not just the design of your t-shirts that is important, the quality of the t-shirt bearing the design should make a statement too.

No one wants a shirt with an awesome design and an ability to wear and tear easily, or a shirt that fades when it's in the washing machine. So while creating awesome designs for your shirts, aim for high-quality materials too and they will make all the much-needed difference.

Starting a t-shirt company takes a lot, of planning and consideration, it's important to take these things listed above to mind before you venture into this business, as it would help in the creation of a successful t-shirt company.

Pride T-Shirt Designers
Pride Shirts Created

The following is an example of a pride shirts illustration I created in celebration of LGBTQ Pride. 

5 Best T-shirt Print On Demand Companies For Drop-Shipping

One of the things to consider when starting or running a t-shirt company is knowing a good drop-shipping company to partner with. One that is reliable and trustworthy and can carry out your business without fuss, they literally make your job a lot easier.

There are so many drop-shipping companies to choose from that it could make choosing out a good one for you quite tedious.

Narrowing it down, here are five best t-shirt print on demand companies for drop-shipping

1: Printful: 

They have integration with Shopify, Amazon and big commerce. This makes retailing a lot easier for you, they also offer a top-notch next to faultless service, and to ensure quality control, they make sure each product is handled individually, and they offer a custom branding for your product and package that it'll look to the customer like it came directly from your end and not through a drop shipping company. 

They have the main printing location in Los Angeles, but they also deliver worldwide, so it doesn't really matter where your customers are located, printful will have your package delivered to them. It doesn't matter the number of t-shirts given to printful they are well ready and up to the task.

2: Kite : 

They are designed to automatically integrate with different mobile apps, they offer you the option of sending push notifications to your customers, you could use this to inform them of a new product and others.

3: Printify: 

They just like printful they customize design packs, they are also quite affordable too. You don't have to break the bank for this one. They usually send a sample so that you can be sure of their quality before making use of their services.

4: Print Aura: 

They are integrated with a number of big popular online shopping sites, this would make retailing very easy for you. They print just as you desire. So basically what you would like to be printed is exactly what they do, nothing different. They have a good quality of products as they are constantly sourcing for better products around the world.

5: Customcat: 

These ones work a little different from the others, you do the customizing by yourself and they simply brand and send down to your customers.

With the aid of new age machine, they make use of they have a reputation for delivering faultless products. They also have an added advantage in that if you need your shirts dropped off in about 72 hours, they can do that as they also work well with urgency.

Using a drop-shipping service offers you the time needed to relax while the shirts are being printed on and delivered, basically, all you have to do is send down the designs while the drop shipping company handle the printing and delivery, the benefits are numerous. These are quite affordable too. So there you have it the best t-shirt print on demand companies for drop-shipping.

Tags: Freelance T Shirt Designer, T Shirt Design, T Shirt Designers For Hire, Freelance Graphics Designer, Graphic Desigers, T Shirt Illustration, Band T Shirt Design

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Content Last Updated: October 12, 2019

About the author

Kenal Louis

Founder & Lead Designer
As an artist and designer, a lot of passion drives my work. Although an abundance of care and thought goes into the entire process, I strive to give my best because my work reflects me. Ambition leads me toward the path of graphic design. Along the journey, I learned a lot of valuable business lessons and became exceptionally good at recognizing great composition.



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