Getting custom apparel is one of the best ways to show off your creativity to the world. Whether you’re a coach getting jerseys for your team, a business owner getting uniforms for your employees, or the organizer of an event getting tees for the group, you’re going to want the best looking apparel.
One of the things that often gets overlooked when designing a shirt is the placement of the design. The whole tee, polo, or sweatshirt, is a canvas that can be filled with whatever we want. Let’s explore the options and see how we can get the most out of it.
These are the print areas that we offer at A&R. It’s pretty standard for this business. The four most common areas are full front, full back, left chest, and sponsor prints.These areas work best for most designs. It gives them high visibility and really lets people know what you got going on. Of course, there are other options.
The most common area to print a design is the full front. It gives us the largest area to show off our design. Putting the design front and center is guaranteed to draw the most attention. This is where we’re used to seeing designs printed on shirts. Jerseys, event tees, retail brands, and almost anything else typically have designs in this area of the shirt. Being large and in charge means that our design can boast lots of details, text, and texture.
Left-Chest + Right-Chest
Second in usage only to the full front is the left chest or heart print. This classic print area is great for polos or shirts with pockets. It’s great for emblem style designs. The right chest is LC’s lesser known brother. This is sometimes used in conjunction with the left chest or if the style of shirt already has a logo printed or embroidered on it. One drawback is that since the area is relatively small it’s recommended that designs don’t have too much detail or small text.
This is a fantastic alternative to the left chest print. It’s more subtle than a full front print but still gives something extra to your apparel. Being centered on the chest draws more attention to it and let’s people know that it’s custom. Putting a design in this space leaves room for a number to be put below it if you’re designing a jersey. If we’re working with a style of apparel that’s unique in it’s own right a minimalistic placement of the logo will allow the shirt to do the talking.
Right-Mid + Center-Mid + Left-Mid
These areas are probably the most overlooked because nine times out of ten we want our design to be front and center on our shirt. (Sometimes a little up and to the left. See Left Chest.) Sometimes it’s good to be unique. An off center logo is a good way to shake things up. A nice big logo in an uncommon area of a tee might motivate more people to buy it if they’re looking for something new and fresh. Vertical prints are also an underserved market. Using the bottom of the shirt as part of the design is a good way to give the design extra flavor. Maybe it’s a tree for the family reunion, a skyscraper for a contracting business, or the lake where we take our fishing buddies. These mid areas are good places to put numbers for a jersey if we don’t want them take up too much space or get in the way of the mascot or team name.
This print area is almost never used. Caution needs to be taken if considering this area. Many styles of shirts have seams in this area and printing on the seam presents some different challenges.
Tee Sleeve + Long Sleeve
These areas are great for adding some extra verbiage to your apparel. If we have a big mascot on the front we can have the word “Huskies” on the sleeve. If we want our motto on the front in big letters we can put the mascot on the sleeve. Hashtags, phone numbers, and websites look good on the sleeves of shirts. Putting that type of text on the front or back can sometimes distract from the design.
The full front's most common partner. This is where businesses sometimes put their contact info or company motto. Putting a design on the back of a shirt may not get as much attention as something on the front but using up so much space will definitely make a statement.
Not to be confused with a skin tag, this is the back of the shirts answer to the medallion print. This area is commonly used as a subtle branding opportunity. Putting the logo of the brand here lets people know where the apparel is from but doesn’t take up too much space allowing the shirt to shine. The same rules apply here as they do in other small print areas. Creating a design without small details is ideal.
Sponsor + Name
Pretty straight forward. This area is typically used for names and sponsors. Personalization for jerseys let’s the fans know who is on the field. The name of the sponsor on the back is good advertising for the business.
Using this part of the shirt isn’t very common. Using it creatively can be a challenge but worth it in the end. If your team is the ‘Devils’ maybe we can print a tail back there. Similar to the sleeve prints this is a good place to put text on the shirt that won’t take away from another design.
The areas outlined here are the most common for many printing businesses. That doesn’t mean that more aren’t available. If you’re looking for something different it couldn’t hurt to ask the salesperson if it can be done. Sometimes more unique areas may cost extra if there is a special set up involved. Remember that not all styles of garments will allow prints to be put in all areas. Different patterns, seams, and cuts of garments may prevent printing in some areas. Don’t be afraid to experiment with something new. Artists like a good challenge. If you don’t like how looks in the proof it can always be changed before it goes to print.