Printed custom tags are a great branding opportunity to give a finished look to your product. They make a t-shirt more comfortable to wear and provide the consumer a connection with your brand, every time they wear your design.
As we've been doing this for a while, we'd like to offer the following suggestions and cost-saving tips when creating your own.
1. Eliminate borders
Not to say it can't be done, but there's more room for error when we print a tag with a circle or rectangle around your text. We use a thin glue on our printing surface to hold the shirt in place as it's being printed. When we remove the shirt from the board, the design can warp, causing a circle to appear more oval, or for an edge to appear slightly higher on a rectangle. Wander North Georgia’s tags are a perfect example of how to create a circle without an outline.
2. Content is key
We recommend including your brand name or logo, the t-shirt size, the garment's country of origin, and fabric content. Or don’t. It’s your tag and it should speak true of your brand. So Worth Loving's neck tags include their mission statement. In contrast, Post Post Works keeps their tag simple.
3. Things could get muddy
Since ink likes to spread as it's placed on fabric, tiny text, trademarks, and archaic laundry symbols (who knows what those mean, anyway?) can become blurry-looking. We always try to account for this behavior before we go to press, but oftentimes it's easier to leave these details out.
4. Go grey
Generally, our clients like to match the tag to a color on the front print. If you’re printing the same design on multiple shirt colors, it’s likely you’ll want to change the print color as well. An additional cost arises when we change the ink from one shirt color to the next. If you want to avoid this cost, we’ve found that 430 C Gray proves visible across multiple shirt colors, like The Bitter Southerner's tags, pictured below.
5. Put your logo elsewhere
Want to save on cost, but keep brand visibility? Opt for your logo on a sleeve, hem tag, or back of the shirt. One example is South + Wild’s print on the back nape of the shirt. Another is Switchyards Downtown Club and Alternative Apparel’s collaborative design by the front hem.
The best advice we can give is that simple, is in fact, how you should keep it. Put function before decoration.
Interested in printed tags? Ask for pricing with your next shirt order.
Bread maker, yoga enthusiast, francophile. A small aspiration of mine is to one day lead a group of people in singing and dancing to Shout by The Isley Brothers.