What's the Right Image Size for T-Shirt Designs? | Printbest (2022)

In recent years, on-demand printing services have revolutionized the apparel industry. Most service providers are making use of direct-to-garment (DTG) printing to provide their customers with designs and logos they like. However, it is incredibly important for designers to know the image size that they need to maintain when preparing new designs, so they can be printed to scale on the T-shirt.

Spoiler alert: There is no correct or predetermined size to follow when you are designing a custom image to be printed on a T-shirt. This also means that you might keep second-guessing yourself with every T-shirt design size you choose. However, you don’t have to worry one bit, because this article guides you through the process of determining the right shirt design dimensions.

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The Printable Area

When it comes to determining the ideal image size for T-shirt printing, there are four key factors that need to be taken care of. Let’s have a look at them one by one.

What's the Right Image Size for T-Shirt Designs? | Printbest (1)

1. Type of garment

(Video) How To Size Your T-Shirt Designs and Place Graphics

The first thing that needs to be considered is the type of garment you are going to print the image on. There are several different garments that you can get a custom design printed on, such as T-shirts, hoodies, tank tops, sweatshirts, long sleeve shirts, and several others.

The type of garment is an important consideration because it determines whether you have the entire surface of the garment to print on, or if you have to leave room for a design element or accessory, such as a pocket, hood, or collar. Since we are talking about T-shirt design dimensions, you know that T-shirts usually don’t come with a front pocket like hoodies or shirts, which is why they have a larger area for printing.

Next, consider the size of the garment. The larger the size, the more space it will have for printing an image. At Printbest, the printable area begins 3″ below the collar on most men’s and women’s apparel. For Men’s/Unisex XS, Women’s S, and anything smaller, the printable area begins 2″ to 2.5″ below the collar. This should help you choose the right image size for T-shirt printing.

Generally, the maximum printing area for the front and back of a T-shirt is 12″ x 16″. Some printing companies, including Printbest, will shrink your design on smaller size garments so the image fits in the printable area. If your print provider doesn’t do this, then it’s best to design your files for S and XS shirts (up to 3″ x 4″ smaller).

Although a hoodie is much larger than the T-shirt, it has a smaller printing area on its front, measuring 13 inches x 10 inches on average.

3. Type of printing

Consider the type of printing that you want to go for. As mentioned above, DTG has become popular. But it isn’t the only one. Other printing include screen printing, heat transfer, and dye sublimation printing.

DTG, screen printing, and heat transfer are limited to certain areas on the garment because they require a flat space, so they can’t be used for printing on the entire garment. This means you’ll have to design your file based on their maximum printable area requirements.

Dye sublimation, on the other hand, allows printing all over the garment, but it is a more expensive technique. If printing all over the garment, you will need to design based on the shapes and sizes of the garment’s surfaces.

Therefore, you will have to determine the image size according to the maximum printable area provided by each of these printing methods.

4. Requirements of your print provider

The most important thing to consider while setting the T-shirt design size is the requirements that your print provider has put forth. You need to know about these requirements before you decide on a print provider, and more importantly before you start designing the image.

If you have to choose between different print providers that use similar printing methods and garments, you still have to consider several factors. For instance, each print provider may have a different workflow, equipment, product quality, and several other factors.

The best thing you can do is to work with a company that offers a user-friendly and intuitive interface that you can use to design the T-shirt to your liking. Printbest is one of the leading on-demand print providers that can help you choose the correct T-shirt size, color, and several other variables you need to get the perfect T-shirt printed.

(Video) The Best Size For T Shirt Designs

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Image Resolution

The image resolution is as important as the image size itself. Plus, the type of image you have may also affect the resolution, and you can choose between non-vector and vector images.

What's the Right Image Size for T-Shirt Designs? | Printbest (2)

1. Non-vector images

A non-vector image, also called a raster image, is one that can’t be scaled beyond its full-size dimensions without loss of quality.

If you are using a non-vector image, altering the size can lead to a change in the dots per inch, or DPI. Increasing the size will decrease DPI, the resolution will also decrease and the image will appear blurry or pixelated when printed on the T-shirt. Whereas, decreasing the size will increase DPI, which means higher resolution so your image can appear clearer. However, keep in mind that if the size is too small, it will make details hard to see.

Ideally, you should maintain an image resolution of 300 DPI, because it is generally recommended by print providers. Printbest will also take lower resolutions, but we don’t recommend anything less than 150 DPI.

2. Vector images

(Video) What's The Best Size For T-Shirt Designs

A vector image is a computer-generated graphic that’s made up of points, lines, and curves that are based upon mathematical equations, not pixels.

If you choose vector images, you can increase and decrease their size as much as you want, since they don’t involve the DPI. However, some printing companies require files saved as JPEGs or PNGs, which do not allow for vector elements. In this case, when saving vector files, make sure they are the right size and resolution.

The bottom line is to design your T-shirt at the the actual dimensions you want printed, at 300 DPI.

Thanks to Printbest and its user-friendly interface, you can alter the image resolution and size while also previewing the changes in DPI in real-time.

Placement

The placement of your design image is also something you need to consider before sending a file to your print provider.

What's the Right Image Size for T-Shirt Designs? | Printbest (3)

There are several common placement locations on the T-shirt that you can find, which are:

  • Left chest:You can get the design printed on the left chest area, which is typically 3” to 4” wide timesyour preferred height. It is suitable for formal and corporate purposes.
  • Front chest: Another popular placement option is the front chest, which can be 6” to 10” wide times your preferred height. It can be used for both casual and corporate purposes.
  • Full front: The full front option has a standard size of 12”x16”, and it works best for more casual designs, usually for personal expression.
  • Back collar: This is a much lesser used option and is quite small, measuring around 2” to 3” width times your preferred height. It is usually just for branding purposes.
  • Upper back: This placement suits both casual and corporate styles, and is often used to identify staff or volunteers. It is usually 10” to 12” wide times the height of your choice.
  • Vertical left or right:A perfect option for team wear and branding, it usually measures 14” to 16” high times your preferred width.
  • Full back:The full back placement is more suited for casual wear, but can sometimes be used for corporate purposes. It typically measures 12”x16” (or the maximum printable area).
  • Sleeve: You can also get the design printed on the sleeves of your T-shirt for branding purposes, with an average size of 3” to 4” wide times your preferred height.

Although these are standard placements and measurements, this doesn’t mean you have to follow them to the letter. You can alter the placements and shirt dimensions to suit your design better, and also for a more customized T-shirt design.

Don’t Forget to Generate a Mockup!

Before you start printing, a golden rule is to always generate a mockup of your design as it would appear on the T-shirt. That’s because sizes can appear quite different when you wear them as compared to a 2D design file.

(Video) How to choose the size of your t-shirt design

What's the Right Image Size for T-Shirt Designs? | Printbest (4)

For this purpose, you will need a print provider that provides you with an accurate and real-time mockup of the T-shirt when you upload your design. Luckily, Printbest offers you free mockups that you can use to check the placement and sizing of your designs on a T-shirt.

Key Takeaway

As you can see, there is no fixed template or sizing guide that you can use to set the image size for printing on a T-shirt. In this regard, the right size is the one you think will look best on the T-shirt, and it should also fulfill your requirements and the factors discussed above.

If you are looking to skip the hassle and get right to printing, get started with Printbest. As a reliable on-demand print provider, we not only help you get your custom design on a T-shirt, but also help you tick all the boxes through our high-quality products and easy-to-use interface. Get in touch with us to see how we can help.

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Faiza Zafar

Faiza Zafar is a seasoned copywriter who specializes in e-commerce and B2B technology & SaaS niches. She’s written two books and loves to help entrepreneurs and small businesses embrace digital transformation. In her spare time, she writes for her own blog.

(Video) 👕How To Size Your T-shirt Designs

FAQs

What size should a design be on at shirt? ›

Full front size that you could print with our screen printed transfers is 11 and a half by 14.. If

What is the best pixel size for t-shirt design? ›

The density of pixels is called image resolution and is measured in DPI (dots per inch) for print or PPI (pixels per inch) for digital images. The lower the resolution, the blurrier the image will be. The recommended resolution for t-shirt printing is a minimum of 300ppi.

What size should a PNG be for a shirt? ›

Based on all of the various recommendations from different print shops, it's safe to assume that the best overall logo size for shirts would be 2,000 x 2,000 pixels, in PNG format, in CMYK color format, and rendered at 300 DPI.

What size should at shirt design be in Photoshop? ›

A good rule of thumb for T-Shirt designs is to start out with 14 inches for the width and 17 inches for the height (you can always adjust this later). Change your resolution to 300. Your resolution is extremely important because it will have a significant effect on how the logo will look when it is printed.

How do I prepare my art for t-shirt printing? ›

6 Great Tips On How To Prepare Artwork for T-Shirt Printing
  1. Use PMS Colors in Your Artwork.
  2. Convert All of Your Text to Outlines.
  3. Create Your Artwork at Actual Size.
  4. Use Vector Artwork As Much As Possible.
  5. Expand Your Strokes.
  6. Set Your Half-Tones with PMS Colors.
4 Dec 2008

How big is a graphic on a shirt? ›

If you want a nice, big graphic, 11 to 13 inches is typically the size of what you'll print on the shirt, depending on the size of your shirt. The longest side of a sheet of paper is 11 inches long, giving you a nice visual representation of how large your graphic may look on a shirt.

What is the average size of a logo on a shirt? ›

Left chest logo designs are popular, so when you want to design your own logo for a left chest placement, there are generally three standard sizes: 3.5″ X 3.5″ for adult shirt sizes, 3″ x 3″ for youth shirt sizes, and 3″ x 3″ for a left chest logo design for on a pocket.

What is the standard size for a logo? ›

For example, a logo size can be 1280 × 720, which means it's 1280 pixels wide and 720 pixels tall. Sometimes these values are called the dimensions of a logo. The more pixels, the better the quality of a logo and the more detail your logo has. Logo file size.

How big should an image be on a 2XL shirt? ›

A good size for adult 2XL & larger shirts is 11" x 11" (up to 12" - 13".) This centered Glitter & Dirt Mom of Both design looks perfect on the 2XL t-shirt using the 11" x 11" grid as a guideline. You can find this SVG cut file in the Mom Shirt Bundle.

What size t-shirt is most popular? ›

When you look at the numbers, large is the most common shirt size. In fact, it accounts for about 30 percent of shirt sales. Coming in at 28 percent, the size medium is a close runner-up and extra large is next at 20 percent. The percentages are much lower for smaller and larger sizes.

What size is 300 DPI in pixels? ›

An image meant to publish at 3.333 inches (82 mm single column width) and 300 DPI is roughly 1000 pixels wide (3.333 inches ¥ 300 DPI = 1000 pixels). DPI decreases proportionally to increasing dimen- sions.

Is JPG or PNG better for shirt printing? ›

PNG is the clear winner, especially for online photo printing. One of the main reasons most professionals don't recommend PNG for printing is based on the fact that it doesn't support CMYK color. This is because the commercial printing industry that produces T-shirts, Mugs, Posters, etc.

Is PNG good for Tshirt printing? ›

The recommended resolution for printing t-shirts is 300 DPI. The accepted print file format is the other major ideal to get right. Illustrator, JPEG, PSD and DSC 2.0, PNG, PDF and TIFF are the best file formats for t-shirt printing. There are actually many benefits to PNG files.

What size should a PNG be for print? ›

A good quality print will require a resolution of 900 x 1260 pixels. For a better-quality print, use 1200 x 1680 pixels. Finally, for the best quality, you should go with 1500 x 2100 pixels.

How do you put a PNG on a shirt? ›

Sublimation | How To Use A PNG - YouTube

Is Illustrator or Photoshop better for t-shirt design? ›

If the t-shirt design is photo based – then Photoshop will definitely be the best choice of software. If the t-shirt design consists of a logo or text based graphic – Illustrator will be the most straightforward choice.

What Adobe program is best for Tshirt design? ›

Adobe Illustrator

Most of the pros will choose Adobe Illustrator as their favourite designing software. The reason why Illustrator is so great for t-shirt printing designs is that it utilises vectors which you can combine and change in order to create layered illustrations, logos, typography.

How do you make a good t-shirt design? ›

The Must-Know Fundamentals of Great T-Shirt Design
  1. Aim to Delight. ...
  2. Do Your Research. ...
  3. Design Something You Would Wear. ...
  4. Understand Your Usable Space. ...
  5. Consider Color. ...
  6. Use Your Words. ...
  7. Keep Creating. ...
  8. Brand Your Tees.
15 Feb 2021

How can I put my artwork on a shirt? ›

If you are an artist and want to start your own clothing brand, then I'd recommend using a drop shipping or a POD ( print-on-demand ) service. These websites will allow you to upload your artwork and apply it to whatever apparel they have available. Such as shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, bags, and many more accessories.

How can I turn a picture into a shirt? ›

The traditional way to put a picture on a shirt is to use transfer paper, a printer, and a heat source like an iron. Other methods include using a heat press, screen printing, or applying Cricut-cut vinyl. For a non-DIY option, many online stores accept custom orders and will print a photo onto a shirt at a low cost.

How big should left chest embroidery be? ›

2) Standard size for a left chest design is 2-1/2" – 4" wide x 1" – 2" tall. For larger size logos the sleeve or back yoke is recommended. You can go as large as 5" wide x 3" tall on the sleeve on a larger garment but we recommend 3" wide and no wider than 3.5".

How big is a logo on a shirt front? ›

When people say “front” they usually mean Full Front. The standard size for Full Front is 12”w x 14”h, and placement is around 3″ down from the collar.

What size should a breast logo be? ›

Small Logo / Design – If it's a small subtle left breast print or similar, 70-100mm is generally a good size to have your design. Simple designs can look great at 70mm wide, but those with more intricate elements may need to go as large as 100mm or more to ensure the detail comes out clearly.

What size should I design a logo in Illustrator? ›

300-400 pixels wide by 70-100 pixels.

What size PNG should a logo be? ›

png format when it comes to logos. The image should have an aspect ratio of 1:1, which is a square image. The recommended size is a minimum of 3000px X 3000px.

What size should a logo print be? ›

If you're using a raster image (read here about the difference between the raster and vector formats), the bigger your image, the better. For this reason, we recommend that you use a 500рх (or more) logo for small print (e.g., souvenirs) and a 1024px logo (or more) for large print.

What is the best resolution for a logo? ›

For a logo to be considered high-resolution, it should have a minimum of 300 pixels per inch (PPI). However, the standard logo size in Photoshop is 500px x 500px, ensuring your logo looks sharp and crispy no matter if printed on a billboard, or viewed on a phone screen.

How big should an image be on a 2XL shirt? ›

A good size for adult 2XL & larger shirts is 11" x 11" (up to 12" - 13".) This centered Glitter & Dirt Mom of Both design looks perfect on the 2XL t-shirt using the 11" x 11" grid as a guideline. You can find this SVG cut file in the Mom Shirt Bundle.

What size should a logo be? ›

Ensuring you have the highest quality image will create an optimal user experience. In general, for online purposes, your logo size should be under 200 KB. The larger your image file is, the heavier it is, which makes it more challenging for websites.

How big should a chest logo be on a shirt? ›

Left chest logo designs are popular, so when you want to design your own logo for a left chest placement, there are generally three standard sizes: 3.5″ X 3.5″ for adult shirt sizes, 3″ x 3″ for youth shirt sizes, and 3″ x 3″ for a left chest logo design for on a pocket.

What size t-shirt is most popular? ›

When you look at the numbers, large is the most common shirt size. In fact, it accounts for about 30 percent of shirt sales. Coming in at 28 percent, the size medium is a close runner-up and extra large is next at 20 percent. The percentages are much lower for smaller and larger sizes.

How big should a decal be for an XL shirt? ›

On a large shirt for adults, the recommended design size is 11x11 inches. Give or take 0.5 to 1-inch. For extra-large shirts, the same size is recommended at 11x11 inches. For an extra-large adult shirt, the recommended decal size is 12x12 inches.

What size should logo be on front of shirt? ›

Large Front Graphics

If you want a nice, big graphic, 11 to 13 inches is typically the size of what you'll print on the shirt, depending on the size of your shirt. The longest side of a sheet of paper is 11 inches long, giving you a nice visual representation of how large your graphic may look on a shirt.

What size is a 2X shirt? ›

Size Charts
Chest SizeNeck Size
2X50"-52"18"-18 1/2"
3X54"-56"19"-19 1/2"
4X58"-60"20"-20 1/2"
5X62"-64"21"
1 more row

What size PNG should a logo be? ›

png format when it comes to logos. The image should have an aspect ratio of 1:1, which is a square image. The recommended size is a minimum of 3000px X 3000px.

What is the best resolution for a logo? ›

For a logo to be considered high-resolution, it should have a minimum of 300 pixels per inch (PPI). However, the standard logo size in Photoshop is 500px x 500px, ensuring your logo looks sharp and crispy no matter if printed on a billboard, or viewed on a phone screen.

What font size should a logo be? ›

The average is around 6pt, but it will vary depending on what custom products you're ordering. The font size is important because it could affect the readability of your text.

What size is a breast logo? ›

Small Logo / Design – If it's a small subtle left breast print or similar, 70-100mm is generally a good size to have your design. Simple designs can look great at 70mm wide, but those with more intricate elements may need to go as large as 100mm or more to ensure the detail comes out clearly.

How big should left chest embroidery be? ›

2) Standard size for a left chest design is 2-1/2" – 4" wide x 1" – 2" tall. For larger size logos the sleeve or back yoke is recommended. You can go as large as 5" wide x 3" tall on the sleeve on a larger garment but we recommend 3" wide and no wider than 3.5".

What size should a left chest Monogram be? ›

The recommended size for left chest monograms range about 3.5 to 4 inches.

Can you make money from selling T-shirts? ›

Short answer: yes. Selling shirts is not hard and while everyone and their grandma is doing it now, not everyone is doing it right. If you take the extra time to do the small things, you can get started and profit from T-shirts in 2021.

Is a T-shirt business profitable? ›

And since they are so common, the demand is definitely there. So, is t-shirt printing profitable? Absolutely! T-shirts have been wardrobe staples for decades, and there has never been a better time to start your own shirt customization business.

What is a good profit margin for T-shirts? ›

A t-shirt pricing calculator

An article from Entrepreneur states that most retailers shoot for a profit margin of about 50%.

Videos

1. How To Correctly Size Your T-Shirt Graphic | Printing on the DTG G4
(ColDesi Inc)
2. HOW TO GET YOUR CRICUT DESIGN THE PERFECT SIZE FOR YOUR SHIRT | CRICUT TUTORIAL
(Kiersten Tucker)
3. How To Size Decals To Fit Onto Shirts
(Lyrical River Designs)
4. How to Size and Place Graphics on Your T-Shirts (Tshirthelpdesk)
(Tshirt Help Desk)
5. How To Size Your Designs For Blank T-Shirts
(Charley Pangus)
6. The BEST Dimensions For Print On Demand T-Shirt Design
(Jack Ingram Online)

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