Top T-Shirt Design Tips – 5 Secrets For Perfect T Shirt Text (Plus One Bonus!)


If your funny t-shirts are turning out funny-looking, the situation may be your text. No matter how awesome your cool t shirt designs are whenever you imagine them, if your text is poorly designed, your shirts will always look unprofessional. But don’t fear! With your 5 tricks of professional graphic designers, you can quickly turn those amateur custom t shirts into perfect and polished works of t shirt art.

Whenever choosing a font for the t shirt text, be sure to pick the one that supports your message. For instance, if you’re designing an interesting t shirt, select a font that has an interesting feel to it. If you’re designing an attractive t shirt, select a font that has an attractive feel to it. And if you’re designing a t shirt for a serious, professional law firm, you almost certainly don’t want to utilize that font with letters shaped like kittens.

While this may seem like wise practice, many new t shirt designers and would-be t shirt entrepreneurs skip this task and just pick any standard font they could have lying around. Unfortunately, it’s obvious in their results; what has been an enjoyable t shirt design eventually ends up being boring and amateur-looking. If you’re careful to select a font that represents this content of one’s words, however, you can avoid this fate and your shirts will always be one step ahead of one’s competition.

Most of the time, when font text is typed into a computer program, the spaces between the letters and words are a little uneven, and often a tad too wide. This extra and uneven space not just makes your text look somewhat awkward and unprofessional, it also helps it be slightly harder to learn because the language don’t visually hold together as units. Even if the viewer doesn’t notice it, the eye and mental performance have to work somewhat harder and that extra little difficulty provides viewer a subconscious feeling of unease.

Tracking has to do with adjusting the typical spacing of letters across entire T Shirts For Men  words, sentences, or selected ranges of letters. By adjusting the tracking, the t shirt artist can either decrease the typical spacing between most of the letters in the selected range (making the spacing “tighter”), otherwise increase the typical spacing (“opening up” the text), based on what’s needed. Considering that the raw, unadjusted spacing varies from font to font, you’ll have to determine which is required for your particular t shirt design. But an excellent trick utilized by professional t shirt designers is to start out by tightening the font a lot of (so the letters are too close together) and then slowly increasing the tracking until the language look right.

Kerning is very similar to tracking, but with one important difference: instead of adjusting the typical spacing across a whole selection of letters, kerning only adjusts the spacing between two letters at a time. This enables a larger level of control than tracking, and allows a t shirt artist to fine tune the spacing between single letter pairs that still don’t look quite right, even with the writing has been tracked.

When the letters of a t shirt slogan have now been properly tracked and kerned, the following important step is to modify the spacing between the words. Adjusting word spacing is very similar to tracking and kerning — in fact, it’s done a similar way as kerning and is truly just kerning the spaces between words as opposed to letters — nevertheless the principle for proper spacing between words is just a little different, and so word spacing is just a whole step unto itself.

In general, the very best practice when adjusting spacing between words is always to visualize the width of a lowercase “L” in the font that’s getting used, and then make the space between each word that wide. Which means that the width of the spaces between words will soon be different from font to font (because how big the lowercase “L” is different from font to font), but inaddition it means that the spacing will soon be custom created for the font in question. Creating the appropriate quantity of space between words will support the effects of one’s tracking and kerning, thus helping your words to hold together better as separate visual units and improving readability.

Another place that new t shirt designers often make a mistake is in the leading, or “spacing between lines of text.” Leading — which can be pronounced such as the metal “lead” as opposed to just like a “leader” taking people somewhere — extends back to the occasions of the printing press, whenever a person would actually use small, thin pieces of lead to create vertical space between the lines of type. Today, needless to say, computers handle the leading for us. Unfortunately, as it pertains to t shirt text, they often handle it poorly.

Whenever a t shirt slogan is typed into a computer program, it often starts out with a tad too much space between the lines. This helps make the writing look very “fonty” as opposed to natural, along with making the t shirt design (and the designer) seem very amateur. With only a small change to the leading, however, that same t shirt text can be made to look very tight and professional.

With leading, the target is to create enough space between the lines of text so they fit nicely together and don’t hinder one another, without creating so much space that they look artificial or become difficult to read. The eye should manage to easily jump visually from one line to another without losing its place, and without the effort at all. While there’s no real principle for the appropriate quantity of space between lines, a t shirt designer who begins adjusting the leading will quickly learn to “feel” when it’s right. In general, the best way to start is always to decrease the total amount of leading — tightening the space between the lines — and then keep tweaking it down or down until it feels visually balanced. When it seems natural and reads smoothly, your t shirt slogan is one step nearer to the big time.