If your funny t-shirts are turning out funny-looking, the problem may be your text. Regardless of how awesome your cool t shirt designs are when you imagine them, if your text is poorly designed, your shirts will always look unprofessional. But don’t fear! With these 5 tricks of professional graphic artists, it is possible to quickly turn those amateur custom tops into perfect and polished works of tee shirt art.
T-Shirt Design Secret #1: Selecting the right Font
When choosing a font for the t shirt text, make sure you pick one which supports your message. For example, if you’re designing a funny tee shirt, choose a font that has a funny feel to it. If you’re designing a sexy t shirt, choose a font which has a sexy feel to it. And when you’re designing a t shirt for a serious, professional lawyer, you probably don’t desire to use that font with letters shaped like kittens.
While this may sound like common sense, many new t shirt designers and would-be tee shirt entrepreneurs skip this task and just pick any standard font they might have lying around. Unfortunately, it’s obvious within their results; what could have been a fun t shirt design eventually ends up being boring and amateur-looking. If you are careful to choose a font that represents the content of your words, however, you can avoid this fate and your shirts will always be one step ahead of your competition.
LiveVloneShop T-Shirt Design Secret #2: Tracking and Kerning
Quite often, when font text is typed right into a computer program, the spaces between your letters and words certainly are a little uneven, and often a little too wide. This extra and uneven space not only makes your text look a little awkward and unprofessional, in addition, it makes it slightly more challenging to read as the words don’t visually hold together as units. Even if the viewer doesn’t see it, the eye and the mind have to work a bit harder and that extra bit of difficulty gives the viewer a subconscious feeling of unease.
Fortunately for the novice tee shirt designer, this problem can be addressed by a combination of tracking and kerning, which are simply just two ways of adjusting the spacing between letters.
Tracking has to do with adjusting the common spacing of letters across entire words, sentences, or selected ranges of letters. By adjusting the tracking, the t shirt artist can either decrease the average spacing between all the letters in the selected range (making the spacing “tighter”), or else raise the average spacing (“opening up” the text), based on what’s needed. Because the raw, unadjusted spacing varies from font to font, you’ll have to decide which one is needed for your particular tee shirt design. But a good trick used by professional tee shirt designers is to begin by tightening the font too much (therefore the letters are too close together) and then slowly increasing the tracking until the words look right.
Kerning is very much like tracking, but with one important difference: instead of adjusting the common spacing across an entire range of letters, kerning only adjusts the spacing between two letters at the same time. This allows a greater degree of control than tracking, and allows a tee shirt artist to fine tune the spacing between single letter pairs that still don’t look quite right, even with the written text has been tracked.
In general, the best practice is by using tracking to find the entire range of letters in a tee shirt slogan to look very good, and use kerning to fine tune the spacing between letter pairs until your t shirt text looks perfect.
T-Shirt Design Secret #3: Word Spacing
Once the letters of a t shirt slogan have already been properly tracked and kerned, another important step is to adjust the spacing between your words. Adjusting word spacing is quite similar to tracking and kerning — actually, it’s done exactly the same way as kerning and is really just kerning the spaces between words instead of letters — but the rule of thumb for proper spacing between words is a little different, therefore word spacing is a whole step unto itself.
In general, the very best practice when adjusting spacing between words would be to visualize the width of a lowercase “L” in the font that’s used, and then make the area between each word that wide. Because of this the width of the spaces between words changes from font to font (because the size of the lowercase “L” differs from font to font), but it addittionally means that the spacing will undoubtedly be custom designed for the font involved. Creating the proper level of space between words will support the effects of your tracking and kerning, thus helping your words to hold together better as separate visual units and improving readability.