Need Help Designing A Great T-Shirt? These Designers Are For Hire


We’ve made it our mission to make t-shirts easy to print but getting a great design still takes some skill. That’s why we hunted down 18 of the best designers on the planet and got their feedback on how they approach design.

Having t-shirts printed is easy (just ask us).

Having a great design created is another story.

And it becomes a bit of a problem if no one at your company has the slightest artistic talent.

So who do you get to design your shirt?

In this post, we hunted down some of the best shirt designers on the planet. We’ve asked each designer how they approach design for a client. Some responded, and others simply let their design speak for themselves. Check out their skills below and feel free to contact them!

Michaella Jelin

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yellowbirdvisuals/

Website: http://www.michaellajelin.co/

Website: http://yellowbirdvisuals.com/


Jen Diaz

Location: Orlando, Florida

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jenyymarie/

Website: http://www.jennymariediaz.com/

"There are so many options when it comes to designing a great shirt. I start by listening to what the client is trying to accomplish. I think of how I can visually create something with different colors, textures, and shapes to communicate a certain message. I also think of the audience these shirts will be for, and what they are drawn to.  It's amazing to see a clients reaction once their idea are real and tangible!"


Ben Didier

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/prettyuglydesign

Website: http://www.prettyugly.ca/

“My t-shirt designs typically evolve out of a branding project, so by the time we're discussing apparel printing the design itself is complete. The main task is then adapting the vector art for a one or two color screen print and selecting the best shirt and ink colors to work with. I've never liked heavy, plastisol style printing on shirts, so I usually try to steer clients away from that and towards softer, discharge style printing. I studied screen printing at art school when the shift was happening from oil to water-based inks, so I've always really appreciated the work that goes into a quality textile print.”

Chris Sandlin

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/SockMonkee

Website: http://www.sockmonkee.com/

“If the client doesn’t have the initial direction they would like for me to explore, I usually shoot over a few sketches and see what piques their interest. From there, we refine until both parties are happy with the end result.”


Sander Legrand

Location: Antwerp, Belgium

Dribble: https://dribbble.com/gravual

Website: http://gravual.com/en/


Von Glitschka

Location: Salem, Oregon

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/Vonster

Website: http://www.glitschkastudios.com/

“My favorite shirts now are simple one color; I like to work texture into them, so it’s not stark shapes but more approachable. I try to be simplistic but conceptual at the same time.”

Luke Ritchie

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/Luke

Webiste: http://www.lukeritchie.co.za/


Ross Moody

Location: New York, New York

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/55his

Website: http://www.55his.com/

“Quite a bit of how I approach a tee design revolves around how much control the client would like to have. Sometimes I get a client who is interested in a streamlined process where the rate is reduced a bit in exchange for trusting me more. I typically really enjoy this process because it gives me the freedom to make something I’m really excited about (in combination with their direction) without the need for many rounds of revisions. In comparison, sometimes clients want a lot of control with sketches, variations, and revisions in which case I typically approach that much slower and more methodically. I touch base at every step of the process from sketch to refined sketch to computer render to polished render to a color palette."

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Anthony Hernandez

Location: Groves, Texas

Website: http://www.certifiedclassicbrand.com/

“I usually give a client a brief asking about colors, style (modern, vintage, edgy, etc.). Basically, just try to get in the ballpark as far as direction goes. Other than that I crank out on some music and just get creative. Offer an initial draft and work from there!”

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Nathan Douglas Yoder

Location: Seattle, Washington

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/nathanyoder

Website: http://yondrstudio.com/

"My first objective, in working with a client, is to understand the creative problem at hand. If a creative brief is not provided, I do my best to listen to the client and understand the appropriate steps needed to bring us closer to an effective solution. Once I feel that I have a general understanding of the client’s needs, I begin my work on paper with a series of quick pencil sketches. Ideas are explored and refined to a point where the general idea of the sketch is being communicated clearly. I pitch the sketches to the client along with my rationale for each sketch and work with the client to understand what is working and what could be done better to bring us closer to the end goal. Once a sketch has been revised and approved by the client, I then render the final drawings using pen and ink on paper. Once the drawings are completed, I scan the artwork into the computer to make additional modifications, add color, and prep the artwork for final delivery to the client. My goal is to give the client work that is unique in its execution - drawn by hand using traditional mediums - and unique and appropriate to them - created with their taste and needs in mind. All in all, giving the client a personal touch both in the work created and the experience of working with me.”

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Kyle Miller

Location: Austin, Texas

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/kyleanthonymiller

Website: http://www.kylemillercreative.com/

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Paul Howalt

Location: Mesa, Arizona

Dribbble:https://dribbble.com/PaulHowalt

Website: https://shoppaulhowalt.com/

“As far as my process for designing a shirt for a client, I am usually given a message or concept they need to get across to a very specific audience. My job is to figure out how I’m going to visually communicate that idea in an impactful, easily reproducible, cost effective method. I try to keep the imagery as simple & graphic as possible for a quicker read. Then I do my best to make sure the design, style and color palette is appropriate for the industry and demographic I’m targeting. The fit and style of the shirt also play a factor. You wouldn’t want to design on a slim fitting, deep V-neck for a group of accountants attending a trade show. Lastly, I guess, the ultimate goal is that the client generates buzz, loyalty and more business as a result of the shirt I design for them. It’s always nice to hear when clients have to reorder a particular design only a couple days after delivery, simply due to the insane demand.”

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Scott Fuller

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/studiotemporary

Website: http://thestudiotemporary.com

“Every project generally starts the same for me, and this design for my table tennis brand, Traject, is no different. Once I figure out the goals and limitations, I jump right into my Field Notes and get sketching! At this stage, anything goes. Crazy shapes, colors, type or whatever pops into your head. After my initial sketches, I start paring the designs down to only the most important elements. Always remember, don’t lose sight of who will be wearing it, where they’ll be wearing it, etc. Once you’ve got it all vectored up, send some options and show the tee in use! Always show context. AND HAVE FUN!"

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Ben Stafford

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/BenStafford

Website: http://www.benillustrated.com/

“When I approach a design for a client, I want to make sure I create something that is visually memorable, simple and if possible, something that has a couple meanings or connects several ideas. I try very hard to see things from a different perspective instead of going after obvious visuals. I believe people crave ‘different’ and will likely choose something that has more meaning behind it if it speaks to several ideas.”

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Dominic Flask

Location: San Francisco, California

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/Dangerdom

Website: http://www.dangerdom.com/

“Whenever working with clients, I like to just treat them like friends. I have a fun conversation with them about what they’re wanting to make or hoping to achieve, offer advice that I think may be pertinent, and then hit the ground running. I generate ideas and concepts that I think solve the problem and share the process with them so that we’re creating something together. In the end, a lot of the designs I create are an exciting bit of people’s everyday lives, and I try and treat every step of a project just like that as well.”

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Jay Master

Location: Austin, Texas

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/Live_Design

“When I get a new project for a client, I take a lot of time to understand their needs, from an aesthetic and business perspective. I then do a bunch of research, followed by sketching and concepts before I deliver a presentation to the client. I work hard at finding try to peel away layers to find simple, yet strong solution.”

Alby Letoy

Location: Malang, Indonesia

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/AlbyLetoy

“Creating a design for a client follows a pretty straightforward process. First, I ask them for a brief; then I provide several sketches as options.  Finally, they'll choose what design suits them the most. That’s about it!”

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Tim Frame

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/TimFrame

Website: http://timframe.com/

“I think logo design requires a unique skill set of combined skills. It takes good conceptual skills, critical thinking, some drawing skill and a good sense of typography. Many of the best designers I know (logo and otherwise) all seem to have strong drawing skills.”

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Anna Sanders

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/annasanders

Website: http://www.allthingsanna.co

"I like to follow the wise words of Michael Scott when it comes to t-shirt design “K-I-S-S. Keep it simple stupid.” So I do. Most of my design leans very simple and clean. I recently worked on a shirt design that was the company’s logo but we did custom stitched patches of their logo mark that were placed on very cozy sweaters. Still simple, but a fun approach to showing off their brand in a “not so in your face” way."

Trey Ingram

Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/truebluetrey

Website: https://trey.myportfolio.com/projects

“My process always begins with research, listing keywords and sketching. When I arrive at a concept I really like, I take a pic with my phone and drop it onto a layer in Adobe Illustrator. Then I get out the trusty Pen tool and begin creating vector shapes until the graphic is finalized. Once I’m content with the vector artwork, I bring it into Photoshop and add it to an appropriate T-shirt mockup, where I can play with the ink and shirt colors. This last step is such a crucial one as it helps visualize how the finished product should look, and bridges the gap between design and print.”

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Austin Dunbar

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/austindunbar

Website: http://durhambrandco.com/

“Each client and project require a different set of tools and techniques to get the job done. You can't substitute a hammer for a screwdriver, nor would you use the same kit of tricks for a 'crafted' client like you would for a corporate client for example. Learning and investing into the client and their category on the front end will set you up for greater success on the back.”

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Keith Young

Location: Austin, Texas

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/keithdavisyoung

Website: http://livetomake.com/

“This illustration was a refreshing take on a graphic tee that didn't revolve pushing a logo across the front. Not that there's anything wrong with that. At the time I found more interest in taking an abstract, energetic take that people may be more likely to wear.”

Jonathan Ogden

Location: Manchester, United Kingdom

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/ogvidius

Website: http://www.ogvidius.com/

“I work mostly with bands and artists, so most of the time I'm imagining visiting the merch stall at the end of a gig or visiting a band's website, and I'm trying to design the t-shirt I'd want to buy if I was a fan. Something that captures what the band is about and something fans are going to be proud to wear.”

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Jeremy Mitchell

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/jeremymitchell

Website: http://www.jeremymitchell.com/

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Matt Dawson

Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/staygrayponyboy

Website: StayGrayPonyboy.com

“My approach is pretty simple. When I first meet with a client, I like to get a feel for both them and who THEIR clients are. A lot of times, in essence, that's who you're really designing for - the client's audience. I want whatever I create to have a lasting impression and desirability with the audience that receives it. I want that same audience to feel a certain way when wearing a client's product or interacting with their brand. If that can be accomplished, not only does it make it a successful design, but it's a huge success for the actual client.”

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Ivan Rodero

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/ivanrodero

Website: http://www.ivanrodero.com/

“All clients are unique, so they have special needs and different requirements, sometimes they have a clear idea of what they are looking for, sometimes I have to help them. So for me, everything starts with working together to create a good foundation of the project, a good briefing does wonders, and everything depends on this, as this is the foundation of the rest. With that resolved the rest of the work is very streamlined: research and origination of an idea, developing the art, final touches and a happy client. For me, the more time you have knowing your clients and their problems the easier it is to help them solve them.”

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Oliver Lisher

Location: Sussex, United Kingdom

Dribbble: dribbble.com/olilish

Website: lisher.net

“As a designer mainly working with early stage startups, I tend to work on shirt design as part of the process of branding or designing a marketing website. It’s nice to be able to come up with something slightly different for a shirt but still fits within the look and feel of the company. The Timber example attached shows this, making use of the logo and assets I created for their marketing site but using a slightly different style to come up with an interesting shirt design.”

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Simon Ålander

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/coffeemademedoit

Website: http://www.agencyrush.com

"Designing stuff for t-shirts are always fun. It's a big canvas, and you never know who will end up wearing it or where. So you can say it's a living object and I think that's exactly what makes t-shirt projects so exciting.

Also, t-shirts are so much more than just a nice big print on the front. There's nothing better than a nicely designed print on the inside of the shirt with wash care symbols and some thought-out details. And the sewn hem tags of course!

A good looking t-shirt is a great way for both people and brands to communicate. And if you can combine those two things it's even better, so I guess that's why the "Enjoy Black Coffee" t-shirt is my favorite."



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