Advice on Designing Charity T-Shirts

Coming up for donating to charity of a t-shirt design that’s good on the eye as well as achieving all it needs to for your charity can be a challenge. Here is some advice on how to design a charity t-shirt that works hard for your good cause.

Are you planning to sell or giveaway your charity t-shirt?
This decision can inform some critical design and garment choices. For example, if you plan to give the t-shirts away to raise your charity’s profile, you need to keep the costs as low as possible. To do so, your T-shirt design should use fewer colours in a simple design that can be produced more easily (and therefore more cost-effectively) and potentially lighter weight t-shirts.

Have a serious think about how plausible it is for you to be able to sell t-shirts. It may be that if you are running some kind of event, you’d be better off producing t-shirts for giveaways at the event included in the ticket price, rather than putting pressure on yourself to try and sell them.

You should also investigate whether your t-shirt printer will offer discounts for bulk printing runs, as that may influence how many charity t-shirts you should aim to produce.

Bold designs work well for charity t-shirts
Charity t-shirts need to grab attention, even if they are produced for a single event (perhaps explaining why several hundred people are dressed in strange costumes and running en masse) they help to spread the word about your charity in the long term as people will keep the t-shirts and wear them afterwards.

Striking, simple designs with powerful colours are the ones to go for, drawing the eye and inviting people to read whatever is written on the t-shirts. Which leads us nicely onto three critical things you should try to include on your charity t-shirt:

Charity t-shirt critical element No. 1: the charity’s logo
If your charity has a logo, then that should be the starting point of your design. It may be that you have an annual event that has a logo of its own, or at least a motif that is eye-catching. Look at the colours in the logo, as that will inform the colours you should use for the base t-shirt and also the lettering.

Don’t worry if your charity doesn’t have a logo; simply the name of your charity in an attractive font will serve, and should also be a key feature of the design.

Charity t-shirt critical element No. 2: the charity’s website
Don’t waste a great opportunity to give extra exposure to your charity’s website. If the URL isn’t too long, put it on the t-shirt in nice big letters so that spectators of the event can see it from a distance.

Charity t-shirt critical element No. 3: the charity’s tagline
One of the best elements you can include to increase awareness of your charitable cause is a snappy tagline expressing the core of your charity’s focus. It may be that your charity’s name seems quite self-explanatory, but there is always something you can add to appeal to like-minded individuals. For example, if your charity raises money for an animal shelter, why not add a tagline along the lines of “Giving unwanted pets the home they deserve” to really bring home what your charity achieves.

When it comes to designing a charity t-shirt, make sure that you make the design eye-catching and once you have attention, use it to promote your charity’s website and good cause. Simple designs work well aesthetically as well as keeping costs down, and it really is worth looking at bulk t-shirt printing discounts when planning your order.

Steve Beynon has over twenty years of experience in the garment printing and embroidery industry, creating Shirtlab after extensive research into customised clothing and apparel websites currently available in the UK. Shirtlab provides a state of the art online promotional garment design service, providing easy to use design tools that create outstanding personalised T-shirt designs with minimal effort.

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