How To: Make an A+ T-shirt for Teachers
Today's lesson: 5 easy tips that will take you to school on A+ T-shirt design!

Design Master

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Whether you’re an educator with a desire to stand out and add a little fun to a lesson or a student wanting to present a funny and unique gift to your teacher, a T-shirt may be just the thing you’re looking for.

With just a little creativity and know-how, this T-shirt design lesson will help create a special shirt that is sure to light up classroom.

Good quality fabric is your priority for this project. It will cost you a little more, but it will be worth it.

Which cut to choose depends on the dressing style of the person wearing the T-shirt. For young teachers with an eye on the latest trends, V-necks will do nicely, while ringer tees will be great for the sporty type.

There is a huge variety of shirt and fabric types, so take advantage of something beyond the standard look if you can!

TIP: If you’re not sure which one to choose, the classic cut will be your safest option, or if you want to know more about T-shirt styles, check out this other great how-to!

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To make an eye-catching T-shirt, the base color and that of the main graphics must work together, so go with a color scheme that will provide enough contrast between these two.

TIP: The color of the T-shirt doesn’t have to be the classic black or white. Bright reds, greens and blues are all options to consider and pastel colors are OK, too, with the right graphics. You don’t have to make it complicated, even two or three colors can be enough. Try different combinations before making a final draft.

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T-shirt designs can be fun because they allow the designer to unleash their wit and creativity!

You can develop your design, mixing graphics and words or using only type, in a program like Photoshop, Illustrator or Inkscape.

Start by creating a document sized 8.5 inches by 11 inches with CMYK color space and 300 ppi resolution. Use the pen and shape tools to create the artwork or upload your own images and pictures if that fits your concept best.

Regarding text, check out a few of your favorite fonts and write your text with the type tool.

TIP: You will find many great free fonts on sites like DaFont and Font Squirrel. To be more effective, keep the shirt’s layout uncluttered and the colors bold.

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Using strong colors and priceless puns are major steps to creating a great shirt, but to make an design worth of an A+, you also must consider  how the various elements work on their own and relation to one another.

Type sets the character of your T-shirt, so choose carefully. Check alignment and spacing between letters, words and lines to make sure the text is readable throughout and that there isn’t any awkward looking gap.

TIP: Double-check your spelling! You don’t want some embarrassing typo in the final shirt!

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For the highest quality results, it’s advisable to rely on a professional online printer.

The majority of shirt printing sites will simply ask you to upload your design and select features such as color, style and size. This kind of service is excellent if you want to complete your project quickly.

Another more hands-on approach can work if you have a good inkjet printer at home. Check out some iron-on transfers from your local craft store and bring your design to your T-shirt. Iron-ons are very easy to use, and you can print on these as you would on normal paper – just remember to flip your design horizontally before printing!

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How To: Make T-shirt for Teachers - 6If you’re planning to give the T-shirt to your teacher, make sure to create something that will suit their personality while adding an element of yours.

If you’re the teacher, creating your own shirt is a great way to add some fun to the classroom and add a humorous touch to your teaching style.

Who’s ready for casual Friday?

Edited in Illustrator CC. Images Rachel Grandinetti, Adrian Gtz, Vecteezy,,

About the Author
Kristi Maddox is a master of graphic design, on-site design and ordering, and is the go-to for template and design tool usage.
Kristi and the team order print jobs from every major printer to test quality, value, customer service, and more. See their reviews here:


  1. hi am an abstract artist i draw on paper but i dont know how to transfer my art work to photoshop

    • Kristi Maddox (

      Hi Demi Eagle, we’re happy to help you out. Once you have your artwork finished, scan the image with a scanner which most printers should come with. In the scanner’s settings, make sure you set your DPI to 300. Next, you can open the scan in Photoshop by clicking on the “Open” button at the top of the menu. Good luck with your project!