Part 1 - Creating Your First Design

Creating your first batch of shirts might seem like the most nerve-wracking stage of building your clothing company.

However, it is the area where you will not only learn the most, but also where you will experience the most emotions. Excitement, anxiousness, eagerness and pride are all emotions you will feel.

The first step in creating your first batch of shirts is coming up with a design for your shirts.

When David and I started ENTRPRNR, I had absolutely no idea about designing, Illustrator or Photoshop.

Teaming up with David was the decision that really kick started the company, as David was someone who had worked at a friend’s t-shirt printing shop.

They weren’t doing anything significant besides sitting in a 50-squarefoot warehouse printing on shitty blank t-shirts with simple one-hit designs ripped directly from Google images and clipart.

HOWEVER, David was the guy who was doing all the designing of the shirts. He would take designs off the web and play around with them a little bit on programs such as Adobe Illustrator.

When we started ENTRPRNR, David committed to becoming the creative mind behind digital design and the mocking up of the shirts online via programs like Photoshop.

He dedicated his time to learning both Illustrator and Photoshop so that we would not have to outsource or rely on anyone other than ourselves for t-shirt designs.

One of the most important decisions you need to make when it comes to starting your clothing company is “Am I going to dedicate myself to learning digital design, or am I going to pay someone to bring my design ideas to life?”

This is a crucial question you must ask yourself before moving forward. Sometimes the best decision is finding someone who knows or can commit to learning digital design and working some sort of partnership with them.

If you decide to go the one-man army route, I recommend learning both Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop like the back of your hand.

You will need proficiency in these programs when it comes to creating shirt designs.

There are a variety of sources in which you can learn to use adobe studios, for free.

I have personally used some of these sources and they have taught me how to do certain things on Adobe studios.

Some of these free sources include:

– Google (Just search the situation you are trying to figure out and 9 times out of 10 it’ll come up either in the form of a YouTube video or written guide with pictures.)

– YouTube (This is one of my favorites, the ease of use and convenience is incredible. Videos are great to learn from as it’s as if you are being virtually walked through the creation process.)

– is a great source as well. There is a bunch of tutorials on there that range from complex projects to simple 3-step guides.

If you think learning design is a little too much for you right now, but you don’t want to cut in a new business partner either, there is a wealth of freelance designers available.

My favorite sources are:

– It’s the least expensive and most saturated, therefore you will need to do some digging through the thousands of t-shirt design providers to pick your perfect fit.

– More expensive, but higher quality designers and the opportunity to have multiple designers “bid” on your job by providing options and letting you pick what you like the best.

– Social networks. Don’t be afraid to post on Facebook or Instagram and ask if any of your friends know how to use the Adobe suite! Chances are, there’s someone out there who can create your designs for a nominal fee.

Look at all the sources and if you decide to become the digital designer yourself, start self-educating.

Once you have your first few designs lined up and ready to be put onto shirts, you want to make sure you find the correct shirt for your brand, which is what we will cover in tomorrow’s lesson.

Your Homework:

Research your different options for designing and decide which direction you’d like to do. Spend 5 minutes on Fiverr and 99 Designs to get a feel for what’s out there.

– Andres