If your funny t-shirts are turning out funny-looking, the situation might be your text. Irrespective of how awesome your cool tee shirt designs are when you imagine them, if your text is poorly designed, your shirts will always look unprofessional. But don’t fear! With one of these 5 tricks of professional graphic designers, you can quickly turn those amateur custom t shirts into perfect and polished works of tee shirt art.
Whenever choosing a font for your tee shirt text, ensure that you pick one that supports your message. Like, if you’re designing an interesting tee shirt, choose a font that has an interesting feel t V Neck T Shirts o it. If you’re designing an attractive tee shirt, choose a font that has an attractive feel to it. And if you’re designing a tee shirt for a serious, professional law firm, you almost certainly don’t want to make use of that font with letters shaped like kittens.
While this may seem like common sense, many new tee shirt designers and would-be tee shirt entrepreneurs skip this task and just pick any standard font they could have lying around. Unfortunately, it’s obvious within their results; what might have been a great tee shirt design ultimately ends up being boring and amateur-looking. If you’re careful to select a font that represents this content of your words, however, you can avoid this fate and your shirts can be one step ahead of your competition.
A lot of the time, when font text is typed in to a computer program, the spaces between the letters and words really are a little uneven, and often a little too wide. This extra and uneven space not merely makes your text look somewhat awkward and unprofessional, additionally, it helps it be slightly more challenging to see because what don’t visually hold together as units. Even when the viewer doesn’t notice it, a person’s eye and the brain have to work somewhat harder and that extra little difficulty provides viewer a subconscious feeling of unease.
Tracking has related to adjusting the average spacing of letters across entire words, sentences, or selected ranges of letters. By adjusting the tracking, the tee shirt artist can either decrease the average spacing between all the letters in the selected range (making the spacing “tighter”), or else increase the average spacing (“opening up” the text), depending on what’s needed. Considering that the raw, unadjusted spacing varies from font to font, you’ll have to choose which is required for your particular tee shirt design. But a good trick utilized by professional tee shirt designers is to start out by tightening the font a lot of (so the letters are too close together) and then slowly increasing the tracking until what look right.
Kerning is much like tracking, but with one important difference: in place of adjusting the average spacing across a complete array of letters, kerning only adjusts the spacing between two letters at a time. This permits a greater level 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, despite the text has been tracked.
Once the letters of a tee shirt slogan have already been properly tracked and kerned, another important step is to modify the spacing between the words. Adjusting word spacing is much like tracking and kerning — in reality, it’s done the identical way as kerning and is actually just kerning the spaces between words rather than letters — however the rule of thumb for proper spacing between words is really a little different, and so word spacing is really a whole step unto itself.
In general, the very best practice when adjusting spacing between words is to visualize the width of a lowercase “L” in the font that’s being used, and then make the area between each word that wide. This means that the width of the spaces between words will undoubtedly be different from font to font (because the size of the lowercase “L” is different from font to font), but inaddition it implies that the spacing will undoubtedly be custom made for the font in question. Creating the correct number of space between words will support the results of your tracking and kerning, thus helping your words to hold together better as separate visual units and improving readability.
Another place that new tee shirt designers often make a mistake is in the leading, or “spacing between lines of text.” Leading — which can be pronounced just like the metal “lead” rather than like a “leader” taking people somewhere — dates back to the days of the printing press, each time a person would actually use small, thin bits of lead to create vertical space between the lines of type. Nowadays, obviously, computers handle the leading for us. Unfortunately, in regards to tee shirt text, they often handle it poorly.
When a tee shirt slogan is typed in to a computer program, it often starts out with a little too much space between the lines. This can help make the text look very “fonty” rather than natural, in addition to making the tee shirt design (and the designer) seem very amateur. With only a tiny change to the leading, however, that same tee shirt text can be made to look very tight and professional.
With leading, the goal is to create enough room between the lines of text so they can fit nicely together and don’t interfere with one another, without creating so much space they look artificial or become difficult to read. The attention should manage to easily jump visually from line to another without losing its place, and without the effort at all. While there is no real rule of thumb for the correct number of space between lines, a tee shirt designer who begins adjusting the leading will quickly learn how to “feel” when it’s right. In general, the easiest way to begin is to decrease the total amount of leading — tightening the area between the lines — and then keep tweaking it down or down until it feels visually balanced. When it looks natural and reads smoothly, your tee shirt slogan is one step closer to the big time.