Design Custom Work Shirts With Logo

How to Design Custom Work Shirts With Logo?

Having custom work shirts with logos is a great way to present a uniform, professional image to clients and customers. It allows your employees to easily identify each other at events and reinforces your brand when worn out around town.

Designing custom logo work shirts may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Follow this step-by-step guide to design work shirts from start to finish.

Choose the Right Shirt Style

Choose the Right Shirt Style

The first step is selecting the right shirt style for your needs. Consider the following factors:

Type of Work Environment

  • Is your workplace casual, business casual, or more formal? Choose a shirt style that aligns. Polos and open collar shirts like oxfords work well for casual offices. Button-downs are ideal for business casual.

Comfort Level

  • Think about the comfort level needed for employees’ day-to-day tasks. Breathable, moisture-wicking shirts are great for active jobs. Lightweight oxfords or poplins suit more sedentary roles.

Branded vs. Non-Branded Areas

  • Determine if you want branding in a prominent area like the chest or sleeve, or a more subtle place like the collar or cuff. This affects the shirt style.


  • Polos and oxfords tend to be the most affordable. Higher-end fabrics like dress shirts cost more. Set a budget before picking a shirt type.

Once you determine the work environment, comfort level, branding areas, and budget, you’ll be ready to select the shirt style!

Choose Your Fabric

Fabric directly impacts the look, feel, and price of custom work shirts. Consider these factors when selecting fabric:


  • Natural fibers like cotton and linen breathe well but wrinkle. Synthetics like polyester resist stains and retain shape. Blended fabrics optimize benefits.


  • Lightweight poplin or oxford shirts work year-round. Beefier fabrics like twill and broadcloth keep you warmer in the winter.


  • Fine, smooth fabrics look dressier. Textured fabrics like dobby or seersucker add visual interest.


  • Solid shirts in neutral and darker tones look most professional. Pastels and brighter shades liven up the look. White stands out in hot weather.


  • Natural fibers and unique weaves are pricier. Standard cotton/polyester blends are budget-friendly.

Get fabric swatches to see and feel each material before ordering custom shirts.

Choose the Right Logo Application Method

There are several ways to apply logos onto custom work shirts. Factors like placement, size, and shirt color affect the ideal application method.


  • Works on any shirt fabric. Provides a 3D raised effect. Best for left chest or sleeve logos. Larger logos may distort. Limit fine detail.

Screen Printing

  • Cost-effective for bulk orders. Vibrant logos in any size, detail, and colors. Works on smooth fabrics. Can feel stiff.

Dye Sublimation

  • Full color, photorealistic logos are imprinted into the fabric. Unlimited detail. Soft feel. Requires polyester shirts.

Heat Transfer Vinyl

  • Apply logo decals with a heat press. Glossy effect. Great for colorful/detailed logos. Can crack over time.

Direct to Garment Printing

  • Prints logo directly onto the shirt. Good for one-offs and test samples. Soft feel. Higher per-unit cost.

Consider logo size, detail, and placement as well as order quantity to select the best application.

Choose Complementary Branding Accents

Make your custom work shirts truly unique by adding branded accents:

Pocket Logos

  • Screen print or embroider a small logo on the pocket for a subtle touch.

Collar Logos

  • Add interest with an embroidered or printed logo on the back collar.

Button Accents

  • Branded shank buttons add pops of color. Etched buttons display logos.

Interior Necktaping

  • Woven necktaping displays your brand name/logo and reinforces quality.

Locker Patches

  • Personalize shirts with each employee’s name or department embroidered on a locker patch.


  • Add employee initials inside the shirt with a monogram for a professional touch.

Pick the Right Components

Customizing components takes work shirts to the next level:


  • Upgrade to performance fabrics with moisture-wicking, stretch, and stain/wrinkle resistance.

Collar Style

  • Button-down, spread, and camp collars upgrade the look. Consider stain-hiding darker contrast collars.


  • Reinforce high-wear areas like pocket openings. Opt for hidden security pockets. Add zippered tech pockets.


  • Upgrade from plastic to shank buttons in custom colors. Consider stain-resistant or engraved buttons.


  • Contrast stitching adds visual interest. Go for double-needle stitching for durability at stress points.

Side Vents

  • Add side vents for ease of movement. Use mesh or grommets for optimal ventilation.

Choose a Reputable Printer

Not all custom shirt printers are equal. Finding one that consistently delivers high-quality products is key:

  • Look for specialization in branded apparel printing, in-house production, and designer expertise. These indicate an experienced printer.
  • Verify they use name-brand, performance fabrics from trusted textile mills. Check for fair wage and environmental safety certifications.
  • Review sample products to inspect embroidery, print quality, construction, and fit. Ask for customer references to evaluate service.
  • Confirm prompt turnaround times. Rush production and order-splitting options allow flexibility for last-minute needs.
  • Check if they offer online design labs and size prediction tools for a tailored fit. Virtual sampling saves time and money.

Taking the time to find the right printer ensures you’ll receive custom shirts you’re proud to wear.

Design With Scalability in Mind

To allow employees to join and leave over time, design your work shirts for easy updating:

  • Size Up Samples – Order a size run to photograph for your online company store for easy reordering.
  • Extra Embroidery – Have the printer store logo embroidery files to easily reuse on reorders.
  • Split Initial Orders – Spread production over installments to allow for new hires.
  • Buy Fabric by the Bolt – Purchase excess fabric to avoid minimums when adding shirts.
  • Use Stock Components – Opt for generic buttons, pocketing, etc. to facilitate quick reorders.
  • Limit Names/Numbers – Monograms and locker patches limit reuse. Stick to the logo only for versatility.

Thinking scalability from the start makes expanding or modifying future orders fast and affordable.

Develop an Appealing Design

Great design marries form and function:

  • Simplify – Avoid cluttered logos and go for clean, recognizable icons if possible.
  • Scale Properly – Size logos to make an impact but not overwhelm the shirt.
  • Use Contrast – Dark logos on light shirts and vice versa provide maximum visibility.
  • Focus On One Location – Chest, sleeve, or back are ideal branding areas. Don’t overdo it.
  • Consider Placement – Will uniforms be tucked in? If so, waistline logos won’t show.
  • Reinforce With Color – Repeating brand colors on components creates cohesion.
  • Check the Tone – Ensure logo and shirt color combinations align with your brand identity.

Test logo size, placement, and color combos on a sample to hone in on the perfect design.

Make Adjustments and Expand Orders: Custom Work Shirts With Logo

Check Sizing and Fit

To ensure proper fit, provide detailed sizing and shape information:

  • Get Measured – Have each employee measure chest, waist, hips, sleeve length, etc. and indicate their fit preference (trim, relaxed, etc.).
  • Size Up – For a looser fit, size up from their measurements, especially in more generous cut shirts like polos.
  • ** accommodations** – Adjust sizing for employees requiring tall, big & tall, or plus sizes.
  • Fabric Provides Leeway – More flexible, stretchy fabrics allow a bit more room for error in initial sizing.
  • Shape Matters – Take body shape into account, not just measurements. Athletic or stocky builds need more room.
  • Preview the Samples – Have employees try on samples before the full order to catch any sizing issues.

Precise sizing measurements help achieve that tailored, uniform look for all employees right off the bat.

Make Adjustments and Expand Orders

Tweaking and adding to orders after reviewing initial samples ensures the perfect end product:

  • If shirts don’t fit quite right, cover size exchange fees upfront. Employees will be more comfortable asking for different sizes.
  • Discuss decorating or design adjustments employees would like to see after wearing the samples. Little tweaks can enhance overall satisfaction and pride.
  • Develop expansion plans accounting for hiring goals, employee turnover, and department growth projections. Budget accordingly.
  • Add shirts in fresh color combos to create more mix-and-match options. Employees appreciate variety.
  • Provide new employees with a welcome packet containing sizing forms, brand guidelines featuring the shirts, and ordering instructions. Make it easy for them to get properly outfitted from day one.

With some refinement and forward planning, your custom work shirts can evolve to meet changing needs over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many shirts should I order per employee?

5 shirts allow for a fresh shirt each day of the workweek. Order extra to allow for washing and wear and tear over time. Provide extras in a variety of colors.

What artwork file types do printers accept?

Printers prefer vector file types like .ai, .eps, and .pdf. This scale infinitely without losing quality. Raster files like .jpg and .png don’t scale well.

Should we put employee names on the shirts?

For flexibility, it’s best not to include names. Monogramming inside the shirt is a professional alternative if desired. Removable name badges are another reusable option.

How long does it take to get a custom order?

4-6 weeks is typical for embroidery and printing. Rush services deliver in 2 weeks but cost more. For extremely urgent orders under 1 week, adding rush fees and splitting orders across installments helps.

What’s better – screen printing or embroidery?

It depends on the logo size, colors, and fabric. Embroidery excels with larger logos on any fabric. Screen printing handles finer detail better. Get printer input to determine the best method for your design.


Designing custom work shirts for your team takes careful consideration – but the professional image and brand reinforcement they provide are well worth the effort. Keys to success include selecting styles, fabrics, branding methods and graphics that align with your company’s identity, as well as partnering with an experienced printer that can bring your vision to life.

Sizing correctly, making strategic adjustments after sampling, and planning for scalability will ensure your custom shirts keep your team looking its best well into the future. To embark on a successful T-Shirt design business, meticulous planning is essential; however, with some thoughtful planning and the right printing partner, you’ll not only kickstart your venture with confidence but also deliver stylish, quality uniforms that your customers will be thrilled to wear at work and out around town.

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