Matching Ink Color with the T-shirt and Design

T-shirts, most especially statement ones, often speak about one’s personality. Before picking a shirt, a person usually considers two important factors: the shirt’s material and design. It’s natural for people to pick the shirts that appeal and closely identify with them. Also, what you’re wearing is often the first thing people notice. This is why it is important to choose a shirt that you don’t only feel comfortable wearing but also something that is pleasing to the eye.

If you are looking for other ways to promote your business, earn extra income by coming up with your own merch, or want to mark a special event like family gatherings and bridal shower, you might need these helpful tips on how to match ink colors with your shirt and design.

  • Identifying the Technicalities

First things first: There are several factors that you need to consider when you are going to dye a shirt using a water-based ink. The basic components are, of course, your ink and shirt color. After identifying these basic factors, you need to identify what color combinations look excellent. You also need to consider how the ink will react to the background dye of your shirt. And last but not the least, you have to know the fibers and materials used in the shirt.

  • Scoring a Shirt Test

Once you have identified the technicalities, it’s time to get working. Buying shirts online can be a bit tricky. Until you receive them, you have no idea how the shirts will actually look like. This is because shirts worn by models are shot in studios, with artificial lighting and post-editing. These factors usually enhance the quality of the images. Hence, the images differ when they appear on the screen of your computer, and digital images may look better than the actual thing.

To make sure that you are actually getting the color right, it’s best to score a shirt test.    What you can do is visit stores and purchase plain-colored shirts that you are considering to use. You can start doing a shirt test after your purchase. Notice how the shirt looks like under various lighting factors – different time periods of the day, and under artificial  and natural lighting.


  • Identifying Excellent Color Combinations

Matching Ink Color with the T-shirt and DesignLight-colored shirts make your dark-colored designs stand out. This is where color combinations play an important part. You should be able to list down what color combinations are great so as not to jeopardize your design.

Below is a list of color combinations that look great:

  • Pink shirt with light to mid blue or yellow ink
  • Light green shirt with gold, navy blue, or white ink
  • White shirt with graphite, brick red, or plum ink
  • Red shirt with royal blue, black, or graphite ink
  • Gray shirt with deep navy blue or rust and brick red ink
  • Yellow shirt with blue, menthol green or pink ink
  • Black shirt with white, maroon or graphite ink


Additional guidelines on color combinations:

While some of these color combinations have been proven to look great, you might want to consider adding a darker-colored outline to your light-colored design. This is so you can highlight your text and make it more readable.

Also, dark-colored shirts with lighter ink colors look amazing. But you have to watch out for darker colors like forest, cardinal, or maroon. There are cases when these colors get distorted by the color of the shirt, making the output look dull.


  • Brainstorming Your Shirt’s Design

Perhaps the most fun part of creating your shirt is the design. You have to remember, though, that this should not be rushed. The design of your shirt is what can easily attract people. Therefore, if you are producing a shirt for merchandise, it could be a good selling point.

Your shirt design could chart various directions. As you move forward with your brainstorming, it is important to consider the following factors:

Shirt types. As you begin to work on your ideas, keep in mind how it will turn out to your shirt’s actual size. Shirts come in varieties: Round shirts, V-neck, Sports shirt, Raglans, etc. Make sure that you are using the right canvas for your sketches to get the right proportion of your design on the shirts. After this, consider how your design will look on smaller and bigger shirt sizes. For screen printing, you may have to change the size of your screen if you are printing on different shirt sizes.

Image and Style. This is the part where you need to exert your creativity. This part may be a bit crucial as you have to think of a creative and artistic way of communicating your message through your design. To help you formulate your shirt’s style and image, you also need to consider several factors which include your brand, target market, and purpose. After putting all of these together, you can begin sketching your dream shirt design.

 – Design color. Color is what gives your shirt design personality. Your shirt’s hue, tint, and shade can be very helpful in evoking an emotion. Colors can be so very powerful that you can depict something about you or your brand with just a look. When it comes to this part, you always have to consider two factors: your fabric colors and the design color/s. The ideal color combinations were already mentioned earlier, however, you can still experiment with more color combinations using a color chart. Keep in mind, though, that the colors of both your fabric and design should complement each other.



To produce the best shirt, you have to know your brand or the goal you want to achieve. It is also very important to identify which colors go well together and how your design is going to appear on various fabrics. If you are uncertain, better seek help from a talented designer or people who specialize in this area.


At Bigcitysportswear you can choose matching Ink color with the t-shirt or design and also check our other services. For more details visit our website or contact to us.