How-to make a great t-shirt (Part 2)

Welcome to Part 2 of our 'How to make a great t-shirt' guide.

This section covers:

How do I do horizontal/landscape oriented images?
How do I check where my design is positioned?
What are vector graphics and raster graphics?
Can I use gradients and halftones in my design?
How will my design print?
Tips and Tutorials?

How do I do horizontal/landscape oriented images?

If you want to use a landscape image in your design, you need to make sure that your design has enough space horizontally to fit comfortably within the printing area on our tees. We understand the great art comes in all shapes and sizes and we are just as keen as you to accommodate all possible layouts.


How do I check where my design is positioned?

When uploading for tees and phone cases, there is a more detailed uploading process which we have made nice and easy for you to use. Once you have chosen which file you wish to upload, a brand new screen will appear which allows you to edit the final product before saving it to your profile page.


  1. In case you ever lose your design file you can always come back and download it here
  2. If you have a file specifically for tees, you can upload it here or just re-upload and start afresh by replacing image
  3. Use the drop down menu to select which style of tee you wish to appear for the preview
  4. Choose if you would prefer the design to default to the front or back of the garment
  5. Pick a default colour and also customise the colour range available for your design
  6. Reduce the size of your design by using the scale slider
  7. Play with the centre design feature, either vertically or horizontally
  8. Change the mark up % and product availability
  9. Re-position your design
  10. Apply Changes or ask for a little extra help if needed

To make sure your design is printed in the correct template of the tee, we have also included a handy outline of the possible printing area. All you need to do is click and drag your image over the tee and if you get too close to the edge the dotted box will appear as a warning.

What are vector graphics and raster graphics?

Vector graphics are made up of paths which are defined by a start and end point, along with other points, curves, and angles along the way. A path can be a line, a square, a triangle, or a curvy shape. These paths can be used to create simple drawings or complex diagrams.

Pictures found on the Web and photos you import from your digital camera are raster graphics. They are made up of grid of pixels, also known as a bitmap.

Because vector-based images are not made up of a specific number of dots or pixels they can be scaled to a larger or smaller size and will not lose any image quality. If you enlarge a raster graphic, it will look pixelated but if you enlarge a vector graphic, the image will stay smooth and clean no matter how big you make it.

Using Gradients and Halftones


The printer we use sprays down a number of layers of ink on the t-shirt. On dark shirts, the printer puts down an area of white first which sits underneath the coloured layers. If there are very fine details in your shirt design, the printer is effectively trying to lay down colour in exactly the same spot as the last layer so when using gradients and halftones in your design it's worth keeping the following in mind:

  • Black fading to nothing = ok
  • White fading to nothing = tricky
  • Colour fading to nothing = tricky
  • Colour fading to another colour = ok

More info on Halftones

How your artwork will print

To see a more detailed FAQ on how exactly colours will print on your tee, you read further over here.

Our production teams use Direct to Garment Digital Printers which is like an enormous inkjet in principle but unlike most other inkjet printers, it has white ink. Prints are divided into lights and darks. For light coloured t-shirts it prints straight onto the shirt, for darks it lays down a white base first and then prints on top of that.

This printer is far superior at handling gradients and photographic-esque images than screen printing, and while it does a very impressive job of rendering blocks colours, it is best to avoid very large expanses of single colour area, particularly if those areas are white.

Some quick important rules to follow and remember:

  1. Gradients from a colour fading out to nothing on dark tees are VERY hard to render.
  2. Very fine type using white ink on dark tees can also be tricky.
  3. Very large block areas of a single colour should be avoided.

Tips and Tutorials

Our fantastic blog team are always on the lookout for outstanding tutorials submitted either by Redbubble artists or from the world wide web. If you want to get into the nitty gritty details or would like to see other artists in action on how they create their own work, feel to visit our Blog.

We also have some favourites of our own: