How to Make Your Own Graphic Tees

Canadians love graphic tees. From custom t-shirts featuring your favourite sports athletes to funny, witty slogans to a cheeky patriotic t-shirt, it seems like custom graphic tees are everywhere. 

While a lot of people do buy their graphic tees online, it's not as difficult to make your own when you know how. 

If you are a fan of graphic t-shirts yourself, or have a product and need a way to print custom tees for retail or personal use, here are five steps on how to make your own graphic tees fast without sacrificing printing quality. 

Step 1: Find inspiration for a design

When it comes to creative graphic tees, the sky is the limit! But if you're just starting out, we recommend checking out some of our favourite designs for inspiration.

You'll want to think about what you want your design to say and look like. 

Do you want it to be something light and playful or something edgy and rebellious? Do you want it to be centred or off-center? Does it need a lot of negative space, or should it be more filled in? This can help guide your decisions throughout the rest of the process.

Make sure that your design is balanced, meaning that it doesn't have too many colours or designs competing with each other. 

Finally, determine where you want your design to be on the shirt. Different designs work better in different places on a shirt.

There are many different types of graphic tees on Pinterest to give you ideas: NBA graphic tees, vintage graphic tees, and Japanese graphic tees are just some types you can use for inspiration.

Step 2: Create a digital design 

Once you have inspiration for your graphic tees, you'll then need to create create a digital design for your custom apparel. Adobe or Canva can be a great resource to make a design yourself. However, creating a cool custom t-shirt design takes skill and we would recommend working with a graphic designer if you don't have experience with this.

Some people also consider hiring a print shop for design services to make your graphic tees exactly how you want them. This option can be ideal if you want a print shop to be responsible for everything from graphic design to printing. 

Before you approach a graphic designer or a print shop to create a design, you must have a rough idea of how you want your design to look after you have had inspiration for graphic tees. 

Step 3: Consider the best fitting t-shirts

Both Gildan and Authentic T-shirt Company are Canadian companies that have some of the best fitting t-shirts for men, women, and children. Depending on whether you prefer cotton or polyester, some t-shirts may be better suited for your graphic tees than others. Some of the best fitting t-shirts we offer are Gildan® Dryblend™ (50/50 cotton/polyester) and ATC™ Everyday Cotton (100% cotton).

Gildan® Dryblend™ is also one of our most popular t-shirt fabrics because it offers plenty of durability in addition to its other benefits. These t-shirts are soft, lightweight and breathable. They’re perfect for everyday wear, whether it’s under a hoodie or just by themselves on a hot day.

ATC™ Everyday Cotton is also a popular choice because it’s a 100% cotton t-shirt. This fabric is ideal when you want something that feels soft and smooth against your skin. It also has a slight stretch to it, so they’re great for wearing during workouts or casual events when you need mobility.

Step 4: Decide which t-shirt printing you want

Choosing between DTG or vinyl is one of the toughest decisions for graphic tees.

Direct to garment printing (also known as DTG) is a process where the ink is fused into the fabric and can be washed without having to worry about fading or cracking. This way, your tee will look exactly like it did when you first bought it, but without the high price tag.

With vinyl printing, you can press your design onto fabric using a heat press. This method makes your design look unique and is best for simple designs that want to appear more vibrant.

Step 5: Contact a print shop

And now, the last step to making your own graphic tees is to contact a print shop with good customer service to help you with custom t-shirt printing.

If you're looking for a simple way to get graphic tees printed, this is the right option for you. Once you have inspiration for your design, our t-shirt printing specialist will take care of everything else.

We’ll work with you to make sure your design is just right, and then we’ll print it on high-quality t-shirts. We have a wide variety of sizes and colours available so that you can find the perfect fit for yourself or your customers.


Creating your own t-shirt is easier than you might think. It will save you money on new tees, while also giving you the creativity to print graphic tees whenever you like. By following these steps, you can have custom graphic t-shirts printed with little to no effort.

With over 10 years of experience, Tag-it Express is proud to be one of the best t-shirt printing companies in Canada that don’t require a minimum order to get started.

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