Designing Custom Clothing Graphics: Should You Hire a Professional?

Blank Canvas Image source:

My brother got all of the artistic genes in the family. I can write fairly well, which kind of qualifies as being artistic, but my brother is an incredible artist who can create amazing sketches in just a few minutes. I, on the other hand, have the artistic talent of a fifth grader. Here's a drawing that I created just for you:   

Pretty Drawing Image source:

As you can see, I have no business designing professional-level graphics. If I were designing a custom shirt, I would probably hire a professional or get outside assistance to make sure that my custom clothing packed a visual punch. Luckily, there are tons of artists at Lead Apparel who know how to create beautiful custom clothing graphics.  

I'm guessing some of my readers are just like me. You need a custom shirt, but you've got the artistic talent of a rock. What are your options?  

Turn Your Group into a Resource

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you're part of a large organization. You could be part of a church group, a member of a non-profit organization, a member of a sports team, or a business owner. Whatever the case, you probably have access to a large group of people who are more than willing to help you come up with a design for your organization's custom clothing.    Teamwork Image source:  

You can turn the activity into a fun event by asking your group to submit ideas. You might even want to let members vote on designs, or offer some sort of prize to the person who submits the winning design. By increasing interactivity, the members of your group will feel like you respect their opinions. It also has the added benefit of drawing from a large pool of creative minds. If two minds are better than one, then several hundred minds are invaluable!  

Hire a Professional

Sometimes, you've got to bring out the big guns and hire a true professional. Graphic designers and marketing firms can help you come up with a truly eye-catching design that plays into the subtleties of human psychology and advertising strategy. This option will cost you a lot more, but it's an investment that may very well pay itself off in the long run. You get what you pay for!   Graphic Artist Image source:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

 If you have an old logo or symbol that's associated with your group, you might want to reuse that logo and add a modern twist. McDonald's is a great example -- they transformed their iconic golden arches into a smiley face by adding a mouth. The end result is both nostalgic and trendy, fusing the past and present into a clever new logo.   Old and New McDonald's Logos Image sources:,   

Bigger Isn't Always Better

Simple logos are pretty popular nowadays. Just look at the logos of Nike, HBO, and Target. You could probably draw those logos with your eyes closed if you wanted to. Even if you're cursed with zero artistic talent like me, you might be able to come up with an elegantly simple custom clothing design that says a lot with only a few words or symbols.   Logos of Nike, HBO, and Target Image sources:,,[/caption]   Here's my advice: try not to overthink anything. Figure out what you're trying to say and then determine if there's a way to convey that message in five syllables or less. Just look  at New York tourism -- their I [heart] N Y shirts prove that simplicity is a powerful marketing tool.
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