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62 Computer Arts_June 2003




Photoshop is a great place to craft successful T-shirt designs that won’t break your budget. In this tutorial, we use a digital approach to create a deconstructed look and style

T-shirt design can be a pricey business. There are so many things to considerwhen you enter your local print shop: the expense of four-colour processing, the complexity of creating multiple templates, not to mention the cost of creating each individual screening template. There’s even a cost associated with opening multiple digital files. The list can go on and on, while your pocket becomes lighter and lighter… Well, there are ways around this spending. This tutorial willshow you an approach to designing T-shirts that doesn’t use multiple templates, multiple files and multiple colours. Less is often more, and simplifying the process won’t detract from your designs. We’ll create a T-shirt design with only one colour, that you will incorporate into one template, which you can then deliver to your printer in one digital file. Your costs will be cut substantially, butyour end result will be innovative and stylish. We’re going to use Photoshop to create a design that looks antiquated and deconstructed. It will appear as if the shirt had been washed several thousand times, but will retain a degree of vividness. With a little technical forethought, Photoshop can save you a lot of cash…

Artwork and words by Vincent Marcone – head to his infamous, ghostly site

Computer Arts_June 2003


Our design needs to be bold and visually impressive



The object of this tutorial is to create a unique and dynamic design by using only one colour to keep costs low. A silhouette works best with just two contrasting colours (traditionally black and white). The T-shirt material will act as thebackdrop for one colour, while the design will be inked as the foreground in another colour. The end result is both cheap and graphically effective.



This photograph has a strong sense of form and structure. The bare tree has an almost skeletal quality about it, which should work quite well as a silhouette and even better as the focus for the composition of this design.When picking images for T-shirts, it’s important to have strong visual elements to play off each other. There’s no room for subtle shapes and delicate compositions.

The clarity of your design depends on the size of your resolution. It’s best to keep your file no less than 300 pixels per inch. If you are enlarging a texture or photograph within a 300res file, those elements that you areexpanding are not truly 300ppi. It’s best to introduce such elements into the design without having to stretch or enlarge them substantially.



Adjust the black and white oval layers back to 100 per cent. Reselect the black oval by going to the Layers palette, clicking directly onto that layer while pressing Command/Ctrl. A Marquee selection should now surround the smaller black oval.Make sure your large, white, oval layer is selected and hit the Delete button. Once you trash the black layer (or turn it off) you should have a clean, white, oval frame that surrounds the silhouette of the tree.

Design a frame to complement the image, and to push the overall uniqueness of our T-shirt design



First, open the file tree.jpg included in this pdf andremove its colour. To do this, open the Hue/Saturation box from the Image tab at the top bar and go to Adjustments (press Ctrl+U on the PC, Command+U on the Mac). Slide the Saturation bar to -100, and keep the file in RGB mode so that we can experiment with colouring later.

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Drag the tree silhouette into a larger window, say 20cm wide by 30cm high, to give yourself more space for designing a...
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