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A good design is one that sells a lot and a bad design is one that doesn't sell. This is a business, so nothing else matters. Oftentimes I make designs that I like but sometimes I make designs that I personally wouldn't buy because I know it would sell. Some of my most successful designs are ones I love, and some of my most successful designs are ones I wouldn't buy or wear. But I think I tend to have better luck on average with designs that I personally like a lot. I think part of this is because I have very mainstream taste. I love the summer blockbuster movies and I hate those much less successful little dramatic movies that the critics love.

Inexperienced people have a lot of wrong ideas about what is a good design. Their opinions on designs often differs quite a bit from what actually sells! N00bs know nothing about what sells and often are extremely off-the-mark when they come up with design ideas. I had a lot of pretty bad design ideas when I got started, but I've seen many other n00bs come up with far worse stuff than I did. That's why I laugh when a fresh beginner says "I have a lot of great ideas for designs." Sure you do. Don't bet the farm on it.

After having sold a lot of different designs and also having had a bunch of designs that didn't sell at all, I have learned a bunch of things about what really sells and what doesn't sell and the reasons why and why not.

Also, the more experience you have, the better your intuition becomes about what's going to be a good seller and the more often you are proven right! In the beginning, understanding what sells is extremely difficult, almost impossible. That's why you need experience.

Sometimes making designs that you really like is a successful way to make designs that sell. But not always. It depends on how many other people share your taste. If you are very in tune with a huge number of people and you come up with a hot new idea that you really love, you might have a huge success on your hands. If you are very out of tune with a large number of people, then that could spell poor sales for you.
 

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if alot of people like it...it is good! I sold about 300 tees that just said "results may vary" on the front and that requires no phd in design or even thought but people loved it. I turned the Nike swoosh upside down and printed 'YOU do it' beneath and that sold a lot too. If it is catchy and connects to something in the public consciousness you have a good bet. I don't bother with all that art that is way too fancy for a tee. That was big in the 80's and people are not so into it now. ideas and images that grab you quick and yet not too hard are what people mostly seem to like....I have found.
 

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Lee I would not encourage people to use the nike swoosh with those words. It would be very easy to get a cease and desist or lawsuit for copywrite infringement with that design. Just something to be careful of.
 

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this was long ago...not enough tees for Nike to even care about. The reality is that these big companies cannot waste time or money going after a few joke tees. I do get your point though. You'd probably not like my COPS tee! Look around at all the bubble cars(i call them) people drive these days. Tell me they do not all look the same. :)
 

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Its true that some people will try to get away with it but the truth is that alot of companies defend there copywrites pretty hard and nike is one of them. I myself have recieved a cease and desist for using a simple word such as onesie on my website, not even printing it so I know that companies do come after you. Alot of times they will come after the little guys a lot faster because the little guys do not have money for lawyers to go to court. I just dont want a person new in the business to come here and think because someone else did it, it must be ok and then get into trouble because they thought they would not get into trouble. That was the main reason for my response :)
 

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I know what is cool and what isn't... but i can't tell... lol...

part of the fun is thinking of an idea or design and having it takeoff...

a better idea than asking what makes a good design is to check out every shirt you can find...online... at the mall... shirts that people are wearing... and use pieces of each for inspiration... I've said too much... now everyone knows the secret...lol
 

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Re: "Good T-Shirt Design?"

Design creating customer value is good design. Dersign is very important factor effecting the purchasing decision of the customer. We can find many other factor related to it. Price. accessibility quality of product.....up to our brain storming..

I dont know what is good design. I think the targeted customer should know it better than all of us.


You can always take a test group. Find a group of people that fully understand they are not required or obligated to purchase anything. Rank you're pros and cons .... and take majority rules.. Use a design more seem to like first ... and then when you're running thin or want a save another great one for a special time .. slip that one in the middle.
 

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When ever you can go with your heart with a brand, then the outcome will follow your energy...

Great designs are being done every day...But most of them have nothing supporting them...And to me, its all for nothing...

original sh*t will make you feel alot better then following the hurd...Will it make you money? Well, that is all up to your marketing ability...
 

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I think having a good design is about having a god vision. And having a good vision is about knowing who your primary market is going to be and finding out everything you can about them to make your designs as authentic as possible. Think Quicksilver, think Old Guys Rule, think even Hello Kitty brands... they have a target market and they design to accommdate this market. They design with this vision in mind - not just simply "i think this looks nice" etc....
 

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Hi everyone. I have heard a lot of great point in this thread. I like the design aspect of the tshirt biz and seeing how my art stands in comparison to other designers. I am almost finished with one of the designs that I plan to use on a Tee. This will we one of the 1st pieces I sell. SInce I am new at Heat Press Designing, I could uses some honest feedback. I really like the Skull and Wings Fad that the kids are into nowadays, and I would like to add my own twist to it. . Thanks
 

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I agree Catbox, it's about finding your own voice and inspiration but keeping in mind that you have to sell what you are creating. I think that knowledge that your design has to move is a real motivator.
 

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Its true that some people will try to get away with it but the truth is that alot of companies defend there copywrites pretty hard and nike is one of them. I myself have recieved a cease and desist for using a simple word such as onesie on my website, not even printing it so I know that companies do come after you. Alot of times they will come after the little guys a lot faster because the little guys do not have money for lawyers to go to court. I just dont want a person new in the business to come here and think because someone else did it, it must be ok and then get into trouble because they thought they would not get into trouble. That was the main reason for my response :)
I concede to that. Better to stay out of trouble. Bowflex has not yet come after me for my BEERFLEX tee shirt. I guess i better keep the car warmed up and pointed toward Mexico, just in case.
 

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:rolleyes:
I think having a good design is about having a god vision. And having a good vision is about knowing who your primary market is going to be and finding out everything you can about them to make your designs as authentic as possible. Think Quicksilver, think Old Guys Rule, think even Hello Kitty brands... they have a target market and they design to accommdate this market. They design with this vision in mind - not just simply "i think this looks nice" etc....
...and don't sell current events short. when I live in Denver in the 80's a truck spilled 6 torpedoes onto the freeway at morning rush hour! By 5 that night I saw tees in a local store that said: "I survived the Denver Torpedo Attack" and had a drawing of 6 torpedoes flying formation above the freeway with the denver skyline outlined behind them. I did not buy one and I could kick myself for that now! Even though EVERY freeway entrance coming ionto Denver was shut down for 3 hours...and national guard was EVERYWHERE during this(helicopters too) it was mentioned ONCE on the radio. It was not talked about on ANY of the television news stations! Does THAT tell you just how quick and good 'your' government can put a lid on things when they want to? Scary isn't it. Wish I had one of THOSE tees! Because I was one of the thousands that tried every way I coulkd think of to get to work and it took me hours to make my way via surface streets.
 

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I know what is cool and what isn't... but i can't tell... lol...

part of the fun is thinking of an idea or design and having it takeoff...

a better idea than asking what makes a good design is to check out every shirt you can find...online... at the mall... shirts that people are wearing... and use pieces of each for inspiration... I've said too much... now everyone knows the secret...lol
I like quirky stuff a lot! One of my friends looks like a cop and he is kinda upset that people kid him about that. I think it is just a look he has...demeanor and he wears navy shirts alot. Don't ask me 'why' he looks like a cop there is just something about him and he DOES! So...I printed him a navy tee that says RELAX...I'M NOT A COP. on the front and he LOVES it! He said he gets comments and laughs about ti all the time. THAT is very much (for me)part of the fun and freedom of being able to make up a tee when ever you want!
When my brother turned 52, I bought a dayglo orange tee(hiway safety orange!)and printed on the front: Shhhhh!...Nobody needs to know that I am(and then underneath that I printed a HUGE 52!) He actually wore it a couple of times and got laughs. I actually developed an ongoing tee account with somebody who saw that tee and asked him 'WHERE did you get that!". So you never know.
A guy down the street mows his lawn about 6 times(really!) a week and always has a stare, as if he had his eyelids removed? I want to print him a ' EMERGING CULT LEADER' tee but I have to think about the safety of my family and pets! The sky is the limit! (Ha! I also print tees for a hang gliding club...so that is LITERALLY true!) Don't always be looking for that 'so deep' design. The simple quickies can be fun and bring you business you would not get otherwise. My take on it anyway as one who has printed everything from one color zingers to 8 color wildlife and adventure(etc.) scenes.
 

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Hi everyone. I have heard a lot of great point in this thread. I like the design aspect of the tshirt biz and seeing how my art stands in comparison to other designers. I am almost finished with one of the designs that I plan to use on a Tee. This will we one of the 1st pieces I sell. SInce I am new at Heat Press Designing, I could uses some honest feedback. I really like the Skull and Wings Fad that the kids are into nowadays, and I would like to add my own twist to it. . Thanks
Sorry I didn't post the link the 1st time


 

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I think a good design is somthing that u come up with that catches the peoples eye and its ur own make and not a modified version or copy of somthing else..somthing outside the box too but not to wired..
well thats what i think
 

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I'm no expert but, what I do is make sure the design colors go with the shirt colorand style of shirt. If it has to be eye catching, I like bolder colors. If it has to be subdued, I like pastels and softer colors.
Then you have to match the audience to the design. It has to be appropriate to the end user. Bold graphics with flashy colors wouldn't be appropriate for a law firm or a woman's clinic. But for race cars (my passion) and rock concerts etc. bold pungent, jump off the freaking page graphics work well.
Lastly it's subjective. Look at a lot of other peoples nicely designed stuff to see what makes them tick.
Remember it's supposed to be fun too :)
Rick<><
 

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1. Keep it simple enough so that folks don't have to stare at your chest for 5 minutes to get it.
2. If you're using both words and graphics, don't let the graphics overwhelm the words - unless the graphics are primary and the words are secondary to your message.
3. Be mindful of your color combinations so that your design is pleasing to the eye.
4. Use legible fonts.
5. Use your blending modes in Photoshop to make your word designs look professional.
6. Make it clear what the point of your design is by enlarging and using bold colors, either on the words or the graphics, that make the point instantly comprehensible.
7. Don't be reluctant to do-over designs even if you've already spent hours on them.
8. Use the KISS principle: Keep it Simple, Stupid.
9. Avoid plain rectangles: Make the shape of the design interesting so that it sits on the shirt either in the same form as the graphic or with a super-imposed irregular shape.
10. Make it eye-catching - with colors, and/or unique designs, and/or shadowing and/or filters, etc., without overdoing the manipulations available to Photoshop users.
 
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