Cool Ideas for Custom T Shirts Both With and Without Photos

"That would look great on some custom t shirts." Almost everyone has a moment or two in their lives when they think words like those. 

Back in the day that kind of thought about custom tee shirts or photo t shirts would likely have been dismissed as way too expensive. But these days, custom shirts are very affordable and anyone can create a shirt that will rival professional designs.

Yep, with a bit of effort and creativity on your part, you can create your own wardrobe of personalized t-shirts that no one else will own.

On the other hand you can use custom t shirt printing services to create shirts for a sports team, a family reunion or some other special event like a concert or pick nick.

Designing Your Own T Shirts

If you have dreams of becoming a clothing designer or you just like to mess around with your own creative designs, you can create patterns and colors schemes that you can then have printed directly onto custom t shirts.

If you want to eventually sell your own custom tshirts - you can get good prices of shirt printing if you buy in bulk.

Many million dollar clothing businesses started exactly this way, with a few printed t-shirts that sold like hot cakes. Of course with competition being what it is, you'll need to be a pretty nifty designer, but it is still doable.

Even if you're not that talented when it comes to graphic design, you may still be able to create unique and professional looking shirt designs using an online design service. Customized t shirts make great personalized gift items, for example. There are several quality sites out there, like, which provide a simple and straightforward interface that allows anyone who can use a mouse and keyword to create cool and unusual designs for their customized t shirts.

If you're tired of buying a shirt from a store only to see someone else wearing it the next day and you want unique custom tee shirts that don't require a lot of effort, this provides the perfect solution for you. If you're looking for personalised gift ideas, the same is true.

T Shirt Styles

There are many different styles of t-shirts, and getting the right one will make a big difference to the final outcome of your personalized t-shirt designs.

For instance, are you going to simply print a whole bunch of t-shirts of the same style, or will you get some with a fit designed for males and others tailored to females? Men's shirts often look baggy and unsightly on small women.

- How many t-shirts will you need?
- In which of the different sizes?
- Do you want v-necks or ring necks?
- Long sleeves, short sleeves or or tank tops?
- Just plain white shirts, or colored shirts?

These are all questions you need to ask yourself, preferably before you even sort out your design for the personalized t shirts.

When deciding on t-shirt styles, don't just take appearance into account - also think about function. For instance...

- If you're getting shirts for a team, where are you likely to be wearing them?
- Is it a warm summer sport or a cold winter sport?
- Will you go for photo t shirts or custom t shirts with just text - or both?
- If you go for photo tshirts with big photos, will the print hamper the fabric's ability to 'breathe'?

The answer to these and similar questions may mean the difference between long-sleeve and short-sleeve t-shirts as well as the quality of the fabric and the quality of the print, so think about this stuff carefully before you put an order in.

Custom T Shirts: How Much Will It Cost?

Bear in mind that whenever you want a personalized item printed, it will always work out much cheaper per-item if you order in bulk.

This is because the printing company has fixed costs related to setting up the printing run - those costs are the same for any order, whether you buy one t-shirt or one thousand.

So if you want to get the best price, think of all the customized t shirts you want to have printed and do a batch of them all in one hit, rather than doing them one by one.

Fortunately, thanks to newer printing technologies the initial set up costs of a printing run are lower than they used to be so it's now more affordable to get a single shirt printed, but there's still a significant per-unit cost difference between large orders and small orders with most printing companies.

With some companies, they have a basic minimum number of personalized t shirts you need to order to qualify for normal pricing. Any orders below the minimum are at a higher per-unit price.

Quality and comfort will also play a role in pricing of the custom tee shirts. Remember, there are many different types of material that can be used to make your personalized t shirts - such as blends between two or more different materials.

In general one hundred percent natural materials, typically cotton, make for the best, most comfortable t-shirts. But note that there are even different types of cotton, from very cheap to somewhat more expensive.

Better materials may push your costs up, but on the other hand you may regret going for the cheapest option when you end up wearing an itchy t-shirt all day. Remember the first rule: if the shirt isn't comfortable no one will want to wear it, no matter how cool and personalized it may be.

Also, the more expensive fabrics tend to be a bit more durable. But it's a matter of choice, depending on your wallet and what you want to achieve.

Photo T Shirts

Perhaps you have a photo - perhaps of yourself, someone you love, or simply an image that you think is really cool - and you want it on a t-shirt. This is one of the most common scenarios for someone interested in the printing of personalized t shirts.

Even if you want the shirt to be centered around a photo, it may look a little boring without any extra design elements.

Think about maybe adding a border design for the photo. Some printing companies will have an assortment of border templates for you to choose from. Or, you might use some photo editing software (e.g. Adobe Photoshop) to add your own, custom photo frame.

Consider also adding some text to the photo. If the photo is of you or a friend and relates to something that happened to you, add a quote that sums up the situation.

This also makes those, 'What's the story behind your t-shirt?' situations much easier to handle. If your t-shirt is unique and stands out, you'll get those kinds of questions a lot.

For text you could also consider adding something like inspirational quotes, or funny quotes, or perhaps your favorite amongst the world's short funny jokes.

You can find lots of short suitable text and stuff on this website. For instance, if it's for someone you love you can pick one of the many love quotes or perhaps one of our short love poems.

Or, if your custom t shirts are going to be used as birthday presents, then you can check out's collection of birthday poems or birthday sayings to put on your custom tees.

Also think about how you want the layout of the photo tshirts to look. Do you want the photo to take up the entire fabric in a wrap-around effect, with no blank space?

Do you want it in a square, rectangle or circle at the center of the shirt? Do you want different images on the front and back of the shirt?

Often having both sides printed will cost you more, so give some consideration to pricing as you make up your mind on this.

Customized T Shirts Altered from Your Existing Tees

You may already own a cool t-shirt, but you have an idea to make it cooler. This is a bit different from working with a blank t-shirt you want to add you own design to.

If you're making an alteration to one of your favorite shirts, you want to go the extra distance and hire a service that will do a highly professional job. It's not worth risking ruining a shirt by going to a cheap but ineffective customization service just to save a few bucks.

Also, if you want to sell your customized t shirts, you should be aware of copyright issues.

Are you using designs or images you didn't create yourself? If so, these images may be under copyright.

Make sure you're only using creative material you designed yourself or which is not under copyright if you plan on turning t-shirt printing into a business - otherwise you may end up getting an unwanted letter from a legal team telling you to cease production.

In general photos and images that are labeled 'public domain' are the safest to use, but there are other licenses where you can use the photo or image almost any way you want - such as the GNU license or the Creative Commons license - both of those exist in many versions, some of which allow commercial use, and there are more like them.

Team Photo T-Shirts

All sports teams love having their own personalized t shirts with their team name and logo on them. Custom tee shirts give team members something physical to wear which reminds them they're part of the team, even when they're not competing.

This can help build up the 'mental game' that's needed to compete well as a unit, rather than a group of individuals trying to do their own thing.

Team customized t shirts or team photo t shirts aren't only for sports teams. You can get them made for your school math club or as a gift for co-workers who complete a team-building course.

Any activity or event which requires a group to come together and share an experience can be a good excuse for a printed photo t-shirt or other kind of custom t shirts.

Of course, sports team t-shirts don't have to be based on a team you actually participate in. You can also make personalized t shirts that show support for you favorite sports team, so you have something unique to wear when you go to games.

If it's not outside your budget, you can personalize each shirt by having each player's name printed on the back. Since sports team members often have nicknames for each other which they use in the heat of the game, it makes sense to use these instead of real names.

 Or, you could place their real name on the front and their nickname on the back.

Family Reunion T-Shirts

Family reunions are often exciting and emotional experiences, and if your family is spread out around the world they may not happen very often.

That's why it's nice to have customized t-shirts you can all wear to remind you of the last time you were together with the whole family.

What kind of design should you use for family reunion custom t shirts?

Well, if you happen to have a family coat of arms, this makes the ideal choice as a kind of 'logo' image for the shirts.

If you don't have a coat of arms, you can always make one up if you have a bit of graphic design skill.

Try to choose imagery that you feel represents the strongest qualities of your family. Animal silhouettes and other kinds of silhouettes often do well in these cases, as do diverse types of cool drawings.

If you can't think of anything you can use a simple, general image that represents family, such as a tree with many branches.

You'll also want to include the date of the family reunion, your family name, and if possible print each family member's first name on their shirt (at the back across the shoulders is a good place for their first name).

Other Custom Clothing

If you're organizing a whole lot of custom t shirts for a team, you may also want to think about other items of clothing.

After all, it's one thing for your team to show up to a competition in matching t-shirts - it's something else altogether to show up in matching team track suits, specially designed for you.

This can provide a big morale booster, making the whole team feel like they have the extra edge that's needed to win. Of course, this is only an option if you have the budget, however.

Remember, even if you don't have a lot of cash to spend right now, you can always think ahead and plan a whole assortment of custom items that will fit together into your dream wardrobe. Then, whenever you have the money you can realize yet another part of that master plan.

At we wish you the very best of luck with your custom t shirts, photo t shirts and other personalized gift items! :-)


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